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"fake" Birks?

Posted by JoAnn Fl on 1/23/02 at 00:53 (070934)

Has anyone tried the look alike Birks they sell at Walmart? They are Faded Glory brand and look like the Arizona Birks...they even have the same sole pattern on the bottom. I was just curious to know if they were working for anyone.

Re: "fake" Birks?

Carole C on 1/23/02 at 01:19 (070936)

Haven't tried them... Right now I have the money and it's worth the extra to me to buy the genuine shoe. I wonder if these look alikes are good. It would be nice if they were! But I don't have any idea and I don't want to try any shoes at this point, unless they are known to be good for feet.

I did notice that Birkenstock itself makes some cheaper Arizonas with the synthetic 'Birko-Flor' uppers in a lot of different colors, that sell for $28 on the German site.

Carole C

Re: "fake" Birks?

Julie on 1/23/02 at 03:41 (070944)

Be careful with the Birkoflor Birks. Not being made of a 'living' material, they're rigid and have no give at all, and although they look similar to the Arizonas, they feel completely different. I have a pair that I find adequate for walking between the locker room and the pool, but I wouldn't want to wear them for longer than about two minutes otherwise.

Re: "fake" Birks?

BG CPed on 1/23/02 at 06:44 (070950)

There are knock-offs of Birks everywhere. I think it is due to the fact that the shape and design is so old that it can be copied without any infringement short of using the name. I have seen a few that are pretty good copies and some that are very bad. You could try a pair and use them for house shoes to see how they are, if they work great if they so so then just make them the run out of the house to get mail or wash the car shoes.
At that price and the shape they are better than many of the soccer style sandals if you can tolerate the hardness and shape

Re: "fake" Birks?

Carole C on 1/23/02 at 16:19 (071010)

Thanks, Julie. Last night I ordered some of the taupe suede Arizonas, with cork footbed and eva soles. They cost $90 instead of $28, but I need a pair of new shoes that I feel is pretty, for morale. I've found that one undesirable aspect of PF that we seldom discuss is the demoralizing effect of wearing shoes that we hate and have to wear even if we don't like the style.

I love suede, and the Arizonas I ordered sure look pretty in the photo. I'm glad I didn't order the cheaper ones!

Carole C

Re: Is it the upper?

Carole C on 1/23/02 at 16:37 (071015)

Is it the upper that makes them feel different? Or is the footbed made of synthetics too, instead of cork?

I've been wondering if the upper material makes very much difference in the feel, or if most of these with the same footbed feel about the same.

Carole C

Re: "fake" Birks?

paula on 1/23/02 at 20:52 (071056)

i had fake birks once and look at the mess i'm in. i don't know if they contributed but i'd stick with the real thing. we could try cheering ourselves up with this chant: 'i am a hippy in the seventies. peace. oh wow'. i like the way birkies look but then i AM an old hippy so that would figure.

Re: Is it the upper?

paula on 1/23/02 at 20:54 (071058)

upper? huh? they are black and sorta plastic or rubber. the foot bed is like a ghost of a birkie with out the heel cup or real arch support

Re: Is it the upper?

Julie on 1/24/02 at 02:51 (071079)

Carole, it's both the upper and the footbed. They're both synthetic, both rigid. The footbed, as Paula says, is a ghost of the classic Arizona cork footbed; if it irritates any part of the foot at first it's going to go on irritating. That goes for the upper as well: mine digs into my bunion and is the only shoe I have that irritates it. That's the main reason why I wouldn't want to wear them for longer than the 100 yards or so between changing room and pool.

So much for Birkoflor- as far as I'm concerned, at least. It has its uses, but is no substitute for the living materials of leather and cork.

I am wearing my taupe suede Arizonas as we speak. I love them. I'm sure you will too.

Re: Is it the upper?

Carole C on 1/24/02 at 13:26 (071138)

Oh! Thanks Julie. I didn't realize the footbed was synthetic also in the Birkoflor's.

