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Lafont

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What's with Birkenstock sizes? I typically wear a size 9 shoe and my last sandals, an "elegant" (if one can use that term for a sandal) Born design I purchased in Yorkville in Toronto, were 9's. Yesterday I decided it was time to try Berkenstock's. Dillard's (one of the few stores in Greater Cleveland to still even carry thes) offered very few models and sizes - particularly with the back strap I want. Normally an American 9 is around a European 42.5.

Their 41 (Milano, with the strap) was a tad large, and that's with the buckle toward my ankle in the second-to-tightest notch. It felt reasonably comfortable, though, and I do really like the idea of being able to put on and take off the shoe each time without having to undo the buckle. Then I called a boutique here which has carried the brand for many years. Guy said he wears a 41 but wears a size 10 shoe and he likes his sandals very loose. Suggested a 39 for me, or possibly a 40. I plan to go there soon, as they have more variety and can order more sizes and colors than Dillard's, and are even a slightly lower cost, but what I don't understand is how these sandals' sizes don't seem to relate to general European men's sizes at all. And, for the "correct" fit, am I supposed to have to buckle and unbuckle the shoe every time I wear it? One reason I'm interested in Birkenstock at this time is I take the risk, with some of the more complex sandal designs, of the straps' rubbing my feet and causing sores.

I know I can find a thousand reference to Birkenstock sizing on the web but I want your take, your experiences, as usual.:lookaround:
 

bellyhungry

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I wear a size 10 (43.5) in general but have to size down to 41 for Birkenstock. In fact, I probably could have gone down to 40.

Given the sole shape, I recommend that you aim to get the perfect fit rather than wearing them 'loose.'
 

aj_del

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I am UK9.5 in most British shoes and 10.5 in US sized shoes and I got the 43 in Birkenstocks
 

Lafont

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I already purchased 41's from Dillard's, which had so few choices, but they'll probably go back. Last night I went to a boutique that combines Peruvian jewelry, clothing, and crafts with shoes, specializing many years in Birkenstock. The owner thought 40's work best for me. I had to flip a coin between the Hunter Brown with coppery buckles and the oiled, matte black and the black won. I think they'll fit like the Birkenstock website suggest, but I won't receive them for a few days. I may have to buckle and unbuckle each time - we'll see. He suggested only doing this with the more frontal buckle.

The place had a Birkenstock size conversion chart on the wall but we didn't follow it. I think 42's would be ridiculous for me and so did he.
 
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Parker

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I am a 9C on the Brannock and take a 41 narrow in Birkenstock. A 40 could probably work as well. fwiw, it takes a few weeks until the corkbed molds to your foot, so they might feel weird at first. but, then it's off to super comfy land. I don't really like the models with heel straps because of the extra work of buckling/unbuckling. and yeah, the straps should be tight enough to not easily slip off without undoing them.

also... Birkenstocks! :slayer: :devil:

:hide:
 
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Lafont

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Good response, Parker. Right now I've ordered the 40, which might be in today, and have the 41 from Dillard's (both regular width), which I haven't returned so I could compare the two sizes. If the 41 wins I'll probably return the Dillard's and get the same size from the boutique which has a lower price. With the fitting info. on the Birkenstock USA website the 40 might work as the 41 footbed leaves more space than the 1/8" they mention; it just makes me slightly uneasy knowing the company itself suggests a 42 for a size 9 - 9 1/2 getting a 40. I also noticed the sole of the 41 I already have is somewhat shorter than the sole of my size 9 dress shoes (Ecco) and my size 9 suede shoes and Brooks Brothers leather slippers, which I believe are 8's. Then, however, the 40 will be shorter. Also the holes used in the buckles could obviously make a significant difference.
 
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Lafont

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Right now I've got the 41 and the 40. I realize quite a bit can be done with the straps, but as for the footbed with my 40, my ties seem to scrape into the front ridge when I walk. Doesn't seem they should be doing that. I don't know if this rubbing changes what the shoe's "molding" into the shape of one's foot that's written about on the Birekenstock website, etc. It doesn't happen with the 41, anyway. If I do the buckles a certain way I can sort of put on and take off the 40s without undoing the buckles but, indeed, maybe they should be a little more snug. But then that's not what the Birkenstock people are saying on their website with the size chart....
 

MyOtherLife

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In my experience with them I find them to be true to size.
 

Lafont

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Thanks. This really seems peculiar, but maybe it has to do with how much one can do with the straps (in my case, three straps) and what one is used to? I'm keeping the 40s. At the particular boutique where I got them the long-time owner felt the 41s are "way too large" for my feet. Someone else might have seen it differently. I've been wearing the 40s and, even though my toes, when walking, sometimes hit the ridges in front, there's generally sufficient space (as much as they advocate on the Birkenstock website) and they're most likely closest to how Birkenstock sandals are supposed to fit to get maximum benefit from them.
 

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