Why Are Birkenstocks So Expensive? The 11 Reasons Why!

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If your wallet is weeping at the sight of Birkenstock prices, you’re not alone. But before you cast them aside for a pair of bargain flip-flops, I invite you on a journey.


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Why Are Birkenstocks So Expensive

A journey that explores the curious case of these fashion unicorns and why they command such a princely sum. Fasten your (expensive) straps, we have 11 reasons to discuss!

Why are Birkenstocks so expensive?

For context, Birkenstocks are renowned for creating comfortable, timeless, and versatile shoes. It all started in 1774 when Johann Adam Birkenstock founded the company in Germany, and it’s been passed down through the family for generations.

Why Are Birkenstocks So Expensive
The manufacturing and sale of adaptable insoles were commenced by Konrad Birkenstock in 1896 (great-great grandson of Johann Adam Birkenstock)

They can cost anywhere from $100 to over $400!😵‍💫 So, what exactly makes them so pricey?

Many people are often puzzled by the high cost of Birkenstocks shoes, but there are actually 11 reasons why they come with such a hefty price tag!

Why Are Birkenstocks So Expensive?

Quality Materials

Birkenstocks have made a name for themselves due to their unique craftsmanship. I think of Birkenstocks as the premium artisanal cheese of the footwear world.

Can you believe that Birkenstocks have been around for centuries and still maintain their quality?

The expensive materials they’re made with make for a comfy and supportive shoe.

Only the crème de la crème of materials make the cut. From high-grade cork to sumptuous suede, these babies are all about quality, not quantity.

The footbed of each Birkenstock shoe or sandal is made from natural materials, including suede, natural latex, jute, and natural cork. It’s like sipping a vintage wine but for your feet!

Handmade Production

You know how a lot of stuff we buy these days is made by machines and in mass quantities? Well, that’s not the case with Birkenstocks!

Every pair is carefully crafted by hand by skilled artisans who make sure that every single pair is top-notch.

Why Are Birkenstocks Shoes So Expensive
Carl Birkenstock launched training courses and the “Carl Birkenstock System” which gained endorsement from leading physicians and podiatrists in 1932

It takes a lot of time and effort to make each pair of Birkenstocks, with over 100 meticulous hand movements involved in making just one pair of shoes!

That’s why they cost more than those pairs of shoes you find in stores churned out by big factory machines (source).

Birkenstock is all about keeping its signature sandal style true to its German roots. They’re made with exceptional skill and attention to detail by expert craftsmen in Portugal.

Picture a cozy, warm bakery versus a factory production line – which croissant would you rather have?😋

Longevity of Birkenstocks Shoes

Birkenstocks have been popular for a while. But these days, I see them more often as the status quo when I scroll through some of the Facebook groups I frequent.

People love them for their cool style, comfy feel, and solid construction. But let’s be real, they’re not exactly cheap.

However, a lot of folks see buying Birkenstocks as an investment in a quality product rather than just a splurge. And it’s true, these shoes are built to last!

Why Are Birkenstocks Shoes So Expensive
Birkenstock uses a robust, man-made material called Birko-Flor®, which is exclusive to their brand.

They’re made with strong raw materials, careful techniques, and solid construction, all with longevity in mind.

While they don’t come with a lifetime guarantee, many customers, myself included, have found that their Birkenstocks last for years, even when they wear them daily.


If you’re like me and have sensitive feet, the soft-footbed Birkenstocks is a definite must. You can spot them by their blue stamp.

These shoes have a special sole that includes a foam insert made from natural rubber, and it’s packed with millions of tiny air bubbles!🫧

Why Are Birkenstocks Shoes So Expensive

It quickly became a popular orthopedic choice for both professionals and individuals seeking more comfortable shoes for daily use.

Birkenstock sandals are super comfy and supportive. The footbed is molded to fit your feet perfectly, unlike regular sandals that can hurt your feet over time.

That’s what makes them even more comfy than your regular Birkenstocks. Please don’t take my word for it! Read these reviews to see why Birks are worth the extra money!


Birkenstock isn’t just your average shoe brand – they’re on a mission to save the planet, one step at a time!

By using organic and raw materials, they’re able to create high-quality footwear that’s free from harsh chemicals and remarkably eco-friendly! (source).

Jute, a natural fiber, is a renewable resource like cork.
Natural latex
Natural latex, a versatile substance used in a variety of products, is sourced straight from the resin of rubber trees.

Not only does this make their shoes more durable and comfy, but it also helps protect the environment by leaving a smaller carbon footprint.

If I might add, in an era where going green is the new black, Birkenstocks are a fashion statement with a conscience.

Limited Distribution

Birkenstocks aren’t just thrown around like confetti at any shoe store. Nope, they’re the exclusive guest at select retailers.

When looking for Birkenstock sandals, it may be difficult to find a retailer that carries the footwear.

This limited distribution helps maintain their mystique and value.

