How to repair Birkenstocks

How to repair Birkenstocks

Birkenstock shoe repair made easy!

In this video you will see the four steps used to restore a Birkenstock.  The four steps include disassembly, sole preparation, glue/assembly and finishing work (luxury shine and condition).

Supplies needed:

Step 1 – Disassemble:

The first step in disassembly, is to remove the sole.  This can be easy or very hard.  A set of nippers is the best tool to use.  Grab a piece of the Birkenstock soling material and pull apart.  If the sole does not come off easily, use a little bit of thinner on the seam between the rubber and the cork.  A flathead screwdriver is also helpful when separating the materials.

Step 2 – Sole Preparation:

Sole preparation includes building up the cork foot bed anywhere that the cork has been worn off.  Using pieces of cork sheeting, glue individual layers with contact cement onto the worn areas.  It is important to let the glue dry 10-15 minutes for each layer.  This will ensure adhesion.  When the layers are thick enough, use a razor knife to trim excess cork around the sides.  Finally, use a heavy-grit sand paper to even the cork to allow for the sole to lie flat.

Step 3 – Glue Soles/Assembly

Gluing the soles also includes gluing the straps to the sides of the cork footbed.  Unbuckle the straps first and apply the glue to the same place it was glued before.  This may seem obvious but it is trickier than most expect.  Take your time.  Wait 15 minutes for the glue to set up before pushing the straps together.

Once the straps are finished, apply glue to the sole and to the cork bottom.  Apply the glue with even strokes and make sure to cover each surface completely to avoid touching up the glue later, it is more difficult.  Wait 20 minutes for the glue to dry.  Apply the sole to the cork footbed and make sure all edges have touched and that you have a good seal.

Step 4 – Finish/Polish

Using a soft rag and Cadillac Boot and Shoe care, apply a thin layer of conditioner and let sit for 5 minutes.  Next, apply shoe cream to all leather surfaces.  After the shoe cream, apply a thin layer of Lincoln Stain Wax.  Finally, buff the leather with a brush or terrycloth towel to remove excess wax and bring out the luster in the leather.

The last step in the finish work is to add Cork Renew to the exposed cork and let dry for 20 minutes.


Congratulations!  You have repaired your Birkenstock!

How to Glue Shoes: 4 Basic Steps

How to Glue Shoes: 4 Basic Steps

 Supplies Needed:

In this gluing tutorial you will learn the four basic steps to glue most types of shoes. This video starts with a list of tools and supplies used in most gluing. The rest of the video highlights the four basic steps to gluing shoes. Cobbler Teri Edmonds demonstrates these four basic steps and provides links to additional videos that address the different types of shoes that fall into 3 main categories. The linked video tutorials demonstrate an Air Jordan, Birkenstock clog, a basic flat and a sneaker with a wrap around sole.  All supplies can be purchase easily by clicking the Amazon links below.

Step 1 – Disassemble the shoe

Step 2 – Sand surface of sole and shoe

Step 3 – Apply glue to both surfaces and let dry for 20 minutes.  If the shoe is of a molded sole construction, meaning the sole wraps along the sides of the upper, you will want to put the shoe together wet.

Step 4 – Assemble the shoe starting with the toes and the heels.  Once you have confirmed that the front and back match properly, you can assemble the rest of the shoe.

Buying supplies – The products recommended here have been selected by cobbler Teri Edmonds for all levels of shoemakers.  A respirator is recommended even if the room has good ventilation.  The oil can is a very handy tool for all workshops.  The glue doesn’t dry out and makes getting into the small areas, easier.  A screwdriver on hand is useful for prying materials apart.  Using a rough grit sandpaper also allows for the easy removal of old glue or paint that is peeling from the upper.  The best paint to buy for touch up purposes is the Angeles.

How to repair Birkenstocks

Birkenstock Shoe Repair with Teri Edmonds

Birkenstock shoe repair is easy, even for this well worn Birkenstock sandal. Shoe cobbler and fashion designer Teri Edmonds, walks us through the entire process of Birkenstock shoe restoration. Thank you to Naturally Birkenstock of Maui for all of their shoe repair referrals!