Everything You Need to Know About the Iconic BIRKENSTOCK Footbed

Could you ever imagine that walking in a sandal could be as relaxing as walking on a beach? We couldn’t either, before BIRKENSTOCK came in and redefined what comfort meant for footwear. A family company now run by the sixth generation, BIRKENSTOCK has always been innovative, functional, and exceptional from the very beginning.

The BIRKENSTOCK footbed form the soul of all their footwear models. In fact, the term “footbed” was coined by BIRKENSTOCK in the 1930s for anatomically shaped insoles. Designed to maintain healthy feet, it was quite an advanced invention at the time. An idea revolutionized by Karl Birkenstock in the 1960s, that too in his home oven, marked the conception of the cork-latex footbed as we know it today.

The Unique Construction

Designed to maintain the natural ease and position of the feet during both movement and rest, the contoured footbed is carefully engineered to provide more than just comfort. It also aids in walking and protects the ankles from twisting.

  1. Heel Cup and Heel Arch: The deep heel cup nestles and grips the heel in its natural position. The outer heel arch promotes smooth movement, while preventing the foot from twisting. Together, they support the back of the foot, activate calf muscles, and help in a straight gait and coordination of the various foot muscles and joints.


  1. Longitudinal Arch Support: This outer arch surrounds the tarsal bones, stabilizing and strengthening the foot while walking. It helps foot coordination while walking and stabilizes the back of the foot.


  1. Transverse Arch Support: This runs through the middle of the footbed along the curves of your feet and supports the metatarsal bone. It eases pressure on the balls of the feet and helps maintain a natural stance and solid balance.


  1. Toe Grip: The raised indentations allow the toes to rest in their natural position. This supports the natural rolling motion of walking.


  1. Footbed Edge: A noticeably raised footbed edge protects the toes as the foot muscle flexes for walking.

The Sustainable Material

The materials used to make each layer of the footbed are sustainably sourced and produced. Even the adhesive used to bond layers together is water-soluble. High-quality materials ensure superior functionality.

  1. The EVA outsole is flexible and provides stability.

  2. The adhesive binds the sole and a coarse jute layer together.

  3. The coarse jute layer forms a base for the upper layers.

  4. The cork and latex core absorbs shock and supports the feet. This is the heart of the footbed.

  5. The fine jute layer adds durability, flexibility, and moisture absorption.

  6. The permanently elastic latex cushion aids better gait.

  7. The moisture-wicking suede lining maintains the foot climate and provides softness and comfort.

Footbed Variants

Always focused on refinement and offering more than customer expectation, BIRKENSTOCK developed a few variants in the footbed as well. This shows the commitment they have towards their craft and the consumers. Their desire to create and provide never ceases.

Soft Footbed: an extra layer of foam insert is added to make the soft-footbed for people who like an added bit of comfort.

Shearling-Lined Footbed: A winter-perfect variant, it comes lined with shearling for extra warmth.

Deep Blue Footbed: Designs like Honnef are based on this footbed that aims to provide relief to pressure points on the soles.

Width: The footbed is available in regular as well as narrow width for people with slimmer feet. That’s what we call attention to detail!

BIRKENSTOCK is set apart by its USP: the iconic footbed. In the brand’s own words, it is often copied but never equaled. To experience the luxury and comfort of the unique footbed, shop your favorite BIRKENSTOCKS now!


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