Birkenstock Quality | Crafting Comfort, Durability and Style

Explore the world of Birkenstock footwear, where quality craftsmanship, premium materials, and innovative design come together to create unrivalled comfort and style.

Birkenstock's commitment to quality footwear


Birkenstock is not just a global brand, it's a symbol of quality craftsmanship. For over two centuries, we’ve been at the forefront of the footwear industry, setting the standard for excellence with our commitment to quality, sustainable materials, innovative design and craftsmanship. From Germany to New Zealand - when you choose Birkenstock, you can trust that you're getting high-quality shoes that are not only comfortable and stylish but built to last.

Our contemporary footwear range for men, women and children is the result of generations of innovation driven by a relentless pursuit of ‘Naturgewolltes Gehenm’ which translates to ‘walking as nature intended’. This idea plays a central role in everything we do, from our choice of materials right through to our manufacturing processes.

Our dedication to quality is evident in the materials we use. From premium leather sourced from ethical suppliers to eco-friendly materials like cork and Birko-Flor, our commitment to quality materials sets the bar for comfort, durability and style. 

We’re extremely proud that all of our footwear is still 100% designed and produced in Germany in our independently owned facilities. This allows us to maintain control over every step of the manufacturing process, ensuring that each shoe meets the highest quality standards.

Our modern production processes still rely heavily on human skill and heritage handcraft. Skilled artisans with decades of experience expertly craft all our footwear. It's this combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern innovation that makes Birkenstock the go-to choice for quality footwear worn and loved by people all over the world. 

Sustainable materials, production methods and Birkenstock handcraft 


Nature is our greatest inspiration. Only the finest natural materials are selected for Birkenstock footwear. From oiled leather uppers to brass buckles, all our components are chosen for their superior quality and eco-friendly properties, resulting in durable shoes that look and feel great without hurting the planet.

Today, protecting our natural resources is more critical than ever. Sustainability is not just a passing trend for us—it's part of our DNA. The care and preservation of the natural environment have always been our priority, and we continuously strive to improve our materials, production processes, packaging and logistics to protect the planet.

Our commitment to sustainability begins with the materials we use. Many of the natural materials in our footwear come from sustainable sources, like cork, natural latex, jute, leather, wool felt, copper and brass. These materials are chosen not only for their durability and functionality but also for their eco-friendliness.

One of the most important materials we use is cork. Cork, which forms the base of the iconic Birkenstock footbed, is a natural and sustainable product with remarkable properties. High elasticity, outstanding cushioning, and excellent heat and sound insulation are a few of the incredible advantages of natural cork.

Cork is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees in layers, which can be done without harming or felling the tree. After harvesting, the cork layer regenerates, allowing for repeated trimming every seven to nine years. This sustainable harvesting process ensures that cork remains a renewable resource for generations to come.

Natural latex is another key component of our footwear, serving as a primary binding agent in the production of our footbeds. Like cork, natural latex is a renewable resource, produced from the milk of mature rubber trees. Our natural latex offers superior properties such as high elasticity and breathability, making it an ideal choice for high-quality footwear.

Jute, a renewable textile fibre, provides additional stabilisation to the cork and latex core of our footbeds. Harvested from annual plants grown in humid tropical regions, jute is processed and spun into fibres. By incorporating jute into our footbeds, we enhance their durability and stability while reducing our reliance on non-renewable materials.

When it comes to manufacturing and production, we prioritise the use of water-based and solvent-free adhesives. Birkenstock was one of the first footwear manufacturers to adopt these adhesives exclusively, and we continue to work towards reducing the proportion of adhesives that contain solvents. By using environmentally friendly glues, we minimise our carbon footprint and reduce the release of harmful pollutants into the environment.Even today, every step of our production process involves human skill and craftsmanship. We constantly seek innovation, refining our methods and materials while remaining loyal to our artisanal heritage. Birkenstock is a fusion of traditional handcraft and modern, bespoke machinery - a legacy that ensures all our footwear is uniquely comfortable, durable and stylish.

