I absolutely love my Birkenstock sandals. All of them. Each and every model. If the weather would just cooperate, I would wear my sandals 365 days a year. Living in the Bay Area that is just not possible. Winter weather around here brings cold temperatures and rain. Since I am not a fan of wearing socks with my Birkenstock sandals, I reach for my winter boots when the cold weather arrives.
When it comes to Birkenstock boots, I have mixed feelings about them. I really like my Birkenstock Stowe boots. They remind me of a more feminine and more modern motorcycle boot.
Stowes are clunky and have a great sole which helps prevent slipping. I do not mind clunky on occasion. After all, I lived through the 90s in my Doc Martens. However, sometimes, a girl wants a more feminine style and the Stowe just doesn’t cut it for dressier occasions. I do not have an issue with Birkenstock sandals being too casual. I can easily dress up any model of Birkenstock sandals. Birkenstock sandals I can wear to work, my Birkenstock boots are weekend wear only.
Sometimes I feel like my UGGs are more easy to gussy up than a pair of Birkenstock boots. Fortunately, the Birkenstock boot insoles are removable. If you read my blog, “Birkenstock Shearling Lined Shoes”, you know that I use my Birkenstock insoles in my UGG boots. Thereby creating the ultimate boot; a complete shearling lined boot with the unparalleled arch support of a Birkenstock footbed.
I thought that Birkenstock had finally created the ultimate boot when I first came across the Birkenstock Woodbury. Birkenstock footbed and shearling! What could be better?
I ordered a pair from Nordstrom in January 2016 and when they arrived I was extremely disappointed. These boots only had shearling from the calf down to the ankle. It is like wearing a $220+ leg warmer. The marvelous arch support is the only reason that I kept these boots. I thought I could overlook the lack of shearling on the footbed and in the toe box by wearing them with a thick pair of Smartwool socks. Unfortunately, even my ultra thick ski boot socks could not keep my feet warm in the Woodbury boots.
I actually felt like my feet got colder when I wore my Woodbury boots. I wore them occasionally for 3 months last winter and stuck them in the back of my closet when Spring arrived. It was only a few weeks ago that I pulled them back out of my closet to give them a second chance. I put a pair of UGG replacement shearling liners on top of the footbed of my Woodbury boots hoping that my feet would stay warmer. My feet did stay warm, but I got the biggest blister of my life on my heel after wearing them for a few short hours.
Mind you, these boots never gave me a blister in past. When I took my boots off, I felt around in the shoe and found that the shearling lining had worn away at the heel and the seam at back of the shoe was protruding onto my heel. Did I get a defective pair of Woodbury Birkenstocks? I only wore these boots occasionally over the course of three months, less than one year ago, and the inside was completely worn out in the right boot.
I had paid full price for the Woodbury boots and was extremely upset by how the shearling lining seemed to have disintegrated in one boot. My sister in law mentioned that Nordstrom has an incredible return policy. I picked up the phone and called Nordstrom to see if they might be able to help me fix the defective boot.
Nordstrom’s customer services was incredible, they told me I could exchange the boots for a new pair or return the boot for a full refund. This was the first pair of Birkenstocks that I have ever had an issue with and I decided to return them. I put that money towards a higher quality winter boot. I bought a beautifully crafted pair of Frye boots that are completely lined with shearling. It is not my first pair of Frye’s and certainly not my last. Frye has been making boots in the USA since 1863!
Another model of Birkenstock boots that appear to have shearling lining are the Westfords. Do not be fooled though, just like the Woodburys, the Westfords only provide shearling from the calf to the ankle.
One of the major issues I have with the Westford boot is that they have not conformed to my feet. I have never had a leather Birkenstock shoe not mold to my feet over time. The Westfords are made out of suede and I thought there would be no problem breaking in these boots. Unfortunately, the instep is just not stretching out enough for me.
In fact, I was wearing these the other day and said something about Birkenstocks that I have never said before. I told my husband, “My Birkenstocks are hurting my feet. I need to take them off and put on my UGGs”. My husband was so astonished by the words that he did a double take and asked me to repeat myself!
Even though I have not had success with the Woodbury or Westford models, I have not given up on Birkenstock boots. Recently I purchased the Farmington and Sarina models. They appear more dressy than the other Birkenstock boot models that I have tried.
Sadly, I returned both boots. The shaft of the Farmington is too narrow for someone with athletic calves. The Sarina would have been the perfect boot if it just had a full side zipper. I literally worked up a sweat trying to put my foot into the Sarina. The only way I could get my foot into this boot was without socks!! What’s the point of wearing a winter boot without socks?
Although Birkenstock boots provide more arch support compared to other boots I have owned, they do not provide the exact same amount of overall foot support as a Birkenstock sandal. I think there are two reasons for this problem. First, one typically needs to size up when wearing a closed toe Birkenstock. Sizing up means that the arch support may not be in the exact same spot as on a Birkenstock sandal. Second, there is no toe bar on the footbed of Birkenstock boots.
When I toured Birkenstock USA, I learned that the toe bar is essential on sandals to prevent the foot from slipping forward when walking. However, in a Birkenstock closed toe shoe, the toe bar is absent from the footbed because one’s foot is held in place by the material of the shoe. Personally, I miss the toe bar in Birkenstock boots and thus feel that they do not provide the same metatarsal support as Birkenstock sandals.
While I do enjoy my Birkenstock Stowe boots, I have mixed feelings about other models of Birkenstock boots. Birkenstock has been crafting incredible sandals since 1774 and has only recently begun making boots. Maybe I will try another model of Birkenstock boots in the future. For now, I will stick with my Birkenstock sandals.
What Birkenstock boots have you tried? Did you have a positive or negative experience with Birkenstock boots? Send me a message and let me know your thoughts.
Birkenstock blogger since 2016.