How Are Birkenstocks Supposed To Fit? (Fitting & Sizing Guide!)

Birkenstocks have gained popularity as a sandal brand celebrated for their long-lasting comfort and sturdiness. To maximize the advantages of these sandals, it is essential to ensure that they fit correctly. A well-fitted pair is essential in avoiding unease and potential foot issues.

The fitting process for Birkenstocks diverges from that of other sandal brands. These shoes are crafted to adapt to the individual contours of the wearer’s feet. Constructed with a fusion of cork and latex, the footbed adjusts to the foot’s shape over time. As a result, the sandals might initially seem tight, but they’ll gradually grow more cozy with continued use.

Nonetheless, numerous individuals find themselves perplexed about the proper fit for these shoes. To help you discover the ideal fit, we have compiled this article to offer guidance on Birkenstocks sizing charts and additional information concerning the fitting of Birkenstocks for both slim and broad feet.

how are birkenstocks supposed to fit

Are Birkenstocks Supposed To Be Loose Or Tight?

Birkenstocks are available in an array of widths and designs, making it crucial to comprehend their fitting. A common guideline is that the footwear should feel secure upon initially wearing it while allowing for some wiggle room for your foot. There shouldn’t be any pinching or stiffness. If there is, consider sizing up or selecting a different style.

An indication that the footwear might be oversized is if it leads to discomfort in the heel, ankle, or other parts of your leg. Oversized shoes, for instance, can provoke blisters and chafe against your toenails, culminating in callouses and irritation.

Should You Size Up or Down in Birkenstocks?

Birkenstocks are available in various designs and dimensions. The consensus is that the footwear should be secure enough to prevent sliding on your foot but spacious enough to provide room for your toes. Some individuals opt for a size larger for a tighter fit, while others go for a size smaller for a more relaxed fit. Birkenstocks are true to size.

If you typically wear an 8 1/2 in other shoe brands, choose an 8 1/2 for Birkenstocks as well. If you find yourself between sizes on our site(check out the sizing chart below), select the larger size if your feet tend to swell occasionally (or if you plan to wear thicker socks). There is no need to adjust your size up or down unless the brand recommends doing so for a particular style. The company aims for customers to receive exactly what they anticipate!

Also check out more on: Do Birkenstocks Stretch?

Birkenstock Sizing Chart

U.S. SizeWomen Birkenstock SizeU.S. SizeMEN Birkenstock SizeU.S. SizeKIDS Birkenstock Size
7-7½3810 -10½439-91227
9-9½4012 – 12/24511 – 11/29
10-10½4113-13½4612 – 12/30
11- 11½4214-14½4713-13½31

How to Calculate Your Foot Size with the Help of the Size Chart?

Before purchasing a pair of Birkenstocks, it’s crucial to take accurate measurements of your feet to guarantee a snug fit. Follow these guidelines to do so:

  • Position yourself with your back touching a wall and lay a sheet of paper on the ground in front of you.
  • Rest one foot on the paper, ensuring your heel is in contact with the wall.
  • Outline your foot using a pencil, holding it upright and adjacent to your foot as you trace.
  • Perform the same process for the other foot.
  • Determine the length of each foot by measuring from the rear of the heel to the furthest point of the longest toe.
  • Gauge the width of each foot at its broadest section.
  • Keep in mind that it’s vital to measure both feet, as they might not be identical in size. Always opt for the larger measurement when choosing a size.

For the most precise measurements, it’s advisable to measure your feet towards the end of the day when they are at their biggest. Furthermore, if you intend to wear socks with your Birkenstocks, ensure you measure your feet while wearing socks.

After obtaining your foot measurements, check the Birkenstock sizing guide to ascertain the appropriate size. Remember that Birkenstocks are meant to fit tightly initially, but they will gradually adapt to the contours of your feet as time goes by.

Finding The Right Size

Length and Width

In order to identify the perfect size for your Birkenstocks, it’s crucial to consider both length and width. To assess the length, ensure there’s approximately a quarter to a half-inch of room between your toes and the footbed’s edge.

Regarding width, Birkenstocks are available in regular and narrow options. Choose the regular size for wider feet, and the narrow size for slender feet. Keep in mind that Birkenstocks are meant to fit securely, so don’t worry if they seem slightly tight initially.

