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REPAIRING YOUR BIRKENSTOCKS

October 07, 2020

REPAIRING YOUR BIRKENSTOCKS

Many customers are able to enjoy wearing their Birkenstocks for a number of years. Getting attached to your favourite pair is part of the journey. With the correct care and wear, your Birkenstocks should be enjoyed for quite some time. Some product components will be subject to normal wear and tear however, if any major repairs are needed, the process is easy. 

Before we discuss repairs, it is important to be aware of how to care for your Birkenstocks. Below are some tips and instructions to ensure you have the correct fit and how to prolong the life of your shoes/sandals. Note that both the footbed and soles of Birkenstock shoes/sandals can be damaged by exposure to extreme heat and water. The main recommendations are that you do not leave them in a hot car in summer or laying to bake in the sun and if they become wet, dry them out slowly, away from direct heat, never directly in front of a heater.

repairs 1 repairs 2

Choosing to repair your Birkenstocks and taking a stand against throwaway society can be a much more sustainable and eco-friendly option. Some of the most common and needed Birkenstock repairs are a sole replacement, cork repair, hard heel tab and recycle. Each repair differs in cost depending on what you choose to repair or how much you are repairing. If you are unsure about what repair is needed for your Birkenstocks, we suggest bringing them into your nearest Birkenstock store for an assessment by staff or alternatively, drop them to your nearest store so they can be sent to the Birkenstock Workshop for an assessment and quote. Please note that some Birkenstocks cannot be repaired if they have been extremely worn. There is a point where only a recycle or a new pair is the available option. 

As everyone has different feet and walking patterns, the wear of your Birkenstocks can differ. Some individuals simply wear their shoes/sandals harder than others. For example, although your friend's Birkenstocks may have not worn on the sole or heel section, this does not mean yours will not. Birkenstock wear and tear cannot be compared to those around you as the climate conditions, amount of wear and individual feet/walking patterns can effect this.

Below is an idea of what can be done with Birkenstock repairs. 

CORK REPAIR:

Due to the exposed cork on the sandals, a cork repair may be needed due to general wear over time. When Birkenstocks are first purchased they are very stiff, rigid and have no flexibility. This is because they have not moulded and adapted to ones walking pattern and feet. Over time, you may notice cracking at the flex points of your Birkenstocks. Do not be alarmed by this! If they did get this cracking in the cork and latex, your Birkenstocks would not become flexible or nearly as comfortable. Additionally, you may notice cracking and chipping of the cork, possibly near the back and front of the sandals due to general wear and tear. 

A cork repair is completed by using heat-moulded cork, which is then re-built (injected) and ground back to the original shape of the footbed and finished with cork life sealant. When you first purchase your Birkenstock’s, a cork sealant is already painted all over the cork. It appears to have a  sheen which makes it easy to notice when worn off. The cork will appear matt and dry once this has worn off and you can then repaint this sealant on yourself once a bottle has been purchased (recommenced about twice a year or when needed). This is general cork maintenance to prolong the life of the cork and is usually done once or twice a year.

SOLE REPLACEMENT

If you notice that the sole and tread on your Birkenstocks is wearing down evenly to roughly less than 1cm (when the tread pattern of the soles can no longer be seen) then it is time for a sole replacement. In order to have this repair done you need to ensure that the sole of your Birks have not worn right down completely to the cork and also damaged the leather and Birko-Flor as this may mean that you need a recycle instead. The repairers will keep the cork/latex footbed, lining and uppers and you will receive a whole new sole! Not only can you replace the entire Birkenstock EVA sole, but also any SuperGrip sole which is commonly seen in the Professional range. 

SUEDE LINING REPLACEMENT 

The suede lining on your Birkenstock footbed can be replacement completely if it is beyond a simple suede clean. Do not be alarmed by dark prints on your suede lining. This darkened suede is from the natural oils and moisture from the foot and means they have moulded in and become comfortable for you. If the suede is starting to look extremely worn or has an odour, then this could be a good option for you. 

RECYCLE

This is a great repair option for those who have a seasonal release style or favourite that has been discontinued and therefore, do not want to part with. A full Birkenstock recycle is when the upper straps and buckles are kept (i.e Leather or Birko-Flor) and the entire sole unit is replaced including the footbed, lining and sole. It is a more eco-friendly option as you are not purchasing a brand new shoe however, once this repair is completed, it is like you have a brand new pair again. 

BUCKLE REPLACEMENT 

A Birkenstock buckle replacement is available on all styles however, it may be that certain older styles may have to have an alternative buckle from the original. 

HARD HEEL TAB 

If you regularly wear the heel section of your shoes/sandals down until the tread is gone and this area becomes smooth, leaving the remainder of your soles in good condition, then a hard heel tab would be a suitable option for you. This is best done when you first purchase your shoes as it further extends their life. Many individuals tend to wear this area first due to their walking pattern so do not be alarmed by this.

TOE PIECE REPAIR 

The toe piece or strap that sits between your toes in styles such as the Mayari, Gizeh, Seres and Yara can be replaced. We regularly have customers coming in with chewing accidents (naughty puppies) and they only need this repair done as the rest of the shoes are often in good condition.
Above is just a small number of repairs that can be done with your beloved Birkenstocks. Customers are more than welcome to come in store for a discussion with our staff about what needs to be done or to receive a quote. If you choose to get your Birkenstocks repaired through us, this process usually takes about 3 weeks depending on how busy the workshop is at the time. We send our repairs every week to the Birkenstock Australia Workshop in Melbourne which customers should also note incurs a $10 postage fee on top of repair costs. 
We hope this information assists you with choosing a Birkenstock repair in the future. 
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