How long does it take for Birkenstocks to break in? A detailed guide

How long does it take for Birkenstocks to break in?


How long does it take for Birkenstocks to break in? Getting a new pair of Birkenstock shoes is always exciting. They are known for being one of the most comfortable shoes. People who have health issues and suffer from pain choose Birkenstocks sandals as their main footwear. Why are your new Birkenstocks hard and can hurt in the beginning?

Not everyone knows how to make new Birkenstocks comfortable. They start adjusting leather straps in the hope to solve the problem and only make it worse as the Birkenstock sandals start falling off the foot. In this article, we will tell how to sort this out by breaking in new sandals.

Why do you need to break in Birkenstocks sandals? How long does it take for Birkenstocks to break in?

Birkenstock shoes are made out of leather material or non-leather upper layers and a unique cork footbed.

It is advisable to give new shoes enough time to repeat the contour of your feet so it feels comfortable.

Start wearing your new sandals. You will experience discomfort at first. After wearing them for a few hours, you will notice the difference.

How should Birkenstock shoes fit? How long does it take for Birkenstocks to break in?

For Birkenstock sandals to be comfortable they are supposed to repeat the shape of your foot and the toe bar must be just under your toes.

The leather straps shouldn’t be too tight or too loose to prevent blisters.

Birkenstock sandals must be the correct size, so your toes aren’t hanging off the shoe or too far from the end of the cork footbed.

How long does it take to break in Birkenstock sandals? How long does it take for Birkenstocks to break in?

It might sound too complicated, but in actual fact, it is easy and fast. Following the guide below will allow you to get the most comfortable Birkenstock sandals you have ever had in just a week.

The key is the consistency in steps you take to break in your new sandals, then the result won’t make you wait for long.

How To Break In Birkenstocks Guide. How long does it take for Birkenstocks to break in?

Knowing how to break in a new pair of sandals will prevent you from having pain and uncomfortable feeling along with blisters. There are a few options you can follow to make the shoes to fit your feet perfectly.

1. Use thick socks to break in your Birkenstocks

To make a soft footbed try soaking your Birkenstocks in water and wear thick socks to stretch all the straps. The break-in period will take up to seven days if you wear your sandals with thick socks at home daily.

Do not immerse Birkenstoks in water for a few hours. You can use a wet cloth and wipe the shoes inside and outside before putting them on. You will definitely get the result in the end.

2. Use the hammer softly

This option isn’t going to ruin your Birkenstock footwear. When your shoes have a little hard footbed, they need time to break in. How do you make them soft with a hammer?

Use the hammer on each side of the shoe on the spots that bring the most discomfort. If you experience issues in a toe bar area, the cork has to be loosened there. Use the hammer in that area. After you have hammered the shoes, wear them right away.

Repeat the process for a few days until the shoes feel comfortable. Even though it is time-consuming, the final result is worth it.

3. Bending Birkenstocks footwear

Knowing tips and tricks will help you to make your sandals the most comfortable, avoiding blisters and other problems like foot pain. Bending the shoe is another one of them.

When you purchase your first pair of Birkenstock, unbuckle the adjustable straps. Then try bending the shoe inward and outward a few times. Do it delicately, so you don’t damage the shoe.

The gradual bending allows you to make your Birknstocks fully broken. As a result, you get the most comfortable shoes that fit your feet perfectly.

Another tip is to keep bending Birkenstocks for a few weeks. This will result in a reduction in the break-in period.

4. Using a hair dryer

It is a known fact that applying heat can help to stretch leather. All the straps of Birkenstocks are made out of this material.

If your Birkenstocks have started hurting you around the toe bar area or under the straps, use this method.

For a better result, wear socks first, then put Birkenstocks on. Carefully heat the shoe in the area where you feel discomfort. Then move to the toe bar area and the footbed.

After that, wear the sandals around home for a few minutes, while they are warm.

Doing this consistently for a few days will ensure the sandal will be fitting you perfectly in the end.