Though the brand is widely recognized and sought after by many shoppers, they are only accessible in certain stores or online retailers. Here are some of them:

Birkenstock Women's Open-Back
  • At Birkenstock, tradition and heritage are important hallmarks of a brand that dates back not years or even decades, but...
  • Arch support
  • Classic comfort
  • Iconic styling

Last update on 2024-05-17 at 15:32 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Brand Reputation

Birkenstocks have a rep to protect – over two centuries of German craftsmanship can’t be wrong!

Birkenstocks are the perfect complement to light and flowy outfits, adding a touch of clunky charm.

At Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020, model Kiki Willems rocked brown Birkenstocks with an oversized blue dress, and it was stunning.

Based on my research, even famous designers like Marc Jacobs are jumping on board and featuring this classic shoe in their ads.

And if you’re a fan of celebrity fashion, you’ll notice that stars like Tracee Ellis Ross and Jason Momoa love to show off their unique style with Birkenstocks.

This isn’t just a brand; it’s a legacy. And when you’re investing in Birkenstocks, you’re becoming part of that storied history.

Market Demand

Despite their relatively high prices, stocks of Birkenstocks consistently sell out. It begs the question, why are people so willing to pay high prices for a seemingly basic sandal?

I believe this lies in classic economics and the idea of perceived value. While there may be cheaper alternatives to Birkenstock sandals, consumers feel that they are worth investing in due to their association with fashion icons and their reputation for being comfortable yet stylish.

Birkenstocks are simply the cool kid everyone wants at their party. Their popularity alone keeps the price tag up there with the stars.


You might think that a comfortable pair of shoes can’t also be stylish, but that’s not the case with Birkenstocks!

are Birkenstocks worth it

When it comes to Birkenstock shoes, every little detail and layer has a specific purpose and function in mind.

And get this, the materials used are actually certified and meticulously chosen to make sure that the shoe is top-notch in terms of quality, functionality, and how long it lasts.


While some people might say they have a “biblical flair,” there are actually many different styles to choose from. That means there’s a perfect Birkenstock model for everyone!

International Manufacturing

Tucked away in a tranquil corner of Germany, Birkenstock’s headquarters might as well be a well-guarded fortress, comfortably distant from the buzz of major shipping terminals.

So, what’s the implication of this isolation? Well, it’s a bit like having a long-distance relationship with their retailers. More miles traveled equals more dollars spent. But for Birkenstock, it’s a small price to pay for quality.

While other shoe companies are cranking out footwear like there’s no tomorrow, Birkenstock takes a more measured approach. Their CEO, Oliver Reichert, sums it up beautifully:

It’s easy to fix an issue if your production is just around the corner, impossible to do so if you hand over production to a third party on the other side of the globe.


This philosophy keeps their production facilities snug at home. And global outsourcing? Not on Birkenstock’s watch!

Ethical Production Methods

Unlike many other well-known companies, Birkenstock is dedicated to maintaining ethical production methods.

Their products are made responsibly, with care for our planet and society. They have deep respect for ethical and environmental standards set by Germany and Europe.

Birkenstock materials

They provide their workers with a livable wage, and their shoes are all made in Germany, in a safe and pleasant workplace.

Personally, it is reassuring to know that the brand manufactures its shoes in a favorable working environment in Germany, ensuring that the workers are treated with respect and dignity while producing high-quality products.

birkenstocks sole 1

I’ve gotta say, owning a pair of Birkenstocks has been a game-changer for me. These shoes provide supreme comfort!

The cork footbed, responsibly harvested from cork oak trees, is like a little slice of heaven, molding perfectly to the shape of my feet and giving me just the right amount of support.

And the best part? They’re super durable, so I don’t have to worry about them falling apart after a few wears.

Plus, knowing that they’re ethically made, and the workers are treated well makes me feel even better about wearing them. 

The Best Birkenstock to Buy First

Thinking of buying your first pair of Birkenstocks but feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the options out there? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

Since this is your first purchase, I strongly recommend one of the five most wanted Birkenstock shoes:

Birkenstock Arizona

If you’re in the market for a comfortable and stylish sandal, you can’t go wrong with the Birkenstock Arizona!

With a wide range of colors and materials, this classic two-strap design is a favorite for its unbeatable support and cushioning.

Whether running errands around town or hanging out at the beach, the Arizona is the perfect sandal for any occasion.

Birkenstock Mayari

The Birkenstock Mayari is a versatile sandal that is suitable for whether you’re dressing up for a night out or go for a long walk around town.

With its unique criss-cross strap design, the Mayari is a trendy take on the classic Birkenstock sandal.

This is actually a personal fave!

Birkenstock Gizeh

If you’re on the hunt for a stylish and comfortable thong sandal, look no further than the Birkenstock Gizeh.

With its iconic design, the Gizeh features a single strap that wraps around the base of your foot and a toe post that separates your toes for a secure fit.

