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Molding and baking the footbed

BIRKENSTOCK

Molding and baking the footbed

Before the baking process begins, the cork and latex mix is fed automatically into moulds, into which a base layer of jute has been added. Once the mix is in the mould, it is finished by hand — as even the smallest irregularities in the lay of the cork latex mix can lead to imperfections. Once the form is correctly moulded, and just prior to baking, the top covering of jute and leather linings are applied.

Molding and baking the footbed

Before the baking process begins, the cork and latex mix is fed automatically into moulds, into which a base layer of jute has been added. Once the mix is in the mould, it is finished by hand — as even the smallest irregularities in the lay of the cork latex mix can lead to imperfections. Once the form is correctly moulded, and just prior to baking, the top covering of jute and leather linings are applied.

The magic formula

BIRKENSTOCK

The magic formula

The quality and consistency of the cork-latex mix is regularly assessed. The formula is exact and has remained consistent for decades. It is the best kept secret at BIRKENSTOCK.

The magic formula

The quality and consistency of the cork-latex mix is regularly assessed. The formula is exact and has remained consistent for decades. It is the best kept secret at BIRKENSTOCK.

Assembly

BIRKENSTOCK

Assembly

After baking, the footbeds are left to dry for 24 hours. They are then checked for small defects and splashes of latex and any imperfections are trimmed, sanded and scrubbed away. The perfectly-formed footbeds are then sent for sealing and coating, in order to make them hydrophobic.

Assembly

After baking, the footbeds are left to dry for 24 hours. They are then checked for small defects and splashes of latex and any imperfections are trimmed, sanded and scrubbed away. The perfectly-formed footbeds are then sent for sealing and coating, in order to make them hydrophobic.

The buckles
Karl Birkenstock was well known as a tireless tinkerer. Karl’s legacy can be felt everywhere at BIRKENSTOCK, and nowhere more so than in the Markersdorf facility, where all BIRKENSTOCK buckles are manufactured. Practical, efficient solutions were important to Karl. He worked unflinchingly (some might say obsessively) to create the perfect steel fastening. His vision was to create the functional and uniquely designed equivalent of the three-pointed star of Mercedes in the BIRKENSTOCK buckle. In order to do this he wanted to execute each process as simply as possible.

Simplicity manifest
The buckle consists of the visible ‘superstructure’ of the buckle, plus a pin and a clip, which fastens the buckle to the leather of the sandal, clog or shoe. BIRKENSTOCK manufacturers up to 1.8 million units of these clips each working day. Each buckle is made from steel and covered in a layer of copper coating. They are then polished and finished in a deburring drum, a simple machine that emerged from Karl Birkenstock’s uniquely practical mind.

Leather

The beneficial properties of natural leather in shoe manufacturing are undeniable. It is the most durable, breathable, absorbent and pleasantly tactile material we know. BIRKENSTOCK processes only the highest quality leather, sourced, apart from in a small number of cases, from Europe. Before our leather meets the required criteria for production, it goes through numerous checks and analyses.

Flawless linings

Specialist BIRKENSTOCK workers run their hands over lining leather and mark any defects with an ultraviolet light before cutting. The die-cutting machine detects the highlighted defects and avoids these blemished areas. The finished cut pieces of lining leather are then branded with the BIRKENSTOCK logo, model and sizing info — and are proudly marked as having been MADE IN GERMANY.

Uppers and downers

Upper leather can often be blemished by scarring, broken veins, insect bites, burn and stretch marks. During the initial visual inspection of the leather hides, specialist BIRKENSTOCK team members check each individual hide, before the shapes of the uppers are ’punched’ out with a ‘bridge punch’ machine. The uppers are then roughened and finished, and the logo is applied before the application of the buckles.

BIRKENSTOCK ARIZONA IS A GENUINE CLASSIC

Proudly Made in Germany.

1

Two individually adjustable straps

2

Metal pin buckles

3

Natural leather upper

4

Original contoured cork-latex footbed

5

Suede lining

6

EVA outsole

BIRKENSTOCK

Final assembly

Coated footbeds flow through to assembly on the transport machinery. Directly after the uppers are glued onto the footbed, and the glue is activated in a heating process, outsoles are affixed to the footbed on a special press pad. Before the finished sandals or clogs are packed, a final quality check is made. Swing tags and other labels are applied, then they are wrapped and placed in the distinctive BIRKENSTOCK boxes.

Final assembly

Coated footbeds flow through to assembly on the transport machinery. Directly after the uppers are glued onto the footbed, and the glue is activated in a heating process, outsoles are affixed to the footbed on a special press pad. Before the finished sandals or clogs are packed, a final quality check is made. Swing tags and other labels are applied, then they are wrapped and placed in the distinctive BIRKENSTOCK boxes.