Original, Natural Leather

When it comes to quality footwear, natural leather is king. Leather has been used in footwear for thousands of years and is renowned for its durability, breathability, absorbency and pleasant tactile feel. With its rich patina and timeless appeal, leather also ages well, telling the story of your journey with every step.

Birkenstock leather is of the highest quality, primarily sourced from Europe. Our leather undergoes thorough checks and analyses before it’s selected for production. We prioritise using especially thick, unsplit leather, known for its strength and longevity. This premium leather not only enhances the quality of our footwear but also provides unmatched comfort and style.

By selecting the finest leather and subjecting it to stringent quality control measures, we guarantee that every pair of leather Birkenstocks will deliver superior comfort and satisfaction for our customers. From busy city streets to the great outdoors, you can rely on the stylish durability of Birkenstock leather to keep your feet comfortable and supported.

Full Grain Leather

Full grain leather is the highest quality leather made from the top layer of the animal hide, which retains the natural grain and characteristics of the original skin. It is prized for its durability, strength and natural beauty. Birkenstock full grain leather comes in various finishes, including smooth and tumbled, offering great comfort and a range of special features like breathability, insulation and adaptation to the shape of your foot.

Shop Now

Full Grain Leather

Full grain leather is the highest quality leather made from the top layer of the animal hide, which retains the natural grain and characteristics of the original skin. It is prized for its durability, strength and natural beauty. Birkenstock full grain leather comes in various finishes, including smooth and tumbled, offering great comfort and a range of special features like breathability, insulation and adaptation to the shape of your foot.

Shop Now

Oiled Leather

Another of our preferred natural materials is oiled leather. Birkenstock oiled leather has a very unique aesthetic - the application of oil and wax results in a stunning two-tone effect and enhances the leather's ageing process, giving it a distinctive, textured appearance over time. The combination of oil and wax not only adds depth and character to the leather but also provides additional protection against the elements, making it ideal for outdoor wear.

Shop Now

Oiled Leather

Another of our preferred natural materials is oiled leather. Birkenstock oiled leather has a very unique aesthetic - the application of oil and wax results in a stunning two-tone effect and enhances the leather's ageing process, giving it a distinctive, textured appearance over time. The combination of oil and wax not only adds depth and character to the leather but also provides additional protection against the elements, making it ideal for outdoor wear.

Shop Now

Suede Leather

Birkenstock suede is sanded or buffed on the underside to create a soft, velvety texture. Suede's luxurious and robust feel makes it an ideal choice for comfortable, stylish footwear. Renowned for its comfort, durability and exceptional moisture absorption, suede is a premium wearing experience. Birkenstock suedes undergo rigorous quality checks to ensure they meet our standards for softness, strength and moisture management.

Shop Now

Suede Leather

Birkenstock suede is sanded or buffed on the underside to create a soft, velvety texture. Suede's luxurious and robust feel makes it an ideal choice for comfortable, stylish footwear. Renowned for its comfort, durability and exceptional moisture absorption, suede is a premium wearing experience. Birkenstock suedes undergo rigorous quality checks to ensure they meet our standards for softness, strength and moisture management.

Shop Now

Nubuck Leather

Nubuck leather is crafted from the finest natural leather by delicately buffing the top grain. This meticulous process results in a luxurious material with a distinct velvety texture, offering unparalleled comfort and style. Over time, nubuck leather develops a rich patina, further enhancing its visual appeal and unique character. Its warm smooth touch and evolving aesthetic make it a preferred choice for high-quality footwear.

Shop Now

Nubuck Leather

Nubuck leather is crafted from the finest natural leather by delicately buffing the top grain. This meticulous process results in a luxurious material with a distinct velvety texture, offering unparalleled comfort and style. Over time, nubuck leather develops a rich patina, further enhancing its visual appeal and unique character. Its warm smooth touch and evolving aesthetic make it a preferred choice for high-quality footwear.

Shop Now

Synthetic Materials for Conscious Consumers

Birkenstock’s exclusive synthetics have been expertly developed over many years in a variety of forms. Our innovative, modern synthetics cater to diverse styles and ethical preferences. Engineered for longevity and wearer satisfaction, these vegan materials offer durability and skin-friendliness, making them an excellent choice for those who prefer animal-free options without sacrificing style or function.

