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how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

Posted by Nancy N on 5/02/01 at 21:14 (046447)

I got a pair of Arizona-like Betula's at Sam's last month, and took them to my pedorthist on Saturday to make sure they fit me properly (he also sells and repairs Birks). I had them buckled to a point where they were comfortable--slightly loose, but comfortable. He told me that I needed to tighten them up, and I'm just worried that they're too tight now. He only moved them in one step, but they feel tight now, especially between the straps.

How tight do you guys adjust your Birks--and if you've been fitted by a 'Birk expert,' does this advice sound familiar? Should they be just slightly on the tight side? I'm really curious--and I don't want to mess up anything else in my feet!

Thanks!

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

cindyp on 5/02/01 at hrmin (046449)

Well I didn't do that. I have a pair of birk sandals. three straps. I adjusted them myself. Just tight enough for comfort and not loose enough to fall off. Make sense? If they are too tight then I would say circulation would be a problem.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

wendyn on 5/02/01 at 22:46 (046451)

I was told to place my foot in the sandal, and then buckle so that it fit loosley - I can EASILY slip my fingers under the straps when I put my feet down. I don't think Birks are supposed to be worn tight. Do what feels right for you.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

Beverly on 5/02/01 at 23:47 (046454)

I wear mine much like Wendy described. I can slip my fingers under the straps. I don't like mine to be too loose or too tight. If they are too loose, my feet slip around in them. If they are too tight, they hurt. I think this is an individual thing. I go with what is comfortable. Infact, as dorky as this sounds, I wear mine with socks.
Good luck,
Beverly

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

john h on 5/03/01 at 09:50 (046476)

i have an insert that came with my birk sandals that address how to fit your sandals. it is not long and i will post it when i get home. i do remember 'you do want the straps to be tight or snug'. the foot bed is made to hold the shoes in the proper position.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

john h on 5/03/01 at 09:51 (046477)

wendy: i think you have it right.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

john h on 5/03/01 at 09:52 (046478)

yes beverly birks with socks are dorky although i will wear socks with long pants. in the 60's the dorkier the better.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

wendyn on 5/03/01 at 11:21 (046486)

Hey! I wear Birks with socks all winter John. Don't call me a dork!

Re: Dork II

JudyS on 5/03/01 at 13:54 (046510)

I'm a Dork, too! Around here everyone wears Birks with or without socks. Both are fashionably acceptable! Athletes especially as it's easy to slip those Birks on over athletic socks before or after changing to cleats.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

john h on 5/03/01 at 20:45 (046545)

Following is the Birkenstock instructions for using your new sandals:

1. Unbuckle all the straps, and place your feet in the sandals. Make sure your heels are all the way back in the heelcups. The contours of the footbed should correspond to your own arches, and the toe grips shoud fit comfortably under your toes.

2. Place you fee in the sandals. Before you stand up, make sure there is about 1/4' of extra space for your toes and your heels and 1/8' on each side of your feet. You'll need this extra room because your feet will expand when you stand and walk.

3. Buckle the straps. Support comes from the footbed, not from tightly buckled straps. A securely fastened toe strap should be enough to your foot firmly in the footbed. Other straps can be worn loosely.

*note: all persons wearing socks (especially with shorts) with their birkenstock sandals will be considered 'dorks' or 'nerds'.

Re: JudithKayNerdHansmaDorkSchmidt :) eom

New Name... on 5/03/01 at 21:14 (046554)

:)

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

Nancy N on 5/03/01 at 21:25 (046555)

John--

Thanks much for posting these instructions. I don't think the pair I got at Sam's included them!

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

Julie on 5/04/01 at 02:07 (046558)

The unique thing about Birks is that when the straps are fastened correctly, they allow the muscles of your feet to work as you walk. The toes should curl and grip with each step, so your feet are working with the footbeds to propel you forward. If the straps are too tight, the toes can't work. So the straps should be, as Wendy says, loose enough to slip your fingers under.

I think this is the reason (apart from the construction of the footbed) that Birks are so helpful for PF sufferers: they strengthen the foot muscles. The straps aren't meant to bind the footbed to your foot - as John says, it's the footbed that provides the support.

I wear socks ALL the time with mine.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

Kay S on 5/04/01 at 07:59 (046567)

Hi Nancy
I also got a pair of those Sam's birks, about a month ago. I find them comfortable for a couple of hours, then I have to change again. But that is true of every kind of shoe I wear, so to me these are good.
Have you worn the Arizona? I am thinking of ordering those, but since these are a 39 I wondered if that would be the same size I would order in the other style.
I never go to a mall to try on shoes, so please don't suggest I do that. I never go to a mall for anything, really, except once in the last six months to get some prom stuff for my daughter. She shopped, I sat on the bench outside the store.
I wear a 9.5 slim and am able to pull the straps over far enough to fit, which is a feat. (no pun intended) I am afraid if I ordered a larger size, they'd be too wide.
Maybe the heelspurs shoe queen (Beverly) will have the answer!
Kay

Re: JudithKayNerdHansmaDorkSchmidt :) eom

Kay S on 5/04/01 at 08:03 (046568)

