What's Your Size
Converting Sizes and Finding the Proper Fit
Converting from American Sizes to European Sizes
Birkenstock Footwear is manufactured using a European
size measurement. This system uses whole sizes only because the
increments, from one size to the next, are only about 1/4 inch.
The quickest way to figure out your Birkenstock
European size would be to add:
30 to your American size for women
33 to your American size for men
17 to your American size for kids
Example: If you wear a ladies 8, add 30. Your Birkenstock size
should be 38. The catalog chart doesn't always agree, but we
have found these numbers to work best.
Many styles, like the Barbados, Memphis, Oklahoma,
Kentucky, run shorter, so 90% of the time you're going to need
to go up a size. We have more styles that run short listed at
the bottom of the page. So when we say just add 30, 33, or 17,
we also have to say:
We have been selling Birkenstocks for over 25 years
and a lot of the time it just isn't that easy. The adding 30,
33, or 17 method mentioned above is a good starting point but
we have spent a lot of time preparing the information below so
that once you start surfing Birkenstock Beach or get your Birkenstocks
in the mail we can work with you step by step to ensure that you
get the right fit/size.
go for a walk together down these next few pages to get you in
the right size.
The most important things that a shoe must do are:
1. Let your feet assume their natural position,
2. Help to distribute your total body weight
evenly across your feet.
Unlike most shoe manufacturers, Birkenstocks are
made with these two basic principles applied. Remember that Birkenstocks
have a loose fit and can take some getting used too. They will
start out stiff, but as you wear them, they will become molded
to your feet and become very flexible. Just take your time. Birkenstocks
are very correct footwear and if your body or feet are off just
a little from the normal/correct position, the muscles, ligaments,
bones, etc. in your feet, may need some hours to get adjusted. This adjustment period is normal.
Because all brands vary slightly in length, there
can be no exact conversion or chart. In other words, what one
shoe manufacturer calls a size 8 may really be a size 7 to another.
The following information provides very helpful guidelines to
determine a good fit. You can always trace your feet on paper
and fax it to (805) 541-1496. Be sure to keep the pen perpendicular
to the sheet of paper when tracing your foot.
You can call us TOLL FREE at 1-877-SLO-BIRK for assistance anytime!!!
Most of the Birkenstock styles are available in
two widths: regular or narrow. These logos are inside of the shoe
or sandal printed on the suede liner under your foot. Each shoe
box is also printed with a regular, medium, or narrow logo in
the upper left corner.
||This is our widest width in the U.S.A.. We call it Regular
because it is really just the Regular shape of most feet.
You may call it wide if you like, but salespeople in Birkenstock
specialty stores use the term "Regular." We find that about
70-80% of our customers wear Regulars. A Regular will always
have a 1 on the end of the style number. If you look down
at your foot as it rests barefoot on the floor and see that
your foot "fans out" (is widest just behind the little toe)
even a little, you should probably buy the Regular width.
This is the best way to really let your foot assume its natural
position. Many people put a Regular on and say' "oh, this
is to big." When it really is not. Its just that people are
not used to having this type of freedom in their shoes and
it can feel awkward. That, or they do not have the buckles
adjusted tight enough to hold the shoe on. We can & often
do punch extra holes in the straps.
||Although more Regular width shoes and sandals are sold,
we do offer and sell a great selection of Narrow widths. The
classification of Narrow includes not only the width of your
foot, but also the shape of your feet. Narrow feet are often
the same width up & down the entire length of the foot.
Feet are also often narrow when measurement across the toes
and across the instep (the instep is the top of your foot
just in front of your ankle where shoe laces tie together)
are close to the same. In other words, a narrow foot does
not change in width much from front to back. A Narrow style
number will always have a 3 on the end. Some women who tell
us that they have narrow feet are actually better off in a
Regular once they decide to go with function over fashion.
||A few of the Birkenstock Shoes and Sandals come in a Medium
width and have this logo marked on the box. Medium comes in
between Regular & Narrow & will use a 2 on the end
of the style number. Sometimes the Medium width shoe comes
with a Narrow looking logo inside the shoe and uses a 3 on
the end of the style number but is actually a Medium width.
An example would be the Footprints Outdoor and Metro series.
Some of the "Birki Kids" styles use a medium width & have
this logo marked on the box.
If you like to wear socks a lot and you're in between
sizes, you may want the larger of the two, especially if you live
in a cold climate that calls for thick socks!
If you need assistance, please call us TOLL FREE
at 1-877-756-2475. We are open
Monday through Friday to serve you.
Determining the length is rather easy. First, you
need to figure out your length in our classic footbed (like the
Arizona style). Then when trying on some of the other styles with
slightly different cork footbeds or polyurethane footbeds, we
would recommend going up one size from your classic footbed size.
At the bottom of this page we have listed some of these styles.
