Birkenstocks and socksBirkenstock sandals have waned in and out of popularity ever since they became available in America in 1967. Hippies and nature lovers claimed these shoes as their iconic footwear during the late 60’s and they surged again in popularity in the 90’s supporting the then popular grunge look, popularized by tree-hugging recycled-loving flannel shirt clad Generation Xers. According to the New York Times, between 1992 and 1994, Birkenstock sold more shoes than the previous 20 years combined. It helped that they diversified their look with new styles and colors. But, they were still the same clunky look…. yet comfortable and well-made.
The origin of the sandal dates back to the shoe making Birkenstock family in 1774. Since then the Birkenstock sandal evolved and the original prototype as we know it today was developed by Karl Birkenstock in 1964. The sandals are still made in Germany and still remain focused on supporting good foot health and alleviating foot pain caused by various shoe trends.
ashley-olsen-300x400Today, Birkenstock sandals are enjoying a resurgence as the clunky oh-so-comfortable sandals are being seen as “cool” and are  popularized by today’s trendy stars. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen clinched the trend when seen this past winter wearing ‘Stocks and socks in the airport. Heidi Klum designs footwear for Birkenstock, so you see, Birkenstocks are cool. Even J. Crew carries Birkenstocks in their catalog.
This morning, on CBS This Morning, an interview with Birkenstock USA managing Director and CEO, David Kahan, talked about the resurgence of the Birkenstock, challenged by Gayle and Nora on the fashion attributes of the shoe (or lack of). He revealed that although the classic Birkenstock sandal is iconic, they are working on more fashionable footwear  such as close toed shoes, heels or platforms, but never sacrificing comfort for fashion. That’s the Holy Grail– the look and feel of the Birkenstock in a fashionable shoe and that’s what’s coming in 2015.
Birkenstocks are the coolest when worn with socks. Some would argue that socks and sandals are not fashionable but ‘Stocks look best when worn with a fun pair of women’s fun socks, or men’s socks.  Socks are a way to add additional comfort and fun to the already awkward sandal. Whether you wear a heavy cotton sock in the winter or a fun novelty sock or lace trim anklet with your ‘Stocks in the summer, they look best with socks.
Although fashion matters at Foot Traffic, comfort comes first and we admit that it is great seeing so many stars, nurses, teachers and those on their feet opting for comfort and healthy feet first. But, don’t forget to wear socks!
Tell us what you think of Birkenstock sandals and socks.

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