- What exactly is a work boot?
- What boot does Birkenstock sell?
- Benefits of minimalist boots
- Conclusion: Can you wear Birkenstock boots for work?
Do you have clothing or footwear brands that you like and wonder if they make work boots? There might even be well-known or funky brands that make you think, “If they make work boots, I bet they’re pretty cool.”
Well, this article is looking at one of those funky brands.
Since forming in 1774, Birkenstock have spread their wings from Germany, where they were born, to go on and make sandals, shoes, and other types of footwear.
But do they make work boots?
Although Birkenstock makes various styles of safety shoes, they only sell one safety boot.
But it doesn’t seem to be available in the US. You’ll find it on their Australian website and some of their European sites. Below, I’ve given you a link to the UK site.
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What exactly is a work boot?
Birkenstock does make a work boot, among other things, but we have a bit of a surprise up our sleeves when we delve into what they have in store.
People might think that what they sell aren’t really work boots. So let’s define what exactly a work boot is.
Work boots are commonly associated with the Bob the Builder type, but he isn’t the only person allowed to wear them.
Work boots are for anyone who goes out to earn money while wearing boots. But also for anyone just doing some work at home.
You could be the builder type who needs rugged, hard-wearing boots. Or a security person who might want lightweight tactical boots for patrolling and possibly chasing.
You might be the archeologist type who goes out on mud, sand, rocks, or whatever.
You could be a person who stands with a sandwich board all day, but in the cold and snow and rain, so you have to wear boots to keep your feet warm.
So, now that’s out of the way, let’s get to it.
What boot does Birkenstock sell?
Birkenstock sells lots of different styles of boots. A lot of them look like casual boots, or for dress. But the question is, can they be used at work?
Of course, they can. Depending on what work you do. Before we get to the surprise, let’s have a little look.
1. Birkenstock Jackson Boot
Here is a comfortable oiled nubuck boot that has a thermoplastic rubber sole and the cork footbed that’s traditional to Birkenstock.
The cork inner sole is the original Birkenstock design. It’s built for extreme comfort. You’ll notice that the insert curls upwards at the edges, similar to orthotic inner soles. This gives the foot extra stability when walking.
There is technology along the middle of the footbed that stabilizes the foot’s metatarsal bone. This arch support system helps to give the foot a natural straight and solid stance.
And the heel mold helps to activate the calf muscles, keep the back of the foot stable, and improve gait and coordination. (Gait is the way that we walk).
This boot isn’t for someone who does rigorous work. There are no safety features that will protect you on construction sites. But it will keep you comfortable doing light duties.
Truck drivers might find this boot useful. But I’ve seen similar used by car ticket inspectors, and other occupations that involve walking a lot.
2. Birkenstock Stalon Boot
Ah, the Chelsea style. As a slip-on, this boot is so convenient for people who want to….well….slip them on and off quickly.
They wear them in the truck, then when they drive onto site, they quickly change into their safety boots before getting out of the truck. Simple, easy, and comfortable.
On the other hand, this boot could be used for both work and casual wear. Although, the robust build and rugged thermoplastic sole set it apart from a lot of other casual footwear.
It’s a great choice if you’re in the retail or fashion industry or any industry for that matter where a safety work boot is not required in order to do your job.
The footbed, being the same as the Jackson boot, is the heart of all the Birkenstock models.
This boot comes in Black, Graphite, Mocha, and Sandcastle.
Now let’s see some safety work boots options…
3. Birkenston QS700 Safety Boot
There are no safety boots OPTIONS…it’s just one option, one boot as I’ve mentioned at the beginning. And this is it. The Birkenstock QS700.
This isn’t your conventional safety boot. This is different.
The QS700 boot is part of what’s become somewhat of a movement. It’s a barefoot boot, or minimalist boot, whichever you want to call it. Not only that, it’s a zero-drop boot.
What are barefoot and zero-drop boots?
- Barefoot boots
These are boots that are designed to, as much as possible, make you feel like you’re walking around barefooted.
The materials are so “minimalist”, it makes them really lightweight, really, flexible, and really comfortable.
- Zero drop
These are boots that keep both your heel and ball of the foot at an equal distance to the ground, just as they are when you walk barefoot. Except, in the boot, there’s a sole between.
A wedge or heeled sole raises the heel higher than the toes and ball of the foot.
