Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Forget Fit Flops, Masai Barefoot Technology and suchlike, there really can be only one classic design and perfect style in the world of happy feet, the Birkenstock. As far back as 1774, Birkenstock has it's roots in the German town of Langenberg. Johann Adam Birkenstock started the family profession of shoemaking. From 1897 Konrad Birkenstock produced contoured insoles with an arch support for custom made shoes, and in 1902 he produced insoles with a flexible arch support to be inserted into factory made shoes. These insoles had the support of the specialist Medical profession world wide and led to the publication of Birkenstock's Podiatry in 1947, the foremost publication on foot health of its time.

Karl Birkenstock launched their first sandal in 1964, and the modern day success of this company was established. If you are interested in the technical detail, check out the Anatomy of a Birkenstock here. Essentially, their unique sole is based on the design of our feet and the mechanics of walking.

Birkenstock for everyone, in the 70s

Birkenstock has kept ahead of the game and aligned the basic principles of foot therapy with style, constantly launching styles and colours that are fashion conscious and inventive. Patent leather, animal print, neon colours, vegan, felt, bejewelled or molded rubber, the choice is endless. They have side-swiped the hippy connotations and established themselves as accessible to the discerning customer, for professional or every day wear. Growing up in Vermont, I have to admit that in my early years I saw Birkenstocks as the domain of the hippy crunchy granola-types, and I still maintain that there is never an excuse to wear socks with them. Nowadays, I have my own wardrobe of Birkies in every colour, and material I love in the Boston, Arizona and Madrid styles. I couldn't go near the Roman/Grecian Sandal styles though, a little too Gladiator for my liking.

My favourites...

The entire range here and here.

Heidi Klum has a line for Birkenstock, as does Tico Tores from Bon Jovi. The juries out...I say, keep it simple.


  1. From a Podiatrists point of view these are fab and I highly recommend them!!!!!!!!!!!! In the summer you will find me wearing them, I'm very partial to the double bar ones. x

  2. Thanks for the professional opinion Janey!


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