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Simple yet refined. Birkenstock sets the standard for comfort, quality and functionality, and it all starts with our carefully selected, high-quality materials from sustainable sources.


The original, iconic Birkenstock footbed is known for its high-quality natural materials: cork, latex and jute.

Cork is perhaps the most recognizable component of Birkenstock. Did you know that “cork” is actually the outer bark of a cork oak, and regrows every 7-10 years after harvesting? The cork used by Birkenstock comes from production overages of the wine and bottling industries. Rather than going to waste, Birkenstock repurposes this precious natural resource as a primary material of its footbed.

Natural latex is used along with cork to give the Birkenstock footbed its flexible, supportive qualities. Like cork, natural latex is also a renewable resource, obtained from the resin of rubber trees.

Jute is another natural, renewable material that’s an integral part of the Birkenstock footbed. Moisture-wicking fibers provide sturdy structure above and below the core cork-latex.


Top quality leathers and synthetic materials ensure a premium-level all-around product.

  • Natural leather can be recognized by its untreated surface. Birkenstock does not treat surface grains and other natural characteristics, leaving every piece unique.
  • Patent leather is coated with paint or plastic to give it its notable high gloss shine.
  • Suede is a general term for leather that has been buffed on the inside. It has an unfinished yet soft surface.
  • Nubuck is a top-grain leather with a softly-buffed surface. Because of its fine fibers, nubuck is sensitive to moisture and color, and a surface treatment may be recommended for extra protection.
  • Wool felt is made from merino wool, a high-quality natural fiber that is gentle on the skin and breathable.
  • Felt is a thick material made from synthetic fibers. Birkenstock felts are highly durable, and at the same time comfortable, breathable and soft to the touch.
  • Birko felt is made from a blend of rayon and synthetic fibers.
  • Birko felt nubuck is a synthetic material that looks and feels like nubuck leather.
  • Birko-Flor® is a high-quality synthetic material. The upper layer is an easy-to-care-for PVC. The lining is a soft, breathable fleece that’s comfortable next to the skin.

Click here for more information on our premium materials.