Birkenstocks are known for their cork footbed that fits the feet perfectly. It is also known as an orthopedic-inspired product. The anatomical moldings are designed to relieve pressure on the feet, back, and joints while walking. Wearing Birkenstocks is good for people suffering from conditions such as high arches, Mortis neuroma, and plantar fasciitis.
The German brand started the tradition of designing “fitness sandals” to promote natural posture back in 1774, but it just recently got into high fashion.
To fully understand why it is so popular, here’s a brief history of Birkenstocks:
Birkenstock Group B.V. & Co. K.G. is known for its production of Birkenstocks, a unique brand of sandals and shoes famous for their contoured cork footbeds (soles) made with layers of suede and jute, which adapt to the shape of their wearers’ feet.
Founded in 1774 by Johann Adam Birkenstock as a “vassal and shoemaker,” the company’s original idea was to make shoes that support and contour the foot, compared to the flat soles of many shoes during that time. In 1896 the Fussbett (footbed) was created by Johann’s great-great-grandson Konrad Birkenstock and by 1925, Birkenstocks were sold all over Europe.
In 1964 Karl Birkenstock released Madrid, his first athletic sandal with a flexible footbed.
In 1966, Margot Fraser introduced Birkenstocks to America, where they were sold in health stores, thus becoming associated with young men in the 1970s.
In 1973 when Birkenstock’s most popular sandal, Arizona, was introduced.
In 2015, Birkenstocks introduced EVA, an environmentally friendly rubber sandal made from Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA), which was made as a cheaper option to the original cork Birkenstock.
In 2018, Birkenstocks received PETA‘s Libby Award for being the “Most Animal-Friendly Shoe Company.”
Birkenstocks have graced the world of High Fashion many times, with designers giving their spin on Birkenstocks. Phoebe Philo created one of the more well-known designs for Céline. Composed of Birkenstock’s Arizona and a mink-covered footbed, the sandal is commonly called the “Furkenstock.”
Celebrities such as Kate Moss and Gwyneth Paltrow were also spotted wearing Birkenstocks sandals.
The Birkenstock Group announced a partnership with fashion designer Rick Owens on June 3, 2021. Starting on June 4 of the same year, versions of the Arizona and Boston models have been released, and a new Rotterdam style.
Most people wearing a pair of these sandals love this brand because of the comfort factor. Usually, people looking for footwear that could provide foot support and comfort often choose this brand.
People wearing these sandals notice that their feet and legs don’t hurt or get tired at the end of the day.
Although other manufacturers attempted to copy the look of Birkenstocks, none was able to provide the same level of comfort.
Aside from the comfort and support, the Birkenstocks are made with premium materials making them dependable and could stay in great shape for many decades. Many people their first pair of Birkenstocks in their teens or early 20s, and it becomes a nostalgia trigger as they grow older.
Top 10 Birkenstocks Best Sellers
The oldest Birkenstock product is the one-strapped shoe called Madrid. It is known as the “gymnastics sandal,” the shoes have a grip that activates while walking. Its cushioned footbed offers the perfect combination of comfort and ergonomics for the owner.
The Zurich is a popular unisex shoe that molds to the feet of the wearer. It is a combination of closed shoes with covered sides and the flexibility of sandals with open toes and heels. It fits so perfectly that you forget you are wearing shoes.
It is also called the “One for All” because it was made for work and leisure. It can be worn indoors & outdoor and made for all gender. These best-seller environmental-friendly shoes are available in a plethora of colors.
The iconic design of this unisex sandal is why the Birkenstock brand has become very popular in many countries.
Based on the official Birkenstock website, the Boston clogs provide the highest comfort level. Because of its signature cork sole and latex footbed, wearers will not suffer from cramped toes and no uncomfortable pressure points.
Birkenstock’s “stylish all-rounder” Gizeh sandal is feminine, elegant, comfortable, and cool. It has an adjustable buckle; the straps can be adjusted and are available in many colors.
The timeless Gizeh was redesigned in 1980 and became a permanent imprint in shoe stores around the world
The Yara model is the best vacation sandals. It features an impressive combination of toe aligners and adjustable straps.
The Yara sandals come with a rear strap that wraps around the ankle in a crosswise pattern giving the wearer excellent support and a perfect fit.
Last but not least is the Kairo closed ankle sandal. This comfortable model features an easy on the eyes design and firm support. It also comes with an individually adjustable instep strap which guarantees a perfect fit.
What is in a Birkenstock Footbed?
People always talk about the comfortable footbeds of a Birkenstock sandal. What makes it more comfortable than other brands? Well, most Birkenstock footwear comes with this regular footbed. The cork and suede give to mold to the feet while remaining solid enough to offer incredible support.
- Cork and Latex Footbed – They say that the cork and latex footbed is the heart of all Birkenstock footwear. These very flexible and shock-absorbing central cushions uphold the feet and, at the same time, reduce the strain. It is made of natural materials and protects the feet against cold and heat, keeping them feeling cool and fresh.
- Footbed Edge – The front end of the footbed tends to rise considerably. As the foot rotates, this edge protects the toes.
- First Layer of Jute – The first layer of jute serves as the footbed’s foundation. It helps in bonding the cork to the latex core.
- Heel Cup – Supports the foot tissue and keeps the heel bone in its proper alignment.
- Heel Mold – The external arch support encourages motion, which lessens joint pressure and possibly twisting an ankle. The heel mold also stimulates calf muscles, creates a stable back of the foot, and enhances posture and collaboration.
- Longitudinal Arch Support – The arch support runs along with the footbed and protects the tarsal bone giving the foot the solidity it requires when walking while supporting and enhancing the internal arch. It also improves posture and collaboration by stabilizing the back of the foot.
- Second Jute Layer – This layer outlines the sides of the footbed, enhancing endurance and flexibility. The absorbent, thick layer likewise helps in regulating moisture.
- Suede Lining – The suede lining absorbs moisture to keep the feet dry and fresh.
- Transverse Arch Support – The transverse arch support, running through the center of the insole, stabilizes the metatarsal bone, relieving strain on the feet’s balls and aiding in the prevention of splayfoot. It also helps keep the feet in a naturally straight and stable posture.
- Toe Grip – there are lifted dents near the toes on the front area of the footbed. The toes will stay comfortable in their natural posture because of this toe grip which will help in the bending activity of walking.
Birkenstocks can take one to two weeks to break in because the cork footbed holds the curves of the feet to offer extra support.
Once the Birkenstocks sandals have been broken in, they become significantly more pleasant, molding to the wearer’s feet and providing the essential support in all the right spots. Although the Original Footbed may take time to get used to, it will pay off.
Wearing Birkenstocks can alter the shape of the feet because the bones shift into a more natural and comfier posture. It is completely normal for the feet to feel awkward at first. Keeping the feet in a healthy state can enhance foot health and knees and posture.