Wow! we will have matching Arizona's. (grin) I am sure that I will love them too. :)

Carole C

Re: Is it the upper? Another question...:-)

Suzanne D on 1/26/02 at 08:25 (071365)

I am still trying to learn! Thanks for everyone's patiince! I thought from my reading on the Birkenstock sites that Birko-flor was one material that the uppers could be made of, but that in classic Birkenstock Arizonas, for instance, that the footbed would remain the same. I see that the classic footbed Arizonas can have uppers made of Birko-flor, suede leather, smooth leather, etc. - just to name a few choices.

I was particularly interested in this as I was considering ordering a pair of Floridas from Germany as they came in the soft footbed (which I love in my Arizonas) and also in the color white which I would like to have for dresses in the spring and summer. But the only material I can get these in is the Birko-flor. I thought this was referring to just the straps part of the shoe and did not affect the footbed, but now I am not sure.

I did find out the hard way - and Julie helped me with the answers a few months ago - that the style 'Birkis' (I hope this comes out the way I spell it and just does not automatically become the blue Birkenstock word) did not have the same cork footbed. But I thought the Birkenstocks did, just had different uppers but the same footbeds.

Thank you - anyone who can help me!

Re: Is it the upper? Another question...:-)

Julie on 1/26/02 at 09:03 (071369)

Suzanne, I'm sorry if it was my comment that confused you. It referred to Birkis, which are made of the Birkoflor material, and of which I have some experience. I don't know about other Birkenstock styles which may be constructed partly of Birkoflor, partly of cork. The websites should make it clear, though.

Re: Is it the upper? Another question...:-)

Julie on 1/26/02 at 09:05 (071370)

Suzanne, a PS. The German site gives an email address. You can email them and ask them about this. They usually reply quickly and helpfully.

Re: Thanks, Julie! As always, you're helpful. I'll do that before I order. (nm)

Suzanne D on 1/26/02 at 09:10 (071372)

>

Re: Is it the upper? Another question...:-)

Carole C on 1/26/02 at 11:08 (071392)

Oh, ok! I was originally referring to the $28 Birkenstocks with Birkoflor uppers, not to the Birki's. Thanks for the clarification, Julie.

Carole C

Re: Thanks, Julie! As always, you're helpful. I'll do that before I order. (nm)

Suzanne D on 1/26/02 at 19:59 (071462)

I sent an inquiring e-mail to Birkenstock in Germany and was told that the footbed is exactly the same in the classic or soft footbed Birkenstocks, only the uppers are different, whether leather, nubuck, birko-flor, etc. Hope this helps others who are searching also! :-) Thanks again, Julie!

Re: Thanks, Julie! As always, you're helpful. I'll do that before I order. (nm)

Carole C on 1/26/02 at 20:23 (071470)

Thanks, Suzanne!

Carole C

Re: Thanks, Julie! As always, you're helpful. I'll do that before I order. (nm)

Julie on 1/27/02 at 02:52 (071485)

Thank you for clarifying this, Suzanne. I apologize for confusing you (and anybody else). I must have lost track of the thread, and thought we were talking about Birkies.

Re: "fake" Birks? - saw them today, my opinion

Carole C on 1/27/02 at 15:24 (071546)

JoAnn, I just got to WalMart today. (RAH!! I love being able to get places without so much pain).

Anyway, I looked at these fake Birks in comparison with my real Birkenstock Floridas, which I was wearing. In my opinion, just from looking at them... well... they are $6.83 and my Floridas were $90.00, and I think in this case maybe you get what you pay for. I would not personally wear these fake Birks or even try them on. The footbed on the fake Birks had very little shape to it other than the heel cup; the toebar was much too shallow in comparison with the Birkenstocks, as were the rest of the 'bumps'. They seem to be there more for style than function. It was difficult to tell about the heel cup without trying on but it might have been helpful. The materials didn't look as sturdy. That was my opinion although I haven't tried them on. Sorry! Wish I could say otherwise but oh well.

Carole C

Re: "fake" Birks? - saw them today, my opinion

Suzanne D on 1/27/02 at 19:55 (071572)

JoAnn, last month I saw some Arizona look-a-likes at a shoe store (Don't remember their brand name). They really looked a lot like Birkenstocks. I slipped out of my Arizonas and tried on my size for about 30 seconds, and they felt AWFUL! There was just not the support or anything near the same feeling. I couldn't get them off quickly enough! That was my one experience.

