Not your mother’s Birks

About a week and a half ago, while I was shopping, I slipped my feet into a pair of Birkenstocks at some shoe store. If my feet could talk, they would have breathed a very loud, audible sigh of relief. Immediately my feet felt some arch support and my feet felt energized. Concerns about whether they made my feet look like an exhibit in the Museum of Natural Ugliness immediately ceased. It didnt matter and I no longer cared.

I had been wearing some flat sandals for fashion.  You know, the kind that literally has no support for your feet.  The kind of flats that 75% of females from the age of 13-45 are wearing.

I pretty much decided at that point I would finally give in and splurge on a pair since I had been buying crappy sandals that looked cute but were so flat and thin that I might as well be walking barefoot.  I had been toying with the idea of buying them last summer but never did.  As previously mentioned, becauseI went mafia on my own knee, I had been rocking my Croc flipflops on bad knee days. However, I wanted something slightly more acceptable for the office dresscode that did not stick out so sorely.
The Gizeh style in Pearl. The Gizeh style in Pearl.

Traditionally, Birkenstock sandals have been reserved for college kids, hippies and old people who can sometimes be seen wearing them with socks.  But upon some research after I bought a pair (read: googling) I realized why I had seen an increase in Birkenstocks on my daily commute.  Vogue decided they were in this season, and many others slowly and shyly came out of the Fans of Birkenstock closet.

As a result in a new surge of popularity, Birkenstock seemed to offer more to the fashion conscious by offering patterns, patent leather and even metallic hues.  They even designed a sub-label calledPapillion which offers more colourful and fashionable choices according to their website.
From the Papillo Collection From the Papillo Collection

As you can see, a pair of Birks will set you back about $100 give or take. You may be able to find a pair cheaper online**. Some stores even have a slight discount if you sign up for their mailing list.

Birkenstock has a fine reputation amongst the Orthodic community for thesupport it provides feet and as a result if you have a health insurance plan, it is possible that you could get insurance to foot the cost (PUN INTENDED).  The foot bed is made of materials that are found in nature and allow the foot bed to custom contour to your feet.  They even make custom foot beds specifically for your feet by special order.

I will say that they fit large.  I am usually a 7.5 or 8 depending on the shoe and I bought a pair in size 7.  You should read up on the way to find the right size before purchasing in case the shoe salesperson is not knowledgeable.

One important thing to note is that they take some time to adjust too.  If your feet are not used to the ergonomics of a proper supportive shoe, you will need to adjust to them.  I was told to wear them for 2 hours the first day before I broke into them.  For someone with flat-ish feet, I understood why the first few second I put on the pair I tried on the store.  The arch support is very significant unless you have naturally high arches.

All in all I will say I am glad to invest in this pair of shoes.  I felt if I could do anything to help my tired sore feet as well as slowly combat the possibility of osteoarthritis in my knee then it was worth it.  The price maybe a little high for some, but like I mentioned most insurance plans that cover orthotics do include Birkenstock footwear.  Their reputation for well made products and design also is their legacyas they have been around for quite some time.

As for the trend, they are catching on, the day after I bought my pair, my sister in law and niece also got a pair each too.  :)
My sister in law and my 6 year old niece are new Birk converts. My sister in law and my 6 year old niece are new Birk converts.

*Disclaimer: This nerd DIGS it /nerds Unite!

**I am not sure if Zappos ships to Canada, or offers free shipping to Canada.  If you reside outside of the US of A, you may want to check the small print before purchasing anything from there.


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