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Birkenstock for Women - Which is Better? Soft Footbed Birkenstocks, Regular Sole or High Arch?

Updated on February 13, 2013

How do you know which style of Birkenstock footbed to buy online?

Birkenstock are renowned for their comfortable hard-wearing high quality footwear. How do you know which style of to buy online? Read these reviews.

There are three main sole types of Birkenstock for Women, soft footbed Birkenstocks, regular footbed and high arch support soles. Custom orthotic soles can be made but are in limited locations, so we'll show you how to choose the best Birkenstock sole for your foot. Hundreds of reviews have been analysed and the highlights are here for you.

Birkenstock Sandal Options

The Birkenstock name appears on a variety of sandals and shoes. The appearance of the high-quality leather upper can be chosen to suit your taste and needs. More importantly, the correct comfortable footbed needs to be selected first for maximum arch support and comfort.

Obviously, everyone has different needs. Contact your family doctor or Podiatrist if you are experiencing issues with your feet. This article on Birkenstock foot bed options is to help guide you when online shipping to buy a suitable comfortable sandal your foot and needs.

Birkenstock for Women - Comparison of the 3 main types of footbed - Table by Skeffling compiled on Birkenstock USA Website Info

Main Differences Between the Birkenstock Footbed Types

Summary of the Above Table

As you can see the main differences are:

- Soft footbed has the spongy layer in the sole under the suede top liner which helps cushion the foot when the natural foot padding is less.

- The high arch footbed does not have the additional cushioning, but has a deeper heel cup, and higher Median (main) arch and Metatarsal arch, which goes across under the front pad of the foot.

Soft Footbed Birkenstock Sandals

Amazon Customer Reviews (excerpts)

  • "The way the insole conforms to my foot makes these feel like

    they are a part of me, which is why they can feel better than barefoot."

  • "Much more comfortable than the hard bed originals"
  • "The soft footbed feels great and is definitely worth the extra


  • "The soft footbed is great for me since I have flat feet"
  • "these soft footpads are even more comfortable and have helped

    sore heels and feet"

  • "The soft footbed is excellent - this is the ONLY pair of sandals

    I can walk for ever in"

  • "From the first minute I put them on, it was like they became

    part of my foot!"

Just a couple of reviews of the soft footbed Birkenstock (out of over 30) said they couldn't tell the difference or they preferred the original footbed.

According to Birkenstock, the natural padding in the foot diminishes with age. Extra cushion padding for the sole may be a great option then. For individuals with Plantar fasciitis, having a well-padded heel area in the footwear (as well as full arch support) is recommended to decrease pain and the soft footbed should meet that need.

High Arch Footbed Birkenstock Sandals

Amazon Customer Reviews (excerpts)

  • "These actually give better support than my custom orthotics!!"
  • "The only shoes to wear if you have high arches - with these I no

    longer use the inserts that I got from the doctor, so I can wear

    sandals again"

  • "Great for my foot problems, my high arch is always killing me

    & this takes away all the pain."

The high arch footbed Birkenstocks have only been available for a couple of years. There are limited styles in the high arch footbed sandals, so there are just a few customer reviews, all very positive.

According to Birkenstock, the high arch footbeds provide aggressive arch support. For some, the high arch footbed will be too much and will push the foot out of the natural position. Those with flat pronated feet may find the high arch footbed uncomfortable to wear and may find the original footbed Birkenstocks more suitable.

Original Regular Footbed Birkenstocks

The original footbeds are a compromise between the high arch and soft footbed Birkenstocks. They are the original and suit a large percentage of the population. The high arch and soft footbeds appear to be more specialized for very high arches needing orthotic support or lower arches with additional padding needs.

Most likely, the original footbed Birkenstocks are most likely to suit the online shopper, but proper width and length sizing, and adjustment of the straps is required. If in doubt, go for a fitting at a quality shoe store.

Fancy Birkenstock Sandals

Check out the Birkenstock for Women above.

Successful online Birkenstock shoe shopping should now just be a matter of choosing a great top leather style and colour that suits you. Often after ordering one pair with the perfect fits-like-a-glove footbed design, buying extra Birkenstock for women sandals with different styles of straps and colours for different occasions is inevitable!

Bear in mind Birkenstocks fit long and wide. So if in doubt order down a size.

Please vote us up if you found our Birkenstock footbed article helpful!

More Comfortable footwear for feet that need (and LOVE) it!

Want more extremely comfortable shoe and footwear information on rain Boots and Birkenstocks, check these links out!

Birkenstock for Women - Check these out or search on your own!

How do you love your Birkenstock for Women Sandals? - Or this article....hmm maybe?

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    • Shades-of-truth profile image

      Emily Tack 

      4 years ago from USA

      The comparisons are GREAT! I have high arches, and have a terrible time finding sandals to wear. Thank you - great Lens!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I love Birkenstock, I am a vet nurse and stand on my feet up to 14 hours a day and have developed heel spurs which are very painful to walk and stand on. When I come home from work and put on my Birkenstocks Madrid sandals my feet feel so much better and it helps with the pain a lot. I have just ordered a pair of the Boston clogs to wear for work and looking forward to finishing work each day without being in so much pain from wearing normal shoes which do not offer the support of Birkenstocks. Thank you Birkenstock, I will always own several pairs from now on :)

    • hovirag profile image


      5 years ago

      I love the way you compared them and gave us all the benefits - I do prefer to have a Birkenstock sandal for everyday use in the summer

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 

      5 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      What a fantastic, thorough review of Birkenstocks!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great info here! Birckenstocks are so comfy.

    • skefflingecho profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Tobermory Ontario

      @anonymous: Hi Linda, The soft insole Brikesstock sandals work for me for my plantar facsiitis pain. I have orthotics that I don't often wear, but have my Birks as slippers in the house or anytime there is no snow on the ground I have them on! I hope they help.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Linda I have plantar fasciitis also and want to order my Birkenstocks -can you tell me do I need a Birkenstock shoe with an enclosed heel or do the clogs also work for the heel pain?

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 

      6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thanks for the detailed info about Birkenstocks.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image


      6 years ago from Canada

      I haven't tried these shoes, but I understand they give great support and comfort to the feet.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I was raised in Birkenstocks and clogs, each time we visit my family in Germany I stock up on them....I have chronic plantar fasciitis and swear by Birkenstock!!!

    • Carashops profile image


      6 years ago

      I love my Birkenstocks. I can walk for miles in them.

    • CoolFool83 profile image


      6 years ago

      Some many different options available for women. Awesome lense!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have never had these but will have to have a look now as they look comfortable

    • dainthedude profile image


      6 years ago

      I always thought Birkenstocks were funny looking shoes, but now i'm digging them. I might just buy a pair!

    • Rangoon House profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      Mmmm - I know all the advantages, but still need something prettier. Great lens though - I did appreciate it and certainly considered it all to have reached this point.

    • skefflingecho profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Tobermory Ontario

      @earthybirthymum: Hey thanks for dropping in! I totally agree with you Earthybirthymama. It's either Birkenstocks or boots for me too!

    • earthybirthymum profile image


      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You can't go wrong with Birkenstocks! It's really the only thing i wear with the exception of boots when the snow gets too deep.


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