Arch Support

One of the distinguishing characteristics of Birkenstocks is their arch support. To confirm that you’re receiving the appropriate level of support, observe how your arch aligns with the footbed’s arch support. The arch support should rest comfortably beneath your arch, offering support without being excessively high or low. If the arch support is uncomfortable, you may need additional time to break in your Birkenstocks.

Toe Space

Toe room is another vital aspect to take into account when determining the right size for your Birkenstocks. Your toes should have sufficient space to move unencumbered without feeling confined or compressed. If your toes touch the footbed’s front, your Birkenstocks are likely too small. Conversely, if there’s an abundance of extra room in the toe area, consider trying a smaller size or an alternative style.

Read more on: Are Birkenstocks Worth It?

Do Birkenstocks Run Big or Small?

Birkenstocks run differently than most shoes. If you’re not used to them, try them on before purchasing online. Birkenstocks run true to size. But you can go up or down a size based on your personal preference for the quantity of room inside the shoe. 

For example, if you have a narrow foot, buy your standard size (or even half a size smaller) so your feet don’t slip around in the shoe and there’s not too much extra space inside. If you have a wider foot, go up at least one full size from your normal shoe size to allow for more toe room. If you have normal feet, you can buy the exact size because Birkenstocks fit true to size.

Do Birkenstocks Come in Half Sizes?

Birkenstock sandals and clogs come in two widths: narrow and regular. However, half sizes are not offered. If you find the sandals uncomfortable, we recommend trying a different width, either narrower or regular.

For example, if you require medium-width shoes but only regular and narrow options are available, consider using inserts to create additional room inside the shoe. Various inserts can be found at your local drugstore to help improve the fit of your shoes.

birkenstock half sizes

How to Adjust the Strap on Birkenstocks?

Fasten the straps starting at your toes and working upwards. The straps should fit snugly but not be overly tight. If you feel discomfort in your feet or toes after wearing them for an extended period, they may not be fitting properly.

If needed, use the buckles on the side of the shoe to tighten it further. To loosen the shoes, undo all three buckle straps and slide your foot out. Then, refasten the straps, starting at your toes and working up to your ankle.

How Does the Birkenstock Arizona Fit?

The Birkenstock Arizona design prioritizes foot and ankle comfort. It features a deep, contoured footbed that supports the entire foot and a raised toe bar for added stability.

The cork-latex footbed adapts to your feet over time and has a slightly cushioned, breathable suede cover that feels delightful on bare skin. The Birkenstock Arizona is true to size and should not feel overly tight around the heel or foot. There should be approximately a quarter-inch of space between your longest toe and the edge of the sandal. If there’s an extra half-inch of space, the fit is likely not as comfortable as it should be.

What to Do If Birkenstocks are Too Small for Your Feet?

Birkenstocks may not fit your feet properly in various ways. If the shoe is too narrow, it might not fit at all; if it’s too wide, you could feel as if you’re stepping on the outer edges of your feet. If you struggle to put them on or notice excessive space in the toe area, consider going down or up a size accordingly.

When wearing the shoes, ensure there’s roughly half an inch of room in front of your toes when standing upright and your heels are flat. The back of the shoe should be low enough so that your toes and heel remain within the shoe while standing vertically. Your foot should be able to move with ease, without experiencing tightness or constriction.

What to Do If Birkenstocks are Too Big for Your Feet?

Birkenstock sandals are available in an array of sizes, typically based on the length of your foot. If you find that your sandals are too large, consider the following suggestions:

  • Wear thin socks or pantyhose with sandals, as this will create a snugger fit and help prevent blisters.
  • If needed, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly around your toenails’ skin.
  • Explore different Birkenstock styles to determine which one best accommodates your requirements. For instance, some shoes might have thicker soles than others, potentially offering a more suitable fit for your feet.
  • Think about acquiring a Birkenstock insert that can be placed inside the sandal to enhance comfort.


In conclusion, understanding the proper fit for Birkenstocks is essential to fully appreciate the comfort and durability these sandals offer. To achieve the perfect fit, consider factors such as length, width, arch support, and toe space. Remember that Birkenstocks are designed to mold to your feet over time, so they may feel snug initially. 

Utilize the sizing guide, try on various styles, and make necessary adjustments to straps or inserts as needed. By selecting the right pair of Birkenstocks, you can experience the perfect blend of style, support, and comfort that has made them a popular choice for many.

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