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Question about Birks

Posted by BarbS on 8/08/00 at 21:14 (024945)

I see so many posts about Birks but I can't tell if they are sandals or shoes. I have always thought Birks are sandals but how can you wear orthotics if you're wearing sandals? I can't go very long without my orthotics and would love to have a more comfortable shoe, not a sandal. I have relied on Nike Air for 2 years but I'm willing to venture out. Help anyone?

Re: Question about Birks

Beverly on 8/08/00 at 22:55 (024952)

Barbara,

I am a shoeaholic. No kidding... even worse since PF.

Birks come in several lines. There are closed toe shoes with removable footbeds from the Footprints line. I have not tried them. I have heard some people on the Board say they do not have the support that the sandals have.

It is true that you don't wear orthodics in sandals. The most popular Birk is the Arizona. I have tried several Birks, and so far, the Arizona is the only one I consistantly wear well day in and day out.
It has a molded footbed that conforms to your foot with time. They are not easy to break in. I wore mine for a couple of hours a day at first and built up.

I have found them far more comfortable than orthodics. But I am not a fan of orthodics since my experience there is not good. If you are doing well with orthodics, you are lucky, and I would not try to fix what is not broken. But if you are tired of having to lace up your athletic shoes and put them on everytime you want to get up from the sofa at night on the way to the kitchen or bathroom, a Birk could be a great 'just around the house' shoe.

I am totally sold on the Birk Arizona. I wear it most of the time.
I also like the Gizeh thong, but it took some getting used to, and I still can't wear it all the time.

Many people also like the Boston clog.

It is important when starting with a Birk to buy from the classic line.
Those are the most sturdy Birks and most PF friendly. If you do well with a shoe from the classic line, then you may become like me, curious to try some of the other shoes.

I think people here either love Birks or hate them. There does not seem to be much inbetween. People who don't like them say they have too much arch support and bother their arches or that they are too hard.

Here is what I like about Birks:
1. They mold to my foot like an orthodic but I'm not shoving anything extra into my shoe.
2. The negative (scooped out heelcup) along with good arch support and metatarsal support reduce my pain level. Now that I have tried many sandals, I am learning that if there is not at least some negative heel cup (scooped out look), it will not feel good. That is only my opinion.

I have a semi-high arch.

Good Luck,
Beverly

PS: Nancy very wisely convinced me when I first started thinking about Birks to go to a store and get professionally fitted. That makes all the difference in the world. If I had ordered off the web, I would have gotten the wrong size, and I would not have known it. I have tried a size up in Birks, and they do not feel right. But looking at the fit, they don't look that far off.


Re: Question about Birks

john h on 8/09/00 at 09:48 (024960)

i am also a strong fan of the airizona! nancy has to go to the store for a special fitting because of the big cat socks she wears.

Re: Question about Birks

Nancy S. on 8/09/00 at 09:58 (024962)

Oh John, my cat sox are not big, they are medium. Everything I wear is medium, except the too-small cast. I noticed that you couldn't bring yourself to put a pic of you with your feet showing in the pic gallery. What are you hiding, anyway?

I hope you weren't hurt that Alan didn't call you 'cute' like he did Wendy. I personally was shocked that he didn't mention your cuteness.

--Nancy


Re: Question about Birks

Charles T on 8/09/00 at 15:36 (024990)

Beverly
About fitting Birks, do your toes actually touch the ridge around the footbed in a sandal that correctly fits you?

Re: Question about Birks

Beverly on 8/09/00 at 17:04 (025003)

My toes (some of the little toes) do touch the edge of the rim. Ideally, I wish they didn't but Birk does not make half sizes. After asking numerous questions here and trying the next size up, I concluded that at least for me, I could live with my toes touching. After a while the footbed molded to them and I didn't notice it much. I think what is more important is that the heel is firmly and squarely in the heel cup and the arch hits in a comfortable way and is on the arch. When I tried the next size up, I had good toe space, but too much room in the heel.
They just didn't feel right. The only thing that would make Birks more perfect to me is if they had half sizes and if they had some supersoft uppers with velcro straps in the classic line.
Beverly

Re: Question about Birks

Sandy on 8/10/00 at 07:42 (025062)

BarbS, I am totally sold on Birks. Since my PF started in April I have just bought sandals so far but I am looking for my cooler weather shoes...and they will be Birks I'm sure. Since I started wearing Birks my Nikes, New Balance, and even Timberlands have been gathering dust. I never invested in a good pair of orthotics but my SuperFeet insoles are also gathering dust since all I wear is Birk sandals. I noticed this week that my favorite shoe store has their fall and winter line in. If you don't want a sandal try a clog or a loafer, Birkenstock has a huge selection. Check out their website birkenstock.com
Just to see if you are going to like the Birk footbed I would suggest that you find a pair of sandals onsale (I just bought a pair of Birk Betulas for $30) and give them a try around the house. Good luck!

Re: Question about Birks

Charles T on 8/10/00 at 11:18 (025087)

>>My toes (some of the little toes) do touch the edge of the rim. Ideally, I wish they didn't but Birk does not make half sizes<<
This is the way that a Birk Store Salesperson wears them. Her big toe rides up slightly over ridge ( Can see discolor); she said they flex after a while and feel fine.
Also she did say that heel should fit as you described.
I do think you have a good fit.

