Birkenstock is a German brand of sandals and other shoes, famous for their contoured "footbeds," which are supposed to match the shape of their wearers' feet.
One of the worst shoes
In the 1980's I lived on Vancouver Island in Canada. In that period, Birkenstocks was kind of a euro-hippy shoe that they used with socks. I used to make nasty comments about people who had them. About 10 years ago, they became quite fashionable (especially the white ones) in Madrid, Spain where I live today, really practical for the warm climate. But there was something that started to bother me about the smell that the cork retained so I started scrubing them with bleach to freshen them up. I still got along with my many Birkenstocks until last year when I started having serious problems with my feet. My search for good advice lead me a professor here at the one of the universities here in Madrid. The professor took one look at those Birkenstocks and much to my surprise told me that any shoe with a form that is not your own form is actually one of the worst shoes that anyone can possibly wear. The generic arch is not yours and can actually create foot serious foot problems that can also move up to your low back. From that day I have tossed the Birkies out and now use custom made leather forms inside my shoes which I started to have custom made with my arch already built in. Don't believe that they are healthy!
fred, Spain - 10 April 2008
When I turned 40 and realized that I didn't need to impress anybody I made a promise to myself that my feet would never hurt from ill fitting shoes again. A key to keeping that promise has been wearing Birkenstocks almost exclusively since then - I have many colors and styles, and they are ridiculously comfortable. I honestly don't know why people wear anything else.
Morgaine, United States - 31 March 2008
Worth every penny
The best endorsement for any product I can give is this: I wore the same pair of Birkenstcok Arizona sandals almost every day (outside in warm weather, inside in cold weather) for FIFTEEN YEARS with no repairs and only recently had to replace them. Worth every penny of the price.
Charlie, United States - 26 April 2006
I could run miles in them if I had too
I 'heart' my Birkes. They are by far the most comfortable pair of shoes I own and look hot with anything. I could run miles in them if I had too. Being 50 percent, German I support them even more. Much Much Love.
joanna, United States - 20 February 2006
I also love all my Birkenstocks
I also love all my Birkenstocks but my favorite is the Boston style. The marketing of Birkenstock is not the same in Germany as in the US or UK. I would like them to be as popular here.
Mike, Germany - 15 October 2005
Special instead of strange
When I was young I thought Birkenstocks were for health freaks, but since I own a pair I know better. Birckenstoks are the most comfortable shoes I ever owned. And their peculiar shape makes them special instead of strange.
sandydr, Netherlands - 13 September 2005
Like being surrounded by family
I went to the Birkenstock store in London and it was full of interesting people looking for that special type of foot wear. I felt like being surrounded by family and I wanted to be part of it.
Frank, Belgium - 05 July 2005
Funny doesn't mean ridiculous, ok?
I need to wear funny-looking shoes, so I look at them and smile. Funny doesn't mean ridiculous, ok? I'm wearing'em now and there's something sexy about these sandals...or is it my feet?
Aurora, Italy - 06 June 2005
Toes and soul
Birkenstocks are a step into the comfortzone. Not just physically - as they are designed to be healthy and comfortable, but also virtually. Every night when I get home after a tough day at work the first thing I do is to change into my Birkenstocks. It's the real step from duty to leisure, from the boundaries of high heels and meetings to the freedom of toes and soul... There was a time in the 70īs and 80īs when they were connected with the "ecological weirdos" or you could identify German backpacking tourists by their Birkenstock footwear, but this time has long since passed. And forget about the imitations. It has to be the Original. Not fake or fancy but straightforward in design and honest in mind.
Sabine, Germany - 17 June 2004
Utopia for my feet
Oh how I love you Birkenstock maker. I literally could not survive without the 'almost- naked- yet- fully- supported-and protected- fee'l of my Birks. Its like going to Grandma's - everything is cozy and perfect and for just a second you think world peace truly is possible - and so is paying your bills on time and walking instead of driving. Thank you for creating a Utopia for my feet.
Ashley, United States - 27 January 2004