Birko Flor®

Birko-Flor® is an exclusive synthetic material developed by Birkenstock. This unique material is skin-friendly, tear-resistant and easy to look after and maintain. Crafted to prioritise your comfort, Birko-Flor® offers a reliable option for those seeking long-lasting footwear. Designed with ease of care in mind, Birko-Flor® simplifies maintenance, allowing you to enjoy stylish footwear without the hassle of extensive cleaning routines.

Shop Now

Birko Flor®

Birko-Flor® is an exclusive synthetic material developed by Birkenstock. This unique material is skin-friendly, tear-resistant and easy to look after and maintain. Crafted to prioritise your comfort, Birko-Flor® offers a reliable option for those seeking long-lasting footwear. Designed with ease of care in mind, Birko-Flor® simplifies maintenance, allowing you to enjoy stylish footwear without the hassle of extensive cleaning routines.

Shop Now

Birkibuc

Birkibuc mirrors the appearance and texture of genuine nubuck leather. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, it offers a strikingly similar look and feel to traditional nubuck. Designed to provide the same tactile experience as authentic leather, Birkibuc offers an innovative modern option for those seeking high-quality footwear. With its resemblance to genuine nubuck, you can enjoy the premium appearance and feel of leather while staying true to your ethical choices and values.

Shop Now

Birkibuc

Birkibuc mirrors the appearance and texture of genuine nubuck leather. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, it offers a strikingly similar look and feel to traditional nubuck. Designed to provide the same tactile experience as authentic leather, Birkibuc offers an innovative modern option for those seeking high-quality footwear. With its resemblance to genuine nubuck, you can enjoy the premium appearance and feel of leather while staying true to your ethical choices and values.

Shop Now

Textiles and Cloth

Birkenstock’s commitment to quality extends to the careful selection of textiles and cloth. From linen, canvas and felt, renowned for their hard-wearing durability to microfibre, prized for its tough tear resistance - Birkenstock footwear incorporates high-quality textiles to offer you more choices when it comes to quality, comfort and style.

Linen and Canvas

Linen, known for its strength and breathability, offers a lightweight and textured feel, perfect for warm weather wear. Canvas, equally durable and versatile, provides a rugged, laid-back aesthetic, making it great for the outdoors. Both materials undergo rigorous quality checks to meet Birkenstock's standards and guarantee longevity and performance.

Linen and Canvas

Linen, known for its strength and breathability, offers a lightweight and textured feel, perfect for warm weather wear. Canvas, equally durable and versatile, provides a rugged, laid-back aesthetic, making it great for the outdoors. Both materials undergo rigorous quality checks to meet Birkenstock's standards and guarantee longevity and performance.

Microfibre

Our vegan microfibre, a staple material in Birkenstock footwear, is skin-friendly and exceptionally durable. If you’re looking for cruelty-free, sustainable alternatives that look and feel like leather, Birkenstock microfibre is perfect. Our micro fibre’s versatility makes it suitable for various shoe styles, from open-toe sandals to closed-toe designs. 

Microfibre

Our vegan microfibre, a staple material in Birkenstock footwear, is skin-friendly and exceptionally durable. If you’re looking for cruelty-free, sustainable alternatives that look and feel like leather, Birkenstock microfibre is perfect. Our micro fibre’s versatility makes it suitable for various shoe styles, from open-toe sandals to closed-toe designs. 

Wool Felt

Wool felt is a time-honoured textile valued for its warmth and comfort. With a legacy dating back to ancient times, wool felt stands for enduring craftsmanship and natural quality. The insulating properties of Birkenstock wool felt guarantee to keep your feet nice and cosy - with our trademark combination of comfort and style.

Wool Felt

Wool felt is a time-honoured textile valued for its warmth and comfort. With a legacy dating back to ancient times, wool felt stands for enduring craftsmanship and natural quality. The insulating properties of Birkenstock wool felt guarantee to keep your feet nice and cosy - with our trademark combination of comfort and style.

