I have been labeled many things since starting this blog. For example, I have been called
It was not until last month that Sandy, from Sandy’s Birkenstock Boutique, told me that I was a “Birkenstock Diva”. She did so in a fun and joking way, after I had just confided in her about my wild and crazy idea to customize my rivet Birkenstocks.
I am totally and completely obsessed with Birkenstock’s Crafted Rivet Collection this season. The aesthetics of small crafted rivets and the larger disc rivets add so much elegance to their classic sandals and clogs. Simply put, rivets are riveting!
My first pair of rivet Birkenstocks were the Avario Gizehs.
The Avario is a greyish color upper with beautiful metal rivets adorning the t-strap. Absolutely eye catching. I love the Avario color, it is the perfect neutral and goes with anything.
My next pair was the crafted rivets in the Boston model, also in Avario. I love wearing Bostons in the fall and winter. When I saw the Bostons adorned with gorgeous rivets, I had to purchase a pair ASAP.
I felt like Birkenstock FINALLY designed a Boston with some feminine aspects to it and I was not going to let these sell out before I added a pair to my collection. Plus, buying them in the summer would give me plenty of time to break them in for the Fall.
I loved my Avario Gizehs and Bostons so much, that I decided to buy them in the rose color as well. Birkenstock was only offering these beauties in two colors for Spring/Summer 2018, and the addict/connoisseur/collector/Diva in me, had to have both/all/everyone ever made.
I searched high and low for the best price for the rose color rivet Birkenstocks. I found some online and snagged them. I was stoked to receive them. However, I was filled with disappointment when I opened the box and saw the rose color leather in the flesh. The first thought that came to my mind was Pepto Bismol.
Not the color pink that I want for my shoes. I do not want to be reminded of heartburn, indigestion, nausea, upset stomach, and diarrhea every time that I look down at my Birkenstocks.
The retailer from where I purchased the rivets in rose leather did not accept returns. No problem, I thought, I will list them on Poshmark and eBay and they will sell like hotcakes. Goodness was I wrong!! For weeks I had a pair of rose Gizehs, Arizonas, and Bostons cross listed on Poshmark and eBay. They sat and sat AND SAT on Poshmark and Ebay. No one liked the pink. No one would touch them. Just like no one would want to touch a rancid piece of moldy fish for fear of food poisoning.
At one point, I even had these rose rivets listed at bargain prices. STILL, no bids, no offers, and very few likes. I suppose “Pretty in Pink” is too 1986 for today’s generation of strong, independent women. If the Pepto shade of pink was not what made people avoid these rivets like the plague, maybe it was the white soles that soured people’s stomachs. You all know how I feel about white sole Birkenstocks and, based on the comments that I have received, I am not the only one who feels this way.
One night, just before falling alseep, a light bulb went off in my head.
I could dye/paint/color the leather and have them resoled!!! The pink was light enough that I could color them just about any shade darker that I desired.
I emailed Michelangelo at Custom Made Birkenstocks and asked him if he could dye the leather when I sent the Birkenstocks to him for recrafting. Michelangelo was willing to do the recraft, but wanted me to color the Birkenstocks....after I removed the soles. This meant I was going to need to cook my Birkenstocks! (COOKING??!! OH NO, my Birkenstock addiction has taken on a whole new level!)
I called Michelangelo to discuss this further. He gave me very clear instructions on how to remove the soles off my Birks at home, using my oven. I know, I am "cooking" Birkenstocks…but it won’t upset your tummy. Bear with me….I promise that this is going somewhere….
He also recommended that I consider using Tarrago shoe cream to color my Birkenstocks instead of using leather dye. He advised that Tarrago has a high pigment content in the cream and would likely stain the pink nubuck well, without the mess of dyeing leather. The best part is that Tarrago has over 96 colors of shoe cream from which to choose. That is 96 colors better than the current Pepto Bismol pink on the Birkenstocks in question.
I had a project to do and it was going to take several steps to complete.
ITEMS NEEDED FOR PROJECT
REMOVING THE SOLES
It was a fairly easy process to do at home. The only obstruction that I encountered, was when the toe post melted on the Gizehs. At first I was frustrated by the melted toe post, then I realized that I was given the opportunity to change the toe post from the awful white to anything else!
