Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Are Birkies as good as the other types of Birkenstocks?

Posted by Suzanne D on 9/06/01 at 18:09 (059283)

I appreciate your patience with yet another shoe question...I bought my first pair of Birkenstock Arizona's - softbed - a month ago (thanks to finding this site and reading so much about them), and wore them exclusively. Seeing that they are helping me, along with following the dr.'s orders of stretching, icing, NSAIDs, I purchased a pair of clogs last Friday for cooler weather. While at the store I found a pair of Birkies on sale (and cheaper to start with as well), so I bought them and have been wearing them to school some this week. They don't seem to feel as good as my Arizona's. Is this it because they are the regular bed and not the softbed, because I am not used to them yet, or because they are not the quality of my first shoes? Anyone with experience wearing Birkie sandals? I guess I am just so scared that I will lose any improvement I have made in the past month by wearing something not as good for me! Thanks for any advice you may have on this...

Re: Are Birkies as good as the other types of Birkenstocks?

Julie on 9/07/01 at 03:03 (059334)

Suzanne, you're right, and your feet are telling you the truth: the Birkies aren't the same as the classic Arizonas. They're made from a different material, Birkoflor - a kind of plastic I guess. It's a rigid, ungiving material, plus the footbed is shaped differently, and it does not (and will not) mold to your feet as the cork footbed does. It's isn't to do with the fact that the footbed isn't soft, it's it's shape, and the material it's made from.

I too have a pair that (fortunately) I bought cheaply. I've had them for a year. They were somewhat uncomfortable then, and haven't changed: they still are (the front strap digs into my bunion). I use them only for walking the 50 yards or so between the shower and the pool. I wouldn't trust my feet with them for any longer than that.

That's my experience. Everyone is different, but it sounds as though you're having a similar experience. My advice is that you should use them only for shower shoes or pool shoes (they're good for wet work) but don't wear them for any length of time. The plastic won't give (that was made clear on the leaflet mine came with) and won't change, so don't try to 'break them in'. If they're not comfortable now they never will be, and they probably will be bad for your feet.

I hope this is helpful.

Re: Are Birkies as good as the other types of Birkenstocks?

Suzanne D on 9/07/01 at 10:26 (059359)

THANK YOU, Julie! I think my experience definitely matches yours! I did not receive a leaflet with mine, and I appreciate your confirming what I was believing to be true. I won't go with the cheaper ones the next time. There are so many lessons to learn with PF, aren't there? And the lessons can be expensive, I am finding out! But I am thankful that it is the shoes and not the fact that my feet are getting worse again. Today I am wearing the Arizona pair, and my feet feel so much better! (They don't look so great with my outfit, but my first graders don't seem to notice!) :-)

I have to go get my children from lunch now. I appreciate your response!

Re: Are Birkies as good as the other types of Birkenstocks?

Julie on 9/07/01 at 03:03 (059334)

Suzanne, you're right, and your feet are telling you the truth: the Birkies aren't the same as the classic Arizonas. They're made from a different material, Birkoflor - a kind of plastic I guess. It's a rigid, ungiving material, plus the footbed is shaped differently, and it does not (and will not) mold to your feet as the cork footbed does. It's isn't to do with the fact that the footbed isn't soft, it's it's shape, and the material it's made from.

I too have a pair that (fortunately) I bought cheaply. I've had them for a year. They were somewhat uncomfortable then, and haven't changed: they still are (the front strap digs into my bunion). I use them only for walking the 50 yards or so between the shower and the pool. I wouldn't trust my feet with them for any longer than that.

That's my experience. Everyone is different, but it sounds as though you're having a similar experience. My advice is that you should use them only for shower shoes or pool shoes (they're good for wet work) but don't wear them for any length of time. The plastic won't give (that was made clear on the leaflet mine came with) and won't change, so don't try to 'break them in'. If they're not comfortable now they never will be, and they probably will be bad for your feet.

I hope this is helpful.

Re: Are Birkies as good as the other types of Birkenstocks?

Suzanne D on 9/07/01 at 10:26 (059359)

THANK YOU, Julie! I think my experience definitely matches yours! I did not receive a leaflet with mine, and I appreciate your confirming what I was believing to be true. I won't go with the cheaper ones the next time. There are so many lessons to learn with PF, aren't there? And the lessons can be expensive, I am finding out! But I am thankful that it is the shoes and not the fact that my feet are getting worse again. Today I am wearing the Arizona pair, and my feet feel so much better! (They don't look so great with my outfit, but my first graders don't seem to notice!) :-)

I have to go get my children from lunch now. I appreciate your response!