Birchbury Review: How we heard about this minimalist shoe brand
Let me be honest with you about something. There are a couple of different ways that determine what products we write about, including this Birchbury Review.
- There are the products we use every day, we discovered on our own
- Someone randomly shoots us an email and says, “Hey, try this product.”
We get a lot of those. Ranging from crazy women’s clothes to just plain bad ideas. These companies are out trying to get the word out about their new products. No harm, no foul.
To be honest with you, we’ll tell you when ideas are not a good idea – like the ZipSeam (see our Zipseam Review). That’s something we had no idea about and got an email for. There might be some good uses for it, but we’re not going to recommend them.
Honestly, I really didn’t need another pair of shoes, but when Birchbury (not to be confused with Burberry!) offered to send a pair, they had me intrigued.
Was this just another “me-too” shoe brand? Or something more?
Birchbury Shoes Review: What’s the big idea?
Here’s the way I see it. Birchbury is trying to combine the best of several different kinds of shoes:
- The overall “freeness” of flip flops.
- The ergonomics of a barefoot shoe.
- The casual-cool vibe of leather sneakers.
- The easiness of slippers.
So, if you combine all of those, you could end up with something pretty ugly. But instead, you end up with this:
It could have looked ugly – but it doesn’t! It looks like a normal shoe.
Birchbury Review: What we found
To be honest with you, we were pleasantly surprised when we got the shoe. The first thing I noticed when I got it out of the box was how lightweight the shoe was. It’s super light. Almost as light as Allbirds (read our comprehensive Allbirds Review) That’s pretty impressive.
The shoes were also super comfortable, too. Let’s test all the aspects that Birchbury is trying to prove.
Birchbury: the freeness of a flip flop.
While nothing can make you feel as free as a flip flop (besides going barefoot), the extra wide toe box on Birchbury was designed to give your puppies some move to room.
Look at the toe box of these shoes compared to the Cole Haan Zerogrands.
Birchbury vs. Cole Haan Zerogrand
Overall freeness score: 9/10
The ergonomics of a barefoot shoe
Seriously, I don’t care how many doctors say that Vibram Five Fingers are the best thing for your body – I can’t take anyone super seriously that wears them. They look like mittens for your feet.
Birchbury includes a high-quality orthopedic insole that is optional to use. If you want to use it, it will make the shoe more comfortable.
If not, it’s closer to walking barefoot with the minimal sole of the shoe (and how lightweight it is overall).
The only part of the Birchbury Bramford shoe that is NOT flexible is the heel. But that’s by design. This is to help keep with heel pronation. That’s when your heel turns inward when walking and can be incredibly painful. Guess what most doctors prescribe when you have heel pronation? An orthopedic insert!
Also, you probably should wear socks with these bad boys.
Ergonomics of a barefoot shoe score: 9/10
The casual-cool vibe of leather sneakers
Obviously, looks are super subjective. These are definitely under-the-radar shoes in a super good way. While I do prefer the look of some other leather sneakers (like Oliver Cabell – read our Oliver Cabell Low 1 Review), I didn’t find anything wrong with the way these shoes look. They are pretty functional and simple. I like that.
However, my wife had a different opinion. It’s called WE Tried It, not I Tried It. I actually ask for my wife’s opinion on everything and when it different than mine, I love to share it.
She said these looked like shoes you would wear as a little boy, so they would fit. I had no idea about what she was talking about until I looked it up online. This is what I found.
OK, I can kinda see it. But my wife likes to exaggerate, too.
It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. My wife didn’t care for them, but I didn’t have a problem with them.
Casual-cool vibe of leather sneakers score: 8/10
The easiness of slippers
I actually didn’t notice this at first glance, but the Birchbury shoes have elastic shoelaces that don’t tie! That’s brilliant!
I really do hate tying my shoes with vengeance, so, that was an awesome surprise!
The shoes open up really easy and you can just slide your foot right in. Sweet!
Easiness of slippers score: 9/10
Birchbury Shoes Review: How to style
This one was a bit of a tough one for me, to be honest with you. Especially since I’m writing this in the dead of winter (it’s actually 5 degrees outside right now) but I think these are going to be a great pair of summer shoes for me.
Some people online said that you could wear them with shorts, but I probably won’t. Simply because you do need to wear socks and that would be just too hard to find the right pair of no-show socks that are really no show.
You could also dress them up a little bit by wearing them with a short-sleeve button-up shirt (see our Mizzen + Main Review) or a polo shirt (see the best Polo Shirts in our Best Men’s Clothing guide).
The Birchbury Bramfords comes in two basic colors: black and brown. Nice and simple.
Birchbury Shoes: Sizing
Birchbury shoes run true to size. Birchbury even has a convenient print-out sizing chart on their website you can print just in case. Birchbury shoes are only available in full sizes (no half sizes). I typically wear a 9.5 and ordered a size 10.
I like my shoes to be a little more loose and these fit exactly the way I like.
If you want those that are really tight, these are probably not the shoes for you. Especially since you can’t tighten the laces (since there are no laces to tighten). The leather is also really flexible and allows your feet to move pretty easily
Birchbury Shoes Review: The Final Verdict
You, obviously, have a ton of choices when it comes to shoes these days. From the big boys, like Nike to the little guys, like Birchbury, and other brands like Allbirds that are now somewhere in the middle.
I, honestly, didn’t know what to expect when I received Birchbury shoes. However, I was very pleasantly surprised.
If you want a casual leather shoe that is no-fuss, comfortable and still has great ergonomics, check out the Birchbury Bramfords. They are super comfortable and easy to wear. Great touches, like the elastic shoe laces, make a good shoe great!
It will all come down to if you like the look of the Birchbury Bramfords. If you like the look – you’ll love the shoe. If you don’t like the look, it doesn’t matter what features are in the shoe, you won’t like the shoe at all.
My wife didn’t like the shoes, but I did. The good news is that Birchbury has a 30-day return policy. If you don’t like the shoes, you can always send them back.
Let us know if you have any questions about our Birchbury Review or any other questions about Birchbury we can answer for you!