5. Using rubbing alcohol

Note, this method can affect the quality of the leather material on your sandals. There is a chance of some discoloration appearing as well.

Purchase a small bottle of rubbing alcohol from the hardware store.
Apply alcohol to the areas where the sandals feel tight and uncomfortable.

Put socks on and wear Birkenstocks for up to an hour.

This option will help you to break in Birkenstocks in just a week if you keep doing it daily.

Your feet will start feeling more comfortable in a few days.

How to break in Birkenstocks by wearing thick socks? How long does it take for Birkenstocks to break in?

As this is the most popular method to break in your sandals, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to do it in just 6 days.

  • Day 1

Purchase a pair of thick socks. Look into getting hiking-type socks as they will suit you the best.

Put them on along with your Birkenstocks and wear them for a few minutes. If you experience any uncomfortable feelings or pain, you should stop walking in them.

If everything is fine, keep walking in them around the house. The walking has to be active, otherwise, there will not be any results.

The socks will prevent sandals from hurting you. The more active you move, the better and faster the result will be.

Keep increasing the time of walking every day.

  • Day 2

Walking on the second day should be longer than the first day. Wear the sandals with socks for up to an hour.

Repeat the process at least 3 times a day. If you are able to do it more, that would be perfect.

When you wear socks with Birkenstocks, it stretches the leather strap and makes the footbed softer.

Don’t overdo it and give your feet enough time to rest in between the session.

  • Day 3

On the third day, wear the sandals for a few hours. Don’t forget about the breaks in between.

On this day you should start feeling the difference and the sandals will start being more comfortable as they mold your feet.

The key is to be as active as possible to reduce the time it takes to break in Birkenstocks.

  • Day 4

Now you can wear Birkenstocks without socks for a few minutes a day. A couple of times a day for a duration of fifteen minutes should be enough.

If you still experience pain or uncomfortable feelings in some areas, continue wearing a sock with a sandal.

Another option is to use moleskin on the spot that gets rubbed.

Usually, the toe bar gives the most problems when it comes to tight Birkenstocks. In this case, your option is to keep wearing a sock until the sandal is stretched enough, and you don’t experience any discomfort.

In most cases, by day 4 the sandals should feel comfy. If that hasn’t happened, move on to the next step.

  • Day 5

Wear Birkenstock consistently for a couple of hours. Don’t forget to put the sock on. In case the discomfort is still present, give your feet enough time to rest before walking in Birkenstock again.

Keep switching between walking with a sock and without a sock. That way, you will understand the difference sooner. Once the Birkenstock feel comfy, you don’t need to break in anymore.

  • Day 6

On this day you might consider walking outside to ensure the level of comfort increases.

If all the uncomfortable feelings in your feet are gone, that means your Birkenstock are fully broken in, and you can wear them outdoors.

It is recommended to gradually increase the time of a walk to ensure Birkenstock don’t hurt anymore.

How to make Birkenstock leather soft? How long does it take for Birkenstocks to break in?

The longer you wear Birkenstock the more comfy they get. In times of unbearable pain, that might not be an option. We recommend using a special shoe cream you can purchase in the shoe store.

The cream should be applied to the area that causes discomfort. Make sure you spread it evenly.

When the foot wear start feeling tight, that is what you can do:

  • Clean the surface of Birkenstock with a soft brush. All dirt particles must be removed.
  • Take a small amount of rubbing cream and apply it onto the sandal with a clean cloth. Use rubbing motions to spread it around.
  • Wait for at least fifteen minutes for the cream to soak into the leather and start working.
  • Use a clean cloth to remove the remnants of the cream from the sandal.
  • The final step is buffing the leather with a soft cloth until it starts shining.

Always remember that no one is the same. Some people will need to work on breaking in Birkenstock, the other ones will be able to walk in them as soon as they have purchased them.

