Last Updated on September 10, 2023 by Martina McKeough
Can your wear Birkenstocks to the beach or at you at risk of ruining your footwear by getting them wet?
As Birkenstocks are such a popular summer sandal many people assume that they are made from waterproof materials and wear them as beach sandals.
The problem is that the beach is usually filled with sand, and seawater and your footwear is subjected to the hot sun which is the worst combination for shoes with cork soles. As many people have found out to their detriment this is a great way to ruin footwear.
Here’s why traditional Birkenstock sandals shouldn’t be worn as beach shoes and what you can think about wearing instead.
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Wet Birkenstocks – Why Is This a Problem?
First of all, I should point out that the question of “can you wear Birkenstocks to the beach?” has to be defined by the style of the brand that you have chosen to wear.
Most people who are wearing Birkenstocks are probably wearing a pair that has a leather or suede upper and a cork sole. Leather Birkenstocks are not waterproof or designed as water shoes.
If you get them soaking wet the sandal absorbs water and starts to impact the integrity of the shoe. This can not just cause the sandal to break down but it can also make the sandal start to stink or develop mold growth.
Whilst wearing Birkenstock sandals in a shower of rain is probably not going to impact them too much provided they are dried correctly sustained exposure to wet weather or immersing them in water will.
If your sandals do get wet then air dry them naturally away from direct sunlight until the moisture has evaporated.
It is worth noting however that there is such as thing as waterproof Birkenstocks and if you have those they make perfect beach sandals and are not impacted by getting wet.
Can you wear Birkenstocks to the beach? Well, you can if you purchase a pair of their new range of EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) waterproof Birkenstocks.
Whilst you shouldn’t wear the traditional cork and leather style on the beach there is another style that Birkenstock has created that is perfect for wet conditions and they look just as fashionable.
EVA Birkenstock sandals are the perfect beach sandals as they are lightweight, waterproof, and washable. They still have a similar style with the deep-heel cup and the contoured footbed but these can be worn in water, at the beach, or around the pool without you worrying about ruining them.
They come in a range of colors plus if you want to clean them all you need to do it put them in the washing machines and they will look as good as new.
Protecting Your Sandals With Stain Repellent
Whilst the odd rain shower is unlikely to do too much damage to Birkenstock shoes and sandals it does make sense to try and protect your footwear if you can.
As ordinary Birkenstocks shouldn’t get wet using a stain and water repellent product on your sandals can help to protect them whilst you are outside walking around.
Just make sure that you check that the product that you are buying is suitable for your style of Birkenstocks. As they are made in a number of different styles and materials you should always check the instructions before using them on your sandals.
It is also worth noting that Birkenstock also recommends using a cork sealant on your footwear to prevent the cork from drying out and cracking. With the proper care and products such as cork sealer and waterproof protection spray, you are going to help prolong the life of your sandals.
Can You Wear Birkenstocks in Salt Water?
Can you go in the water in Birkenstocks? Well as I have already explained immersing your Birkenstock sandals and shoes is never a great idea as they are not waterproof and the chances are you are going to ruin your shoes. This is particularly the case if the sandals go near salt water.
Think about what happens to your leather shoes if you walk outside in the snow. Usually, you will get a big tide mark around your shoe which is caused by salts. Sea water is just as damaging.
Salt can not only mark your shoes but dry them out as well whilst water seeps into the cork footbed and starts to impact the integrity of the shoe.
The only Birkenstocks you can wear in seawater are the EVA style which has been created to be water-resistant.
Can Salt Water Damage Your Shoes?
If you ever get salt water on any of your shoes you should immediately wipe it off as salt can totally damage your shoes.
Salt loves to take the moisture out of materials like leather. This is a problem as leather needs to be supple and flexible to work well in shoes and sandals.
If you do find that your Birkenstocks or any of your other shoes have salt stains on them. Wipe them off with a clean wet cloth immediately. Then after they have dried try using a leather conditioner on them to keep the material supple.
Can You Wear Birkenstocks To The Pool?
Whilst Birkenstocks are not waterproof sandals in theory you could wear them near a pool but only if you make sure that you don’t get them wet.
If you are sitting at a table or a sun lounger near the pool then you probably aren’t going to experience too many problems wearing your sandals as they are going to have very little contact with water.
This obviously will change if you decide that you want to wear them near the edge of a swimming pool or as a sandal to put your feet in after you have been for a swim.
Remember that the cork footbed of Birkenstocks will absorb any water from your feet and that is likely to damage your sandals especially if done regularly.
It, therefore, makes more sense to wear water-resistant or waterproof sandals in these types of environments just in case.
Best Sandals To Wear On The Beach
If you don’t want to ruin your leather and cork Birkenstocks at the beach or by the pool there are plenty of other sandals that are waterproof that you can wear.
Here are some of my favorites that are on trend but that are also waterproof or water resistant.
UGGs don’t just do boots and slippers they also have a range of footwear that is suitable for all kinds of occasions. These UGG women’s sport Yeah sandals are a great example of another EVA sandal that would be great to wear to the beach. As these are totally synthetic and have an EVA insole and outsole you shouldn’t worry about getting them wet.
The design of these is incredibly fashionable right now and these sandals are incredibly comfortable as they are like having pillows on your feet. Choose from a range of different colors to get the look that you want.
Ok, I had to add these Yeezy slides to my list despite their high price point. To say that these slides are super fashionable right now would be an understatement. Yeezy slides are what the fashion crowd is wearing but expect to pay up if you want a pair.
These shoes are perfect in the rain or in wet places as they are made from rubber. This means you can wear them in the summer by the beach and you shouldn’t have any problems at all.
If you can’t afford the high price for them don’t worry as there are plenty of copycats on the market that will do the same job they just won’t have the same fashion points.
If you are on a budget then as well as EVA Birkenstocks you could also think about buying a pair of Crockband Crocs which are perfect for the water. These are also made from EVA and have holes in them to help filter out any water or debris.
They come in a huge range of colors and all you need to do to clean them is put them under some running water to get off any sand and let them air dry naturally.
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