"Ehh, Doc, I told you to break in your Stocks before you go hoppin' around all day!"
Lately I've been raving about the comfort of the Birkenstock cork orthopedic footbed. The footbed is designed to mold to your own feet for a customized fit, like the custom orthotics you get at a podiatrist's office. Those orthotics will run you a pretty penny. I once paid $300 for a pair that my son refused to wear. Yes, this is why Birkenstocks (and Birkenstock like cork sandals) are so expensive, they are doctor developed for the best environment for your tootsies. And this is why they can be so comfortable.
The one caveat, they are not ready to go once you take them out of the box. You need to break them in so that while they are molding to the contours of your feet, they are not making them sore in the process. So eager to wear my new Bionaturas, I didn't follow this rule when breaking in my own sandals. ( Bionaturas are yet another brand, but with the similar orthotic footbed! Check out the clearance page at clogoutlet.com) Even if you get the Stocks with the padded footbed, you still need to follow these steps for breaking them in:
1. Out of the Box--First of all, wear the shoes for about 15 minutes INSIDE your house. This is to ensure that the size is correct and that you like the look of the shoes before you scuff the soles. Many stores will not take them back if they look like you wore them outside. (If you had them properly fitted by a salesperson at a full service shoe store, you may skip this step).
2. Day One--Wear the shoes for about 45 mins. to an hour--NO MORE! You can wear them to the grocery store or to run some errands that won't take much time.
3. Day Two (doesn't have to be the very next day, but don't wait too long)--Wear them for about 2-3 hours max. If you feel your feet start to hurt or feel fatigued, switch shoes. That means you should bring another pair of shoes if you are going to be walking a lot.
4. Day Three (again, don't wait too long between)--Try wearing them for a half of your average day out.
5. Subsequent Days--Build up to a full day of light to average walking. If you plan on doing a lot of walking, bring another pair of shoes just in case.
Once you've broken them in, you should see a slight imprint of your foot in the sandal footbed. This is good; it means they are molding to your feet. After this point, go to the mall, light hiking (they are not like hiking boots) or for long walks in the park. You will love the way the shoes conform to your feet and feel great!