Birkenstock offers both a regular and narrow fitting footbed. The regular fit is perfect for those with normal to wider width feet and can be identified by the empty foot symbol located on the footbed. The narrow fit is suitable for those with slim/narrow width feet. This can be identified by the coloured in foot symbol on the footbed. As you want your Birkenstocks to fit as comfortably as possible, it is important you choose the right width that is suitable to both your feet. Choosing the right fit will keep your feet in the right places and prevent pressure points, aching feet, rubbing and misalignments.
For example, size 38 (size 7 AUS/US) regular fit measures 245mm in length and 95mm in width. A 38 narrow fit measures 245mm in length and 91mm in width. You can find the size guide here.
Test the fit and strap adjustments of your new sandals by walking a few steps. If the straps are too loose or tight, readjust them. Watch when you are walking, that your toes are not hitting the front edge of the sandals. They will feel VERY stiff at this point, as they have not yet moulded to your feet and adapted to your walking pattern. Depending on how much you wear them, this may take up to 2-4 weeks.
New Birkenstocks will need to be broken into. We highly recommend that you do not wear them for long periods of time (more than 2/3 hours a day to begin with) as your feet will need to get used to the footbed. After a period of time, you can increase wear as they become more comfortable. You will slowly start to see dark footprints on the footbed and they will start to become more and more flexible. Birkenstocks mould into your feet by absorbing the natural oils and moisture, making the footbed darken. Do not be alarmed when this happens as this means they are becoming more comfy and fully moulding to the shape of your feet.
All Birkenstocks begin to crack at the flex points as they adapt to your walking pattern. If these cracks become large, you can choose to have a cork repair done where they inject cork into the exposed areas. We send all of our repairs to the Birkenstock workshop in Melbourne (contact for price details).
Lastly, enjoy wearing your new Birkenstocks and keep in mind that they become better with age and end up becoming addictive to wear!