There’s nothing worse than breaking in Birkenstocks. For the first few hours or days, your feet will scream with every step you take. But I’ll expose a few tried-and-true hints to help you enjoy your sandals from day one and over the long haul.
When you first purchase Birkenstock sandals, it is normal for them to feel tight and uncomfortable at first. This is because the footbed has to be forced into a new shape to conform to your foot. Unfortunately, this initial discomfort can discourage some people from ever wearing their Birkenstocks again.
Breaking in Birkenstocks is an integral part of making them your own. Let’s look at why this is so, and then we can discuss the best ways to break in your Birkenstocks so that you can maximize them for years to come.
Why Should You Break In Your Birkenstocks
Birkenstocks are very comfortable, and breaking them in allows your feet to adjust to the sandal’s contours, but you have to break them in slowly.
Just like runners who must build up their mileage over time, you should wear your Birkenstocks for short periods at first and then increase the length of time as your feet adapt.
When you jump headfirst into wearing new Birkenstocks for long periods, you sign up for foot soreness, blisters, and painful bruises. Since the sandals are designed to be durable, there’s no need to rush their breaking-in process.
It may take a couple of weeks to break in a pair of sandals. But you’ll be glad you spent that time! The more you wear and use them, the more comfortable they’ll become. They’ll conform to your feet until they’re no longer just a pair of sandals—they’ll feel like an extension of your legs!
Procedure to Break In Your Birks
So, how do you break in Birkenstock sandals? Here is a step-by-step guide to breaking in Birkenstocks:
1. Check the size of the sandals. Wearing ill-fitting footwear can result in blisters and corns. If your feet are touching the edges of the footbeds, then you need to return the Birks in exchange for larger ones.
2. Take them out of the box and unbuckle their straps.
3. Before loosening the cork, bend the shoes in different directions to make them more flexible. This will reduce the break-in period.
4. Wear thick socks to protect your feet from being bruised when they inevitably rub against the abrasive linings of the sandals. Then place your feet on the sandals’ footbeds. Keep in mind that the sandals must be unbuckled before you place your feet on those footbeds.
5. Buckle the straps. Adjust them until the sandals feel neither too tight nor loose on your feet. For reassurance, slide one finger between your foot and the sandal strap. If the finger can barely fit into that space or dances within the gap between the sandal strap and your foot, you should readjust the strap.
6. Walk a little around your home to get a feel of your new sandals. Note how comfortable or otherwise, they are. If you don’t find them comfortable enough, you may have to exchange them for the correct size.
7. Make sure you can wiggle your toes. The sandal shouldn’t feel like a straight jacket. If your feet feel constricted, loosen the straps and give them another go.
8. Wear your sandals for about 30 to 45 minutes and take them off. If they hurt before the 30-minute mark, step out of them immediately.
9. The next day, wear the Birks for one to two hours and take them off. Again, if your feet hurt before the one-hour mark, don’t push yourself any harder. Take the sandals off as soon as you notice your feet aching.
10. On the third day, wear your Birks for a slightly longer period. Every day, gradually increase the length of time you spend in your Birks. Keep up the practice for two to three weeks. By then, your feet should have fallen in love with the sandals.
I suggest wearing your Birks in the house for a week before you wear them outside. Walk through parks, gardens, or around town in your new sandals. After a few days, they will conform to your foot movements and shape.
If your current Birkenstock sandal is too stiff to break in, try replacing the footbed. A soft footbed will give you a more comfortable and flexible fit and assists you in breaking in Birkenstocks more quickly.
When you break in your shoes, you’ll feel as if they have been custom-tailored to your feet. You won’t get tired of wearing them because they will never pinch or rub. However, the shoes will only fit properly with time and commitment.
Why does it take so long to Break In Birkenstocks?
It takes a few days to break in a pair of Birkenstock shoes because you need to get used to the straps. Once your feet adjust, the cork footbed will begin to soften and conform to the shape of your feet.
Issues related to Breaking In Your Birks
You may experience some discomfort while breaking in new shoes, including soreness in your feet, calves, and legs. To address these issues:
- Take off the shoes when your feet hurt.
- Wear the shoes for shorter periods.
- Apply Band-Aids, moleskin, or white fabric tape to affected areas. This will prevent the blisters from rupturing and degenerating into sores
- Use socks the first few times you wear your shoes.
- Adjust the straps until the sandals fit comfortably.
- Add extra holes to the straps if necessary.
- Use a hammer to soften footbed hotspots like the raised toe bar.
- If your shoes rub against the top or sides of your feet, sand down the problem areas with sandpaper.
- Soak your sandals in water for about an hour. Put on thick, reliable socks and the wet Birks. The process will make the straps and footbeds more flexible. You can use a damp cloth instead of socks to shroud your feet during soaking. Once you’ve finished soaking your shoes, take them off and let them dry.
- It’s possible to stretch your Birkenstocks using a hairdryer. To do this, wear a pair of thick socks and put on your new shoes. Use the hairdryer to heat the shoe at all angles, but focus on the stiffer regions of your sandals, like those adjustable straps and the footbed.
- Apply moleskin padding rolls to the footbed liners and interior areas of the sandals. This reduces the degree of friction between the inner part of the sandals and your feet. Or, place an appropriately sized strip of moleskin over the back of your heels or other parts of your feet most susceptible to blisters.
- Use rubbing alcohol sparingly. Overusing rubbing alcohol can discolor or ruin the leather lining on the footbed.
The effort to break in your Birks is worth it
Breaking in Birkenstocks can be a chore. But they’re worth the effort. Ask anyone who owns a pair. They’ll tell you how comfortable they are—and how many people prefer Birkenstocks to other brands of sandals.
So don’t rush into buying a pair for your next vacation. Give yourself plenty of time to break them in before you leave home. And don’t buy them on the first day of your trip!
Birkenstock sandals, with their distinctive footbeds and arch-supportive insoles, offer unmatched comfort. To find the right pair for you, ask a retailer at a Birkenstock store to help you choose the proper size and width.
Wear your Birkenstocks with pride: they’ve helped many people’s feet and knees and can help yours, too.
Brief History About Birkenstocks
The German brand Birkenstock was founded in 1774. Over time, it became known for its high-quality cork-bed sandals and grew to become a beloved household name across Europe and North America. The company’s founder, Johann Adam Birkenstock, patented his sandals in Hesse as a master cobbler and also introduced a new style of shoe bedding.
The soles of the shoes contain cork, which makes them more flexible than other brands’ footwear. They also have a wider toe box than most shoes, providing plenty of room for your toes to move freely as you stroll through town or hike through the woods.
His descendants were also innovators in the business—for example, Carl Birkenstock created the iconic Madrid model. Today, contemporary designers create modern Birkenstocks shoes that suit every taste.
In 2014, Birkenstock started licensing agreements with third-party businesses to expand its product outreach. And in 2017, it launched its line of beds!Amazon Search Link (Birkenstocks)
When you feel your Birkenstock footbed molding to the shape of your foot, it is ready for use. Follow the steps above, and you will make this happen quickly and easily. After that, your Birkenstocks will be the most comfortable shoes you have ever worn.
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