Birkenstocks

August 23, 2013

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?

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{ 96 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MEL August 23, 2013 at 8:43 am

I got my first pair of Birkenstocks when I was probably 7 years old and never looked back! I wouldn’t say they are my go to shoe–I’m still a sucker for a sky high pump!–but no matter the lifestyle I’m choosing to live at the moment, I always have my birks to come home to.

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2 Margaret August 23, 2013 at 9:03 am

A friend of mine lovingly calls his Birks “hippie slippers,” and that’s the perfect description: They are the ultimate laid-back shoe. Hearing that they’re in style now (again) just makes me giggle — though the girl in the picture seems to be pulling them off!

I bought my first and only pair in Assisi, Italy, 13 years ago; it just seemed appropriate, with all the Birkenstock-shod monks running around the place… Now I wear them around the house, or with cut-offs in the summer, because they’re a comfy, easy summer shoe — but I have no delusions about their being stylish. ;)

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3 Design Mom August 23, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Hippie slippers! Love it.

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4 Amy August 23, 2013 at 9:06 am

Love birds. Live in my clogs! Patent leather of course. A Mama’s gotta shine :)

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5 Amy August 23, 2013 at 9:07 am

Okay, so I love birds- but I meant birks :)

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6 Elizabeth Aquino August 23, 2013 at 9:20 am

We’ve been wearing them down in fancy-schmancy, trendy Los Angeles consistently for years!

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7 pemora August 23, 2013 at 9:26 am

i totally love this trend. will be wearing mine with skinny cropped pants when i return to teaching!

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8 Zoe - SlowMama August 23, 2013 at 9:36 am

Birkenstocks always looked too wide for my slim foot, but I have to say I like (and have had) some of the eco-comfort brands like NAOTS and love them. They have styles that are both fashionable *and* comfortable, which is my kind of shoe.

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9 Esther August 26, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Birkenstocks come in narrow, too, and there are plenty of styles that don’t have that “wide” look. :)

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10 Jodi August 23, 2013 at 9:38 am

for a slightly girlier version of the birk, try naot shoes – not quite as wide, just as comfy. this pair has recently caught my eye http://www.naot.com/cgi-bin/show_product.pl?yaleet_number=35048&cat=7

i wore a pair of birks until they fell off my feet and then my husband kindly asked me not to replace them seeing as my bob marley phase had ended.

same thing happened with my doc maarten/depeche mode phase :)

as for my clogs, i am partial to dansko, and this trend seems to be ongoing and not necessarily tied to a specific music.

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11 Design Mom August 23, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I’ve never heard of NAOT shoes before. Thanks for the introduction.

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12 Jen August 23, 2013 at 9:58 am

Danskos would be the homeliest shoe. Not too bad looking really but look a bit orthepedic for a 20-somethimg yr old.

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13 Jmbh August 23, 2013 at 10:06 am

I had my first pair in 1989 and wore them religiously (not the same pair) through 1997. I discovered the Birkenstock Gizeh in 2010 and have been wearing them ever since. I think the Gizeh version is stylish! http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000YCMGVU
But then I love my Worishofers too!http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001MS792G/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1377273915&sr=1-1&pi=SL75

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14 jacqueline | the hourglass files August 23, 2013 at 10:14 am

They look great on tall thin women who ooze confidence. On someone as short as me, they make me look stumpy. Oh well. I wish they would come out with a pair with a thinner strap across the foot.

My homeliest shoe would probably have been the Adidas sandals I wore all through high school while I was a swimmer. I wasn’t very fashion aware at that period anyway.

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15 Lindsay August 23, 2013 at 2:53 pm

I read the Adidas sandals are also coming back, but what do I know, I live overseas in a country that fashionable people wouldn’t be caught dead in them.

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16 Anne August 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm
17 Esther August 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm
18 Jillian L August 23, 2013 at 10:26 am

What does everyone think about the Saltwater Sandals? Seem very on trend right now too, but are they more fashionable for kids?

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19 Design Mom August 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm

I have definite opinions on both Saltwater Sandals and the much maligned original Crocs. I love Saltwaters for the 12 and under set, but after that, the proportions don’t look as good to me.

For Crocs, I adore them for 5 years old and under — so easy for little ones to put on. And again, I love the proportions of the little ones. But any bigger than that, and I’m not a fan.

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20 Amanda August 23, 2013 at 2:24 pm

I recently purchased a silver pair of Saltwater Sandals (adult) for the upcoming summer season, here in Australia. I think for a beach day or summer holiday — with a tan– my sandals will fit the bill!
Looks like I’ll be pulling out my Birks this summer, too. But as some have said, I never really stopped wearing them!

