To Birk or not to Birk? THAT is the question of the summer!
Birkenstocks have made a comeback in the past few years, and we’ve been seeing them everywhere this summer! So many people absolutely rave about this shoe, but are they podiatrist approved? The short answer is sometimes. Like any shoe, there are pros and cons to Birkenstocks, so keep reading and we’ll break it down for you!
One of our absolute must-haves in any shoe is a good, solid base, and Birkenstocks pass this test with flying colors! The foot bed is made out of cork, which provides great cushion and support. We actually provide custom orthotics in our office made out of the exact same material! This material molds to your feet and provides enough stability to make Birks ultra-comfortable- no wonder they’re so popular!
The solid cork bed is also thick enough that it provides ample stability. If you perform our signature twist test, Birks are rocks solid. They have some slight give to allow for comfort (nobody wants to feel like they’re walking on a block of wood), but other than that these shoes are just about as stable as they can be, especially for a sandal!
Although Birks have one of the best foot beds out of any sandal, there are definitely some features that cause problems. The biggest problem we have with Birkenstocks? You guess it: no ankle strap! Having a thick, secure ankle strap is the most important feature of any sandal. When there’s no ankle stability, your toes are forced to curl and grip the front of the shoe which can lead to hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, and a ton of other unwanted foot problems.
If you can find a style of Birkenstocks with a solid ankle strap that will keep your foot locked in place, they can be a great option for lounging around the house, wearing out to the pool, or any other low-impact activity. Even with a sturdy strap, we would NOT recommend wearing these for a long period of time or for any intense activities, such as going on a walk or going to the grocery. In the long run, they just won’t do great things for your feet.
Even though Birks have a great cork base that provides lots of cushion and comfort, we only recommend wearing these shoes if you can find a style with a solid ankle strap to keep your foot locked in. Even then, be sure to restrict when, where, and how often you wear them. Birks (as long as you find the right style) are a great sometimes sandal, NOT an everyday shoe!