Birkenstock footwear is made in Europe and uses European sizing. European sizes are unisex whereas UK sizes are different for men and women.
The conversion chart below is a general guideline to help determine your size. In our experience of Birkenstock this is a good guide for fitting in relation to UK customers. However your exact size will ultimately depend on the structure of your individual foot and the style of the shoe. Please call us if you require any additional help.
Please note that the new Birkenstock shoe boxes (shown below) have a slightly different conversion chart. Whilst it is an official chart from Birkenstock the manufacturer, we feel our guide is more appropriate in our experience with UK customers.
Please note that Birkenstock footwear may not be suitable for children under 3 years old.
Trying your shoes on
Damage to the foot is a common health problem in today's population. A large portion of the symptoms are provoked by ill-fitting footwear, and so it is important that you get the correct size/fit. If you make sure you get the correct size by following our sizing guide and our fitting tips when purchasing your Birkenstocks, you will extend the life of your sandals tremendously and enjoy them a lot more. Always try on, and break in, your shoes indoors on carpet. We cannot accept shoes back that show signs of being worn.
When buying Birkenstock Footwear, please ensure that you are getting the correct length as well as the correct width. To check that you have the right size, place your heel within the heel cup (the lower part of the foot bed); your foot should fit inside the edges of the shoe with a few millimeters at the front and back of your foot; the extra room is needed to perform the natural rolling motion of the foot without restrictions, just as if you were barefoot. Your toes and heel should NOT touch the rim of your sandals while standing in them.
The contours of the footbed should follow the curves of your foot. The raised arch might feel unusual at first, but the arch support will feel less pronounced as the cork/latex footbed moulds to your foot.
Even with foot health sandals the right fit is important. Therefore the Original Birkenstock foot bed is manufactured in two widths. When purchasing your Birkenstock sandals, ensure that you get the correct width.
Regular or Narrow
Birkenstocks are designed to be roomy. When you first try your sandals they might feel big. Most people are fine with a regular fitting, but if your foot moves side to side when you walk and adjusting the strap does not help, a narrow fitting may be more suitable.
To check the width of a pair of Birkenstocks you already own, you can tell by inspecting the foot bed where there is a small image of a foot. If it's filled in the shoe is a narrow fitting, and if it's an outline it's regular. All stock codes for narrow fittings end with 3.
Tips for sandals
When fitting sandals, the strap closest to your toes should fit comfortably, but not tight. The other straps should be more loose fitting to allow your heel to lift slightly off the footbed while walking. Birkenstocks should never be worn with the straps buckled tight.
Tips for shoes and clogs
Slip the removable footbed from the shoe. To check whether your shoe is the correct length and width, stand on the footbed and inspect the fit. Toes should not hang over the edge and the arches should follow the contours of your feet, as described above. Reinsert the footbed into the shoe.
Tips for children's footwear
We find that most kids' feet are best suited for the "Narrow" widths. The "Regular" sizes are best suited for wider feet. Birkenstock footwear may not be suitable for children under 3 years old.
How to break in Birkenstock footbeds
Birkenstock footwear works by supporting your arches, reducing the strain on the muscles of the foot. When you try on your first pair of Birkenstock shoes, take time to walk around indoors and get used to them. You should break them in gradually. Your feet should fit completely inside the footbeds, with 1/8 to 1/4 inch of extra length for walking. The width should fit closely to prevent your foot from slipping side to side. If your toes have become curled from wearing tight shoes, make sure your Birkenstocks are long enough to accommodate them once they have resumed their natural shape. The Birkenstock footbed is contoured to match the shape of a healthy foot. Because few people have perfectly shaped feet, new shoes may feel "different". The toe grips should be in the right place for your feet and some wearers find the arch support can feel prominent initially. If you have worn high heels for years, your Achilles tendons may have contracted. Our footwear can help to restore their natural length. Birkenstock footwear is meant to be worn comfortably; the support comes from the footbed, not from tightly buckled straps. It may take several days to become used to the feeling, but your toes will soon learn to grip the footbeds as you walk. Although the footbeds may feel stiff at first, as you wear your Birkenstocks, the footbeds will become softer and more flexible. Soon your shoes will adjust to the shape of your feet, and form a truly unique fit that, properly cared for, will provide you with years of long-lasting comfort.