Birkenstock is committed to giving its customers the best footwear. It uses only premium quality materials that are crafted delicately for your comfort. But let’s face it. Imitations of Birkenstocks are almost everywhere. Of course, as a consumer, you would want to be extra careful about purchasing only the original ones.
To tell if your Birkenstocks are fake, always check the quality of the footwear by inspecting its parts. These include logos on the footbed, EVA sole, thick uppers with fleece lining, and buckles with the brand name, to name a few. Additionally, only buy from original Birkenstock stores to assure authenticity.
In this article, a detailed explanation of how to tell the difference between real and fake Birkenstocks is presented. Better pay attention, so you won’t get confused!
Parts of a Birkenstock and Their Authentic Qualities
Although imitation Birkenstocks are looking more and more like the original, there are still many ways to examine authenticity, like assessing the quality of the parts of the footwear. Be mindful of them as they accurately tell whether what you want to buy is fake or not.
1. Logos on the footbed
The logos found on the footwear do not only showcase the Birkenstock brand. They can also indicate authenticity. Be keen on its color and icons.
In terms of color, the logos on Birkenstocks with original footbeds are colored yellow for older versions, while black is the imprint color for the newer ones. Concerning those with soft footbeds, the logos are in the color blue. Their vegan counterparts, on the other hand, are colored green.
Additionally, make sure that your Birkenstocks have “Made in Germany” lettering and icons showing the type of material used, like leather and vegan.
Shoe soles should effectively support and fit your feet comfortably. Be informed that the soles of Birkenstocks are made to be thick and sturdy enough. They are created using ethylene-vinyl acetate, popularly known as EVA, which is tough, flexible, and resistant to UV radiation.
Birkenstocks have a repeatedly patterned bone-like imprint on the sole. Just be extra careful because the fake ones have this as well. Instead, focus your attention on the “BIRK” lettering. It should be consistently present on the sole. The fake ones neither have this nor are sized uniformly.
The uppers are an important part of a Birkenstock. They are responsible for having a strong grip on and contact with your feet. Since Birkenstock has a wide range of variants, the uppers are created differently in terms of materials and procedures. But take note that the trademark of Birkenstock uppers is that they are thick and sturdy.
Also, a seamless fleece lining on the underside should be observed, especially with Birko-Flor footwear. It should be attached to the sole intact. Unlike this, you can notice that the underside of the fake version is slowly peeling away, resulting in detachment.
Buckles are the adjustable belt-like part of Birkenstocks. They are made to better fit and tighten the grip of the uppers on the feet.
An authentic Birkenstock has the brand name “BIRKENSTOCK” on bigger buckles, whereas “BIRK” or “BIRKEN” can be found on the smaller versions.
In addition, if the buckles are too shiny when hit by light, it is an indication that it is fake. A real one should show a slightly mattified shine, complementing the muted colors of Birkenstocks. It should also not create visible scuffs after lightly brushing the surface.
5. Serial Numbers
Although not all models of Birkenstock have serial numbers, they signal that you have a genuine pair. Serial numbers found near the buckles are used as a tracker which monitors which country the products are bound for. You can see these on Birkenstocks for both kids and adults.
Real Birkenstocks have serial numbers on the uppers that are written simply. All digits should be typed and sized uniformly. Also, the distance between the digits should not be too far from each other, fitting the width of the strap. If your footwear has them, just be careful not to scrape them away.
Discoloration on real Birkenstocks should not be a worry. With proper care, its colors can last for a long time.
An indication of authenticity is the richness of the color of its uppers. Although Birkenstock has crafted various types of footwear in different colors, they should be pigmented enough to complement the nude tones of the soles.
Fake Birkenstocks have dull colors. It appears to be crusty and worn out already even after just a few times of use. Also, if the color is uneven resulting in color patches, most probably, that is only an imitation. You should pay attention to the evenness of the color.
Additional Tips on How To Spot Real Birkenstocks
Apart from inspecting the parts of your Birkenstock, there are other important things to consider to assess authenticity. These can include price, fit, and more!!
- Only buy from original Birkenstock stores and verified online Birkenstock websites. You can never get scammed if you directly visit its stores and talk to its official brand personnel. For sure, you can only get authentic pairs of footwear from them.
- Always check the price tag. You can get fake Birkenstocks for a cheaper price. This might entice you to purchase, but do not be fooled! The original ones range from $50 to $200, whereas imitations are usually $10 only or below. Do not settle with the latter because their quality can only last after a few times of use.
- Inspect the weight of the footwear. Authentic Birkenstocks tend to be heavier, thicker, and sturdier than fake ones. This just means that the materials used have the best premium quality that you cannot get from an imitation. Feel the sole, and make sure that it is compact and firm.
