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Question About Birks

Posted by salina on 2/24/00 at 00:00 (016314)

Hi, for those of you who enjoy wearing the Birkenstock shoes, I have a question. Are the soles flexible when you walk? The shoes look pretty hard. I understand what I read about the footbed being that way for a reason. But I was told by someone that a shoe should be flexible right past your toes. So it moves the way your foot needs to while walking. Several months ago, I bought a cheap pair of really thin, totally flat sandals at kmart that not only did not have any arch support (totally flat in every sense of the word), they also were like a thing board on bottom that had no flexibility at all. I dug them out of the closet to look at them because I blame them for this situation I am in right now, and they could be an exhibition of what shoes not to wear. I am upset that shoe makers can even pass these things off as shoes. We have regulations for just about everything, (I'm not saying that is a good thing) but it seems like something as important as our feet should have something regulating it. I know consumers should be informed, but how many of us are foot doctors that actually know about these things? A lot of women wear ridiculous shoes that we know we shouldn't wear, but that is obviously a no no and we know it when we do it. But truly, I think when people go in a store to buy shoes such as athletic shoes, sandals, slippers, etc, we just assume they are not going to be dangerous to our feet and our livelihoood. I found three other pairs of different type casual wear shoes in my closet I just threw out. They, too, were dangerous. Maybe I have been just too cheap.
Anyway, sorry to vent. I really do want to know about the birks bottoms. thanks to anyone that can answer.

Re: Question About Birks

salina on 2/24/00 at 00:00 (016315)

Please don't tell me not to wear those ridiculous high heels I talked about. I never wear those except for particular occasions in which I know they will be coming off in a matter of minutes anyway, and I don't even leave the house. And what is really pathetic is this stupid PF is even messing me up there also. Might as well throw those out too!

Re: Question About Birks

Nancy S. on 2/24/00 at 00:00 (016316)

That's a good question. I wear both: (1) a pair of sort of hiking shoes/boots that bend only at the toes, not in the arch, and I always have my custom orthotics in them; and (2) Birkenstocks, Boston style. Both feel about the best for my feet that I can do, but the Birks usually feel better. They are very different from the other cheapo flat kind of shoe you describe -- the top of the footbed is shaped to support your foot just where you need it -- the heel, the arch, etc. And then because they are stiff, they are kind of strengthening, too -- I always feel my feet are getting a little exercise in them, because they don't bend anywhere and force a little toe gripping to keep up with your foot as you walk. This would no doubt be bad in a shoe that isn't supporting your foot enough in any other way, but it feels good in the Birks, at least for me. My pain was about cut in half after I got used to the Birks! They felt a little too hard at first, but within a week or so I got used to them. So it's just a guess on my part, I'm not very scientific, but I think the toe flexibility thing doesn't hold true for Birks because the whole footbed is providing a better support all over than regular shoes, and along with that provides a little strengthening because of the need for minor toe gripping. Fit is everything when it comes to Birks; if you go try some, I hope you get a knowledgeable fitter. Take your time trying them. I spent 2 hours deciding which ones to get.
Say, didn't there used to be commercials for something called 'PF Flyers'? What the hell were those, and where can we get some now? --Nancy
p.s. Salina, ok, I won't tell you not to wear those ridiculous high heels. I will just ask you Please, Salina, don't wear those ridiculous high heels?

Re: Question About Birks

salina on 2/24/00 at 00:00 (016333)

Hi Nancy,

I think I will be trying them. I just have to wait til another pay day comes along. Did you get yours at a store in the states? Or online? I am not a good shopper, and worse online, it seems.
And I was just being silly about the heels, they were sadly already collecting dust before this PF happened. but it does make for a good excuse. haha.
It would feel so nice to find a brand of shoes that work. Since I am an awful shopper, it would fix that problem also. I wouldn't have to shop around, just go for the birks. thanks for the info.


