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Complete Guide to Birkenstock Size and Fit Topics


Page Contents
About Birkenstock Express Size Charts
Birkenstock footwear is created in Germany and uses a European sizing system. To find your size you will need to convert your U.S. size to the European equivalent. Each product page includes a link to a size chart which provides our best recomendations for converting from a U.S. size to a European size. We always recommend checking the size chart of a given item before adding it to your cart. Our size charts are based on over twenty-five years of Birkenstock fitting experience, but given the large variation of foot shapes and U.S. size variation there will always be exceptions.
Not all styles fit equally even though they might share the same size. Some styles run a little shorter than their given size. For such cases we created an "Alternate" size chart that takes into account these size differences. For example, Super Birki Clogs tend to run a little short of their stated size. If you normally wear a size 8 U.S. (38 European) and choose a size 38 based on the standard or "Classic" size chart, then the clogs would feel too snug around the toes. This is why we provide an "Alternate" size chart , which in this example recommends you try a size 39. When in doubt refer to the size chart that accompanies a given item. If you have any trouble feel free to contact us via e-mail, Live Chat or phone (toll free) 1.800.451.1459 and we will happily help you find the right size.
Classic size chart  Alternate size chart

Width Charts and Width Symbols
Birkenstock designs footbeds in three different widths: Regular, Narrow and Medium. Choosing a width is part art and part science. In general, if you always wear narrow shoes, don't have a wide toe box and consistently hear remarks about your slender feet, then Narrows and Mediums should work for you. Most feet are best suited for Regular width footwear. Note: not all styles are produced in multiple widths. To determine the width of your current Birkenstock footwear refer to the footprint symbol stamped on the footbed and compare to "D" below.
Regular Width Regular
Designed for medium to wide feet.
(Women's U.S. widths B-C+ and Men's U.S. widths D-EE)


Narrow Width Narrow
Designed for narrow feet.
(Women's U.S. widths AA-B and Men's U.S. widths C-D)


Medium Width Medium
Designed for medium to narrow feet.
(Women's U.S. widths A-C and Men's U.S. widths C-E)
Regular width symbol on footbed  Narrow width symbol on footbed  Medium width symbol on footbed  

Fitting Instructions and Info
Bottom line: A proper fitting Birkenstock allows up to ¼" around the toes, and arch support that follows the contours of your feet.

To start, place your heel within the heelcup. Your foot should fit inside the edges of the shoe with enough extra length (up to ΒΌ") for movement while walking.

The contours of the footbed should follow the curves of your feet. The raised arches might feel unusual at first, but the arches will feel less pronounced as the cork/latex footbed conforms to your foot.

When fitting sandals, the strap closest to your toes should feel snug. The other straps should allow your heel to lift slightly off the footbed while walking.

When fitting shoes and clogs stand on the footbed and inspect the fit. For shoes slip the removable footbed from the shoe. Toes should not hang over the edge and the arches should follow the contours of your feet. Reinsert the footbed into the shoe.

If the shoe or clog appears to be the correct length and width and still feels "too big," "to roomy" or "too small," the problem is probably not related to the size, but to the volume of the shoe (see discussion below).

We find that most kids feet are best suited for the "Narrow" widths. The "Regular" sizes are best suited for wider feet.

Understanding and Fitting for Volume
Volume refers to the space that surrounds your foot. High volume footwear feels loose around the toes and instep, while low volume footwear often feels snug.

To customize the volume of a shoe for a better fit, we recommend Birko-cell foam spacers, which are flat removable insoles that fit underneath the footbed. Spacers are especially helpful for certain styles like the Super Birki Clog or Derby.

Volume varies from style to style, as do the wearer's volume tolerances. We recommend choosing a shoe that allows your foot enough room to easily wiggle your toes and instep.

How to Break in Birkenstock Footbeds
Birkenstock footwear works its magic by supporting your arches, which reduces the strain on the muscles and tendons of the foot.

It takes a couple weeks for your footprint to personalize the cork footbed. Start the break-in process by wearing the sandals with socks for 30-minute intervals for a few days until the cork starts to change shape. You can increase the amount of wearing time each day.

Size and Fit FAQs

Are Birkenstocks the same thing as orthotics?
No. Orthotics are medical devices constructed for specific foot problems. Birkenstock footwear has developed a reputation as a type of orthotic footwear because our cork/latex footbeds are well known for providing relief from some common foot ailments like plantar fasciitis.

My feet are not the same size. What should I do?
It is always best to fit the larger foot first and then, if necessary, order a split size or modify the shoe for your smaller foot to get a better fit. In most cases, a single size works for both feet.

Do Birkenstocks always feel lumpy?
No. Once your feet compress the cork into the shape of your footprints the "lumps" will transform into orthotic-like support.

How long does it take to break in Birkenstocks?
Birkenstock footwear works its magic by supporting your arches, which reduces the strain on the muscles and tendons of the foot.

It takes a couple weeks for your footprint to personalize the cork footbed. Start the break-in process by wearing the sandals with socks for 30-minute intervals for a few days until the cork starts to change shape. You can increase the amount of wearing time each day.

Do you sell extended sizes?
Yes. We are able to order certain styles in extended lengths. Contact us for more information.

Do you sell split sizes or single shoes?
Yes. We are able to special order certain styles as either a split size or single shoe.

FAX Us Foot Tracings and We'll Decide Your Foot Size
You may mail or fax tracings of your feet for size determination. Our fax number is (541) 752-6313.
  • Stand on a blank piece of paper with your weight equally distributed on both feet.
  • Have someone else trace around both feet with a pen. Hold the pen straight up and down while tracing.
  • Write your U.S. size and width inside the foot tracing.
  • To help us determine whether your faxed tracings are life-size, place a ruler the length of the paper and transfer each of the inch marks to the paper (see figure).
Fax outline and ruler


 
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