The Art of Making Birkenstock Footbeds

The hallmark of Birkenstock footwear is our iconic footbed expertly designed and crafted from high-quality, natural materials. With its anatomically shaped contours, deep heel cup and ample arch support, the Birkenstock footbed promotes natural orthopaedic alignment and helps with common foot problems. The footbed, found in all Birkenstock shoes, stands for our unwavering commitment to quality, comfort and style. 

At the heart of the Birkenstock footbed lie layers of jute, a robust and durable plant-based material, complemented by two grades of granulated cork, all bound together with natural latex milk. These organic elements are then lined with our premium natural leather, resulting in a unique material blend that defines the Birkenstock wearing experience.

The process of moulding and baking the footbed is a critical step in ensuring its integrity and performance. Before baking, we pour the cork and latex mixture into moulds layered with jute. Our skilled artisans meticulously inspect each mould by hand, ensuring that any irregularities are addressed to maintain the integrity of the final product.

The true magic unfolds during the baking process when the cork-latex blend transforms into a single fused footbed. After baking, the footbeds are left to dry for 24 hours, allowing them to fully set and cure. During this time, skilled artisans inspect each footbed for any defects or imperfections. Any problems are addressed through trimming, sanding, and scrubbing.

Once their quality is assured, Birkenstock footbeds undergo sealing and coating procedures to safeguard them against moisture and prolong their lifespan. This attention to quality and detail ensures that every Birkenstock footbed gives you long-lasting comfort and support. 

Birkenstock Buckles, Functional & Stylish Detailing

The buckles on Birkenstock footwear are not just decorative—they serve a functional purpose too. Designed to provide a custom fit, our buckles are adjustable and secure, ensuring that your shoes stay comfortably in place all day long. From classic metal buckles to stylish leather and synthetic accents, Birkenstock offers a range of options to suit your style.

Karl Birkenstock, renowned for his tireless innovation, left a longstanding mark on our buckle heritage. His pursuit of practical, efficient solutions shaped the ethos of simplicity at the heart of every Birkenstock buckle. Inspired by the three-pointed star of Mercedes, Karl envisioned a functional yet uniquely designed buckle, manufactured with elegant simplicity.

Every Birkenstock buckle has a visible superstructure, a pin, and a clip, fastened to the footwear's leather. With a staggering output of up to 1.8 million units daily, our buckle production process begins with rolls of steel, carefully sliced and pressed into shape. The buckles then undergo a deburring process in a wooden drum before they're scrubbed and cleaned with ceramic stones to ensure an immaculate, smooth finish. 

This level of craftsmanship embodies the spirit of Birkenstock, where innovation meets efficiency on a grand scale. From raw material to the finished product, Birkenstock buckles reflect a commitment to quality and excellence - a legacy that continues to drive us forward today.

Human Craftsmanship at Birkenstock

Behind every pair of Birkenstock shoes is a team of skilled artisans dedicated to upholding the brand's legacy of craftsmanship and quality. Each step of the manufacturing process, from cutting and stitching to shaping and moulding the footbed, is carried out with precision and meticulous care. The result is beautiful, highly functional footwear. 

Every pair of Birkenstocks passes through approximately fifty pairs of human hands. From stretching to sculpting, smoothing to setting - each specialised phase contributes to the final outcome.  At the heart of the process lies the footbed - from this foundation, the upper materials are meticulously attached, fastenings secured and outsoles fixed. 

The human touch is the essence of our production process. Over the years, we've honed our methods, materials, and models, while preserving our core principle: a blend of handcraft and bespoke machinery, much of it pioneered by the original Birkenstock family. This synergy is the magic behind our famously comfortable, stylish and high-quality shoes.

Elevating Quality Standards in Fashionable Footwear

Birkenstock's commitment to quality craftsmanship, premium, sustainable materials, and innovative production processes and design sets it apart as a leader in the footwear industry. With a focus on comfort, durability and style, Birkenstock continues to redefine the standards of quality in footwear, providing conscious consumers with stylish and comfortable shoes to stand the test of time.