Since starting my “I Love Birkenstocks” blog, I have been repeatedly asked about the different Birkenstock footbeds. I wrote an article detailing the difference between the original footbed vs soft footbed Birkenstocks. Yet, people keep asking, “Gina Mama, do you like the original footbed or the soft footbed better?” My preference, obviously is subjective. What I like, someone else may not like because we all have different feet.
Selecting a Birkenstock footbed all depends on an individual’s personal preference. It’s like asking someone who likes chocolate whether they prefer plain or peanut M&Ms. Assuming there are no nut allergies involved, a chocolate lover is likely going to eat all types of M&Ms. For me, I enjoy plain and peanut M&Ms, just like I enjoy original footbed and soft footbed Birkenstocks.
Although I may enjoy plain and peanut M&Ms, I do prefer one over the other. If you placed a bowl of plain M&Ms and a bowl of peanut M&M in front of me, I would eat the plain ones. However, let’s say that I was having a chocolate craving and you only had peanut M&Ms to share. Would I decline the peanut M&Ms because I prefer plain M&Ms? Heck no, I would devour the peanut M&Ms because they are yummy too.
When it comes to Birkenstock footbeds, I prefer the original footbed. However, sometimes Birkenstock only makes certain styles in the soft footbed. If I like the style being offered in the soft footbed, I am not going to forgo the shoe because it doesn’t come in an original footbed. I am going to buy the soft footbed Birkenstock and enjoy wearing it.
For example, when I wanted to purchase the Birkenstock Arizona with the gold uppers. I searched for it in an original footbed at Birkenstock Group, but I learned it was only manufactured in a soft footbed. Since I did not have the option of an original footbed, I went ahead and purchased the soft footbed version. I knew my feet would be content in the soft footbed, just not as happy as they would be in an original footbed.
One of the main reasons I prefer the original footbed is because they offer more arch support compared to soft footbed Birkenstocks. Although a soft footbed may provide less overall support than an original footbed, it still provides me more foot support than any other type of shoe on the market. I tend to wear my soft footbed Birks to work and around the house. I often wear an original footbed Birkenstock when I know that I will be walking long distances.
People with flat feet or hypersensitive feet will most likely prefer a soft footbed. I know that my mom has a much flatter arch than me and she can barely walk around the room in an original footbed Birkenstock without her feet hurting. The extra layer of foam which cushions the soft footbed Birkenstock makes the shoe more tolerable for my mom. My Birkenstock Buddy has hypersensitive feet due to a medical condition and requires a soft footbed Birkenstock as well.
On the plus side, soft footbed Birkenstocks are much easier to break-in compared to an original footbed Birkenstock. For a Birkenstock aficionado like myself, I would be able to wear a soft footbed Birkenstock right out of the box without needing much time to break-in the shoe. For someone like my mom who has never worn Birkenstocks, a soft footbed Birkenstock would require a longer break-in period. Yet, still not as long for a non-Birkenstock wearer to get accustomed to wearing to an original footbed Birkenstock.
I enjoy the challenge of breaking-in a new pair of original footbed Birkenstocks. It’s like a game to me. I feel like the winner each time I successfully break-in a new pair of Birks.
I prefer original footbed Birkenstocks over soft footbed Birks, just like I prefer plain M&Ms over peanut M&Ms. However, when I have a craving for chocolate or Birkenstocks, I would be happy with any option that is offered to me. For those who have never worn Birkenstocks, I recommend that you try each type on to determine which footbed would best suit your needs. You can’t go wrong with either type because both will provide you more foot support compared to any other type of shoe you ever have worn.
I love original footbed Birkenstocks and I like the soft footbed ones too. What is your preference? Send me an email, I would love to hear from you.
Birkenstock blogger since 2016.