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Re: Answers about Birks

Posted by Robin B. on 2/24/00 at 00:00 (016324)

I have had severe PF (both feet) for nearly two years, and am finally in a pretty good recovery stage. Birkenstocks were the first major improvement for me. I have been wearing them for slightly more than 1 year -- I have thrown or given away all my other shoes (except a couple of pairs of athletic shoes) and Birks are now all I wear. They are probably all I will ever wear. And I have 10 pairs.

No, Birks are not flexible. They are not supposed to be. They have tremendous arch support and many people find the soles too hard -- but I think they are wonderful.

If you pursue Birks, it is critical to go to a Birk store or a very good shoe store that sells Birks (with knowledgeable sales people) and get fitted. I used to wear a 9 or 9.5 shoe -- that would translate in European sizes to a size 40 Birk. But -- I wear a 38 Birk, which is the equivalent of a women's size 8. Size 38 fits me perfectly and sometimes I can wear a 39 -- but 40 is way too large. If I had not been fitted correctly I would never have known this.

Regarding your question on flexibility -- as the woman in the Birk store said to me, 'Your feet need support, not cushioning.' And probably not flexibility either. Too much flexibility -- and too much over-stretching and over-pronating the plantar fascia -- is what causes problems in the first place.

Birks take some people some time to get used to. They took me about 1 day, but many people need to break them in slowly over the course of a week or two.

My personal belief is -- anyone who is serious about remedying his or her PF will start with a search for proper,comfortable shoes. Until you can get your feet into shoes that at least help your feet not to hurt so much, little else is possible. Birks have been a major contributor toward my recovery and I recommend them to anyone on this board. Another personal belief is -- there is no cheap shoe anywhere on any market that can help PF. Cheap shoes is what got some of us here in the first place.


Re: Answers about Birks

salina on 2/24/00 at 00:00 (016332)

How true!! I have got to get over it and be willing to spend the money it takes to have healthy feet. I think I understand the concept of birks now, thank you so much for replying.
I thought you had to order birkenstocks on line. They are in stores?
Where did you get yours? thank you.

Re: Answers about Birks

Robin on 2/25/00 at 00:00 (016390)

Salina -- it's really important that you try Birks on in a store and be fitted by someone who genuinely knows what he or she is doing -- not so kid who's working after school.

Yes, there are Birks store and stores that sell Birks which aren't Birk stores. Once you get fitted and you know your proper size, you can of course buy online. But if you don't get the right size the first time out -- Birks will hurt you more than they will help you.

If you're having a hard time with the money part of it -- here's something to think about. If you go to a podiatrist or orthopod and end up with custom orthotics -- you're looking at $300 to $400. If your insurance doesn't cover them (and many policies don't), that's out of pocket.

When I started this little foot adventure, I figured for $300 or $400 I could get a lot of Birks (if they worked for me). And they did. And I HAVE gotten a lot of them. By the way -- the absolute basic model of Birks is Arizona. It's a backless two-strap sandal, and even though the leather ones are pricey, they are much better than the man-made. I have 10 pairs now -- and Arizona's are still my favorite. I have 3 pairs of those. I highly recommend Arizona as your first pair.


Re: Answers about Birks

salina on 2/24/00 at 00:00 (016332)

How true!! I have got to get over it and be willing to spend the money it takes to have healthy feet. I think I understand the concept of birks now, thank you so much for replying.
I thought you had to order birkenstocks on line. They are in stores?
Where did you get yours? thank you.

Re: Answers about Birks

Robin on 2/25/00 at 00:00 (016390)

Salina -- it's really important that you try Birks on in a store and be fitted by someone who genuinely knows what he or she is doing -- not so kid who's working after school.

Yes, there are Birks store and stores that sell Birks which aren't Birk stores. Once you get fitted and you know your proper size, you can of course buy online. But if you don't get the right size the first time out -- Birks will hurt you more than they will help you.

If you're having a hard time with the money part of it -- here's something to think about. If you go to a podiatrist or orthopod and end up with custom orthotics -- you're looking at $300 to $400. If your insurance doesn't cover them (and many policies don't), that's out of pocket.

When I started this little foot adventure, I figured for $300 or $400 I could get a lot of Birks (if they worked for me). And they did. And I HAVE gotten a lot of them. By the way -- the absolute basic model of Birks is Arizona. It's a backless two-strap sandal, and even though the leather ones are pricey, they are much better than the man-made. I have 10 pairs now -- and Arizona's are still my favorite. I have 3 pairs of those. I highly recommend Arizona as your first pair.