What Can You Do With Birkenstocks? (Plus What You Must Not Do)

Birkenstock creates amazing sandals that are the epitome of comfort. They are one of the main reasons people change from fashionable shoes to comfortable footwear. Their soft feel, good cushioning, sturdy design, safe grip, and comfortable sole make these shoes a must when thinking about footwear that feels good and stands up to daily wear.

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Birkenstocks are fairly resilient and you don’t have to panic too much about how you treat them however there are definitely some things you can not do with Birkenstocks if you want them to humbly serve your feet for years to come.

Birkenstock is famous for quality and innovation in its shoe designs, with its arch support and footbeds with contours to work in conjunction with the person’s feet. Women’s, men’s and youth styles add to the fun.

Birkenstocks are so comfortable and durable that their styles never seem to date. Sure, maybe a certain color is back in this year, but one thing’s for sure – you can wear your Birkenstock sandals all year round and they’ll always look good: on the beach during summer, or under trousers and a shirt in winter.

Pair them with your favorite jeans, your most comfortable pair of shorts, or your most sacred pair of pajamas. Wherever you go, they can be worn, and whatever you do, Birkenstocks can help get you there.

Whether it’s grabbing a coffee with friends or hiking that great mountain in the distance, don’t just get out there—get there in comfort.

So let’s dive in and take a look at what you can or shouldn’t do with your Birkenstocks…

Can I Wear My Birkenstocks In The Water?

A lot of people confuse Birkenstock’s Classic or Traditional sandals with their water shoes. The Classic, which is made out of cork, has leather straps that can be wet but should not be submerged in water for very long periods of time.

So… as a general rule the majority of Birkenstocks should absolutely NOT be submerged in water however for Birkenstock sandals that are waterproof you CAN submerge them in water. So if you want to wear your Birks in water make sure you purchase the correct one.

Why Can’t You Wear The Traditional Birkenstocks In Water?

Firstly, Birkenstock shoes are essentially made of wood. Yes, I know they have a leather upper, but the cork sole is still a natural material and it will absorb moisture which can lead to mold.

Secondly, wearing your Birkenstocks in the water will damage the original finish on your cork sole. The finish is there to protect the cork from the elements and a water intrusion will damage that protection.

Moreover, you can’t wear them in a hot tub or sauna because they will melt. We don’t make shoes that are waterproof, because we feel that this would compromise on quality. And lastly, they’re not water shoes!

Water shoes are specifically designed to be worn in water and have drainage holes so your feet don’t get too sweaty inside them. In contrast, Birkenstock sandals have open toe boxes which allow your feet to breathe during warm weather activities such as gardening or beachcombing.

So… If you are looking for a safe option just make sure the Birkenstock you get is 100% waterproof like the Birkenstock Essentials Arizona EVA Sandal.

 

Birkenstock Arizona Essentials EVA Black Sandals - 40 N EU / 9-9.5 2A(N) US

The Essentials Arizona EVA Sandal from Birkenstock is part of the company’s popular line of comfortable and durable sandals. They come in a variety of colors and have unique contours throughout the sole to provide you with maximum flexibility.

These sandals are completely waterproof making them great for summer days at the beach or pool as well as all-day wear without feet getting drenched. The molded outsole allows you to enjoy your favorite activities without sacrificing comfort.

The Arizona EVA sandal is lightweight, comfortable, and easily washable. The EVA sole is also shock-absorbing, antistatic (repels dust), and made of recycled materials. Because it dries extremely quickly after getting wet, the Arizona EVA is the perfect addition to your summer outfit wardrobe.

Can You Get Birkenstocks Wet?

Leaving the waterproof version of the Birkenstocks aside the typical Birkenstocks despite not being designed to be particularly water-friendly will handle getting wet.

Let’s face it no one can plan for a sudden storm or getting caught in the rain. The Birkenstocks just like most other shoes or sandals will hold up fine under such circumstances. Even if you accidentally step into a puddle it is not certain of doom and gloom for footwear.

