Are Birkenstocks Good For Flat Feet? Plus 4 Fail-proof Alternatives

A lot of people with flat feet resign themselves to fate. But what if I told you that there are some shoes out there designed specifically to support your foot? The first thing you might think of is those iconic rectangle sandals that have been around since the ’70s—the ones that most of us love to hate. But I’m talking about something a little different: Birkenstocks. I see you rolling your eyes, “Seriously? Are Birkenstocks good for flat feet?”

Birkenstocks are suitable for people with flat feet because they offer arch support, firm heel cups, and open toe boxes. All Birk models have either of these two footbeds; soft or standard. The soft footbed is better suited to cushion the fallen arches of flat-footed folk.

According to some researchers, approximately 20%-30% of Americans have flat feet. We are all born with flat feet, but most of us develop arches as we get older—unless we have a family history of flat feet.

For some people, flat feet result from pregnancy, obesity, aging, or medical problems like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. (Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)

Podiatrists advise patients with flat feet to wear shoes with firm heel cups, ample arch support, and roomy toe boxes. Birkenstocks sandals have never failed to meet these criteria from day one, providing comfort and durability to those with flat feet.

Let’s explore this brand of sandals in more detail and discuss some options available for our flat-footed friends!

Birkenstocks: the Sandals

Birkenstocks are one-of-a-kind sandals that are 100% German-made. They are a favorite among celebrities and bloggers from across the country, all of whom say they feel like heaven once you break them in!

These sandals conform to the shape of your foot and support the growth of healthy bacteria. Their cushioned footbed is designed specifically to relieve pressure points, while the antiskid outsoles will protect you from injury.

Birkenstocks are designed with two different footbed options, both of which are comfortable.

  • Standard footbed
  • Soft footbed

The footbeds of these sandals comprise three layers: jute on the bottom, cork and latex in the middle, and jute on the top. The cork and latex layer provides shock absorption and support and relieves the pressure of your body weight on your feet. The jute layers increase the flexibility of the Birks, contributing to their durability and moisture regulation qualities. Finally, the suede lining top layer keeps your feet comfortable all day long.

The soft footbed has a layer of foam for extra cushioning and comfort, which is beneficial to people with flat feet.

The standard footbed is comfortable for most people, but if you have flat feet, its extra firmness may aggravate the intensity of your problems instead of lessening them.

The standard footbed is comfortable for most people, but if you have flat feet, its extra firmness may aggravate the intensity of your problems instead of lessening them.

Meanwhile, the soft footbed cushioned with air-bubble-infused foam is better off providing your flat feet with the comfort they need.

Whether you have flat feet or high arches when you buy a pair of Birkenstocks, start off wearing your new sandals for 30 minutes or an hour at first. Wear them around your home and work up to 2 hours and then 3. The Birks will gradually conform to the shape of your feet and provide you with ultimate comfort.

If you’re patient enough to break in your Birks properly (this rule applies to all styles of Birkenstocks), they’ll last you a lifetime. Flat feet or not.

Best Birkenstocks for Flat Feet

While surgery or expensive orthotics are the most common big-ticket solutions for treating flat feet, there are a few Birkenstocks with soft footbeds that you can try first. Explore responsibly.


Treat your feet to the luxurious comfort of the Arizona Soft Footbed (available in oiled nubuck leather and suede leather)


For those who prefer the warm and fuzzy texture of suede on their feet, Boston Soft Footbeds are available in this luxurious leather.


The oiled leather of the Granada Soft Footbed provides a smooth, supple feel and will develop a rich patina over time.

Benefits of the Birks with Soft Footbed

What are the health benefits of purchasing Birkenstocks soft footbed sandals?

  • They will support your arches, thereby reducing foot pain.
  • They’re available in different weights and sizes.
  • Your feet will enjoy the highest level of comfort and stability in these shoes.
  • Bid foot problems goodbye with Birks by your side!

If you made it this far, you’ve probably bought your Birks already. But your new Birks won’t deliver all of their ear-tingling promises the first day you try them out. It’ll take many more days or weeks for your feet to adjust to the sandals. Don’t despair, Birk brother! Eyes on the prize (healthier feet, of course).

