Summer has arrived. It’s time to pack up your sandals and pull out your warm shoes. If you live in the Bay Area, you know what I mean. Summer by the Bay means thick blankets of fog and cool temperatures. Bay Area residents likely won’t need their summer sandals until late September.
With record low temps on the horizon for the Bay Area this week, it seems as good a time as any to discuss Birkenstock shearling lined shoes. When Birkenstock began to market their shearling lined Arizona and Boston models, I was intrigued. Could Birkenstock have created the perfect winter shoe for my needs? Support and warmth, sounds delightful. I am a sucker for shearling lined shoes.
I have been wearing UGG boots for several winters. I love the warmth that their shearling lined boots provide, however, they lack any type of arch support. Adding an over the counter arch support never worked in my UGGs. For awhile, I was willing to overlook the lack of arch support because my UGG Brooks reminded me of an updated version of Doc Martens. Then one day, after wearing UGGs for 12 hours, I had the worst back discomfort of my life. It lasted a few days. I was no longer willing to ignore body pain for a pair of UGGs.
I ordered a pair of shearling lined Birkenstock Bostons in hopes that they would become my new winter shoe. I was willing to turn a blind eye to the price tag, if these worked for my needs. My motto is quality over quantity. I would be satisfied with one good pair of toasty winter shoes vs many pairs of less supportive shoes.
When I slipped my foot into the Bostons, the shearling lining felt heavenly. I ordered my regular size and the fit was ideal. I immediately felt the arch support. I put the other shoe on and assumed these would be keepers. However, with the very first step, I noticed something in the shoe. I thought it was a loose piece of paper from the packaging. I took off the shoe to pull out the paper, only to discover that the roughness was from the seam where the shearling lining had been glued to the footbed.
If you have ever worn UGGs you know that their shearling lined shoes are well constructed. Their shearling lining is thick, supple, fuzzy perfection. I have never had an issue of my foot rubbing against a glued seam in my UGGs. I thought perhaps the Bostons I ordered were fakes, even though I purchased through a reputable online shoe store.
I believe in second chances, so I ordered another pair of Bostons. This time, I placed my order directly through BirkenstockUSA. Unfortunately, when those shoes arrived, I experienced the exact same problem. My little toes could feel the glued seams. There was no way that I would be able to wear the shearling lined Bostons without socks.
I put on a pair of socks and walked around the house. The good news was that the socks provided a barrier against the scratchy seams. The bad news was that I noticed my foot slipping upwards into the shoe as I walked. The socks made the shearling lining slippery with each step, defeating the whole purpose of the contoured footbed. I could not wear the Bostons without socks because the seams rubbed and I could not wear them with socks because my feet were not secure on the footbed. Sizing up was not an option because the shoe would have been too big.
What’s a girl to do? Well, I ordered a pair of the shearling lined Arizona sandals. I thought perhaps a different model of shearling lined Birkenstocks would provide a better experience. Since shoe shopping with two toddlers is next to impossible. I ordered the Arizonas online. From the pictures, I could not tell if they were cute or ugly.
When they arrived, the shoes appeared to be cute out of the box. Yet, I had a good belly laugh once I put them on my feet. I looked like Big Foot in these shoes.
My friend traveled to Canada last week and found a pair of blue shearling lined Arizonas and affectionately named them “the Cookie Monster shoe.” She texted me this picture:
I cannot grasp the concept of shearling lined sandals. I understand the closed toed Boston being shearling lined, but not the Arizona. Are people hot and cold all at once? What’s the purpose of creating a warm shoe with lining and then exposing the toes? It does not make any practical sense to me. It must be a fashion statement that is beyond my understanding. For those readers that wear shearling lined sandals, I would love to hear your reasons for liking this shoe. Please leave your comments in the section at the end of this blog. Perhaps I can be talked into becoming more open minded about shearling lined Arizona sandals.
At this point, I gave up my shearling lined Birkenstock shoe search. I continued to wear my UGGs even though the back pain lingered. Until one day when Zappos sent me an email that new Birkenstock styles had arrived. Guess what I found? The Birkenstock Woodbury shearling lined boot. There were no reviews and I took a chance ordering the boots. New Birkenstock styles seem to sell out like hotcakes and I was not going to miss the opportunity of trying on these boots.
The Birkenstock Woodbury shearling lined boot was incredible. All the support of an original Birkenstock with a shearling lining. That’s a win-win situation. I initially had a problem with sizing. I learned that with Birkenstock boots I needed to size up for a perfect fit. Once the correct size shoe arrived, I didn’t want to take it off. I wore it all winter. With the Woodbury, the shearling only covers the shin area and the top of your foot, the shearling is not on the footbed. I preferred the footbed to remain unlined because I like to wear socks with my boots. My foot stayed put in the unlined footbed. This is the opposite experience I had when wearing the shearling lined Bostons with socks.
The Woodbury is even more awesome because it has a removable footbed. I took the Birkenstock footbed and put it inside my UGGs and I was in heaven. The size 39 footbed fit perfectly inside my size 8 UGGs. I now had arch support for my UGGs! I could wear the Birkenstock insert inside the UGGs with or without the UGG shearling lining. With this many options, I felt like I had won the shoe lottery.
I am so satisfied with my Woodbury Birkenstocks that I am looking forward to purchasing another pair of shearling lined Birks in the future. Even though the shearling lined Arizonas were not for me, I am hoping to find a pair of Bostons. Perhaps Birkenstock quality control will improve next season’s shearling lined Boston clogs. I would be willing to try the Bostons again, if I could be assured that there were no exposed glue seams.
A pair of Birkenstock shearling lined Boston clogs are the perfect summer shoe for the Bay Area. If I had a pair, they would be on my feet right now because it is freezing, windy, and foggy outside. I would feel a little silly wearing my winter Woodbury boots in early July, yet I would be comfortable slipping on a pair of Birkenstock Bostons on this cold summer day. This type of shoe can be worn just about all year round in the Bay Area.
I Love Birkenstocks and I hope to find a pair of shearling lined Bostons (without exposed glue seams) in the near future.
NOTE: If you would like to learn more about Birkenstock Shoes, read this blog.