This year on Black Friday I went a little Birkenstock crazy and ordered a bunch of pairs to try on. Once such pair was the Birkenstock Madrid Big Buckle sandal in natural leather patent and the High Shine Butter color.
I really like the look of this sandal – and the color seemed like a subtle creamy yellow and not too bright – so I thought I would give this pair a try.
Finding the Right Size Birkenstocks
The first obstacle I encountered when ordering the Madrid Big Buckle was determining the size of Birkenstocks that were right for me.
My only other Birks were a pair of Arizona sandals from many many years ago – and I had never tried the Madrids – so I really had no idea where to start.
Long story short, I tried on the old sandals, used the printable sizing chart and came up with my best guess.
The Size that I Ordered
I typically wear a US size 8 medium shoe in most brands – but I was measuring as a wide on the Birkenstock size chart.
So I went with an EU size 39 in the “regular/wide” width.
Unfortunately this turned out to be too large for me int the Madrid Big Buckle style.
I was totally bummed because the shoe is super cute.
About the Madrid Big Buckle Sandal
The Madrid Big Buckle sandal by Birkenstock is a one strap sandal. The strap is a wide one that goes across of the base of your toes.
If you grew up in the 70’s you will definitely be getting those Dr. Scholl’s vibes.
I really liked the look because I felt that you could dress these up or down.
The Madrid style comes in many combinations of colors for the uppers and materials for the soles.
There is also the Big Buckle embellishment style or the smaller standard buckle size.
About the High Shine Butter Color
The High Shine Butter Color in the Birkenstock Madrid Sandal features a patent leather upper with a big, oversized, silver buckle. T
he footbed is coated with matching piumato leather and the bottom sole is a matching EVA material.
Overall, this sandal is very pretty and I so wanted it to fit.
Everything about the Birkenstock Madrid High Shine Butter Color felt a bit stiff right out of the box.
The leather strap is made of a thick patent leather. And the piumato leather that coats the footbed is hard and slippery. I think you will find this to be the case with any of the High Shine Patent colors.
On the other hand, the Madrid styles that feature nubuck or the oiled leather straps with a suede footbed will likely feel softer from the get go.
But despite the stiff feel of the shoe, I still found these Madrid sandals to be quite comfortable and would have kept this pair if they had fit better.
Upon receipt, I could tell right away that the shoe was going to be too wide for my foot.
I cinched the buckle in the second to first hole – making them as narrow as possible. The first hole was really hard, if not impossible, to buckle because the leather is quite stiff.
But still my foot slid around on the footbed when I walked and the right shoe threatened to slip off at every step.
As these shoes break in I knew they would only get looser – so this size was definitely a no go for me.
But What Size Should I Get?
So, now the question that I am grappling with is whether to exchange this pair for a different size.
The problem is that there are 3 options that could possibly work for me:
- an EU 39 in the medium/narrow
- an EU 38 in the regular/wide
- an EU 38 in the medium/narrow
And the last thing I want to do is mess with ordering and returning a bunch of pairs.
So, I might just return and if I happen to see the Madrids in store like Nordstrom – then maybe try them on in person when I get the chance.
Overall I like the look of the Birkenstock Madrid Big Buckle Sandals in High Shine Butter.
They are cute, comfortable, and can be dressed up or down. However, the leather upper and footbed can be a bit stiff at first.
This style seems to run large in size and the pair I got were too big.
I will return them and may or may not order a pair in a smaller size and/or width.
If you have the Birkenstock Madrid Sandals – I would love to hear your experience with sizing. Please leave a comment for me below.