Birkenstock Boston

If you’re looking for a comfortable and stylish clog, check out the Birkenstock Boston!

The Boston features a closed-toe front and an adjustable strap that wraps around your ankle for a secure fit.

With its sleek design, it’s a great choice if you want something that’s stylish and practical at the same time.

Birkenstock Madrid

With its simple yet timeless design, the Madrid features a single strap that runs across the top of your foot, providing a secure fit.

Want to try a minimalist and classic sandal? Then give the Birkenstock Madrid a try!

Is Birkenstock Worth The Money?

Short answer: Yes, Birkenstock is worth the money.

Long answer: Dropping a hefty sum on a pair of Birkenstocks might seem daunting, but rest assured, it’s a decision that will have your feet (and wallet) thanking you in the long run.

The brand’s commitment to utilizing superior materials, such as natural cork and plush leather, is nothing short of a love letter to your feet. This is comfort redefined for everyday use.

But the Birkenstock story isn’t just about comfort. Their eco-friendly ethos means that they’ve invested big in sustainable materials. It’s a win-win – they create standout, diverse footwear collections while also keeping Mother Earth in the loop. Isn’t that a great deal?

Is Birkenstock Worth The Money

What keeps me loyal to Birkenstock, aside from the undeniable comfort, is their uncanny knack for durability and staying on the pulse of fashion. These sandals are the rare blend of trendy aesthetics and practicality – a sartorial unicorn if you will!

Birkenstock’s fervor for fashion ensures that every penny you invest is well accounted for, transforming your purchase into a long-term commitment rather than a fleeting fling. <- Yeah, I said that!

It’s this dedication that keeps their loyal customer base (myself included) coming back for more. So, is Birkenstock worth the investment? In my book, it’s a resounding yes!

Birkenstock Splurge or Save?

Birkenstock shoes are awesome, but they can be a bit pricey.

If you’re on a budget but still want a pair of shoes that are comfortable and durable, don’t worry! There are plenty of Birkenstock alternatives that won’t break the bank.

Let’s take a look at some of the best affordable options out there.

Check out more Birkenstock alternatives below:

FAQ About Birkenstock

Is it OK for Birkenstocks to get wet?

While some Birkenstock styles tolerate water, immersing most models can damage their material and alter their appearance. If they get wet, let them air-dry naturally, avoiding direct heat.

Why are Birkenstocks so good for your feet?

Birkenstocks excel in foot comfort and support because their cork footbed adapts to your foot’s shape. This custom fit evenly distributes body weight, alleviating pressure points and mitigating common foot issues.

Does Birkenstock have discounts?

Yes, Birkenstock occasionally offers discounts. Stay updated by checking their website, subscribing to their newsletter, or monitoring authorized retailers for potential deals on Birkenstock products. My favorite retailers are Zappos and DSW.

Are Birkenstocks considered luxury?

Whether Birkenstocks are considered luxury is subjective. Some view their price point as indicative of luxury, while others see them as mid-range. Known for their durability and comfort, they’re a worthwhile investment, if not universally deemed luxury. They’re undeniably a high-quality and esteemed footwear brand.

How to care for Birkenstock

Taking good care of your Birkenstocks can significantly extend their lifespan. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Avoid Excessive Water Exposure: While some Birkenstock styles can handle a bit of water, prolonged or frequent exposure can damage the material. If they do get wet, let them air-dry naturally, away from direct heat.
  2. Clean Regularly: Use a damp cloth to wipe away dirt and grime. For a deeper clean, use mild soap and a soft brush. Always air-dry them afterward.
  3. Use the Birkenstock Care Kit: This kit includes a cork sealer to prevent the cork from drying out and cracking, a water and stain repellent for the upper material, and a cleaner and refresher for the footbed.
  4. Rotate Your Birkenstocks: Just like any other pair of shoes, Birkenstocks need a day off every now and then. This allows the material to breathe and recover its shape.
  5. Store Properly: Keep them in a cool, dry place and avoid direct sunlight, which can cause the materials to fade or degrade over time.

Remember, regular maintenance can add years to your Birkenstocks, making them a truly sustainable footwear choice!

How to care for Birkenstock


So, in the grand game of Footwear Monopoly, Birkenstock’s not just playing, they’re owning the board. Their steep prices? Justified. The reasons are as clear as a summer day.

Imagine shoes that cuddle your feet like puppies and mold to their every contour. That’s Birkenstock for you! And let’s not forget the smorgasbord of styles and colors they serve up. They’re like the buffet you never knew your feet needed.

And they aren’t just about looking good; they’re also about doing good. Buying Birkenstocks is like giving Mother Earth a high-five, thanks to their commitment to sustainability and eco-friendliness.

But the cherry on top? Slipping into these sandals can be like visiting a chiropractor – for your feet. Improving posture, easing foot woes, and even helping your back pain take a hike.

That’s Birkenstock – more than just a pretty shoe.🤷🏾‍♀️


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