By Gabrielle. Image via Studio T.

Have you noticed? Birkenstocks are back. If you’re a Birkenstock devotee, you’re making that face and muttering “They never left.” And if you’ve never understood the allure of a flat, wide, utterly comfortable sandal in every earthy shade under the sun, you might be groaning. I think Birkenstocks are one of those shoe styles that you either love or hate!

Birkenstocks have always been more of a lifestyle choice than a fashion trend, haven’t they? They’re functional but not necessarily fashionable. Super comfortable once they’re broken-in. (I highly doubt there’s ever been a woman spotted in the ladies’ room massaging her feet with her Birkenstocks off, bemoaning the injustice of wearing such torturous shoes all night! Ha!) They don’t do any favors for your legs appearance-wise, but they are considered excellent for your foot health. (There are some who dispute this claim, but they certainly can’t be any more damaging than barefoot shoes, right?) And, right now, they’re 100% truly on trend.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! If you’ve been wearing Birkenstocks for years, are you a little annoyed at this surge in popularity? For the rest of us, would you fork over a hundred dollars or more to try the trend? I spent the summer after my freshman year in Orange County, and I wore Birkenstocks constantly — while listening to a lot of Cat Stevens. : ) But I’m thinking I might skip the trend this time around (though a pair would fit right in here in Northern California!).

And tell me: What’s the homeliest shoe you’ve ever loved?