To Birk or Not to Birk



In recent years it seems that fashion and style from the past 60 years have all made a comeback, and stayed fashionable. Today it is perfectly acceptable to go out in clothes that replicate fashion from every decade going back to the 60’s and even 50s. 

This trend has influenced fashion so much so that old bankrupt companies have restarted and their rivals flourish just as much as they did in their heyday. Polaroid went bankrupt in 2001 as it was unable to make the digital transition. But today, we can buy their film and cameras once again. Fujifilm's Instax camera, which gained popularity a few years ago may have the credit for bringing back the analog form of photography.


And others have reengineered their products to fit the fashion while staying modern. Fujifilm still makes cameras, their  mirrorless cameras that have the same compact and retro build and style as the film cameras they made 20 years ago. I remember going into Best Buy and seeing the cameras. They look so much like film cameras that I picked one up, intrigued, and found it to be a digital camera.


But Birkenstock has managed to stay open and maintain their fashion since the 70s and stay running since the 18th century. How many brands can say this? The German Brand has understood that people have different foot shapes since the 19th century. They started manufacturing and selling insoles in 1896 which lead to the blue insole that became popular in the early 20th century. It wasn't until the mid 1960s that Birkenstock came to America. It gained popularity, especially among college students and hippies. I recall the first time I tried on a pair of birks that my dad made a comment about how he couldn’t believe they were still around and still looked the same. Today they have shoes that have a wide range in style, material and even cater to different foot shapes and widths. It’s a dream come true for people with high arches who want cute sandals. Birkenstock also makes other types of shoes; sneakers, clogs, boots, etc. which all have that same arch support which many people so greatly need.


The style has gained so much popularity that it makes complete sense for other brands to pop up with similar styled sandals. 


A few years ago I injured my arches wearing the wrong shoes, which put me on the mission to find a good pair of sandals which lead me to these amazing shoes. I don’t buy or wear Birks. They hurt my feet. They tailor to the population with high arches which is amazing and a dream come true. In today’s world, brands have stopped understanding how important it is to have support and comfortable feet. Most shoes in the market don’t have any support at all, many of them the biggest shoe sellers out there. Birkenstock has the high arch support, but so far it seems they all came from the same mold, and don’t work for my feet, not to mention their high price. So, I wear an off brand called White Mountain. White Mountain is quite possibly the best sandal I have ever worn. They have dozens of styles and are significantly cheaper than their competition. Their shoes may not be quite as sturdy, but here is why I appreciate that. The sole is made from a flexible material. Over time, it molds to the shape of your own foot. My first pair's sole looked like someone gouged out the heel, simply because I walk heavily on my heels. They were so comfortable that I bought a second pair, and am now in the market for one of their closed toed booties or clogs. My White Mountain Sandals have travelled with me on every trip I’ve taken since buying them, where I do a tremendous amount of walking and I am so glad for the support. My sister has the same foot shape as me and bought a pair of plastic affordable Birks and had the same problem as me and hated me when she tried on my sandals because they were that much better.


Don’t get me wrong, Birkenstock is an amazing brand for people with high arches. Their shoes are cute! To each their own with the shoes. Find a pair that will support you in your endeavors until the end. Whatever path you decide to go, a good pair or supportive shoes will be your best friend forever. 



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