Alternatives: Good Shoes for Flat Feet

If you’re looking to buy a pair of shoes to fight flat feet, Birkenstocks are a great option. However, if you’re not a fan of Birks or can’t find them in your size, here are three alternatives to Birkenstocks!

Classic Crocs

Crocs were originally designed as a boat shoe, using a material called Croslite that’s lightweight and durable. The US Ergonomics Council and the American Podiatric Medical Association have certified Crocs as therapeutic shoes for people suffering from bunions, diabetes, and flat feet.

If you have flat feet, then Crocs are for you. Their ergonomically molded Croslite component ensures that your arches are well supported, which is necessary to avoid pain and discomfort. The shoes also allow your toes to breathe and spread out comfortably, which results in healthier and happier feet.

Crocs has also introduced a new line of shoes that offer extra arch support for people with flat feet, including Neria Pro II Clogs, Crocs On-The-Clock Slip-Ons, and LiteRide Bistro Pro Clogs.

Neria Pro II Crocs

Clarks CloudStepper Sillian Paz Slip-On Loafer for Women

The Clarks CloudStepper Sillian Paz Slip-On Loafer is an excellent closed-toe alternative to Birkenstocks for people with flat feet. This shoe is attractive, lightweight, and comfortable. However, it is a ladies’ shoe and will not be appropriate for most men.

It’s great for walking and features a removable Ortholite footbed that lets you add an orthotic for personalized support.

The sizing does run wide, and I would recommend that if you have narrow feet, then you order the next half size down from your normal size.

Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe

If you’re looking for a comfortable shoe with the perfect amount of arch support, the Merrell Jungle Moc is the right choice for you.

These shoes are available in both standard and wide widths and have sticky rubber M Select™ outsoles that provide excellent traction. Their pig suede leather uppers are also durable.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 for Men or Women

Brooks is legendary for the comfort and support their Men’s and Women’s shoes offer; these sneakers are no exception. Their affordable price point makes them a top choice for many people.

Men’s Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20

These lightweight walking shoes or runners feature a breathable mesh upper for comfort, as well as a supportive cushion that provides stability and support. Perfect for flat-footed individuals who are looking for firmer footbeds, plus you can’t beat that wide toe box!

Tips to Make Your Birkenstocks More Comfortable

Here are some tips to help you wear sandals with comfort and pride:

  1. Make sure that your strap is not too tight. Adjust it, so it fits just right, neither too loose nor too tight.
  2. To avoid injury, ensure your toes are not extended beyond the edge of your footbed.
  3. Sometimes, it is helpful to bend your sandals sideways to loosen their corks.
  4. Wiggle your toes in the Birks to see if you can feel any difference in the adjustment (3).
  5. Walk around your neighborhood or inside your house for a bit so you can get used to your new sandals.
  6. Wear the sandals every day for at least an hour so that you’ll get used to them.
  7. If your feet are starting to hurt, reduce the time you spend in your new Birks per day. Don’t push yourself too hard.
  8. If your feet are fine with the shoes, wear them for longer periods.
  9. As you wear your sandals outdoors for progressively longer periods, the leather will conform to the shape of your feet. This may take a few weeks, depending on how your feet react to the Birks.
  10. Wear socks if you need to—they’ll keep you extra warm and cozy.

Following the tips above will help your flat feet adjust to Birks in no time.

Heads up! Birkenstock sandals don’t last forever. They can last a long time, though—as long as you take care of them correctly. You shouldn’t wear them in the rain or while performing wet activities too often because this could cause them to loosen up over time.

Conclusion: Are Birkenstocks Good for Flat Feet? Yes

These days, people tend to choose shoes based on how fashionable they are, and that is the greatest mistake that you can ever make. Be sure that you know and understand your feet. Find out which types of footwear will cater to your needs. You can even visit Birkenstocks’ website to view a list of their products.

As you go about your day, don’t forget to invest in a pair of quality shoes that can support your flat feet. You won’t regret it!

Birkenstock Related Articles

Leave a Reply