There’s more to this German brand than their clogs and double-strap sandals, which are famous for their custom-like fits. Birkenstock has made big waves in both the footwear and fashion industries over its nearly 120-year history.
For years, shoes had been made with a flat footbed, even though the soles of our feet are curved. In 1897, Konrad Birkenstock, grandson of the brand’s original founder, hypothesized that contoured insoles that matched the shape of our feet would provide more comfort. He was right, and more than 100 years later, Birkenstock is still synonymous with comfort.
In the 1990s, Birkenstock was primarily seen as a comfort shoe—its iconic Boston clog paired well with jeans and hoodies, but celebrities certainly weren’t photographed in them on the red carpet. In the last couple of years, Birkenstock has seen a brand resurgence, particularly among the fashion set. Style magazines have covered their sandals in their pages, and high-profile fashion editors and models are snapped wearing their Arizona sandal with chic dresses and other outfits.
Even though its origins date back to 1774, Birkenstock is a brand that’s continued to thrive. Its most recognizable Arizona style celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2013, when the Boston clog turned 35 in 2012. In just a couple years, Birkenstock will celebrate its 50th anniversary in the U.S.
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