Since 1774, we here at Birkenstock have been thinking of ways that we – the inventor of the footbed – can make the lives of our customers better and richer with a good shoe for all situations in life.
In an overwhelmingly price-driven consumer world that seems to be dominated by cheap products from low-wage economies, Birkenstock’s premium products offer an alternative for all those who place value on quality.
That’s why we manufacture our sandals in Germany under the best conditions for our brand in our own production facilities, making use of an extensive amount of handwork. Depending on the model, a sandal’s production involves up to 17 stages. It takes more than 100 highly skilled hand movements to make our finished closed-toe models. Closed-toe shoes are made in workshops in Portugal in accordance with the principles of a centuries-old tradition of hand craftsmanship.
Whether they are produced by hand or using industrial methods, all Birkenstock products meet the highest quality standards. We make just as few compromises when we source our materials – cork, natural latex, copper, brass, wool felt and the finest leather – as we do when we process them. Our raw materials come from sustainable natural resources and, where possible, we source them in Europe.
At the heart of our products is our unique, anatomically shaped footbed. Birkenstock invented the footbed and has also shaped the meaning of the term “footbed,” which is so common today. At the end of the 19th century, Konrad Birkenstock had the visionary idea of manufacturing a footbed insole from a flexible cork and latex blend – an alternative to the rigid insoles that had mostly been made from metal up to that point. The footbed is not only a unique product concept that paved the way for a completely new market, it is also a core idea and a reference point for everything that we do, both now and in the future.
A footbed for everyone
The footbed is based on the cast of a healthy foot in the sand, ensuring that feet feel as comfortable as possible for hours on end. We still develop shoes that promote health and well-being, aided in this task by our wealth of experience.
Since 1774, not much has changed in terms of our ethos and vision. We want to provide people around the world with access to a healthy, comfortable and affordable footbed. And we believe that there are three factors that make an item a favourite product for so many customers: it feels fantastic, it is made according to the highest quality standards and it lasts as long as possible.
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