Re: "fake" Birks?

Carole C on 1/23/02 at 01:19 (070936)

Haven't tried them... Right now I have the money and it's worth the extra to me to buy the genuine shoe. I wonder if these look alikes are good. It would be nice if they were! But I don't have any idea and I don't want to try any shoes at this point, unless they are known to be good for feet.

I did notice that Birkenstock itself makes some cheaper Arizonas with the synthetic 'Birko-Flor' uppers in a lot of different colors, that sell for $28 on the German site.

Carole C

Re: "fake" Birks?

Julie on 1/23/02 at 03:41 (070944)

Be careful with the Birkoflor Birks. Not being made of a 'living' material, they're rigid and have no give at all, and although they look similar to the Arizonas, they feel completely different. I have a pair that I find adequate for walking between the locker room and the pool, but I wouldn't want to wear them for longer than about two minutes otherwise.

Re: "fake" Birks?

BG CPed on 1/23/02 at 06:44 (070950)

There are knock-offs of Birks everywhere. I think it is due to the fact that the shape and design is so old that it can be copied without any infringement short of using the name. I have seen a few that are pretty good copies and some that are very bad. You could try a pair and use them for house shoes to see how they are, if they work great if they so so then just make them the run out of the house to get mail or wash the car shoes.
At that price and the shape they are better than many of the soccer style sandals if you can tolerate the hardness and shape

Re: "fake" Birks?

Carole C on 1/23/02 at 16:19 (071010)

Thanks, Julie. Last night I ordered some of the taupe suede Arizonas, with cork footbed and eva soles. They cost $90 instead of $28, but I need a pair of new shoes that I feel is pretty, for morale. I've found that one undesirable aspect of PF that we seldom discuss is the demoralizing effect of wearing shoes that we hate and have to wear even if we don't like the style.

I love suede, and the Arizonas I ordered sure look pretty in the photo. I'm glad I didn't order the cheaper ones!

Carole C

Re: Is it the upper?

Carole C on 1/23/02 at 16:37 (071015)

Is it the upper that makes them feel different? Or is the footbed made of synthetics too, instead of cork?

I've been wondering if the upper material makes very much difference in the feel, or if most of these with the same footbed feel about the same.

Carole C

Re: "fake" Birks?

paula on 1/23/02 at 20:52 (071056)

i had fake birks once and look at the mess i'm in. i don't know if they contributed but i'd stick with the real thing. we could try cheering ourselves up with this chant: 'i am a hippy in the seventies. peace. oh wow'. i like the way birkies look but then i AM an old hippy so that would figure.

Re: Is it the upper?

paula on 1/23/02 at 20:54 (071058)

upper? huh? they are black and sorta plastic or rubber. the foot bed is like a ghost of a birkie with out the heel cup or real arch support

Re: Is it the upper?

Julie on 1/24/02 at 02:51 (071079)

Carole, it's both the upper and the footbed. They're both synthetic, both rigid. The footbed, as Paula says, is a ghost of the classic Arizona cork footbed; if it irritates any part of the foot at first it's going to go on irritating. That goes for the upper as well: mine digs into my bunion and is the only shoe I have that irritates it. That's the main reason why I wouldn't want to wear them for longer than the 100 yards or so between changing room and pool.

So much for Birkoflor- as far as I'm concerned, at least. It has its uses, but is no substitute for the living materials of leather and cork.

I am wearing my taupe suede Arizonas as we speak. I love them. I'm sure you will too.

Re: Is it the upper?

Carole C on 1/24/02 at 13:26 (071138)

Oh! Thanks Julie. I didn't realize the footbed was synthetic also in the Birkoflor's.

Wow! we will have matching Arizona's. (grin) I am sure that I will love them too. :)

Carole C

Re: Is it the upper? Another question...:-)

Suzanne D on 1/26/02 at 08:25 (071365)

I am still trying to learn! Thanks for everyone's patiince! I thought from my reading on the Birkenstock sites that Birko-flor was one material that the uppers could be made of, but that in classic Birkenstock Arizonas, for instance, that the footbed would remain the same. I see that the classic footbed Arizonas can have uppers made of Birko-flor, suede leather, smooth leather, etc. - just to name a few choices.

