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a new shoe to tell about...

Posted by Suzanne D. on 12/29/03 at 18:17 (140877)

The first weekend of December I made my yearly shopping trip to Brown County, Indiana. There is a Birkenstock store which I always stop in although I had never had very good luck with either helpful or knowledgeable salespeople. Not until this time.

After talking with the saleslady and explaining some of my foot needs, I told her I was looking for a shoe in which I could place my customized footbeds which I wear in my Annapolis shoes. She immediately told me which shoes these would work in, and brought some out for me to try.

I chose the Madera (spelled Madeira on the German site) shoes. I have a link below so you can see what they look like:


I needed a 43 narrow, and the store carried 42 narrow and 43 regular, but the lady had been so helpful that I let her order them for me. There was no shipping charge before Christmas, so that was nice. They came in about a week, and I have been wearing them often, waiting until I had given them a good try before I reported on them to you all.

I really do like them! They feel even better than the Annapolis shoes because I wear socks with the Maderas. The leather is soft and supple and after a couple of wearings, the toe box became extremely comfortable. I am optimistic about having another pair of shoes besides the SAS with inserts and the Arizonas and Annapolis to wear to school. If this makes sense, the SAS shoes feel good when my feet need something tied tightly. The Madera let my feet move more, but even though they feel soft, they hold my feet in the correct way, I believe.

It might be of interest to know that since they have removeable footbeds, the Madera can be purchased with a moderate arch, high arch, or soft footbed.

I thought I would pass along this information as we all like to read about new shoes that might be of help to us! I don't recall anyone else posting about the Madera Birkenstock, but I might be wrong.

If anyone has any questions about them, I will be happy to answer, based on my experience.

Suzanne :)

Re: Let's try this...

Suzanne D. on 12/29/03 at 18:23 (140878)

When I clicked on the site I posted above, it took me to a different page than I intended. I will try again. If this comes up the same, if you are interested in seeing a picture of the Madera shoes, type the word 'Madera' in the quick find box on the page, and it will take you to the right page. I'm not sure what happened!

I also failed to mention that the Madera shoes are sized to be worn by men and women, like the Boston or Arizonas.

Suzanne :)

Re: One more time!

Suzanne D. on 12/29/03 at 18:24 (140879)


Re: Customized footbed

Andy O on 12/30/03 at 06:54 (140899)

Suzanne, Who customized the footbeds for you? Did you start off with the basic footprints footbed? What did they do to it?
I have tried going to a 'high arch' footbed, but it is not quite enough.
So far only the Fulda sandals and similar shoes with the Tatami extreme high arch footbed have been really good to my feet. Unfortunately, they don't offer this configuration as a removable footbed for the enclosed shoes. If only they did!

Re: a new shoe to tell about...

Carole C in NOLA on 12/30/03 at 08:43 (140904)

Suzanne, I know you are going to put your custom footbed in it, but it sounds like you could also get the soft footbed with it as well and that might work for you too. That is a really attractive looking style of shoe, at least in the photos.

Andy, it sounds like you could order this one with the high arch footbed and presumably that would be the exact same footbed as your Fuldas!

Carole C

Re: Customized footbed

Suzanne D. on 12/30/03 at 12:58 (140931)

Andy, two years ago I desperately needed a pair of shoes to wear to my neice's wedding in December. I ordered a pair of black Annapolis shoes which have a basic Footprints removeable footbed. They are size 43 narrow, but my feet almost came out of them when I walked, even with the straps fastened as tightly as possible. So I needed to take up some depth in the shoe, and the arch was not high enough, either. Also, I really liked the soft footbed in my Arizonas, and the footbed in the Annapolis shoes seemed hard to me.

So...I e-mailed Birkenstock Express' repair department and asked if they could take these footbeds and customize them with more arch support as well as the soft footbed padding. (www.birkenstockexpress.com) They responded to my questions and mailed to me 'postings' - little arch- shaped pieces of cork. I was instructed to place these on my footbeds where they seemed to feel best, stick them on with tape they provided, and mail them back in. (I also traced around the outline of the pieces after I stuck them on in case they moved in the mailing.)

I was pleased with the footbeds when I received them. Now my shoes fit, the arch support is in the right place, and I have the benefit of the soft padding on top.

I know that this 'do-it-yourself' customizing would not be recommended over a professional looking at my feet and fixing them for me, but it worked in this instance, and I have been pleased. So I wanted to answer your question without seeming to recommend universally that this would be the best practice. I think you know what I mean.

I got the soft footbed choice in the new shoes I ordered recently, but the arch isn't as high as in my customized footbeds. I didn't have the opportunity to try on the high arch footbed in my Maderas at the store. Perhaps it might be just right for you!

Suzanne :)

Re: a new shoe to tell about...

Suzanne D. on 12/30/03 at 13:00 (140932)

The arch isn't quite as high in the soft footbeds that came in my shoes, but - who knows? - someday they may be just right for me. You know how our feet sometimes seem to 'need' something different!

Suzanne :)

Re: a new shoe to tell about...

Ron B on 1/01/04 at 22:25 (141102)

The lady that helped me at the Birk store was very helpful. answered all my questions and even explain things I didn't even thing about asking.I payed $40.00 more than what I could have got them online for.But to me it was worth the $$ to talk to her. I wanted to give her the sale. the next pair I get will be online. I love the soft footbeds in my arizona's
Ron B

Re: a new shoe to tell about...

Dorothy on 1/02/04 at 00:57 (141109)

That's nice, Ron. I like that attitude and have done that, too, with 'in person' sales people - just because they were nice or helpful or did something extra.

Re: a new shoe to tell about...

Andy on 1/08/04 at 15:22 (141647)

If only it were the same! The 'high arch' removable footbed is definately not the same as the extra high arch tatami footbed in my Fuldas. It lacks the extra deep heel cup and does not have the same arch support.
They simply do not make a Fulda-type footbed for the Footprints shoes.

Re: a new shoe to tell about...

Suzanne D. on 1/10/04 at 10:16 (141772)

Don't give up, Andy. Perhaps you could correspond with Birkenstock Express' repair department (or some such place) like I did and see if they could modify a Footprints footbed to be like the one in your Fuldas. Provided you would still have enough room in a Footprints shoe for the modified footbed, you might find just what you need! It would be worth asking about.

I am finding that my Footprints footbed which was modified for my Annapolis shoes feels wonderful in my new Footprints Madera shoes. I wore them back to school this week with good success. Usually after a two-week break from school, I find my feet hurting not matter what I wear. But this week they have been fine!

Good luck to you, Andy!
Suzanne :)

Re: a new shoe to tell about...

Carole C in NOLA on 1/11/04 at 09:37 (141814)

I'm so glad that your feet aren't hurting this week, Suzanne! :)

Carole C