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Why Are Birkenstocks So Expensive? [8 Reasons 2023]


Birkenstock is a popular shoe brand. The company has made a name for itself by creating footwear that is not only versatile but is comfortable and durable too.

The only reason customers may shy away from this brand of shoes is because of their high price tag.

With their shoes starting at upwards of $100, for most, customers must be really committed to the purchase. But why are Birkenstocks so expensive?  

Photo: HS You / Flickr / CC BY ND 2.0

Birkenstock shoes are highly-priced because you are paying for the brand. But that’s not all; the price of the shoes is determined by the cost of the materials used to make them. The durability of the shoes also factors into the final price. The biggest reason for the high price tag is that the shoes are made ethically and from sustainably sourced materials.

1. Ethical Manufacturing Process

The Birkenstock company prides itself in the fact that they produce their shoes ethically. Unlike other popular brands, Birkenstock is committed to keeping its production practices ethical. 

They pay their employees a livable wage. All Birkenstock shoes are manufactured in a good working environment in Germany.

2. Sustainable Production Practices

Second to their ethical commitments, Birkenstock is also committed to only using sustainably harvested materials.

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These materials are more expensive, but also require greater care to process.

This drives up the labor costs and, ultimately, the final costs of the shoes.

3. The Shoes Are Made from High-Quality Materials

Besides being naturally sourced and harvested sustainably, the materials used to manufacture Birkenstock shoes are of the highest quality. 

The company has maintained, if not improved, their quality standards, and this in turn has increased the overall price of the finished product.

The most expensive material used to manufacture Birkenstocks is leather. The company keeps to its standards and only uses the highest quality leather. 

Another notable material is the cork used to make the base of the shoe. The cork used is sustainably harvested from cork oak trees.

During harvesting, the tree is not cut down or killed, but instead, the bark is carefully removed without damaging the tree.

4. Birkenstock is a Brand Name

The Birkenstock brand was established in 1774. Being around for over 200 years has given the company ample time to grow in popularity. 

Photo: Wind Koh / Flickr / CC BY NC 2.0

Over the years, as the brand became more popular, it caught the attention of several high-profile celebrities. These include the likes of Rhianna and Kate Moss. 

With the brand becoming recognized and seen on the feet of these famous celebrities, the popularity and demand for Birkenstocks skyrocketed.

With the sudden soaring of popularity and demand, it is only logical that the price of the shoes increased too.

So, because Birkenstock is a popular brand, you are not only paying for the product but also for the popularity of the brand.

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5. Birkenstock Shoes Are Highly Supportive

Another reason why Birkenstocks are so expensive is that they are classified as orthopedic shoes. These shoes are developed to offer a lot of support to your feet.

To do this, the company had to carefully design the shoes to make sure they kept up to their standards of being highly supportive.

6. They Are Very Durable

Birkenstock has also designed its shoes to be incredibly durable. They are known to last several years. With this high level of durability comes a higher price for the product. 

This is because you are less likely to buy another pair of shoes for some time. Therefore, the company has accounted for the minor loss in sales over the lifespan of their shoes by increasing the price.

7. Some Birkenstock Styles Are More Expensive

The number of styles available on the market does not necessarily affect the overall price of the Birkenstock shoes.

What does affect their price, however, is the amount of material that is needed to manufacture the shoes. 

One style of Birkenstocks may be more costly than another because the design of the shoe requires more materials.

The popularity of a particular model or style can also add to the cost of the shoe. 

8. Manufacturing Is Time-Consuming

Last but not least, manufacturing time increases the final price of Birkenstock shoes. 

Due to the care involved in material selection and quality control, these shoes take a long time to manufacture, and the total cost of labor increases.

This means that the cost price of the shoe will be higher, which in turn will result in an even higher retail price.

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The more complicated the design of the shoe is, the longer it will take to manufacture. A longer manufacturing time means a higher price.


Birkenstocks are so expensive because they are made from high-quality materials. The materials are also sustainably sourced and harvested.

Additionally, Birkenstock prides itself on its ethical practices and the fact that they pay its workers a livable wage. 

When purchasing a pair of Birkenstock shoes, you are paying for ethical practices, quality, durability, and comfort, among other things.

Although they seem pricey, Birkenstocks are thought to be worth the money. Not only are they fashionable and comfortable, but they are also durable and supportive for your feet. 

Almost all Birkenstock customers come away satisfied with their purchase of these high-quality, orthopedic shoes.