When a company has been focused on making high-quality footwear for nearly 250 years, you can be sure they have developed an unparalleled expertise for their craft – that’s what you can expect from the Birkenstock brand. Birkenstock has been handing down this history and heritage from generation to generation since 1774. But that history and heritage doesn’t mean Birkenstock hasn’t changed over decades – from new styles to new materials, Birkenstock continues to evolve with the times.
One of the most important innovations Birkenstock made back in the 1930s was inventing the contoured footbed to give feet maximum support with anatomically-shaped insoles. The comfort and support you get from Birkenstock footwear is simply unrivaled. A more recent innovation is creating a soft footbed variation to the classic footbed. The soft footbed has an extra layer of cushioning foam between the suede liner and the lower layers of cork and jute.
The materials used in the footbed include cork – which is the outer bark of the cork tree that can be sustainably harvested, growing back in 7-10 years, but Birkenstock cork comes from excess supply in the wine and bottling industries. Natural latex (a sustainable resource from the resin of rubber trees) is used with the cork for added footbed flexibility while natural jute fibers (another renewable resource) are used above and below the cork-latex core to provide extra structural sturdiness. Materials used for the uppers of Birkenstock footwear include natural leather, patent leather, nubuck leather, suede, wool, felt, and newer synthetic materials such as Birko Felt (rayon and synthetic fibers), Birko-Nubuck (synthetic leather) and Birko-Flor (PVC).