As a general rule yes, keep your Birks dry. But if they get hit with some rain they are not going to tragically shrink or melt off your feet as if water has some sort of magic potion.

Can I Wear Birkenstocks In The Shower?

Once again, let’s leave the waterproof Briks aside it is a good rule of thumb NOT to shower in your Birkenstocks. Look, you might be okay here and there if stuck at some dodgy vacation spot but overall you shouldn’t do it.

The first concern is that the cork footbed can absorb water, which can damage it. The second is that the leather upper part of the shoe will get wet and deteriorate. The third issue is that your shoe will stink due to being exposed to water on a regular basis.

The main reason why you shouldn’t wear your Birkenstocks in the shower every day is that the straps will be damaged by water. As they become wet, those synthetic materials can deteriorate and cause the straps to dry out and crack. The cracks might allow the straps to lose their elasticity and break easily.

Wearing the shoes in the shower every day can cause them to get mildewed, which is bad for both your feet and the shoes themselves. Excessive moisture in your shoes can lead to bacteria and fungus growth which will result in odor-causing microorganisms.

To keep them looking and smelling their best, you should treat them as if they were a nice pair of shoes instead of just a pair of casual sandals and you wouldn’t wear your shoes in the shower – or would you?

Can You Wash Birkenstocks?

It’s also fairly easy to keep your Birks looking like new: Simply wipe them clean with a damp cloth. Or if necessary use soap and water to remove stubborn stains. You can wash them by hand – you can not machine wash them. (Or at least you are better off not to machine wash them)

What Should I Do If My Birkenstocks Get Wet?

You may think you’ve killed your Birkenstocks for good when they get wet or stepped on in the mud, but dry them out and it’s likely they’ll be fine.

If your Birks do get wet, just let them air dry, away from sunlight and heat. So keep them in the shadows so to speak. Do not place them on the window ledge in direct sunlight, don’t hang them on the clothesline in direct sunlight, don’t put them anywhere in direct sunlight.

That goes for all heat as well. Do not put them in your clothes dryer and do not use your hairdryer to try to dry them out either. No heat whatsoever- do not place them in front of or on top of your heater.

In most circumstances, your Birks will dry out and recover just fine. Most water events such as getting caught in the rain will not cause any long-term damage to your sandals. Plus… do not store them away while wet this will just lead to more issues. Make sure you do air them first!


Can You Wear Birkenstocks To The Beach

Wear your Birkenstock sandals to the beach or out into town without a thought. These shoes were designed for versatility and durability, so not only will you look great but they’ll be there to support your comfort no matter where you may roam.

Will Birkenstocks Get Ruined At The Beach? There is no fear of damaging your Birks at the beach. Just don’t go wading into the ocean with them. If you want to stroll along the beach they are fine. Over that fresh wet sand that is a bit easier to walk on is also fine. Sand will not ruin your Birkenstocks!

Just make sure you dry them out as discussed above. Rinse off the sand, give them a quick wipe down, and air dry away from heat.

Whether vacationing at a tropical island, a quaint lakeside cottage, or a lakeside cottage in the middle of nowhere, Birkenstock sandals are the best shoe to bring along. These versatile shoes are durable enough for dirty shoes from exploring new areas, and they can dress up or down for nights out on the town. Plus, they have been created to provide hours of comfort with each step.


In summary, your Birkenstocks will serve you well for a wide variety of situations from going to the beach, walking in the park, and for dressing up for a night out.

They are easy to care for with a simple wipe down or to scrub with soap and water on occasions. Just avoid deliberately going out of your way to submerge them in water. In other words, don’t treat them as water shoes.

If you know you are going to be in situations where your feet are going to get wet on a regular basis then you should opt for the waterproof version of Birks such as the Arizona EVA Sandal.

You may also be interested in… Are Ariat Boots Waterproof? (Can Your Ariat’s Get Wet?) and What Are Reebok Classics Good For? (Run, Walk, Workout?)