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21 Chris August 23, 2013 at 3:44 pm

So totally agree. Baby crocs are crazy cute as are SWs on kids but I am not into either the bigger they get. I’ve been wearing the Gizeh Birks for years and I think they are very cool (just got a turquoise pair) but I am from Vermont and birks are like our uniform ;)

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22 Anne August 23, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Live Gizehs! I’ve been wearing them nonstop since I saw them on my friend’s French fashion model girlfriend a decade ago… I think they are chic and flattering. But then, I am also from Vermont and have a mother who literally wears nothing else unless there are 2 feet of snow on the ground, so I appreciate that others may not share my perspective…

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23 JoKateG November 28, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Totally agree with you on both of those options. Great for kids, not so great on big people. Crocs are great for swimming lessons and the beach.

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24 Mrs. Jones August 23, 2013 at 10:32 am

I have a friend who only wears Birks. Has for as long as I’ve known her and that’s been 12 years. She introduced me to the cool (and honestly comfortable ) factor. I now proudly own 2 pair. But they are definitely the homeliest pairs of shoes I own by far. Still no shame in my game when I wear them.

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25 Jessica August 23, 2013 at 10:39 am

I never had the sandals but I did have a pair of Birk slip on clogs I wore all through college. They were ridiculously comfy. I’m sad I got rid of them! I don’t think I could shell out $100 for the sandals these days….but I DO have a pair of saltwater sandals and love those. And although they don’t do much for my legs, they’re more comfy than my normal sandals and are a bit more fashionable than Birks, I think :)

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26 Cathy S August 23, 2013 at 10:39 am

I love Birkenstocks and Naots. Working in a public library standing 8 hr. A day on cement floors can be murder on your feet, so many years ago I forked over the “big bucks” for a pair of clogs, which I wore every single day…socks in the winter. You make your own fashion in a library….thankfully. They seem to never wear out, I still have the clogs along with several other sandals and know these shoes are timeless.

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27 Juliette August 23, 2013 at 10:52 am

I went to HS in N.California and even in the early 90′s Birks were big. I loved them and my mother was appalled by them, but figured it was a safe enough rebellion, ha. I had a couple of pairs. I wore them all the time, even got them repaired a few times when the soles wore down. I even wore them to college in a preppy East Coast type of place (but graduated to their covered shoes in the winters, lol). Love them!

BUT

Then I moved to Germany 6yrs ago & I basically never wear the 2- or 3-strap models anymore. I take that back, I do, but only in my home. They’re basically what ever German wears (or a knock-off) for house shoes. They are so nice when you come home, but yeah, they scream ‘SLIPPER’ when you’re out in public here. I forgot and wore them grocery shopping once and I was mortified, ha!

The Gizeh model is pretty fab and very much on trend over here right now. That’s a model you can definitely wear outside and it’s *everywhere* in the summer! I have 2 patent leather pairs; one black and one orange. I love them -so comfy and trendy! (ps. Amazon has them on sale periodically!)

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28 Design Mom August 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm

That is so interesting to me, Juliette! I love getting to know the little things — like Birks are house shoes — that make up a culture.

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29 Lindsay August 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm

SO true on that. I lived in Germany in the late 90s. I am a devoted Birkenstock fan, and I was often talked about on the buses/trains. Of course, I speak German, so I would always respond to their snide comments about the “stupid American” wearing house shoes, which shocked people.

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30 Laura Bear August 23, 2013 at 10:54 am

I bought a pair 4 months ago, because I was pregnant and summer was coming. Best decision ever, and now they are in!? I thought I was just going to have to rock the ugly shoes, as my wide preggers feet just love them :)

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31 Sabrina August 23, 2013 at 11:02 am

I reluctantly just bought my first pair of Birkenstocks precisely for my foot health. I’ve had problems with my heels and arches lately. I have never been a huge fan of them though, even when they were really popular in high school. The jury is still out whether or not they are helping my feet though, so it’s doubtful I’ll buy another pair if they don’t help.

I actually had no idea they were coming back in style. I not usually on the cutting edge of fashion, so, I guess, lucky me!

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32 Danielle August 23, 2013 at 11:07 am

Yep, I’m making that face saying “They never left.” But then again, I live in the Boston/Cambridge area. We love our Birkenstocks and Dansko Clogs, in all seasons. It’s pretty much what I’ve always had in my closet—for about, I don’t know, 25 years? Yes, I’m a bit of a hippie but I’m not granola. It’s just that heels feel like a torture device compared to my Birks… and I don’t think they are ugly at all. :-)

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33 Celeste L. August 23, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Once you get hooked on Birks, nothing else feels as good. I’ve loved and worn them for years, even with wool socks in the winter. As you said, Danielle, heels feel like torture devices in comparison. Here’s to healthy, happy feet!