Don’t get upset if you experience discomfort with your new Birkenstock. Use the methods described in this article to make the shoe the most comfortable and pleasant to walk in.

How long will Birkenstocks last? How long does it take for Birkenstocks to break in?

Birkenstocks are known for their exceptional quality. If you take care of them, they will serve you for a few years.

We recommend purchasing a special kit to help you to take care of the sandals. It comes with a cork sealer, a refresher, a water-repellent, and a brush.

If the sandals get wet, don’t forget to dry them every time. Remove dirt as soon as possible to avoid stains. If the footbed has worn off, it can be replaced.

The sandals that get cleaned frequently and taken care of last a long time.

Additional tips you can try for breaking in Birkenstocks. How long does it take for Birkenstocks to break in?

1. Choose the correct size

It is important to wear the sandals that fit you nicely. If you encounter problems deciding which pair is best for you, ask for help at the shoe store.

The adjustable straps should be unbuckled first and then buckled back according to the width of your feet. Try different models to find yours as there are different fit ones.

2. Choose a pair of Birkenstocks with soft footbed

When shopping for a new pair of sandals, consider getting the ones that have a soft footbed. They will be easier to mold to your feet and the break-in period will be way shorter.

Sandals with soft footbed are more stretchy and flexible. It will bring more comfort to you than wearing sandals with hard footbed.

3. Wear the sandals at home

Start wearing your Birkenstocks at home, starting with just a few minutes to give your feet time to adjust to the new shape of the sandals. Increase the time daily until the sandals are broken in.

4. Purchase moleskin padding

This is the type of fabric material that helps to prevent blisters caused by tight sandals. This padded clothing protects the area where the shoe is rubbing against your skin.

FAQs: How long does it take for Birkenstocks to break in?

How do you break in Birkenstocks fast?

How long does it take for Birkenstocks to break in? If you have chosen the pair of Birkenstocks according to your sizing, the fastest way to break them in is by wearing them at home first.

Use a thick pair of socks to shorten the break-in period. Applying water onto Birkenstocks will help as well.

Usually, it takes about a week to mold the sandals to fit your feet.

Do Birkenstocks hurt at first?

There is a chance Birkenstocks will hurt you if you choose a pair that don’t really fit you perfectly. The breaking-in process might help to solve the problem. Check out the methods above.

Do Birkenstocks loosen over time?

They do become loose over some time. They adjust to the contour of your feet and do not hurt you anymore.

Do Birkenstocks feel small at first?

If Birkenstocks feel tight, that means you have chosen the wrong size. Nothing should feel small or uncomfortable. If you have chosen a pair of Birkenstocks that started hurting your feet while walking, try breaking them in.

How tight should Birkenstocks be?

Sandals should never be tight as it will hurt you and cause blisters. Your feet must feel snug in Birkenstocks, as loosened straps can result in blisters as well.

The best way to check whether sandals fit you nicely is by sticking one finger underneath the straps. If you are able to do that, then Birkenstocks fit perfectly.

Where to purchase Birkenstocks?

There are a lot of replica Birkenstocks on the market. If you want to be sure that you purchase genuine foot wear, it is best you head out to the official store or an approved stockist.

To summarize: How long does it take for Birkenstocks to break in?

How long does it take for Birkenstocks to break in? Based on the information above in this article, if you want to eliminate any foot issues, blisters, and other pain, you have to break in Birkenstocks. Choose one or a few methods described in our guide to reduce the break-in period.

Start with picking the right size of footwear. Check all the adjustable straps to ensure they don’t hurt you. If the footbed is hard in the toe bar area, wear the sandals with thick socks. The break-in period might take up to a few weeks. The result will surprise you, as you will get comfortable Birkenstocks that will last you a long time.

If this article was helpful, share it with your friends. If you still have questions left, post them in the comment section below.


  • Paula Mareen

    Paula Maureen has collaborated with famous shoe brands and designed popular women’s sandals. As a proofreader, she contributes to foot wisdom.


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