The last few seasons Birkenstock has introduced sandals made with metallic leather uppers. The uppers are super pretty and very feminine. They look fantastic in person. Match every type of outfit imaginable. And I am never buying another pair of Birkenstocks with smooth metallic leather!
Yes, you read that correctly. Gina Mama is not going to buy another pair of Birkenstocks with shiny metallic leather uppers until Birkenstock figures out how to minimize the scratching of the finish. The biggest problem I have is that these amazing looking Birkenstocks scratch and scuff so easily, that within a few wears, they appear completely beat up. I take good care of all my Birkenstocks. Yet the wear is extremely noticeable no matter how much I baby my shoes.
I have a pair of Birkenstocks with metallic leather uppers from a previous season and these seem to scratch more easily compared to more recent models that I have purchased. The older model that I have tends to crinkle up and appear almost foil like once broken in. It looks like the finish on the uppers wants to peel off.
In addition, the scratches and scuffs are so visible on these shoes that I am embarrassed to wear them anymore in public. I considered re-selling them on Poshmark, but I do not think anyone would want to buy them looking the way that they do.
The scratches on this finish do not polish away or rub off like one can rub out a scratch on oiled leather uppers. Rather, a blemish cuts directly through the entire finish leaving a dent and a crease noticeable to the naked eye.
Sometimes the shoes are scratched up in the box because they have moved around during shipment. I had to send one pair back before I could even try them on because there were scuff marks on the shoes from not being properly wrapped in tissue paper. The buckles of one shoe messed up the uppers on the other shoe.
Speaking of buckles, the finish gets marked up simply by one adjusting the strap of the shoe. Once you decide how you want to adjust your Birkenstock straps, do not plan on readjusting them. If you do, you are left with scuff marks under strap.
What can you do to fix the uppers once they are marked up? Not much. I tried to find a matching color of nail polish for one pair of shoes. I used a fine paint brush to apply the polish to the scratched area. It made the mark look even worse because the polish was thicker than the finish of the upper. Fortunately, a dab of nail polish remover wiped away the polish without damaging the uppers even more.
I emailed customer service at Birkenstock USA to inquire, what, if any suggestions they have in regards to caring for the metallic leather uppers. I sent the message on April 26, 2017 and have yet to hear back.
I know that I am not the only one that has issues with scratches and scuffs on Metallic Leather Uppers. I have asked around to people I know that wear Birkenstocks as well as retailers of the shoe. Most know that this is a problem and none are willing to experiment with the uppers for fear of exasperating the problem.
As much as I love how this finish looks, I am not buying another pair until Birkenstock fixes this problem!! I will stick with oiled leather Birkenstocks where I can simply rub out marks in the leather with my finger. Or, I will purchase Birko Flor uppers as they are extremely durable and very rarely get scratched. Sadly, my Birkenstocks with a metallic finish may end up being a one season shoe. This type of upper is certainly not up to the quality of my other Birkenstocks. I can wear another Birkenstock upper for years before it becomes unsightly. I know that I can get Birkenstock footbeds recrafted, oh how I wish I could get the darn shiny metallic uppers recrafted too!!
Birkenstock, PLEASE, tell me what I can do to make these uppers look presentable again. I have a pair of coveted metallic leather copper Arizonas with brown soles (not white soles!) sitting in their box in my closet. I bought them months ago and do not want to wear them because I do not want them to get ruined.
Readers, what techniques have you found to help repair scratches and scuffs on your metallic uppers? Shoot me an email and let me know what has worked for you. I would love to share your results in a future blog post.
UPDATE: Please read my blog "Bespoke Birkenstocks" to learn some tips on how to fix your scratched, scuffed, or messed up shiny metallic Birkenstocks with Angelus Leather Paint.