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Comfortable, fashionable, and a true classic, Birkenstock has forever secured itself a place in history for creating timeless sandals. The fusion of fashion and functionality in a pair of Birkenstock is what makes it essential in your spring and summer outfits.  

But in spite of its popularity, not a lot of people are aware of its origin and some may find its design quite odd.

So where did the Birkenstock come from?

The Birkenstock sandal was created by 18th-century cobbler Johann Adam Birkenstock, who lived in the German village of Neustadt. Johann’s grandson, Kondrad, eventually became one of the world’s first shoemakers to create insoles likened to the shape of the foot rather than the flat footbed, which was the standard back then. The innovative design that the Birkenstock family set the bar for comfort and functionality in footwear.

The Benefits of Using Birkenstock Cork Sandal

Birkenstocks have existed long before you were probably born, but the brand’s popularity has grown immensely over the years. There may have been some low points, but Birkenstocks manage to come each time, providing fashionable and foot-friendly shoes.

Those who constantly find themselves having foot pain or discomfort, a pair of Birkenstock sandals can help alleviate or reduce the pain. No matter from which age group you belong in, it’s been proven that wearing these sandals is beneficial for your feet.

Below are the important benefits of Birkenstock cork sandals.

1. Comfort at its finest

Those who have worn Birkenstocks before can agree that they might be the most comfortable shoes the world has ever had. Regardless of the model you choose, your own pair will mold to your feet after a few uses.

You may have to wear them a couple of times so the footbeds morph and adjust into your feet, and once it does, you won’t choose another pair of shoes again to run errands.

2. Improve walking gait

Because of the stability of its insoles, wearing Birkenstocks will allow you to walk better. The Birkenstock family calls this the “natural gait,” which describes the way a person walks. You walking gait will improve due to the fact that the insoles help relieve the painful area of your foot.

When your foot is in pain, our natural reaction is to walk rather awkwardly or change our gait in order to reduce the weight we are putting on the painful area.

With a pair of Birks, you won’t need to do that. You get the stability and comfort you need so you can regain the proper and natural walking gait.

3. They mold to your feet

The Birkenstock company has never hidden the fact that they are of the podiatry industry. In fact, this was how they were marketed back in the day — as an orthopedic shoe. The insoles of each pair of Birks will mold specifically to its wearer.

For rebound and stability, the footbed is made from a combination of rubber and cork, the reason why the sandals morph to the user’s feet. This, in turn, provides stability and cushioning so wearers can walk free of pain.

4. Stylish and versatile

Not all people will agree, but a pair of Birkenstock cork sandals can be work in almost any activity. They come in many different colors and styles and can be used for hiking, a stroll around town, or an out of town trip to the beach.

Despite having been around for over 200 years, Birks still have not gone out of style. In fact, its versatility has just gotten stronger over the years because of the new additions added to brand’s classic roster.

5. Reliable and trustworthy company

The Birkenstock company has had a long history of operations and are now one of the most trusted shoe manufacturers.

They have since introduced numerous designs and incorporated more colors to their line, but they still stayed true to the value of simplicity and comfort. The company’s warranty is just one way of guaranteeing that they value their customers.

If you buy a pair of Birks and somehow find it damaged, problematic, or you’re simply not satisfied, you can have them replaced or repaired free of charge.

These sandals are said to last for decades with proper care. A company wouldn’t last two centuries if there’s no truth to that.

4 Best Birkenstocks Sandals for Men

1. Birkenstock Gizeh Sandals

Ideal Sandals for the Summer

Design

The Gizeh model differs from the traditional design by the addition of a thong style strap. While this model is primarily marketed to women, these are considered unisex sandals and pair nicely with shorts and other summer outfits.

Ease of Use/Build Quality

A break in period may be needed to get used to the toe separator. Some users have complained that the separator feels stiff than that of the previous pairs. But when used often, it will lose its stiffness.

Bottomline

The Gizeh is an attractive twist to the classic Birk sandal. The foot construction is similar to that of the classic, but the thong style strap makes it appealing to those who want their Birks different-looking.


Design

The Arizona is perhaps the most popular style by Birkenstock. This model features two adjustable straps and contoured footbed, making this pair a versatile and practical footwear suitable for a wide range of casual outfits.

Ease of Use/Build Quality

The typical sizes for Arizonas are larger, and they may also require a break-in period.

Bottomline

These classic sandals should be your first choice, especially if you’re a fan of the original Birkenstock sandals. The Arizona helped define the brand that we know today.

3. Birkenstock Sydney Vegan Sandals

Birkenstock without the Leather

Design

For those who want man-made materials to suede and leather, the Sydney Vegan makes an ideal choice. It is made from vegan materials, which includes linings made out of microfiber and uppers made with faux leather.

Ease of Use/Build Quality

The materials used in this model may not be as durable or supple compared to other Birkenstock sandals. However, if you’re against wearing leather, this should be your Birks of choice.

Bottomline

If you want to experience the quality of a Birkenstock sandal but don’t want to wear leather, choose the Sydney Vegan. They are still structured the same as other model types and looks like the classic Birks with the dual-buckle style.

Design

The Birkenstock Ramses is the men’s version of the popular Gizeh thong sandal. The straps are wider in order to make it look more masculine. The upper is made of Birko-floor, a hard wearing but skin-friendly synthetic material.

Ease of Use/Build Quality

The Ramses is designed to look like a flip flop. It can be worn during warm temperatures for people who don’t want their feet completely covered. Some people find the toe separator uncomfortable at first, but the feet will adjust to the design of the sandal in time. This is a unisex model, although women who want the Ramses have the option to buy the Gizeh instead.

Bottomline

These are trendy thong sandals ideal for summer, but its looks aren’t exactly for everyone.

More Information about Birkenstock Cork Sandals

Although most Birk cork sandals can be worn by both men and women, some styles are marketed heavily towards women due to the styling and gait considered during the creation process.

For instance, the Arizona is unisex, but styles like the Madrid and Gizeh are designed to be mostly worn by women. The Ramses, on the other hand, is a substitute style for Gizeh worn by men, but women who want to wear it are welcome.

Birkenstock sandals are unisex, but you should keep the available widths the brand offers, which are the N and M. N stands for narrow and M is for medium. An N sandal is perfect for petite feet since it offers a slimmer fit, while an M sandal is best worn by people who have wider feet.

If you’re confused as to what Birko-floor means, this term is used to identify the synthetic material developed by the company so they won’t have to use leather in some models. Birko-floor is made from polyamide felt fibers and soft acrylic with smooth, durable, and leather-like appearance. This material is easy to clean and are very durable.

Birkenstock also uses the material known as Birkibuc, which feels and looks the same as nubuck leather.

Cleaning your Birkenstock

Uppers: Whether your uppers are made of leather, nubuck, or suede, it’s recommended that you apply a water and stain protector before using them. To remove stubborn stains, you can use a commercial suede cleaner. Keep it looking fresh with a suede brush.

As for nubuck leather, you can revive or clean it by using a nubuck block. If you’re wearing leather Birk sandals, you can clean it off by using a soft dry cloth. Birkibuc and Birko-floor materials can be washed with a damp cloth.

Footbed: The company has a special footbed cleaner for its cork footbeds. However, you should only use this when your Birks have acquired serious stains or stubborn dirt.

If you notice the footbed of your sandals looking dull or if the cork no longer looks shiny, apply a thin layer of cork sealant to prevent the cork from drying out.