To determine your length, put your heel all the
way back in the heel cup and tighten the straps so your heel is
held back there. You may need more holes punched in the straps
in order to do this. We punch holes all the time. In order for
you to get the benefits of the heel cup, your heels must be in
it, in the first place. Then, feel where your toes land on the
toe grip. When your heel is all the way back in the heel cup,
your toes should naturally grab the toe grip.
If you need to slide your foot forward to grab the
toe grip with your toes, the size may be too long. You do not
want a big space behind your heel. If there is, then you are not
getting the support out of the heel cup. Look at the photos below.
There is an exception for people with really really wide feet.
In order to accommodate a really really wide foot, you might need
to go up a size or two from your true Birkenstock length &
this will lead to a space behind the heel. In this case, some
amount of space is space is acceptable.
Foot is too far forward
Foot is way too far forward
Correct heel placement
Correct toe placement
Once the classic footbed style is determined, you
can choose other non-classic styles and get a great fit. For example,
if you wear a 38 Regular in the classic styles like the Arizona,
Florida, Milano, etc., then you would most likely wear a 39 Regular
in styles like the Nebraska, Kansas, Derby, Memphis, etc. Scroll
to the bottom of the page to see more of these types of styles.
Around 15-25% of our customers have what is often
called Morton's Toe. This occurs when your big toe is not your
longest toe. The longer toe/toes can sometimes rub on the toe
ridge in front of the toes.
This does not necessarily mean you should go with
a larger size. At this point, there are two options. One option
is to go with the size that fits with the rest of your foot and
make an adjustment to the toe ridge in front of your toes. The
other option is to go with the longer size, which accommodates
the long toes, and make an adjustment to the toe grip under the
big toe because the big toe is probably going to land on the toe
grip and not go over it like it should. Overall, its best to accommodate
the body of the foot. Which includes all of your arches. Get them
in the right place and then make an alteration to the front toe
ridge in front of your toes, where your toe hits.
One of a few simple adjustments that are made quite
often at Birkenstock stores may be needed. All Birkenstock stores
carry a regular hammer. You can use a hammer to soften the cork
footbed in a particular area that feels pressure. Using a hammer
may sound funny, but it is very effective. It will not hurt the
footbed at all, it will just make the cork softer and take the
pressure off. Another simple alteration that can be done, is to
remove a little bit of the cork. Like when needing to remove a
little bit of cork on the front toe ridge for people with long
toes or next to the ball of the foot in case of a bunion. A "Birki
Tech" in our shoe repair service center can assist you with this
over the phone anytime.
These instructions for fitting are guidelines. Overall,
you should go with what size feels the best after wearing it around
a little bit.
Remember, Birkenstock Footwear feels okay when first
worn, but feels great when worn for 3 or 4 weeks. As you wear
Birkenstock Footwear, the cork footbed molds to your foot to provide
ultimate comfort. Before you know it, you will not want to wear
Women with really small feet - Most adult styles
start at size 35, but for you they have taken some color/style
combinations down to sizes 32, 33, or 34. They are leather adults,
sized extra small so they are still adult prices. Kids sizes run
24 - 34. So you see they have overlapped the adults and kids during
these special sizes. An example would be a 33 Regular taupe suede
Arizona, or a 34 regular cocoa nubuck Milano.
If you need assistance, please call us toll
free at 1-877-756-2475. We are open Monday through Saturday
to serve you.
For years, when Birkenstock started making sandals,
all of the cork and latex footbeds were the same. Today there
are many different types of footbeds relating to sizing. Assuming
that you know your Classic/Heritage/Basic Birkenstock size, you
can simply figure out what size you need in other styles. The
following list below shows some of the styles you will most likely
need to go up one size higher in:
What Styles To Go Up A Size In
Sandals: Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Ottawa, Ohio,
Rio Bravo, Rio Grande, Savannah, Sonoma, Colorado, Shasta, Barbados,
Oregon, Tobago, Trinidad, Aruba, Sansibar, Pacific, Bridget, Jardine,
Morgan, Alice, Scarlet, Georgia, Arcadia, and Katharine.
Clogs: Oklahoma, Tahoe, Teton, Almanor, Napa, Cooper,
Duna, Birki, Super Birki, Sport, Professional, Helfort, Mendocino,
Madison, Sausalito, Redmond, Ashby, and Kyoto.
Shoes: Derby, Tacoma, Bodega, Madera, Memphis, Trent,
Kent, Annapolis, Andria, Claremont, Lindsey, Natoma, Cambria,
Darien, Saratoga, Sedona, Sanibel, Wichita, Stanford, Bristol,
Bangor, Lawrence, Richmond, Glendale, Carson, Manhattan, Cambridge,
Fremont, Valencia, Napoli, Chicago, Aberdeen, Willington, Kensington,
Lisbon, Sonora, Auborn, Ontario, Austin, Jasper, Calgary, and
Also, occasionally people need to go up a size when
going into a totally enclosed shoe from their sandal. For example,
someone who wears a 38 regular Arizona sandal may need a 39 regular
in a Boston clog, even though it uses the same type cork/latex
footbed. However, this is definitely not the norm.