Birkenstock shoes, whether you like them or not, are synonymous of comfort. Recognizable from therir iconic cork sole and shaped footbed, they have been legitimized as a fashion accessory in the past few years.
According to some sources from 1774, the history of this shoes began thanks to Johann Adam Birkenstock shoemaker from a small town close to Frankfurt. At the end of XIX century Konrad Birkenstock , a descentant, opened many shoes stores in Frankfurt and introduced the signature sign of this particolar sandals: the shaped insole and the flexible rubber innersoles that can be fitted in any shoe, creating a comfortable bed for foot, the well know Birkenstock soft footbed.
When Carl Birkenstock took over the helm of the company, he scientifically studied more about the importance of foot’s health. This Carl’s interest was a peculiar deutch characteristic as culturally they are very fond in taking long walks paying attention to foot’s comfort and health. During 60ies, when Karl Birkenstock was in charge for the company we arrive at the end of this long technical project that made this shoes inique: the cork sole. Today the company is not guided by a member of the Birkenstock family but it has been sold to Catterton, american private equity company partnered with LVMH.
Birkenstock sandals were always been considered an healthcare shoe and the consumer chooses it for its comfort, despite some fashion incursion as when in 1990 Kate Moss wore it for a cover of the famous magazine “The Face”. The true revelation arrives in 2012, when Phoebe Philo, creative director of the luxury brand Céline, decide to create a hairy Birkenstock Arizona inspired sandal, which have been called by the press furkenstock.
We have to notice that, probably, also the cultural change of this times helped these sandals in their fashion raise: people is more sensitive to body and mind health, women and men pay attention on wearing shoes that are good for their foot and posture. Another important cultural focus is the sustainability. Despite the unexpected increase of the production, Birkenstock mantains the production in Germany, avoiding to relocate it in ubderdeveloped countries.
In the last few years Birkenstock sandals, despite the design bonds, offer comfort to the customers all year long, thanks to a huge color range, new materials and oprions for cold months – like the Birkenstock Boston – .