1. With cork footbed items, avoid wet conditions as much as possible. Remember, cork and water are not the best of friends! If your Birkenstock sandals or clogs get wet, just let them air dry slowly. Do not use a hair dryer or put them close to a heat source.
2. Reseal your cork as soon as it begins to look dull and/or dry. When new, the cork has a shiny glue coating. This will wear off over time and then new sealant needs to be re-applied. This is easy to do with a small jar of glue specifically made for cork.
3. Avoid exposing your Birkenstocks to extreme heat (campfires, the trunk of hot car, radiators, inside a beach bag sitting in the sun, etc.). The soles will shrink and the straps will pull apart from the cork.
Birkenstock does not offer a specific warranty or guarantee of longevity. Some people keep their Birkenstocks for 10 years, while others may only get one summer out of them.
How long your Birkenstock footwear lasts is determined by how well you treat them, and how hard you are on your shoes in general.
Normal wear and tear includes:
- Cork loss and cracking (especially at the flex point)
- Wearing down of soles
- Staining of footbed liner and straps
- Separation of soles or straps due to water or heat exposure
- Peeling of liners
- Loss of natural shearling
Remember, Birkenstocks are made to be repaired. Just because they may have seen better days, doesn't mean they can't be patched up and used for many more happy miles!
Birkenstocks are designed to be repaired and maintained as they age. With a little TLC, most people can keep their Birkenstocks for a long time.
Cork can be patched, outsoles can be replaced, and hardware can be fixed in most cases. And you can even have the entire footbed replaced, recycling only the straps if needed. At times the damage may be too extensive and repairs can not be done.
If you tend to drag your heels when you walk, consider going to a local repair shop and having heel "taps" put on. This will help preserve the Birkenstock soles and it is a relatively inexpensive investment.
Though we do not offer repair services at Complete Birkenstock, we can try to help you find a local cobbler for these services if needed.
We always say that old Birkenstocks have "a story to tell". But sometimes they just start to look a little too grubby!
Regarding cleaning, we have found the best way to clean the suede footbed liner is with a fine grit sandpaper (160-180). Gently run the sandpaper along the footbed to remove oil and sweat deposits. Then brush them with a soft nylon brush.
Cleaning the straps depends on the material. Birkibuc and Birko-Flor can be spot cleaned with mild soap and water.
Smooth leather can be cleaned with leather lotion or saddle soap. Suede can benefit from a stiff bristle brush and/or a suede/nubuck eraser. Oiled leather and nubuck leather are best left alone to age naturally.