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Birkenstock

Birkenstock traces its lineage all the way back to 1774 when Johann Adam Birkenstock was registered as a “vassal and cobbler” in the small Hessian village of Langen-Bergheim, Germany. His great, great grandson, Master Cobbler Konrad Birkenstock began manufacturing and selling a flexible footbed insole and the first arch support system in 1902 - far ahead of his time. In that period, podiatry as a profession was in its infancy. Flat footbeds were the standard and sizing wasn’t standardized (the Brannock device - used to measure feet everywhere today - wasn’t invented until 1925). It was still common ...

Birkenstock traces its lineage all the way back to 1774 when Johann Adam Birkenstock was registered as a “vassal and cobbler” in the small Hessian village of Langen-Bergheim, Germany. His great, great grandson, Master Cobbler Konrad Birkenstock began manufacturing and selling a flexible footbed insole and the first arch support system in 1902 - far ahead of his time. In that period, podiatry as a profession was in its infancy. Flat footbeds were the standard and sizing wasn’t standardized (the Brannock device - used to measure feet everywhere today - wasn’t invented until 1925). It was still common practice at the turn of the 20th century for cobblers to streamline the process by making no distinction between right and left foot shoes; that wouldn’t become the norm until the middle of that century. The popularity of Birkenstock insoles afforded Konrad the ability to open two specialty shoe shops in Frankfurt.

In 1925, Carl Birkenstock joined the company and began exporting the arch supports throughout Europe. This broader attention on foot health inspired a series of training seminars. Leading medical experts across Europe attended Carl’s one week podiatry and footwear specialty footwear courses, adopting his system. He literally wrote the book on it:Podiatry - The Carl Birkenstock System. Published in 1947, it was an illustrated book that expanded on the theories that inspired Birkenstocks’ inventions, pioneering the idea of “form follows function.”

In 1964, Carl’s son Karl, took the company in its next innovative step by building a shoe around the insole called the Madrid - the original prototype for the Birkenstock sandal. A couple of years later, in 1966, a German dressmaker named Margot Fraser who resided in California, took a trip home to a Bavarian health spa where she was recommended Madrids to help with foot problems caused by tight shoes. Having experienced dramatic relief and enthusiastic about sharing the benefits of Birkenstocks, she started a small trading company in Novato, California to import the sandals. However, they were largely rejected by Americans because of their style. This led Margot to health store wellness sections where hippies eventually adopted the sandals into their back-to-nature aesthetics.

In 1973, Birkenstock introduced its most iconic model - the Arizona. The popularity of the Arizona was immediate, but popularity gradually faded as the hippie generation took the flowers out of their hair and planted themselves in suburbia as they raised families. But the world’s most comfortable sandal proved to be trend proof. They saw a spike in popularity again in the 90s thanks to Gen-Xers on college campuses as well as introduction into fashion by style icons like Kate Moss and Gwyneth Paltrow. They’ve even been redesigned for the runway by the likes of Céline, Valli, Valentino, and Givenchy. They’re still regularly photographed on modern celebrities and this is accomplished through comfort alone - no advertising dollars are spent by the company on endorsements.

In 1988, Birkenstock switched to environmentally friendly adhesives and set the high bar for environmental awareness in manufacturing worldwide. By 1990, production was modernized to reduce energy consumption by over 90%. In 2018, the company was given PETA’s Libby Award for being the “Most Animal-Friendly Shoe Company.”

Why they’re so comfortable:

Not a lot has changed in the design of Birkenstocks since the 1930s. The original footbed is still based on the cast of a healthy foot in the sand. In addition to being posture-regulating from the first, the natural materials soften and mold to the wearer's foot over time. The footbed consists of four layers. The first layer is the shock absorbent sole, followed by a layer of jute fibers, then a firm cork mixed with more jute, and the final layer consists of a soft, faux suede. For over a hundred years, Birkenstock has provided unparalleled comfort. “Often copied, never equaled.”

Read more

Birkenstock traces its lineage all the way back to 1774 when Johann Adam Birkenstock was registered as a “vassal and cobbler” in the small Hessian village of ...

Birkenstock traces its lineage all the way back to 1774 when Johann Adam Birkenstock was registered as a “vassal and cobbler” in the small Hessian village of Langen-Bergheim, Germany. His great, great grandson, Master Cobbler Konrad Birkenstock began manufacturing and selling a flexible footbed insole and the first arch support system in 1902 - far ahead of his time. In that period, podiatry as a profession was in its infancy. Flat footbeds were the standard and sizing wasn’t standardized (the Brannock device - used to measure feet everywhere today - wasn’t invented until 1925). It was still common practice at the turn of the 20th century for cobblers to streamline the process by making no distinction between right and left foot shoes; that wouldn’t become the norm until the middle of that century. The popularity of Birkenstock insoles afforded Konrad the ability to open two specialty shoe shops in Frankfurt.

In 1925, Carl Birkenstock joined the company and began exporting the arch supports throughout Europe. This broader attention on foot health inspired a series of training seminars. Leading medical experts across Europe attended Carl’s one week podiatry and footwear specialty footwear courses, adopting his system. He literally wrote the book on it:Podiatry - The Carl Birkenstock System. Published in 1947, it was an illustrated book that expanded on the theories that inspired Birkenstocks’ inventions, pioneering the idea of “form follows function.”

In 1964, Carl’s son Karl, took the company in its next innovative step by building a shoe around the insole called the Madrid - the original prototype for the Birkenstock sandal. A couple of years later, in 1966, a German dressmaker named Margot Fraser who resided in California, took a trip home to a Bavarian health spa where she was recommended Madrids to help with foot problems caused by tight shoes. Having experienced dramatic relief and enthusiastic about sharing the benefits of Birkenstocks, she started a small trading company in Novato, California to import the sandals. However, they were largely rejected by Americans because of their style. This led Margot to health store wellness sections where hippies eventually adopted the sandals into their back-to-nature aesthetics.

In 1973, Birkenstock introduced its most iconic model - the Arizona. The popularity of the Arizona was immediate, but popularity gradually faded as the hippie generation took the flowers out of their hair and planted themselves in suburbia as they raised families. But the world’s most comfortable sandal proved to be trend proof. They saw a spike in popularity again in the 90s thanks to Gen-Xers on college campuses as well as introduction into fashion by style icons like Kate Moss and Gwyneth Paltrow. They’ve even been redesigned for the runway by the likes of Céline, Valli, Valentino, and Givenchy. They’re still regularly photographed on modern celebrities and this is accomplished through comfort alone - no advertising dollars are spent by the company on endorsements.

In 1988, Birkenstock switched to environmentally friendly adhesives and set the high bar for environmental awareness in manufacturing worldwide. By 1990, production was modernized to reduce energy consumption by over 90%. In 2018, the company was given PETA’s Libby Award for being the “Most Animal-Friendly Shoe Company.”

Why they’re so comfortable:

Not a lot has changed in the design of Birkenstocks since the 1930s. The original footbed is still based on the cast of a healthy foot in the sand. In addition to being posture-regulating from the first, the natural materials soften and mold to the wearer's foot over time. The footbed consists of four layers. The first layer is the shock absorbent sole, followed by a layer of jute fibers, then a firm cork mixed with more jute, and the final layer consists of a soft, faux suede. For over a hundred years, Birkenstock has provided unparalleled comfort. “Often copied, never equaled.”

Read more

Birkenstock Boston BOLD - Roast $230.00 USD
Birkenstock Boston BOLD - Black $230.00 USD
Birkenstock Arizona BOLD - Black $220.00 USD
Birkenstock Arizona BOLD - Roast $220.00 USD

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