Are Birkenstocks Waterproof?

I grew up amidst summer camping, hiking, and climbing in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. One year, it rained all week. The puddles and mud were so deep that my mom had to drop me off at her sister’s while the rest of the family embarked on the trip because I refused to wear anything but my Birkenstock shoes or slides. I believed those faithful Birks could carry me through any weather, rain or shine.

What do you think? Are Birkenstocks waterproof?

Birkenstocks are not waterproof. Their leather uppers are not waterproof, but their footbeds are made from a combination of moisture-absorbing materials. Surprisingly, their outsoles, made from a synthetic material called EVA, are water-resistant but not waterproof.

Birkenstock is a name well known in the shoe industry. The company has been around for over 200 years and offers top-quality products created using only the finest materials.

The shoes’ leather uppers and straps are 100% genuine, and their unique processing system helps them retain the natural warmth of leather and its natural ability to breathe. Birkenstock also offers footbeds made from cork and latex.

Some models of Birkenstocks even feature wool linings for comfort, reinforcement, and insulation that keep your feet dry and warm in all conditions. Though these brand’s shoes are not waterproof, they can be protected from water damage with specific steps.

Let’s now turn our attention to Birkenstocks—those stylish and comfortable shoes you want to make last for many years.

How to Make Birkenstock Footwear Waterproof?

Since their debut in 1774, Birkenstock sandals have been enjoyed by millions worldwide. And although the original design was not waterproof, people still love them today—perhaps because of their high-quality materials and craftsmanship.

Waterproofing your Birkenstock clogs, sandals, or (insert type of footwear) will keep them looking brand new and ensure they last for many years.

Women’s Salina Birkenstocks

What sets Birkenstock apart is their commitment to authentic materials, which they believe allow their products to breathe.

The buckles are handmade and subject to a specialized process that prevents corrosion, during which they’re fortified with several layers of powder coating to protect them from the elements.

Despite all their impressive qualities, Birks aren’t waterproof or heat-resistant. So you need to take extra care of yours by not exposing them to water or scorching heat.

Birkenstocks Florida Sandal (Women’s)

The marketing assistant of Birkenstock Inc., Jackie Porter, advises that you apply sunblock to your feet before going out under the sun. Just like your face, your feet are prone to sunburns and skin cancers when exposed to the harsh UVB rays in the straps of Birkenstock sandals. This is why you shouldn’t joke about using sunscreen on your feet, particularly if your outfit for the day includes Birkenstocks.

She also added that the cork footbed dries out when it absorbs water, resulting in cracking and chipping of the poor footbed.

Birkenstock Papillio Women’s Lola Leather Sandals

How to protect your Birks from water damage

Porter revealed that, despite their drawbacks, Birkenstocks could be waterproofed. Here are some tips on how to do it.

Gizeh Birkenstocks

Wax-Based Polishes

Did you know that wax makes a great waterproofing agent? Applying it to any surface takes time and effort, but it ultimately pays off.

Think you may be caught up in a blizzard or snowstorm while wearing your Birkenstocks? Just apply a minimal amount of wax (try Saphir Plate De Luxe on Amazon) to the leather uppers of the sandals. The wax will protect the material from the mischiefs of water and heal any scratches in the leather.

Beeswax and a Blow Dryer

To waterproof your shoes, apply a thin layer of beeswax to them. Using a blow dryer, melt the wax and then let the shoes air dry. The wax will create a clear protective coating over your shoes.

The downside of this method is that melted beeswax stiffens the leather uppers of Birkenstocks. If that sounds like something you can handle, wing it!

Mink Oil

Another way to waterproof your Birkenstocks is to apply mink oil to their straps and other areas.

Warning: Mink oil can darken the color of your sandals. You’ll want to apply the oil to a small section of the back edge of the shoe. Check that section for any signs of discoloration. If there are, it’s advisable to adopt any of the other waterproofing methods.

A Combination of Laundry Detergent, Baking Soda, and Water

To make a homemade water-resistant shoe treatment, mix one tablespoon of laundry detergent, one of baking soda, and enough water to create a loose paste. Stir the elixir for several minutes.

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda on Amazon

Tide Laundry Detergent on Amazon

With a toothbrush, cover every part of your Birkenstocks with this paste. Wait for some minutes, then wipe off the residue with a damp towel or cloth. Let your shoes air dry overnight (don’t use a dryer to speed up the process).

Cork Sealant

Porter confirmed that the Birkenstock cork footbed isn’t water-resistant. But there’s good news for those who want the Birkenstock look without worrying about wet feet. A sealant can be purchased from Amazon, which will protect your shoes against moisture.

The cork sealant is made from breathable ingredients and is leather-friendly, so it won’t ruin your favorite shoes.

All you have to do is coat the footbed with the sealant twice regularly. This may require some work, but it’s worth it to keep your feet dry all day long.

Why Birks are the perfect footwear for different seasons

Birkenstocks are not necessarily waterproof, although they can be worn in any season. The footbed is form-fitting and lightweight, offering you support and comfort no matter where you are.

Birkenstock Women’s Mayari Sandal

You can wear these shoes on grassy fields, concrete surfaces, sandy beaches, and even rocky hiking trails. The best part is that Birkenstock offers its product in a wide range of styles and colors—not to mention they will complement any outfit!


Birkenstock shoes are well-known among teenagers and adults for their timeless design, style, comfort, and durability. You can wear them with any outfit, to any occasion—the beach, a fancy dinner or the park.

Take the steps listed above to make your Birks relatively water-resistant so that no matter what Mother Nature throws your way, you’ll never be caught off guard.

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