I was particularly interested in this as I was considering ordering a pair of Floridas from Germany as they came in the soft footbed (which I love in my Arizonas) and also in the color white which I would like to have for dresses in the spring and summer. But the only material I can get these in is the Birko-flor. I thought this was referring to just the straps part of the shoe and did not affect the footbed, but now I am not sure.

I did find out the hard way - and Julie helped me with the answers a few months ago - that the style 'Birkis' (I hope this comes out the way I spell it and just does not automatically become the blue Birkenstock word) did not have the same cork footbed. But I thought the Birkenstocks did, just had different uppers but the same footbeds.

Thank you - anyone who can help me!

Re: Is it the upper? Another question...:-)

Julie on 1/26/02 at 09:03 (071369)

Suzanne, I'm sorry if it was my comment that confused you. It referred to Birkis, which are made of the Birkoflor material, and of which I have some experience. I don't know about other Birkenstock styles which may be constructed partly of Birkoflor, partly of cork. The websites should make it clear, though.

Re: Is it the upper? Another question...:-)

Julie on 1/26/02 at 09:05 (071370)

Suzanne, a PS. The German site gives an email address. You can email them and ask them about this. They usually reply quickly and helpfully.

Re: Thanks, Julie! As always, you're helpful. I'll do that before I order. (nm)

Suzanne D on 1/26/02 at 09:10 (071372)

>

Re: Is it the upper? Another question...:-)

Carole C on 1/26/02 at 11:08 (071392)

Oh, ok! I was originally referring to the $28 Birkenstocks with Birkoflor uppers, not to the Birki's. Thanks for the clarification, Julie.

Carole C

Re: Thanks, Julie! As always, you're helpful. I'll do that before I order. (nm)

Suzanne D on 1/26/02 at 19:59 (071462)

I sent an inquiring e-mail to Birkenstock in Germany and was told that the footbed is exactly the same in the classic or soft footbed Birkenstocks, only the uppers are different, whether leather, nubuck, birko-flor, etc. Hope this helps others who are searching also! :-) Thanks again, Julie!

Re: Thanks, Julie! As always, you're helpful. I'll do that before I order. (nm)

Carole C on 1/26/02 at 20:23 (071470)

Thanks, Suzanne!

Carole C

Re: Thanks, Julie! As always, you're helpful. I'll do that before I order. (nm)

Julie on 1/27/02 at 02:52 (071485)

Thank you for clarifying this, Suzanne. I apologize for confusing you (and anybody else). I must have lost track of the thread, and thought we were talking about Birkies.

Re: "fake" Birks? - saw them today, my opinion

Carole C on 1/27/02 at 15:24 (071546)

JoAnn, I just got to WalMart today. (RAH!! I love being able to get places without so much pain).

Anyway, I looked at these fake Birks in comparison with my real Birkenstock Floridas, which I was wearing. In my opinion, just from looking at them... well... they are $6.83 and my Floridas were $90.00, and I think in this case maybe you get what you pay for. I would not personally wear these fake Birks or even try them on. The footbed on the fake Birks had very little shape to it other than the heel cup; the toebar was much too shallow in comparison with the Birkenstocks, as were the rest of the 'bumps'. They seem to be there more for style than function. It was difficult to tell about the heel cup without trying on but it might have been helpful. The materials didn't look as sturdy. That was my opinion although I haven't tried them on. Sorry! Wish I could say otherwise but oh well.

Carole C

Re: "fake" Birks? - saw them today, my opinion

Suzanne D on 1/27/02 at 19:55 (071572)

JoAnn, last month I saw some Arizona look-a-likes at a shoe store (Don't remember their brand name). They really looked a lot like Birkenstocks. I slipped out of my Arizonas and tried on my size for about 30 seconds, and they felt AWFUL! There was just not the support or anything near the same feeling. I couldn't get them off quickly enough! That was my one experience.