COLOR/STAIN THE UPPERS
Once the soles were removed, the artistic process began. This was the easy part. I chose a unique color for each shoe.
STEPS TO COLOR THE SOLES
The shoe cream was super easy to use. It stained the uppers just like the color in the bottle. There was no guessing what color the shoe cream might end up looking like, as you might experience with leather dye or leather paint. The shoe cream dried much quicker than leather dye or leather paint. Plus, the cream was a breeze to clean up. Any cream left on the rivets was simply wiped off with a rag, leaving no stains. If any of the cream dripped onto the footbed, I was able to wipe it off with a cotton ball and non acetone nail polish remover. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
SHIP BIRKS TO CUSTOM MADE BIRKENSTOCKS FOR RECRAFTING/RESOLING
The leather color cream dried so quickly, that I was able to ship Michelangelo the Birkenstocks on the same day that they were stained. Michelangleo had the resoles and recrafts sent back to me within a week! He suggested that once I received his shipment, that I seal the color on to the leather uppers to prevent fading, scratching, or peeling.
I already had a bottle of Frye Suede and Nubuck leather protector on hand. I have used this product on my Frye boots and it works just as Frye states “This water-based, non-aerosol spray pump is specially formulated to protect suede, nubuck and other breathable fabrics from any discoloration or staining. Specially formulated to minimize any change in color or texture of the leather or fabric.”
From personal experience, the spray had never ruined a pair of my Frye boots and I was confident that it would work well on my Birkenstocks. I sprayed each pair with the protectant and let the uppers dry overnight in the garage.
THE FINAL PRODUCT
These unsettling pink leather Birkenstocks with rivets, spent more time listed on Poshmark and eBay, than it took for me to complete the aforementioned project. Within less than two weeks, my three pairs of Pepto Bismol pink Birkenstocks, had a complete makeover and were priceless. These Birkenstocks, which I could not resell for the life on me on Poshmark and eBay, now had people drooling over them. I customized these riveted Birkenstocks to the color palette that should have been offered by Birkenstock in the first place.
Here are the before and after pictures:
I could not have completed the customization of my Birkenstocks without the help of Michelangelo! As always, a huge thank you to Michelangelo at Custom Made Birkenstocks for his ongoing attention to detail and his high quality craftsmanship, as well as his GREAT suggestions!
The Birkenstock Avario rivets are amazing. However, the Pepto Bismol pink ones with white soles are stomach churning awful. I am no Birkenstock Diva. A Birkenstock Diva would rudely demand that someone cater to her request to create these Birkenstocks that I customized. No, I am not a Diva. Rather, I would like to think of myself as a Birkenstock "Color Artist".
After all, I was able to take three pairs of acidosis pink leather Birkenstocks and tailor them to my style, simply by changing the colors. The colors that I stained these Birkenstocks are a million times more soothing and digestible compared to the original Pepto pink leather. The color stains that I selected, helps to showcase the rivets and make they stand out in a very unique way.
Birkenstock, I am more than happy to offer you color suggestions for upcoming releases. Clearly, I have the talent for it. You know how to contact me.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: If you happen to be a size 38, I have a pair of rivet Madrids that I customized in a beautiful red. I just listed them on Poshmark. Grab 'em before they are gone and you can be a Diva too! Here is the link.
My friend liked my customized rivet Birkenstocks so much, she requested that I color a pair Hunter Green for her. Who's next? What color would you select? Message me.
I Love Birkenstocks so much that I started this webpage dedicated to all things Birkenstock. So, what I am about to say may shock some of you. It may even anger others, if you disagree with me. Or perhaps, you agree with me. In which case, you might be thrilled that someone finally has the courage to let Birkenstock know what the majority of their loyal customers really think about their white sole sandals.
Before I get all riled up and tell you how I feel about white sole Birkenstocks, I think I need to take a step back. I want all my readers to know that I realize that fashion is very subjective. I am by no means a fashionista. However, when it comes to fashionable Birkenstocks, I know a thing or two about style. After all, I have amassed quite a collection of stylish Birkenstocks over the years.
If you have ever taken a close look at my collection via my Instagram or Facebook accounts, the one thing that you will see very few of in my personal collection, are white sole Birkenstocks. Why? Because I hate white sole Birkenstocks!