Sometimes I wear socks with my Birks, but not to church.
Sometimes I wear my garden shoes around the house.
Every day I wear navy blue shower shoes.
I put orthotics in motorcycle boots.
I think my picture is next to the word 'nerd' in the dictionary.
Kay

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

john h on 5/04/01 at 09:42 (046583)

julie: you pointed out something i had never considered and that is the birk sandal in particular allow you to constantly use your muscle,tendons,fascia,etc when you walk. this could very much account for their success in helping many peopl. i had always thought it was the foot bed but your explanation makes more sense.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

john h on 5/04/01 at 09:49 (046584)

i just ordered some airizona sandals from the german site. i think they were 43 eurodollars around $40 U.S. if you know what size betulas that fit you then the birk airizonas should be the same size. you can always punch new holes in your straps if needed. as you know they only come in normal and narrow widths. did you know they make these sandals that are anti-static? if you look under the 'professional birks' on thier website you will also find they make them with gripper type soles and in white for the nurses. the last time i was in the hospital it seems half the nurses were in one type of birk or another.

Re: Working in Birks

Julie on 5/05/01 at 02:49 (046663)

I'm sure it is partly the footbed, John, as long as the high arch suits the individual - as we know, it doesn't suit everybody. But the exercise the feet can get while walking in them is important too. The fitter who sold me my first Birks years ago explained this to me, and it made sense, and I've always done it. The idea is to curl the toes and draw them back over the toe grips as you walk, so that the feet are active all the time, not just going along for the ride. It's essentially the same movement as in the towel-grabbing and marble-picking-up exercises.

When you 'work' the toes in this way, the arch and instep lift - that's why the straps mustn't be tight. I suppose wearers who feel the straps need to be tighter think that the straps are supposed to do all the work of holding the footbed to the foot, whereas it is really the working foot that holds it. And it's true that if the feet aren't working, they can slide around unless the straps are buckled tighter.

Of course you can walk in Birks just as you walk in 'normal' shoes, without exercising the feet, and they'll still help because of their construction and shape, but it's good to use the opportunity to work them.

Re: JudithKayNerdHansmaDorkSchmidt :) eom

john h for JudithKayHansmaDorSchmidt on 5/07/01 at 15:39 (046940)

please do not wear socks with your birks to Dr Z's. it will remind me of the time i went to a movie with one of my buddies who wore red pants in downtown chicago. i made him walk 15' ahead of me.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

Bill E. on 5/08/01 at 13:42 (047055)

I was going to comment on the exercise that one gets with a loosely buckled pair of birks. I agree, it is very similar to the towel grabbing exercise. I wear socks with mine on cold days and barefoot on warm ones. I have to tighten them when I take the socks off. And they are still pretty loose. So I get an extra workout. But I attribute some of my improvement to wearing them whenever possible.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

cindyp on 5/02/01 at hrmin (046449)

Well I didn't do that. I have a pair of birk sandals. three straps. I adjusted them myself. Just tight enough for comfort and not loose enough to fall off. Make sense? If they are too tight then I would say circulation would be a problem.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

wendyn on 5/02/01 at 22:46 (046451)

I was told to place my foot in the sandal, and then buckle so that it fit loosley - I can EASILY slip my fingers under the straps when I put my feet down. I don't think Birks are supposed to be worn tight. Do what feels right for you.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

Beverly on 5/02/01 at 23:47 (046454)

I wear mine much like Wendy described. I can slip my fingers under the straps. I don't like mine to be too loose or too tight. If they are too loose, my feet slip around in them. If they are too tight, they hurt. I think this is an individual thing. I go with what is comfortable. Infact, as dorky as this sounds, I wear mine with socks.
Good luck,
Beverly

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

john h on 5/03/01 at 09:50 (046476)

i have an insert that came with my birk sandals that address how to fit your sandals. it is not long and i will post it when i get home. i do remember 'you do want the straps to be tight or snug'. the foot bed is made to hold the shoes in the proper position.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

john h on 5/03/01 at 09:51 (046477)

wendy: i think you have it right.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

john h on 5/03/01 at 09:52 (046478)

yes beverly birks with socks are dorky although i will wear socks with long pants. in the 60's the dorkier the better.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

wendyn on 5/03/01 at 11:21 (046486)

Hey! I wear Birks with socks all winter John. Don't call me a dork!

Re: Dork II

JudyS on 5/03/01 at 13:54 (046510)

I'm a Dork, too! Around here everyone wears Birks with or without socks. Both are fashionably acceptable! Athletes especially as it's easy to slip those Birks on over athletic socks before or after changing to cleats.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

john h on 5/03/01 at 20:45 (046545)

Following is the Birkenstock instructions for using your new sandals:

1. Unbuckle all the straps, and place your feet in the sandals. Make sure your heels are all the way back in the heelcups. The contours of the footbed should correspond to your own arches, and the toe grips shoud fit comfortably under your toes.

2. Place you fee in the sandals. Before you stand up, make sure there is about 1/4' of extra space for your toes and your heels and 1/8' on each side of your feet. You'll need this extra room because your feet will expand when you stand and walk.