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34 sarah k August 23, 2013 at 11:21 am

I got my first pair of birkenstocks when I was a little girl living in Berlin, and since then I always have a pair for wearing in the house only. I have weak arches and try to take care of them since running and being active are more important to me than wearing super-stylish shoes. I wear cuter supportive shoes outside–but I live in birks in the house year-round!

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35 Susie August 23, 2013 at 11:28 am

For all of us with cankles, they’re really terrible! They make my legs/feet look horrible and thick. I will admit to owning a pair way back when, but I will never buy a pair again. My mother’s whole side of the family is from Russia, and she used to say they made me look like a “Russian foot-press operator”. Not really sure what that is, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a compliment!

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36 Julie August 23, 2013 at 11:30 am

I saw a brand new pair at goodwill last week! I tried them on and they fit…but they have never felt comfortable to me. So I didn’t buy them. I think maybe my feet are too narrow maybe?
Ugliest shoes I actually own are a pair of crocs. Just for at home wearing in the garden…I am a bit shy to admit I own them…but so comfy. I wonder if we shouldn’t be recycling crocs. Maybe this is actually happening?

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37 Melinda August 23, 2013 at 11:38 am

I had an imitation pair of “birks” in the 90s and I LOVED THEM SO MUCH!! I can’t imagine how much I might have loved a real pair.

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38 Amy August 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

For the past few years, I’ve worn Mephistos, which have the same cork bed as Birks and Naots, but are slimmer. http://www.mephistoshoes.com/store/Helen-for-Women.html

I think the footbed on Mephistos is thicker than the similar-looking Birks.

As for being homely, well, there is nothing homely about the woman in this post’s image! It’s all how you wear them…

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39 Tasha August 23, 2013 at 11:44 am

I can’t get past the look! Sorry, and I know it’s ignorant…they just don’t say “me.” The cost is probably worth it and that doesn’t scare me…
I found a cute pair of Dr. Scholl’s with a sparkly buckle – is that healthy enough? LOL
Enjoy ♥

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40 Tasha August 23, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Geez – tried to locate them, hard to find:
(Mine are white)
http://poshmark.com/listing/4fcd5cb352ab06676d023432

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41 Jennifer August 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

I love Birkenstocks. My grandmother in Germany would send them to me as a teenager. In SoCal I wore them exclusively. But I haven’t found myself wearing them as much since moving to a colder climate and getting older. Though just thinking about them makes me long for a pair.

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42 Ann August 23, 2013 at 11:51 am

I was a late bloomer with Birks. I finally got my first pair about 10 years ago. I never get sore heals after wearing them like I do with flip flops!

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43 Laura Lee August 23, 2013 at 11:51 am

I bought a pair in Munich in the late 80′s. There was a little tag with a smiling cartoon foot that said, “Freedom for toes!” They were never good for me, sadly. My friend & I made up “Birkentrip” & “Birkenrock” from all the trips & rocks. I so wanted to rock them in a good way but I just looked like The Hobbit. I will always believe in freedom for toes, though!

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44 Madhavi August 23, 2013 at 11:56 am

I’ve been wearing hot-pink Floridas (style) for a couple summers now and they are comfy and chic, chic, chic! The article just focuses on the earthy colors and styles but there are a lot of designs and colors for everyone. Love my Birkenstocks!

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45 Design Mom August 23, 2013 at 1:13 pm

You’re right, of course. Sometimes I forget they come in shades like hot pink!

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46 Nicole Devereux August 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I love my Birks, and think they’re comfy and stylish. The “Gizeh” style is so versatile for summer, and I’m thinking about a pair of the “Paris” style for fall to wear with thick tights and cute dresses. I have more typical “high style” shoes, too, but think Birks can be what you make them!

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47 Becca August 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm

I will be skipping this round of birks, since I got rid of my pair in mint condition in the late 90s after I graduated from high school. I was positive that all the trends that I saw in high school would never come again. The 90s fashion is too hideous, I said! But, last time I was at the mall I saw not only birks but braided belts, neon everything, narrow pants that zip at the ankles, and overalls! No, not the overalls! That means that we’ll be seeing overall shorts and that was such an unfortunate turn back in the day.

But, I have to admit that I am loving my denim shirt and the resurgence of navy. Bring on the 90s, I guess!

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48 JananW August 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Birkenstocks. Never understood the appeal, never will. The girl in the picture looks good despite the Birks, not because of them;)

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49 Yo Momma Runs August 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Mine never left my closet. Now I can bring them out in Public without wearing my Pearl Jam shirt. Yay!

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50 Design Mom August 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Hah!

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51 Jenny also August 23, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Recently Birks have been appearing pretty regularly on a fashion site called ‘man repeller.” I think that pretty much sums it up. Love this conversation, though. Let’s talk about Chucks next; they’ve been my favorite since college!