Ok….let me back peddle again….that might be a little harsh and shocking….allow me to rephrase. I think that white sole Birkenstocks only look good with white uppers and should never be used on any other Birkenstocks with color — EVER.
There are several reasons that I do not like white sole Birkenstocks. First, white soles can quickly take the “chicness” out of any Birkenstock. Even a beautiful, exquisite, luxurious, limited edition Birkenstock. Second, white sole Birkenstocks can only be worn during Spring and Summer. Third, white soles might look crisp and clean right out of the box, but by golly, they are hard to keep clean as time goes by.
In my opinion, if white soles are placed on Birkenstocks with uppers on any other color besides white, it immediately makes the Birkenstock look less chic. White soles look rubbery and are reminiscent of Crocs. Go ahead and put white soles on Birkenstock EVAs, but, PLEASE keep them off Birkenstocks with cork footbeds! Birkenstocks are high quality shoes and deserve good looking soles. Not white rubbery soles that look like run of the mill flip flops.
In addition to appearing less elegant, white sole Birkenstocks are seasonal. In my opinion, white sole Birks can and should only be worn during spring and summer. Otherwise, it would be like wearing white after Labor Day, pattern mixing anything, or, GOD FORBID….wearing socks with Birkenstocks!! All total FAUX PAS!!
Ok, Ok, I know, I know… it is currently acceptable to wear white after Labor Day (I would not), some people can get by pattern mixing (I cannot), and socks with ‘stocks is now “a thing” (not my thing).
I understand that some people might find white sole Birkenstocks acceptable to wear anytime of year, just as some people enjoy wearing socks with Birkenstocks. I like to remain non-judgmental and neutral when it comes to other peoples’ fashion choices. People should wear Birkenstocks however they feel most comfortable. I, personally, do not feel comfortable wearing white sole Birkenstocks outside of the Spring and Summer seasons.
Let me provide you an example of white soles being seasonal. I purchased the Red Tango Arizonas in the Spring of 2017. Birkenstock only made a limited number of patent Red Tango Arizonas for Spring/Summer 2017. If I passed them up, Birkenstock might never make Arizonas in that perfect red color ever again. I rolled the diced and purchased them, knowing that I could always have them resoled. I happily wore them through the Spring and Summer of 2017, with the white soles.
Once fall arrived, I felt awkward wearing white sole Birkenstocks. To me, Fall screams earth tones, not bright white. During the Christmas Holidays, I thought about wearing my Red Tango Arizonas because they were the perfect red to celebrate the season. However, I opted for a different pair of Birkenstocks with dark soles because the white soles were totally “out of season” for December. It looked as if I was wearing candy canes on my feet.
In my Birkenstock collection, I have four pairs of Birkenstocks with white soles. Most of my white sole Birkenstocks I sold long ago on Poshmark or eBay. I simply could not tolerate the white soles enough to wear them in public. I sold them to purchase a different pair that better suited my style. These days, when I see new releases with white soles, I usually just scroll past the images unless there is an upper that I cannot live without (like the Red Tango Arizonas). Then I have to decide if it is worth the cost of resoling. More on resoling later.
Two pairs of my Birkenstocks with white soles, have white uppers. I have no issues when the uppers and soles match this way. The problem that I have with the white soles is upkeep. They get dingy and dirty very quickly. They have to be cleaned regularly or they look filthy.
I like my Birkenstocks to look pristine. Appearance is everything. You only get to make a first impression once. However, with two kids, I do not always have time to clean my white soles. So, if they look dirty, I don’t wear them until I find time to make them sparkle. And who knows when that will happen with little ones to manage? I wrote a blog about how to clean white soles a few years ago. Here is the link.
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate various color Birkenstock soles. ANYTHING, but white. I even like off white. My Bellary Birkenstocks have off white soles and just that little hint of color makes all the difference in the world.
I think that if they had white soles, I would have sold them years ago or they would have sat in my closet unworn. My new favorite soles are the silver ones on the magic snake Mayaris that I found at Sandy's Birkenstock Boutique. These are just stunners and nowhere to be found in regular width in the US. See, Birkenstock, a little color goes a long ways.
The other two pairs in my collection with white soles are my beloved Tango Red Patent Arizonas and Graceful Sea Arizonas. Both of these I found in regular width and reluctantly purchased them with the white soles. These were two color uppers that I simply could not live without. Who knew if Birkenstock would ever make these color uppers again in the Arizona model? I had to add them to my collection.
