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The footbed


Walk and stand comfortably for long periods of time, exercise your legs and feet or simply feel comfortable right down to your toes: The secret is in your shoes. When your individual foot’s anatomy is perfectly supported during each step, you’ll feel the positive effect throughout your entire body. The result: Relief for your feet, knees and hips, a more relaxed and straighter back and feet that stay healthy, allowing you to feel truly good.


Making your feet feel good is our specialty. Since 1774. Our success story began with the footbed – a revolution then and a classic icon today that is featured in all of our shoes: The original BIRKENSTOCK footbed.


The most important ingredient for BIRKENSTOCK is detailed knowledge of the human anatomy. The result is a fit that allows for the greatest amount of freedom while simultaneously providing your feet with exactly the stability they need. An original BIRKENSTOCK footbed offers your feet the exact level of support they need when you’re standing or walking. And, of course, a shoe should fit well. Not too big, not too small or wide. Absolutely clear – and yet some 80% of German shoes do not fit right. (Source: Study of adult foot measurement by the Prüf- und Forschungsinstitut Pirmasens (PFI)). This is because people do not take enough time when they buy shoes to receive proper sales advice or they make compromises.

An important point to note in this regard is that your feet are connected to all of the parts of your body that allow you to walk upright. The wrong shoes will lead to constant stress on your entire musculoskeletal system. This can lead to head, back and joint pain as well as problems with your veins and blood circulation. Yet most people only start thinking about this when they are already experiencing problems. We aim to change this – by providing information about the right fit.


A shoe should surround the foot, providing it with protection and stability, without constricting it. When it does these things, it is said to fit well. An important factor for good fit is shoe size (though this is not the only factor). All feet require sufficient space in the toe area. This is because as the foot rolls, the toes slide forward.


Shoes that are too small: If the shoe is too tight in the front, the toes will be crushed with every step. That's why shoes should always be one thumb width longer in the toe area than your foot. This is especially true for children’s shoes, as their feet are still growing the bone, muscle and tissue structures are still very soft and malleable. Not only do tight shoes that pinch not feel good to children – Over the long term they can also lead to the development of foot problems.

Shoes that are too big: But the shoe should not be too big either. This is because a shoe that is too big will prevent your foot from rolling correctly and can, in some cases, affect the way you walk. If your toes have too much room, your foot will lose control of the shoe. Your foot will then push against the tip of the shoe during the rolling motion. This impact can damage your joints.

Shoes that are too wide: There is a similar effect when shoes are too wide. In this case, too, the feet do not have sufficient stability and slide from side to side in the shoe. Your toes are crushed just as much as they are in shoes that are too small. Your foot can also slide back and forth in the heel area. This poses a risk to ligaments and muscles.


A good fit promotes healthy feet. That's why the original BIRKENSTOCK footbed is available in two widths: normal and narrow. The anatomical moldings in the bed support the natural tissue in your feet and provide them with stability and support. Our models are also adjustable. So BIRKENSTOCK sandals and shoes can be adapted to fit to your individual feet. You can feel this in the high level of comfort.