Imagine that you are standing barefoot on a beach. The sand is soft, your foot only slightly sinks in and you leave behind a soft footprint. Your feet are at absolute rest. You feel like you could walk the length of the beach without getting tired. That’s how fine the sand is, it aids you in a most relaxing saunter. Now imagine this: you could enjoy the same feeling of comfort anywhere in the world? We, at BIRKENSTOCK, strive to make this imagination real.
The heart of all our designs lies in the finest innovation that we have perfected over the centuries: our iconic footbed. One of the aspects with which we’ve become synonymous, the footbed is an integral part of all the footwear models we make.
A Short History
A family brand now run by the 6th generation, comfort and distinctiveness have always been at the core of BIRKENSTOCK. It was in the late 19th century that Konrad Birkenstock had the idea to develop the cork-latex footbed, which was earlier made with metal plates. The term ‘footbed’ was originally coined by BIRKENSTOCK in the 1930s to name the anatomically shaped insoles. Rather than providing relief to ailing feet like the other orthopedic inserts back then, the BIRKENSTOCK footbed aimed to maintain healthy feet.
In the 1960s, Karl Birkenstock made the first prototype of the modern footbed from a mix of cork and latex, that too in an oven at his home! What he didn’t know at the time was that he had created magic: a revolutionary product that changed how consumers perceived BIRKENSTOCK altogether!
The deep heel cup nestles the heel bone in a natural position and supports the foot tissue. The heel mold is the outer arch that promotes a smooth walk and reduces the chances of twisting the ankle. It activates the calf muscles and improves gait and coordination. The longitudinal arch support follows the tarsal bones and forms the outer side support of the footbed. It supports and strengthens the inner arch as well. The transverse arch support falls along the middle of the footbed, dipping and rising as per the shape of the metatarsal bones. This arch support helps maintain a natural stance and relieves pressure on the ball of the foot. The toe grip ensures that the toes remain relaxed as you walk. The raised footbed edge protects the toes as the foot flexes.
The original footbed consists of six layers:
Flexible EVA outsole, which provides stability;
Water-soluble adhesive, that binds the sole and jute layer together;
Coarse jute layer, to support the layer above;
Cork and latex core, that is shock-absorbent and supports the feet;
Fine jute layer increases flexibility, durability, and regulates moisture;
Permanently elastic latex cushion aids in smooth walking motion; and,
Suede lining wicks away moisture and helps regulate foot climate.
All the materials are responsibly sourced and sustainably produced.
Width: We at BIRKENSTOCK understand that every pair of feet is differently built. So, our footbeds are available in two widths: regular and narrow, distinguished by two different symbols.
Soft Footbed: An additional foam insert is added to make the footbed softer and more comfortable.
Shearling-lined Footbed: Winter and cold-weather variants of BIRKENSTOCK sandals and shoes come with shearling-lined footbeds for extra warmth.
Deep Blue Footbed: Specially developed to reduce stress on pressure points, models like Honnef are designed around this special footbed variant.
At the core of BIRKENSTOCK lies the philosophy of care for the customer. Providing exceptional materials and unparalleled comfort while maintaining environment-friendly practices has always been of utmost importance to us. We’ll deliver comfort to you, now and forever. It’s a BIRKENSTOCK pinkie toe promise!
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