I turned a blind eye to the white soles for the entire Spring of 2017. I told myself I would “try again” with the white soles. Unfortunately, in my opinion, dark uppers just do not pair well with a pure white sole. They make a nice Birkenstock look like it has a Croc sole. And that is not what Gina Mama wants. Gina Mama wants her Birkenstocks to look stylish and chic, not rubbery and childish. Hence, it was time to resole.
Fortunately, swapping out white soles is an easy and relatively inexpensive fix. Tango Red and Graceful Sea Arizonas are just too beautiful a Birkenstock not to be resoled and worn year round.
I sent these Arizonas to Michelangelo at Custom Made Birkenstocks to have them resoled. He recrafted Birkenstocks for me in the past and I trusted him with this request. He resoled both pairs of Arizonas, just as I requested, and had them back to me in a jiffy. A huge thank you to Michelangelo for his attention to detail and his high quality craftsmanship!
The moment I opened the box from Michelangelo, I put the Red Tango Arizonas on my feet and I was dancing with joy. The black soles made all the difference in the world. It was like the red uppers had found their rightful home on a proper color sole. The red and black color combination was perfection.
The Graceful Sea Arizonas also looked amazing with their black soles. After the resoling, both of these Arizonas, not only looked elegant, but they also got an extended shelf life and could be worn throughout all four seasons.
The thing with white sole Birkenstocks is that people think they are fashionable or trendy... momentarily. The problem is that the white soles will eventually get dirty and the trend will fade. Before you know it, white sole Birks will look dated. Dark soles hide the dirt well and never go out of style. After all, dark sole Birkenstocks have been in style since 1774, proving elegance is timeless.
My blogs on How To Spot Fake Birkenstocks are some of the most read posts on my webpage. Sandal season is in full swing in the US, and Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series, are getting lots of hits. With that, is an influx of emails from readers, asking me to authenticate their recent Birkenstock purchases, from potentially shady online retailers.
The intention of my blogs was to help readers avoid purchasing fake Birkenstocks. Not for me to help every single individual authenticate a purchase, after the fact, via emails -- with pictures. In the post, Spotting Fake/Knock-Off/Counterfeit Birkenstocks (Part 2), I have VERY clearly illustrated 21 ways for a buyer to avoid purchasing fake Birkenstocks. And, yet, I continue to receive scores of emails asking for help determining whether an item is real or fake.
If, after reading this blog, you continue to have questions, concerns, or doubts about the authenticity of your Birkenstocks, please do not email me photos of your shoes! I do not work for Birkenstock!! I cannot and will not verify the authenticity of your Birkenstocks via email.
My blog is something that I do on my free time. It is a hobby and I do it for fun. Let me be clear. This is not my job. I do not get paid. The information that I share on my page is posted for FREE. The time that I spend replying to emails is my free time, it is not paid work time and it is starting to feel like it.
I have been inundated with inquiries from readers, along with hundreds (if not thousands) of photos. Each one asking to verify the authenticity of a Birkenstock purchase. I simply do not have the time to answer each and every one of these emails. Frankly, it is a problem of which I recommend that you make Birkenstock aware.
I suggest that you use my blog more as a reference manual. Refer back to this blog to answer your own question(s). I am confident that you will find the answer(s) to your question(s). The answers are there. The fact that you are questioning the authenticity of your Birkenstock purchase, is an enormous clue, that the Birks in question, are most likely not the real deal.
Please contact Birkenstock directly or take your Birkenstock purchase to an authorized retailer and ask them your question(s) in person. Have an authorized expert look at the shoe, feel the shoe, hold the shoe, bend the shoe, and feel the weight of the shoe to help you determine whether your shoe is an authentic Birkenstock. If your Birkenstocks are counterfeit, then you will be in the correct place to buy yourself a real pair.
Thank you for your understanding and continued support.
It has been two years since I posted my very first blog on my website.
I never imagined that this webpage would turn into what it has today. I have made Birkenstocks friends all across the world. I appreciate your emails and other forms of communication via social media. If you are not already following me on Instagram or Facebook, please do so, I would love to hear your Birkenstock story.
Happy 2nd Birthday to Gina Mama's "I Love Birkenstocks" webpage.