Birkenstock: A new trend or a lasting favorite?
The brand was first introduced in the United States in the late 60’s but has been a popular brand in Germany since 1774. While on vacation, a woman suffering from foot pain found relief in a pair of shoes she bought in Germany. Amazed with the comfort of her new Birkenstocks, she lobbied for the brand at a variety of shoe stores in America. None of the shoe stores would agree to carry the sandals as they were convinced the sandals would never sell. Recognizing that most women suffered from foot pain due to shoe designs, she continued her quest and finally convinced a health food store to carry the brand. It didn’t take long for the brand to become the staple shoe of the American counter culture in the late sixties and early seventies. Now, Birkenstocks can be found in almost every shoe store and has had cyclical fashion recognition. They have been featured on the runways in every decade since by the most notable designers across the world. The popular sandal has once again made it to the top of footwear trends as it continues to modernize their designs without changing their signature footed that provides unwavering comfort.
Why I love this brand!
I bought my first pair of Birkenstocks when I was in high school. Suffering with flatfeet, I was miserable while standing long hours at my summer job. I stumbled across, what I considered an odd looking sandal at Payless Shoes called Betula. Betula, a licensed brand by Birkenstock, has the same signature style but made from more affordable materials keeping the cost low. A week later I rushed back to the store to buy a second pair in a different color. I was amazed. I could actually stand all day without my feet hurting. Almost twenty years later, I still have multiple pairs of Birkenstocks in my closet.
Why My Patients love this brand!
Like me, many of my patients find this brand incredibly comfortable. The cork material slowly adapts to your foot allowing for maximum comfort but still maintains stability and support. Though the brand does offer low cost alternatives with lesser quality material, the original is made of such high quality the sandals last for years. The styles have been very consistent and though the brand falls in and out of fashion magazines, the sandals and clogs are always popular.
Who doesn’t love this brand?
There are some people who find Birkenstocks too supportive or have a hard time breaking in the foot bed. Much like the first time you wear an orthotic, the foot bed feels odd and can actually be uncomfortable the first time you wear them. There is a break-in period. People who are accustomed to soft shoes with a lot of cushion also have a hard time adjusting to the cork style.
This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our practice would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.