3. Buckle the straps. Support comes from the footbed, not from tightly buckled straps. A securely fastened toe strap should be enough to your foot firmly in the footbed. Other straps can be worn loosely.

*note: all persons wearing socks (especially with shorts) with their birkenstock sandals will be considered 'dorks' or 'nerds'.

Re: JudithKayNerdHansmaDorkSchmidt :) eom

New Name... on 5/03/01 at 21:14 (046554)

:)

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

Nancy N on 5/03/01 at 21:25 (046555)

John--

Thanks much for posting these instructions. I don't think the pair I got at Sam's included them!

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

Julie on 5/04/01 at 02:07 (046558)

The unique thing about Birks is that when the straps are fastened correctly, they allow the muscles of your feet to work as you walk. The toes should curl and grip with each step, so your feet are working with the footbeds to propel you forward. If the straps are too tight, the toes can't work. So the straps should be, as Wendy says, loose enough to slip your fingers under.

I think this is the reason (apart from the construction of the footbed) that Birks are so helpful for PF sufferers: they strengthen the foot muscles. The straps aren't meant to bind the footbed to your foot - as John says, it's the footbed that provides the support.

I wear socks ALL the time with mine.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

Kay S on 5/04/01 at 07:59 (046567)

Hi Nancy
I also got a pair of those Sam's birks, about a month ago. I find them comfortable for a couple of hours, then I have to change again. But that is true of every kind of shoe I wear, so to me these are good.
Have you worn the Arizona? I am thinking of ordering those, but since these are a 39 I wondered if that would be the same size I would order in the other style.
I never go to a mall to try on shoes, so please don't suggest I do that. I never go to a mall for anything, really, except once in the last six months to get some prom stuff for my daughter. She shopped, I sat on the bench outside the store.
I wear a 9.5 slim and am able to pull the straps over far enough to fit, which is a feat. (no pun intended) I am afraid if I ordered a larger size, they'd be too wide.
Maybe the heelspurs shoe queen (Beverly) will have the answer!
Kay

Re: JudithKayNerdHansmaDorkSchmidt :) eom

Kay S on 5/04/01 at 08:03 (046568)

Sometimes I wear socks with my Birks, but not to church.
Sometimes I wear my garden shoes around the house.
Every day I wear navy blue shower shoes.
I put orthotics in motorcycle boots.
I think my picture is next to the word 'nerd' in the dictionary.
Kay

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

john h on 5/04/01 at 09:42 (046583)

julie: you pointed out something i had never considered and that is the birk sandal in particular allow you to constantly use your muscle,tendons,fascia,etc when you walk. this could very much account for their success in helping many peopl. i had always thought it was the foot bed but your explanation makes more sense.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

john h on 5/04/01 at 09:49 (046584)

i just ordered some airizona sandals from the german site. i think they were 43 eurodollars around $40 U.S. if you know what size betulas that fit you then the birk airizonas should be the same size. you can always punch new holes in your straps if needed. as you know they only come in normal and narrow widths. did you know they make these sandals that are anti-static? if you look under the 'professional birks' on thier website you will also find they make them with gripper type soles and in white for the nurses. the last time i was in the hospital it seems half the nurses were in one type of birk or another.

Re: Working in Birks

Julie on 5/05/01 at 02:49 (046663)

I'm sure it is partly the footbed, John, as long as the high arch suits the individual - as we know, it doesn't suit everybody. But the exercise the feet can get while walking in them is important too. The fitter who sold me my first Birks years ago explained this to me, and it made sense, and I've always done it. The idea is to curl the toes and draw them back over the toe grips as you walk, so that the feet are active all the time, not just going along for the ride. It's essentially the same movement as in the towel-grabbing and marble-picking-up exercises.

When you 'work' the toes in this way, the arch and instep lift - that's why the straps mustn't be tight. I suppose wearers who feel the straps need to be tighter think that the straps are supposed to do all the work of holding the footbed to the foot, whereas it is really the working foot that holds it. And it's true that if the feet aren't working, they can slide around unless the straps are buckled tighter.

Of course you can walk in Birks just as you walk in 'normal' shoes, without exercising the feet, and they'll still help because of their construction and shape, but it's good to use the opportunity to work them.

Re: JudithKayNerdHansmaDorkSchmidt :) eom

john h for JudithKayHansmaDorSchmidt on 5/07/01 at 15:39 (046940)

please do not wear socks with your birks to Dr Z's. it will remind me of the time i went to a movie with one of my buddies who wore red pants in downtown chicago. i made him walk 15' ahead of me.

Re: how tightly do you buckle your Birks?

Bill E. on 5/08/01 at 13:42 (047055)

I was going to comment on the exercise that one gets with a loosely buckled pair of birks. I agree, it is very similar to the towel grabbing exercise. I wear socks with mine on cold days and barefoot on warm ones. I have to tighten them when I take the socks off. And they are still pretty loose. So I get an extra workout. But I attribute some of my improvement to wearing them whenever possible.