Posts Tagged ‘Birki’s’

Do You Know Your Arch Type?

What's Your Arch Type Do you know whether you have a high arch or flat feet?

Everyone knows that to get a proper fit you need footwear of the right length and width for your feet. That’s pretty much a “duh” statement. But did you know that it’s just as important to get footwear with the right arch support for your specific foot type? To get the proper support to align your body you need good arch support like you will find in footwear from Birkenstock, Birki’s, Alpro, Footprints, Tatami, Papillio, and Finn Comfort.

Here’s some guidance on determining your Arch Type.

The medial arch is the largest of the foot’s arches. It runs from the heel to the ball of the foot. This is the arch that is most commonly thought of when a discussion about foot arches comes up in conversation. (I know, it’s not your everyday table talk topic, but bear with me.)

There are three basic types of medial arches – Flat, Normal and High.

Three Arch Types

To identify your type of arch, perform the “wet test” as described below and compare your results with the images to the right.

Wet Test Procedure

  1. While seated remove shoes and socks and place construction paper or paper bag on the floor.
  2. Place either foot in water.
  3. While still seated, place your damp foot on the paper; exert pressure to simulate standing.
  4. Do not stand or walk while your feet are wet.
  5. Remove your foot from the paper and dry completely.
  6. Repeat the process with your other foot.
  7. Compare the image(s) on the paper to the ones on this page to determine your arch type.

Now that you know your arch type how do you use that information to buy the right shoe, sandal or clog? Talk with your footwear professionals, such as your local Happy Feet Plus store or with our online footwear professionals via live chat at or by calling 1-800-336-6657. Describe your arch type and any other foot issues and our footwear professionals can help identify brands and styles most appropriate for your needs.

Next time I’ll talk a bit more about the three arches of the foot. Stay tuned.

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Jane’s Picks – Birki’s Sylt Mini-Points Sandals

Birki’s calls them Mini-Points. I call them super cute! Imagine how great these would look with your favorite sundress. Perfect for picnics or summer dinner parties and they’re only $67.49 this week. Available in black or red.

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Clean up those Birkenstocks

Keep Your Birkenstock's Clean

Do you love your Birkenstocks?

What a silly question. Of course you do, don’t we all? Do you want your Birkenstocks to last forever? To be honest we’d love to sell you a new pair every month (or even more often) but being good stewards we’ll provide you with a few hints on how to prolong the life of your Birks.

You can wipe the cork footbed with a damp cloth to remove dirt, dust or grime. More important is to keep the cork water resistant. To do that we recommend applying Birkenstock Cork Life to the cork (and only the cork) once every couple of months, or whenever the cork starts to look dull. One little bottle of Cork Life lasts a long time and will keep water from being absorbed into the cork footbed. Wet cork will deteriorate very quickly.

The suede insoles can become pretty grungy, but you can keep them presentable. Every couple of months you can brush them with a medium bristle brush. You can also occasionally use a hose to rinse the insoles, them brush to remove ground in dirt. Prop them up outside so that they drain and dry completely. When dry, lightly brush the footbed to raise the nap of the suede. (Once the cork footbed are dry would be a good time to apply Cork Life to the cork footbed.)

The uppers also need to be cared for, but each material requires a little different kind of TLC. Leather should be cleaned and conditioned with a mild leather cleaner. Use a matching polish to renew scuff spots and restore the original luster.

Nubuck and suede can be protected from water and soil spots by applying a spray water repellent regularly. Brushing the uppers with a nubuck/suede brush will pull up dirt and dust and restore the nap. The use of a mild leather cleaner will remove stubborn stains. Use the nubuck/suede brush when dry to make them happy again.

Birko-Flor and Birkibuc are man-made materials and can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. You can try using soap and water or a mild leather cleaner to remove any stubborn stains.

EVA sandals or clogs are completely waterproof and washable. Wash them with mild soap and water and allow them to dry out of direct sunlight.

Remember the blog from April 7? If not, you might want to take a look and see how you can eliminate, or greatly reduce, the dreaded “stinky shoes”.

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Jane’s Picks – Birki’s Freeport Patent Birko-Flor Sandals

Birki’s has broken out the bright paint brush this spring. Yellow, Pink, Green, and Chocolate. All in Patent Birko-Flor.

Throughout their line you’ll see new colors, new styles, and new patterns. They even have a new Disney collection and a revitalized Vegan collection. The Freeports are both vegan and colorful, and 25% off. Enjoy!

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Who Loves Profi-Birkis and Super-Birkis?

Chefs Like Birki's

Folks in the medical and culinary professions love to wear Super-Birki and Profi-Birki clogs.

It’s easy to see why. Remove the footbeds and you can wash the shoes in water at temperatures up to 140°F. The Profi-Birki’s footbed, being constructed of EVA, is washable in water up to 86°F.

Recently the Profi-Birki with the Alpro-Foam soles received certified slip-resistant status. Just one more reason why kitchen staff love these clogs.

One issue that occasionally arises with both the Super-Birki or the Profi-Birki is the way they fit. Because they are constructed of polyurethane both clogs are designed to be generous. The generous fit allows for air flow around the foot. Since polyurethane is waterproof (which is great in a kitchen or operating room) is does not “breathe”. That’s the reason Birki’s designed them with the generous fit. A tight fit would encourage your feet to sweat which could lead to the growth of fungus and development of bad odor.

Unfortunately the generous fit can make the clog feel “sloppy”. One way to create a tighter fit with either the Super-Birki or Profi-Birki is to remove the footbed and insert a flat foam insole (like the inexpensive kind you can pick up at your local drug store). Place the Birki’s insole back in overtop of the foam insole. The clog will fit tighter, but you’ll still have enough “breathing room” to keep your feet healthy.