Re: Question About Birks

Nancy S. on 2/24/00 at 00:00 (016343)

I hate shopping too, Salina. Except if it's for dusty old stuff, but in the business I'm allowed to call that 'stocking up.' Yes, I got my Birks at a store in the states. I'm afraid it's awfully far away from you -- Portland, Maine! It's called Walkabout. Ironically, that's also where I got the Ugg boots that I think ultimately led to my PF. They have no support, and I worked in my antiques barn for 4 years day and night in those things. Well, back to the Birks -- if I were you I would look up shoes in the yellow pages and call every shoestore to see if they sell Birks. Usually you'll find them in the non-chain stores, maybe sort of boutiquey stores or something. Now that I know my size, when I get my next pair I'll order them through Scott's link -- I think it's on the Home page? He has a link to a German website (they're made in Germany), and through that site they're a lot cheaper. Several people on this board have gotten them from that German site. There's a very big selection on it, too -- more than in the store here. Last time I heard, Robin, who posted to you also, had 8 pairs of Birks. Now she's up to 10! I'm jealous. I plan to order another pair when I'm working more again and have some pennies. Good luck, I hope you find a store that can fit you, and then you can decide on the style in your mind, but act undecided, and order them through Scott's link. I guess that's a little crafty, but the money we have to spend on our feet! Have to save anywhere we can. --Nancy

Re: Question About Birks

salina on 2/24/00 at 00:00 (016315)

Please don't tell me not to wear those ridiculous high heels I talked about. I never wear those except for particular occasions in which I know they will be coming off in a matter of minutes anyway, and I don't even leave the house. And what is really pathetic is this stupid PF is even messing me up there also. Might as well throw those out too!

Re: Question About Birks

Nancy S. on 2/24/00 at 00:00 (016316)

That's a good question. I wear both: (1) a pair of sort of hiking shoes/boots that bend only at the toes, not in the arch, and I always have my custom orthotics in them; and (2) Birkenstocks, Boston style. Both feel about the best for my feet that I can do, but the Birks usually feel better. They are very different from the other cheapo flat kind of shoe you describe -- the top of the footbed is shaped to support your foot just where you need it -- the heel, the arch, etc. And then because they are stiff, they are kind of strengthening, too -- I always feel my feet are getting a little exercise in them, because they don't bend anywhere and force a little toe gripping to keep up with your foot as you walk. This would no doubt be bad in a shoe that isn't supporting your foot enough in any other way, but it feels good in the Birks, at least for me. My pain was about cut in half after I got used to the Birks! They felt a little too hard at first, but within a week or so I got used to them. So it's just a guess on my part, I'm not very scientific, but I think the toe flexibility thing doesn't hold true for Birks because the whole footbed is providing a better support all over than regular shoes, and along with that provides a little strengthening because of the need for minor toe gripping. Fit is everything when it comes to Birks; if you go try some, I hope you get a knowledgeable fitter. Take your time trying them. I spent 2 hours deciding which ones to get.
Say, didn't there used to be commercials for something called 'PF Flyers'? What the hell were those, and where can we get some now? --Nancy
p.s. Salina, ok, I won't tell you not to wear those ridiculous high heels. I will just ask you Please, Salina, don't wear those ridiculous high heels?

Re: Question About Birks

salina on 2/24/00 at 00:00 (016333)

Hi Nancy,

I think I will be trying them. I just have to wait til another pay day comes along. Did you get yours at a store in the states? Or online? I am not a good shopper, and worse online, it seems.
And I was just being silly about the heels, they were sadly already collecting dust before this PF happened. but it does make for a good excuse. haha.
It would feel so nice to find a brand of shoes that work. Since I am an awful shopper, it would fix that problem also. I wouldn't have to shop around, just go for the birks. thanks for the info.


Re: Question About Birks

Nancy S. on 2/24/00 at 00:00 (016343)

I hate shopping too, Salina. Except if it's for dusty old stuff, but in the business I'm allowed to call that 'stocking up.' Yes, I got my Birks at a store in the states. I'm afraid it's awfully far away from you -- Portland, Maine! It's called Walkabout. Ironically, that's also where I got the Ugg boots that I think ultimately led to my PF. They have no support, and I worked in my antiques barn for 4 years day and night in those things. Well, back to the Birks -- if I were you I would look up shoes in the yellow pages and call every shoestore to see if they sell Birks. Usually you'll find them in the non-chain stores, maybe sort of boutiquey stores or something. Now that I know my size, when I get my next pair I'll order them through Scott's link -- I think it's on the Home page? He has a link to a German website (they're made in Germany), and through that site they're a lot cheaper. Several people on this board have gotten them from that German site. There's a very big selection on it, too -- more than in the store here. Last time I heard, Robin, who posted to you also, had 8 pairs of Birks. Now she's up to 10! I'm jealous. I plan to order another pair when I'm working more again and have some pennies. Good luck, I hope you find a store that can fit you, and then you can decide on the style in your mind, but act undecided, and order them through Scott's link. I guess that's a little crafty, but the money we have to spend on our feet! Have to save anywhere we can. --Nancy