Now let’s look at the QS 700. This is often interpreted as a shoe.
Birkenstock refers to it as an ankle-high sneaker. The fact that it’s ankle high, to me and many others, makes it a boot.
Here are the key features of this boot:
- Steel-toe protection (200 joules)
- Abrasion-resistant toe covering
- Penetration-resistant outsole
- Metal-free outsole
- Oil-and-fuel-resistant outsole
- Water-resistant microfiber upper
- Cork-microfiber footbed
- Energy absorbing heel
- Anti-static protection
I don’t know about you, but this seems like a shed load of features, even for a safety boot. And at £140, which is equivalent to just over 168 USD at the time of writing, I’d say that it’s quite a bargain.
But would it stand up to the most rigorous jobs? I’m not so sure.
Would the bottoms of your feet be comfortable over rocky or really rough terrain? Probably not.
Okay, the outsoles are puncture resistant, but I still think that the digging in of those lumps and bumps would take its toll after a while.
However, all this does is show that they’re not designed for jobs in those particular conditions.
I bet they’d be absolutely fine for lots of other jobs. Like jobs that need flexibility, and put your feet in awkward positions.
A roofer might enjoy these boots. Treading steep roofs means having to be careful how and where you place your feet.
You need to be able to feel the surface you’re putting your weight on, for grip, for making sure not to break tiles, and avoid already broken tiles, etc.
You also need to have your feet at unnatural angles because of the roof gradients. You could be squatting, kneeling, or strategically balancing.
However, an issue with this type of boot is that it’s very niche, so there is limited availability and options. Not just with Birkenstock. There aren’t many brands at all that make them.
Benefits of minimalist boots
Here, we’ll give you a summary of the benefits of barefoot boots.
If you want a detailed account that fully goes over the benefits and downfalls, check our article, Are barefoot/minimalist safety boots worth having?
1. Wide toe area
Great for toe room. Your toes won’t get squeezed inside the box which is the case with many work boots models out there.
Research shows that there are lots of health benefits to connecting to the ground. Both physical and mental.
3. Reflexology/Acupressure aspect
These are two different things but are similar in relation to barefoot boot benefits.
Feet have lots of pressure points, so in effect, you receive a free massage. Actually, it’s better than free, seeing as you’ll be at work. You’ll be getting paid to have your feet massaged.
4. Zero drop
The heel and ball of the foot being at the same level forces the natural barefoot style of walking that has been lost since our ancestors.
Not only are your feet not constrained to the shape of the boots, but the boots also allow freedom of movement. Ideal for jobs that require being in awkward positions.
6. Cool (as in temperature)
Being minimalist, there isn’t a lot of material and added insulation to make your feet warm. This is beneficial in warm climates.
Conclusion: Can you wear Birkenstock boots for work?
My conclusion is that although Birkenstock offers options, they don’t specialize in work boots for all spectrums.
Rather, they provide quite niche products, be it the barefoot boots, clogs, sandals, etc.
Saying that the products do tend to be slip resistant and are advertised as being for workers. Mainly in the hospitality sector.
The question is, going by the examples given in this article, is the brand the right fit for you? (Pun intended).
If you’re one for nature, possibly spiritualism, health consciousness, and the minimalist approach, then you could be at the right place. Also, if you like to combine workwear with day-to-day or fashion wear.
With any boot finding quest, please do your research. And don’t just look at one source. There are many conflicting messages out there. It’s best to check a few out and come to your own conclusions.
As always, we hope this article has been helpful. Please do contact us if we have any questions, or want to share your own experiences.
I’m off now to walk barefoot over some nails and hot coal. I’ll let you know how I get on.
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Hey, Jimmy here. I’m one of the researchers and writers here at BestForMyFeet.com. I’ve been wearing work boots all my life working as a forklift driver, landscaper, groundworker, and now as a tower crane operator so I know a few things about footwear and footcare in general. I’m also working on my first novel. So writing IS my passion. When I’m not writing I love to spend time with my wife, two children, and furball.
Construction Professional, driver, crane operator, cleaner, head chef … these are just some of the jobs I did in the past. Working in all these different environments taught me that having good footwear to protect your feet from different dangers at work IS PARAMOUNT for any worker! On this website, I aim to share all my knowledge and personal experience in dealing with different footwear and foot care issues, and hopefully, you can get something out of it. Enjoy!