Are My Birkenstocks Too Big?

Looking to buy Birkenstocks for yourself but don't know your size? Or perhaps you already own a pair of Birkenstocks and you aren’t sure you have the right size?  You’ve come to the right place.  We will discuss how you can tell if your Birkenstocks are too big.

To determine if your Birkenstocks are too big you can check the space between your toes and the front (no more than half an inch or 13mm), next check the length by pressing your heel back into the heel cup, if your toes aren’t firmly in the toe grip, then your sandals are too big.

It's much easier to determine if your shoes or sandals are too small. The sandals will be uncomfortable, your toes don't fit and the straps leave marks on your skin.

Being too big, on the other hand, is a different ball game all on its own. It can be hard to tell until it is too late.

Before we proceed, always remember to buy your Birkenstocks in the official Birkenstock online store or any of our affiliated store partners.

Tips to ensure your Birks fit perfectly

Spacing at your toes should be half to an eighth of an inch (3mm to 13mm)

Specialists recommend leaving a half-inch (1.27 cm) space in front of your toes and 1/8th (0.3 cm) inch at the back of your heels. This is to avoid heel chafing and to allow your toes to fit snuggly in the toe cap. Too much space on either side will cause your toes to hit the insole, causing discomfort.

If you are having a hard time measuring this, use your fingers. Try to slide them behind your heels. If two or more can fit while your toes touch the top of your shoe, then that means your shoes are too big.

Women's Salina Birkenstocks

Press the side of your sandal against a wall

Press the edge of your sandal or shoe against a wall.If it's a perfect fit, it shouldn't easily compress or bend.  This basically tests whether there is too much space between your foot and the side of your sandals. 

When there is too much space, the sandal will flex and therefore the sandals are too big.

Arizona Birkenstocks (Unisex)

Do your feet move around too much?

Another way to check is by moving around your feet inside the Birkenstock. Press your heel all the way back in the heel cup. If your toes are exactly right in the toe grip, then it's a perfect fit.

If there is a need to slide your feet forward just to get your toe in the toe grip; then, your shoe might be too long.

Milano Birkenstocks - Oiled Leather

The Toe Curl Test

Curl your toes in your sandals.Some space is appropriate for comfort when it comes to your toes, but if they can curl easily, then your shoe may be bigger than you want.

It is important to note that you should not have a large space at the back of your heel while your toes are curled. If there is, then you would not be getting support from your heel cup and your sandals are likely too big.

Birkenstock Papillio Women's Lola Leather Sandals

Your feet are different sizes

It might come as a surprise but, for some people, one foot is larger than the other. As a general rule, it is better to fit your shoes to the larger foot. Don't mind it being a bit looser on the smaller one. That is normal. If anything, you can apply most of the tips stated here on your larger foot instead.

You can tighten the straps a little on the smaller foot to get the right fit.

Boston Leather Birkenstock Clog

Do your Birks feel right?

Your Birks should just feel right. When they are new they might become sore to wear over time, but when you initially put them on, they should “feel right”.

While we are on this topic, let's also talk about comfortability. Proper support is important, and if your Birkenstocks are too big, you won’t get proper support.

Milano Birkenstocks - Oiled Leather

The Birkenstocks Footbed

How wide are your feet? People have different kinds of feet. This is why Birkenstocks offer two options depending on your foot width: regular and narrow foot beds.

Normal width footbeds are indicated by a icon of an outlined foot, while narrow ones have their foot icon with colors filled-in.

Birkenstocks were originally made for orthopedic purposes, so your footbed should follow the base of your foot. They are made to be roomy in nature so that they might feel a bit large. If your feet feel like they could still move side-to-side even with strap adjustment, you might need a narrow fit.

Know which one you are so you don't overcompensate on other areas. The numerical shoe size only accommodates the length of the foot. That's why most people only rely on and often mistake it as the basis for overall comfortability.

If both your feet don't match sizes, it is recommended to choose softer foot soles.

Birkenstocks offers a printable Foot Measurement Template, you can find it here: Birks Measurement Template

Granada Soft Footbed Birkenstocks

Check your sandal straps

While fitting sandals, try to tighten the strap as tight as you can. If they still feel comfortable afterward, then chances are, is that they're too large.

Stand up and try to walk in your shoes

Check if your toes are hitting the insole and aren't bending right. Do your shoe over wrinkle? Does it feel like there's an extra weight that pulls your feet as you walk? Does it slide unnecessarily? If these things, happen then your shoe is undeniably bigger than your fit.

Now let's assume it is not all that bad, and it still feels manageable despite the extra centimeters. What do you do if you already own a Birkenstock shoe that's larger than expected?

Kairo Birkenstocks

Use your sandals a lot

If you move around the house or go outside for a walk every day, your feet will eventually get used to it despite the larger size.

Put on thicker socks

If the issue is the all-around feel over your feet and a small gap behind your heels, then wearing thick socks can help alleviate these issues. You can even try it on your Birkenstock sandals if you want.

Merino Wook Socks

Use balled up Newspaper to keep them good off season

If you don't like wearing thick socks during the summer or just don't like them at all, then use fillers. It can be crumpled newspapers or a bunch of tissues.

If you are planning to buy a new one on the other hand, here are some tips if you want to avoid loose-fitting shoes or sandals the next time you buy another Birkenstock:

Zurich Birkenstocks

Determine the Proper Size

Okay, this might seem like a no-brainer for some. It might even be the only basis for choosing the right fit.

While it's true that size is the main decision-breaker for selecting footwear, there are some things that need consideration, such as:

Women's Boston Shearling Birkenstock Clog

Not relying on last year's measurement.

Your feet may grow larger as time goes on. This is especially true for adolescents and people in their 20's. Albeit a bit slower, it can also happen to older people. This is because the tendons and ligaments in your foot eventually lose elasticity, making your foot longer and wider. In short, always measure your feet beforehand.

As discussed earlier, the overall measurement should be covering all areas of your feet. It's not just the height. It's also the width and, in some cases, even your foot arch that affects the size that is perfect for you.

Not all manufacturers have the same foot size measurement system. It's easier to measure your foot using a Brannock device. A Brannock device is used by footwear specialists and manufacturers to measure the length and width of your foot.

Of course, a normal ruler is fine if you don't have it. You can always refer to the Birkenstock size conversion chart to make comparisons easier. (click here for the Birkenstock Size Chart)

It is important to note that Birkenstocks have indicators on the sole that tell you its foot width, US size, and Europe size.

Choose a style that fits you

It might not seem like it but choosing an appropriate style for your feet makes a difference when choosing the right size.

Overall, Birkenstocks are size customizable. They might feel stiff at first, but they get better as you break them in.

If you recently bought Birkenstock shoes from the official store, feel like they're too big, and you've already received the item, don't worry.

As long as you've only had them within 30 days and are mostly unused, you can return them via Birkenstock's customer service.

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