What Are Birkenstock Sandals Made Of?

Materials Used to Make Birkenstock Sandals

Most Birkenstock sandals are made with leather upper and cork footbed. The leather can be nubuck, oiled leather, suede, or full-grain calfskin. The casual footwear brand also features other branded synthetic leathers: birkibuc and birko–flor.

Aside from natural and synthetic leathers, some Birkenstocks sandals are made with textile materials like canvas, felted wool, and microfiber fabric.

What is Birkenstock Upper Made Of?

The upper part and straps of Birkenstock sandals are made with various materials ranging from synthetic to natural. Perhaps this Birkenstock material comparison below will help you grasp the footwear brand better.

Related: Birko-Flor vs Leather Birkenstock

1. Oiled Leather

Oiled tanned leather is sleek and tough. It is made by treating natural leather with wax and oil to protect it, make it supple, and improve its aging effect.

Birks sandals made with oiled leather are soft, comfortable, and easy to break-in. Their quality appearance makes it one of the best (if not the best) you can find.

2. Nubuck Leather

Nubuck leather is another natural material used as upper material for the German footwear brand. It is made by sanding the outer layer of leather to create a fuzzy and velvety feel.

It is a high-quality material remarkable for its durability, comfort, feels, and class. Many styles of Birkenstock feature this material like the Arizona, Mayari, Gizeh, Boston, name it!

Related: Nubuck Leather vs Oiled-Leather Birkenstock

3. Suede

Nubuck and suede leathers have the closest physical similarity. Suede, unlike nubuck, is made by sanding the inner layer of natural leather. This creates a fuzzy and napped finish.

Suede is soft; more like velour on touch. It is comfortable to wear, and durable. The Arizona style of suede Birkenstocks is probably the most classic. You might like it.

4. Birko-Flor

Birko-flor is a patented synthetic leather made up of two layers. The outer layer is made from smooth polyvinyl chloride (PVC) while the inner layer is a soft fleece felt.

A peculiar attribute of the birko-flor material is its smoothness and shiny appearance. Birko-flor birk sandals are easy to clean, do not require time to break in, and are cheap compared to oiled leather and nubuck.

You will find it featured in different styles of Birkenstock: ArizonaGizehMayari, etc.

Related: Birkibuc vs Birko-Flor:  Quality Comparison and Differences

5. Birkibuc

Birkibuc is a synthetic Birkenstock upper material made from acrylic and polyamide felt fiber. During production, the material is buffed to create physical qualities that resemble natural nubuck leather. Hence it is called synthetic nubuck leather.

It is the closest option if you are looking for natural leather alternatives. Birkibuc is soft on the skin, easy to clean, and also looks classy.

Although it is available in different styles, Arizona Birkibuc tends to stand out in terms of originality and styling.

6. Canvas/Linen

Canvas was historically made from hemp. Presently, they are predominantly made from cotton and polyvinyl chloride. The linen/canvas material is traditionally used for clothes subject to heavy wear. That is probably the reason it is used as a material for Birkenstock sandals.

Read Also: Birkenstock vs Crocs: Which is Better?

7. Wool Felt

Wool felt is a composite material made by pressing wool fibers together to form a sheet. It is usually very dense and has matte finishing.

It is one of the oldest types of textile and it is applied as an upper material in some Birkenstock slippers.

Wool felt has some features that might interest you. Wool felts have good thermal insulation, do not lose easily, and have high shock absorption properties.

8. Microfibre

Microfiber is a tear-resistant synthetic material that consists of polyester and polyamide. It is soft and skin-friendly.

Birkenstock brands sandals made from microfiber as a vegan style. It is therefore an option you might want to consider if you are a vegan, or looking for vegan-friendly sandals.

Read Also: Birkenstock vs Papillio: Differences & Comparison

What is Birkenstock Footbed Made Of?

1. Cork/Latex Footbed

The Birkenstock footbed is made up of four distinct layers consisting of four different materials:

  • Jute
  • Natural cork
  • Natural latex
  • Suede
Birkenstock Cork/Latex Footbed Structure
Source: Birkenstock

The footbed is made by mixing soft and coarse cork granules with natural latex. It is then baked in between two layers of jute. These layers of plant fiber stabilize the cork-latex footbed and increase its moisture-regulating properties.

Following the top jute layer is a suede leather lining. This is the part that comes in contact with the foot.

Suede is breathable because it has open pores. It is gentle and soft to the skin, and gradually takes the shape of the foot contour. These features combine to create a comfortable foot climate.

Read Also: Vans or Converse for Walking?

2. EVA Footbed

Birkenstock EVA sandals do not carry the regular cork/latex footbed. They are built with the ones made from the material called Ethyl Vinyl Acetate.

The EVA footbed is light, elastic, and has a very high shock absorption property. It has good traction and is water-resistant. The same material is majorly used in running and walking shoes.

Read Also: EVA vs TPR vs Rubber Sole: Which is Better?

What is Birkenstock Outsole Made Of?

Birkenstock EVA outsole

At the bottom of the Birkenstock sandals is an EVA molded outsole. Ethyl Vinyl Acetate (EVA) sole is a stable material heavily used in sneakers. It has high shock absorption strength and does not collapse easily.

With the EVA sole and cork and latex footbed, Birkenstock creates sandals that are flexible, shock-absorbing, and reduces pressure on the foot on every strike.


Which Birkenstock material is the best?

Leathers (oiled, full-grain, nubuck, and suede) are the best Birkenstock sandal materials. This does not mean that other materials are not worth it. 

But Leather birk sandals have every good feature you could desire in footwear. They are durable, comfortable, get better with age, breathable, and take the shape of your feet with use. It is a material attributed to high luxury; think about how classy you would be in a pair.

What are Birkenstock buckles made of?

Birkenstock buckles are made of nickel-free metal. They are further enameled multiple times to protect them from corrosion. During the enameling process, powdered glass is fused to the metal at a high temperature.

Where does Birkenstock leather come from?

Birkenstock leather sandals are manufactured in Germany. The leather they used comes from calves (calfskin leather). The leather used as the inner lining is real lambskin.

Take Away… 

Still, wondering what Birkenstock sandals are made from? Well, this post must have revealed all you could want to know about the materials that make up that unique summer and casual footwear brand.

If you are hoping to get any of the pairs soon, consider checking Amazon. However, you should read the product description properly and also observe the material of any style you wish to add to your cart.

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