If you love the Super-Birki or Profi-Birki, you might want to check out the clogs by Alpro. They are also certified slip-resistant.

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Stinky Footwear – There is a Fix

It may not be PC to talk about stinky shoes, but let’s face it – stinky shoes do happen.

Stinky Sandals Stink

Shoes stink because feet sweat. Well, not directly but that’s where it begins. Your feet sweat and make the insides of your shoes damp. Guess what likes damp dark places? Bacteria! And the bacteria likes to eat your dead cells and oils from your skin. Of course once the bacteria has feasted the next step is the creation of waste products. That’s what stinks.

If you are fortunate to wear footwear like Birkenstock which have removable footbeds you can kill the stink. First you need a large zipper-lock freezer bag (gallon size should do unless you have very large feet.) Remove the footbeds from your shoes or clogs and place them in the bag. If you have sandals, the entire sandal goes into the bag. Sprinkle in some baking soda and seal the bag tightly.

Place the tightly sealed bag in the freezer and wait 2-4 hours. During that time the cold temperatures will kill the bacteria and the baking soda will neutralize the bacterial waste products. While your footbeds are chilling out in the freezer, sprinkle some baking soda into your shoes or clogs. This will help remove odors from the inside of your shoes.

After the footwear is removed from the freezer use a shoe brush, or a brush with reasonably stiff bristles, and brush away the baking soda. Let the footwear, or footbeds, warm to room temperature. The odor should have been removed.

Now I’m not guaranteeing that your feet will smell sweet, but they should be way better. If you have other remedies, let me know so we can share.

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Birkenstock Footbeds are Cool – Keep Them That Way

Birkenstock Footbed Are Cool You know that summer is right around the corner and it will soon be time to wear your Birkenstock sandals all the time.
Summer care of your Birks begins with keeping them away from high heat situations. You don’t want to toss your Birks in the back seat of the car with the sun beating down. If it is 86 degrees outside and the sun is shining, the temperature inside the car can reach upwards of 150 degrees! Temperatures that high can cause serious damage to the Birkenstock sole.
You should also avoid leaving your Birks near campfires, fireplaces, and indoor radiators. If your footwear becomes wet, allow them to air dry slowly, away from direct heat.
The high heat from the car or other heat source will cause the EVA soles to shrink. Depending upon the amount of shrinkage and how the footwear was positioned they may warp into a funky shape. In extreme situations the sole and footbed will separate. Fortunately the heat does not affect the cork and latex footbed. Once the EVA sole is removed the footbed will pop back into its normal shape.
Should your Birkenstocks get exposed to high heat, we can help. Happy Feet Plus is a certified Birkenstock repair facility. We can replace just the EVA sole or do a complete refurbishment and replace both the EVA sole and the cork footbed. It costs just $35 to resole a pair of Birkenstocks and $65 to do a “refurb.”
Before sending your Birks to us for repair, please call us at 1-800-336-6657, extension 244 to talk with our repair shop. We’ll ensure that you get only the service necessary and provide you with a final cost, including shipping and tax, it applicable.
Next time I’ll talk a little about the care and cleaning of your footwear including how to kill the odor of “stinky shoes.”

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Footbed Differences

How many of y’all know that the Birkenstock family includes ALPRO, Birki’s, Footprints, Papillio and Tatami? How many of you know that there are differences in the footbeds?

Let’s start with the similarities. First and most important, all of the cork and latex footbeds are exceptionally good at providing support. (If you want to read why we think Support is an essential part of total foot health, click here.) In addition, any of the footwear with a cork and latex footbed use the same formulation. All, except for the Birki’s vegan styles, have a suede foot liner. (The Birki’s vegan styles have a microfiber foot liner.) Finally, Two widths, Narrow (U.S. regular width) and Regular (U.S. wide width) are available in most styles.

On to the differences. The Classic Birkenstock Footbed you know and love has very prominent lateral, metatarsal and especially medial arches. (If you want to read more about the three arches, click here.) The medial arch, in part, is so prominent because of the deep heel cup. The heel cup is deep to provide stability and control. Lastly, the footbed was designed with a unisex shape. When viewed from the bottom the Birkenstock footbed has straight sides. (The Birki’s, Papillio and ALPRO footbeds have more curviness to them. You’ll have to read on to get more information about those footbeds.) All Birkenstock sandals and clogs have a toe bar about half way between the metatarsal arch and the front of the footbed. The toe bar, like the heel cup, helps provide stability and control.
Birki’s, Papillio, and ALPRO footbeds also have exceptional lateral, metatarsal, and medial arch support. They are different from the Birkenstock Classic footbed in that the heel cup is not so deep and as a result the medial arch is less pronounced. The shallower heel cup makes you “sit on top” of the footbed a bit more than the Birkenstock. The Birki’s, Papillio, and ALPRO footbeds also have a toe bar for stability and control. When viewed from underneath, these footbeds have a distinct foot shape to them. The heel is narrower than the Classic Birkenstock and the toe box is wider. In between, the footbed curves in towards the medial arch area.

The footbeds used in the Tatami Oklahoma, Footprints Alton and Ashby clogs and Footprints Derby shoes are very similar to the Birkenstock Classic. They have the same lateral and metatarsal arch as Birkenstock Classic but with less pronounced medial arch. They use a less pronounced arch because the footwear is “enclosed.” They are either a shoe or clog that does not have spare head room. These footbeds also have a deep heel cup and toe bar for control & stability. All other Footprints shoes have the same features with the exception of the toe bar.

If you want to read more about getting the proper fit for your Birkenstocks, click here.

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