Birks at Sam's ClubPosted by Nancy N on 2/15/03 at 00:14 (109198)
I was at Sam's the other night and wanted to let you guys know that the Birks are back! This seems to be the time of year for them. They're labeled Betulas but look (and, if I'm not mistaken, feel) exactly like the Arizonas. They come in the 2-strap, backstrap, and 3-strap styles, and they're about $38 if I correctly recall (no more than $40, certainly). A very good buy if you're used to them already, or a cheap way to experiment. Good luck and enjoy!
Re: Birks at Sam's ClubCarole C in NOLA on 2/15/03 at 07:57 (109205)
Well gee! This is such a good deal, and here I am with five pairs of very expensive Birkenstocks to wear out. Maybe in a few years. :)
I hope someone else can take advantage of these prices.
Re: Birks at Sam's ClubSuzanne D on 2/15/03 at 08:46 (109213)
Sounds like a great buy, Nancy. As Carole said, perhaps this would be a good way for someone to 'try out' Birks to see if they might be of help to them.
Here's what the Birkenstock Express site says about Betulas:
Betula by Birkenstock
Betula is the brand name of a collection of styles from Birkenstock that are now being marketed as a second tier brand in the United States.
Products from Betula that have been available through established Birkenstock retail channels like Footwise--the Birkenstock Store and Birkenstock Express are being phased out.
Re: Birks at Sam's ClubNancy N on 2/15/03 at 10:30 (109243)
There is some confusion about the Sam's Birks being called Betulas. Those folks here who have Arizonas say they look and feel exactly the same, while Betula is supposedly a more 'fashionable' line and has some distinct differences. I took my first pair to my pedorthist, who sells Birks, and he couldn't tell the difference between the Arizonas and my pair, either, and was perplexed by what they actually were. They didn't fit his understanding of what Betulas are. So we finally decided they must have been a batch that was mislabeled as Betulas, or some such thing--though, two years on, I find it tough to believe that the Birk people are having that same mis-labeling problem each spring!
So, whatever they are, for about $40, they're worth a shot for those of you who might not otherwise be able to afford them. If you don't have a Sam's card, you can get a friend with a card to take you. (Or get a card for $35--which is still a bargain if you get more than one pair or buy anything else there, because it's saved you the value of the card.) I don't know if other discount clubs get them or not, but it's worth a look at BJs, Costco, Price Club, or whatever might be near you.
Re: Birks at Sam's ClubCarole C in NOLA on 2/15/03 at 11:09 (109249)
That's true, Nancy; I remember at one time when Betulas were available through Birkenstock dealers, they were described as having a footbed similar to the 'classic footbed' but with slightly less pronounced 'bumps'. Actually, for those with flatter feet they might have had a better footbed than Arizonas. My Birkenstock store recommended that I avoid them like the plague since I have high arches.
I don't know what they are like these days (or back then) since I've never actually seen them.
If I could possibly think of a use for another pair of Arizonas, I'd check them out! Here I am with a Sam's card that I've never used, and a Sam's just around the corner, too.
Re: Birks at Sam's ClubNancy N on 2/15/03 at 11:16 (109250)
The box for these says 'Original Birkenstock Footbed' all over it, so go fig. I think that's part of why my pedorthist couldn't figure out how they weren't really Arizonas. That, and the classic Birk style, which is more likely to conjure images of granola than Milan!
Whatever they are, they may still work well for someone--the catch is that they're only available for a while in the spring, so if anyone wants them, they need to check them out sooner rather than later.
Re: Birks at Sam's ClubCarole C in NOLA on 2/15/03 at 11:39 (109252)
Yes it does have an original Birkenstock footbed (since they used to be made by Birkenstock) but I think what my Birkenstock dealer meant was that their original Birkenstock footbed is more subtle than what Birkenstock terms their 'classic footbed', which just covers a few of their shoes like the Arizona and Boston. Of course, maybe she was wrong! Or maybe she knew that Birkenstock was going to drop the Betula line and was pointing her customers away from it, who knows. I really liked some of the Betula styles that they had at that time a whole lot better than just the same old Birkenstock styles.
I agree that they most DEFINITELY would be worth looking into! And thank you for the tip! Like I said, I'd check them out myself if I did not have a closet full of Birkenstocks right now. What I really need right now is a cheaper New Balance 991.
On the other hand, we have our first brand new 'Academy' store in my suburb just opening up, and they gave me a $10 off coupon for anything I wish to buy. Maybe it might be worth checking out their prices on New Balance.