- Do not hesitate to fit them. Before purchasing, make sure that your chosen pair fits your feet nicely. Try walking while having it on so that you can assess if you truly want them. It should not be too heavy to walk on but still soft enough to give the right support and cushion.
- Check how they are packaged. There should be two important pieces of information found on the packaging: product characteristics and instructions on how to take care of it. As much as they are there for educational purposes, these are trademarks of a real Birkenstock, too.
- Inspect the stitches on the leather. The great stitching on Birkenstocks is done to safely secure the attachment of the leather to the sole. No loose threads should be seen, and the stitching should be precise, clean, and even. It should not lose its integrity even after a few minutes of walking.
- Scan the glued parts to see how seamless they turned out. Apart from stitching, gluing parts is what Birkenstock is also great at. Remember that Birkenstock glues its footwear properly. It should not have flakey clumps of dried glue. Assure that it is free from bulks that can be caused by unevenly applied glue.
- Non-vegan Birkenstocks should have a leathery smell. Foul-smelling footwear is not good. Fake Birkenstocks, for example, have a very strong chemical rubber smell. It is irritating to the nose that you would not want. Try smelling it to tell whether it is toxic or not.
- Birkenstock’s soles can only be slightly bent. One of the trademarks of Birkenstock is its sturdy and compact soles, especially the cork versions. Excluding EVA soles, they should showcase just enough flexibility. If what you currently have can be bent from heel to toe, they are fake without a doubt.
- Birkenstock rarely holds a sale annually. Even though there are some sales that you can anticipate, do not expect to purchase a pair for half of its original price. If it is deeply discounted and on sale most of the time, you better think twice before buying. It may be fake!
How to tell if your Birkenstocks are real leather?
Leather is known to be one of the best materials for producing footwear. It adapts to the curvy shape of your feet while giving you comfort, support, and a great experience overall. But just be careful not to buy fake ones. Here are some points to consider:
- A genuine leather Birkenstock should be both grainy and supple to the touch. It should not cause any trouble to your feet because of its textures. They complement each other to give you the best comfort and support that you need.
- Leather is susceptible to having little scratches that should not concern you too much. Although leather Birkenstocks have a subtle natural shine, it has no protective coating to make them scratch- and scuffing-proof. However, as much as it usually happens, it is still best to take good care of it.
- Underneath the straps of leather Birkenstocks, there should be an imprinted number. This only indicates whether or not the uppers of your footwear are done at the same time. If the numbers match, they are manufactured at one time, whereas if not, they are done separately. Remember that the latter should not concern you.
Birkenstock Rubber: Original Vs. Fake
Apart from leather, Birkenstock also uses rubber to provide support and comfort. It is known to be durable, firm, and flexible altogether, reinforcing its form and design.
It is water-resistant which makes it perfect for outdoor use, like on the beach, on the dusty streets in the city, and during the rainy season, to name a few. In terms of cleaning, you can use and do almost anything, even tossing it into a washing machine. The latter is not advisable, though.
Observe the footbed as well. Make sure that it follows the curves of your feet for a more comfortable fit. It should have an intact feel to the touch that does not create permanent dents.
All of the opposites of these descriptions are the features that a fake Birkenstock has. It is too soft to be worn for long walks. Its footbed is dull and flat which makes your feet hurt. At the same time, it has a very shiny coating and an unpolished cut.
All of these indicate that the replica is made out of poor-quality materials.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are real Birkenstocks still made in Germany?
Yes. Real Birkenstocks are still produced in Germany. Since 1774, the brand has been fulfilling its promise to craft authentic and premium quality footwear sold around the world. Every day, its factories can efficiently create up to 30,000 pairs of shoes.
Are fake Birkenstocks just as good as the real ones?
You cannot get the same quality of genuine Birkenstocks from the replica. The main concern is the authenticity of the materials utilized. Birkenstock only uses original ones that can last for a long time. Instead of buying a fake Birkenstock, it is much better to choose an authentic alternative.
What do the numbers on Birkenstocks mean?
The numbers on Birkenstocks mean a lot of things. There are serial numbers that indicate where the footwear is headed. The size is also imprinted on the sole in numbers. On the strap of leather Birkenstocks, the numbers tell whether or not the uppers are made at the same time.
Are your Birks fake? Final Thoughts…
No one wants to buy a pair of Birkenstock only to find out that it is fake. As a famous footwear brand, Birkenstock has been continuously imitated by many, so you have to be cautious before purchasing!
Real Birkenstocks are pricier, but they are of high quality. In fact, they’re even the best for walking long distances. Only purchase from authorized resellers or physical stores of Birkenstocks so you can avoid dupes!