Re: Question about Birks

Beverly on 8/08/00 at 22:55 (024952)

Barbara,

I am a shoeaholic. No kidding... even worse since PF.

Birks come in several lines. There are closed toe shoes with removable footbeds from the Footprints line. I have not tried them. I have heard some people on the Board say they do not have the support that the sandals have.

It is true that you don't wear orthodics in sandals. The most popular Birk is the Arizona. I have tried several Birks, and so far, the Arizona is the only one I consistantly wear well day in and day out.
It has a molded footbed that conforms to your foot with time. They are not easy to break in. I wore mine for a couple of hours a day at first and built up.

I have found them far more comfortable than orthodics. But I am not a fan of orthodics since my experience there is not good. If you are doing well with orthodics, you are lucky, and I would not try to fix what is not broken. But if you are tired of having to lace up your athletic shoes and put them on everytime you want to get up from the sofa at night on the way to the kitchen or bathroom, a Birk could be a great 'just around the house' shoe.

I am totally sold on the Birk Arizona. I wear it most of the time.
I also like the Gizeh thong, but it took some getting used to, and I still can't wear it all the time.

Many people also like the Boston clog.

It is important when starting with a Birk to buy from the classic line.
Those are the most sturdy Birks and most PF friendly. If you do well with a shoe from the classic line, then you may become like me, curious to try some of the other shoes.

I think people here either love Birks or hate them. There does not seem to be much inbetween. People who don't like them say they have too much arch support and bother their arches or that they are too hard.

Here is what I like about Birks:
1. They mold to my foot like an orthodic but I'm not shoving anything extra into my shoe.
2. The negative (scooped out heelcup) along with good arch support and metatarsal support reduce my pain level. Now that I have tried many sandals, I am learning that if there is not at least some negative heel cup (scooped out look), it will not feel good. That is only my opinion.

I have a semi-high arch.

Good Luck,
Beverly

PS: Nancy very wisely convinced me when I first started thinking about Birks to go to a store and get professionally fitted. That makes all the difference in the world. If I had ordered off the web, I would have gotten the wrong size, and I would not have known it. I have tried a size up in Birks, and they do not feel right. But looking at the fit, they don't look that far off.


Re: Question about Birks

john h on 8/09/00 at 09:48 (024960)

i am also a strong fan of the airizona! nancy has to go to the store for a special fitting because of the big cat socks she wears.

Re: Question about Birks

Nancy S. on 8/09/00 at 09:58 (024962)

Oh John, my cat sox are not big, they are medium. Everything I wear is medium, except the too-small cast. I noticed that you couldn't bring yourself to put a pic of you with your feet showing in the pic gallery. What are you hiding, anyway?

I hope you weren't hurt that Alan didn't call you 'cute' like he did Wendy. I personally was shocked that he didn't mention your cuteness.

--Nancy


Re: Question about Birks

Charles T on 8/09/00 at 15:36 (024990)

Beverly
About fitting Birks, do your toes actually touch the ridge around the footbed in a sandal that correctly fits you?

Re: Question about Birks

Beverly on 8/09/00 at 17:04 (025003)

My toes (some of the little toes) do touch the edge of the rim. Ideally, I wish they didn't but Birk does not make half sizes. After asking numerous questions here and trying the next size up, I concluded that at least for me, I could live with my toes touching. After a while the footbed molded to them and I didn't notice it much. I think what is more important is that the heel is firmly and squarely in the heel cup and the arch hits in a comfortable way and is on the arch. When I tried the next size up, I had good toe space, but too much room in the heel.
They just didn't feel right. The only thing that would make Birks more perfect to me is if they had half sizes and if they had some supersoft uppers with velcro straps in the classic line.
Beverly

Re: Question about Birks

Sandy on 8/10/00 at 07:42 (025062)

BarbS, I am totally sold on Birks. Since my PF started in April I have just bought sandals so far but I am looking for my cooler weather shoes...and they will be Birks I'm sure. Since I started wearing Birks my Nikes, New Balance, and even Timberlands have been gathering dust. I never invested in a good pair of orthotics but my SuperFeet insoles are also gathering dust since all I wear is Birk sandals. I noticed this week that my favorite shoe store has their fall and winter line in. If you don't want a sandal try a clog or a loafer, Birkenstock has a huge selection. Check out their website birkenstock.com
Just to see if you are going to like the Birk footbed I would suggest that you find a pair of sandals onsale (I just bought a pair of Birk Betulas for $30) and give them a try around the house. Good luck!

Re: Question about Birks

Charles T on 8/10/00 at 11:18 (025087)

>>My toes (some of the little toes) do touch the edge of the rim. Ideally, I wish they didn't but Birk does not make half sizes<<
This is the way that a Birk Store Salesperson wears them. Her big toe rides up slightly over ridge ( Can see discolor); she said they flex after a while and feel fine.
Also she did say that heel should fit as you described.
I do think you have a good fit.