If you’ve ever made fun of the Birkenstock-wearing gals like me, you may soon be putting your alternate sandal wearing foot in your mouth since Birkenstock styles are now all the fashion rage. Suck on that, I say. While we can all pretty well agree that they're not the prettiest in the footwear world, there's no mistaking that Birkenstocks are a fashion statement in their own right.
Believe it or not, the German-made orthopedic sandals once reserved for women’s studies profs and the hippy kids on campus strutted across high-fashion catwalks this year, and have been flying off the shelves ever since. Celebs like Miranda Kerr, Kate Upton, the Olsen twins and me (just kidding — I’m not even #Halifamous!) have been spotted wearing the (pretty) ugly sandals all over, and for good reason. The Birkenstock sole provides firm support for your feet, with ample room for your toes to move!
Unlike flip flops, which are terrible for your feet, Birkenstocks stimulate circulation, exercise the muscles of the leg and help maintain balance thanks to that little toe bar in the cork and natural latex sole.
And, no matter where I look, I see white Birkenstocks — from fashion bloggers to fashion icons to my own good friend and colleague, Deb. It would seem that white is the it-colour for the season’s it-sandal. As for me? I’m rocking the two-strap Arizona variety in brown (Mr Hockey Coach calls them Fred Flintstone shoes) and the Gizeh thong-style in hot pink. And I’m not too proud to say that those are pairs number three and four — I’ve been a Birk fan for life. I’d still be on pairs one and two had it not been for a certain dog who really liked German cuisine… er… footwear.
Want to get your hands on a pair? Good luck! You can special order white Arizonas, but there’s a waiting list at Circle Shoes in Toronto — and the same pair sold out at both J. Crew and Holt Renfrew. I grabbed my most recent pair on eBay for under $60 Canadian, with shipping included, but you could always head to SoftMoc stores or the Birkenstock website to order, too. Check out our other fashion blogger Zeba's picks for great places to grab a pair!
Birkenstock expects to double their 10 million pair a year production to 20 million over the next five years as a result of the international boom. Since almost every aspect of a Birkenstock sandal can be repaired or replaced, it’s really an investment (I can justify any pair of shoes, though — ask my dad).
If you're wearing Birkenstocks, though, please refrain from pairing them with socks. Or leggings. And don't even think about doing both, or Ali and I will find you.
What do you think? Are Birkenstocks too ugly to grace your toes, or are you a fan?