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52 Oriana August 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm

aHHH, I’m sad at how many birkenstock lovers actually think they are ugly and wear them only for comfort . . . they so aren’t ugly !! I am totally annoyed that they are considered “in style” now though . . . i’ve been rocking them with stylish outfits for years :)

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53 bliss August 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm

$100 seems so expensive for any shoe. but two years ago we found birkenstocks for my two year old at a yard sale for .25 :) he got two full summers out of them and now my second oldest has inherited them. i can’t say i’m not jealous.

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54 ellen August 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Question is:

What are you willing to sacrafice for comfortable feet?

I’ve never met a man who’s said – “Honey, those Birkenstocks go great with that outfit” or “Wow, you look hot in those Birkenstocks.”

Just sayin…

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55 ellen August 23, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Please forgive typo above… sacrifice… so embarrassing…

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56 Shawna August 23, 2013 at 2:54 pm

All winter I live in my Danskos. They are ugly, but extremely comfy!

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57 Lindsay August 23, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I had no idea they were coming back into fashion. I was able to chose my first pair in 1991 for my 14th birthday: taupe suede Bostons. I was nearly beat up at school for my funny shoes until the girl found out they were Birkenstocks. Back then, Birks were in fashion, but everyone wore the Arizonas and didn’t realize there were other styles. I still have that pair as well as several others, though they have had the cork resealed, heel taps and full sole replacement. In 1997, while doing an internship that required a lot of time on my feet, I had my mother send me a pair of black leather Londons, since I had to have black closed toe shoes. They saved me. As a ballet dancer, they were the best investment ever as they helped alleviate knee problems I had developed. Love them, but I also don’t mind rocking a pair of fabulous heels every so often.

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58 Sam M August 23, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I live in Chaco sandals for as much of the year as possible.

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59 Suzanna August 23, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Amen. Maybe that is a lifestyle too!

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60 Sarahbclark! August 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Birks were the epitome of cool when I was in middle school. I wore them in high school too, but hadn’t had any since until I bought a pair of white Gizehs a couple of years ago. They’ve been my summer shoe staple ever since! I actually took a silver paint marker and drew a design on them to spice them up, and I get compliments on them regularly!
Ps, I found out that my friend Kaila is your cousin! Small world. :)

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61 Whitney August 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm

I have two pairs of Birk Gizehs and l.o.v.e. them. I have an old foot injury that gives me problems and they help, of course. But I think they’re pretty stylish to boot (ha!) and they’ve lasted for several years. I found them for about 75-80 and it’s been more than worth it.

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62 Lori August 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm

I have been wearing my Birk-esque Mephistos all summer and getting lots of compliments. I personally think they make my cycling calfs look great!

http://www.gomephisto.com/hubiliablack.html

I recall living in Hunter green Birks in the summer and loving a closed toe white Birk for work about 20 yrs ago.

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63 Kimberley Edwards August 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm

I LOVE my Birkenstocks! I bought my first pair in France 5 years ago and have lived in them every summer! They were red with gold polka dots and everyone commented on them – when they fell apart I immediately replaced them with another pair this time plain red with only one strap across the front of your foot not two as in your pic – I am heading to California in 3 weeks and they will be the first thing that is packed in my bag!

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64 Amy Beam August 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Growing up in Northern California I didn’t realize that they weren’t cool until I went to college in San Diego (I also wore clogs, but hey it was the 90′s). I have long since replaced them with comfortable flip flops. I would consider going back, but I recall them being quite expensive.

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65 julie August 23, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Red Wing hunting boots my Sophomore year of college, ’76 in Cedar City. I rubbed them down with mink oil and walked through the snow every day with dry feet. I loved them so much I wore them in the summer with cutoff levis and mexican wedding shirts. (beautifully embroidered with red flowers!)

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66 Colleen August 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm

I have a pair of birk Gizehs that I think are cute but not comfortable! The piece between my toe hurts. When my sister came to visit she wore hers around the zoo and downtown all day… I told her how I wear them to work (teacher) and the movies and stuff because I think they’re cute, but I could never stand them for that long. Funny how other people see things!

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67 kassandra August 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm

i was considering buying them again after years because i always wanted the comfy real ones and now i’m on the fence….. trendy again? i’ll wear them past the trend, just like my favorite flare jeans.

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68 mandi@herbanhomestead August 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Oh girl! I’ve had mine for 14 years! They don’t die!

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69 Mary August 23, 2013 at 7:20 pm

I was so excited to see this post. I bought a new pair last month before I moved to Taipei and was totally teased for it. But then I got here and was shocked to see them everywhere! They are totally on trend here, too.

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70 Maria B August 23, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I LOVE my Birks and I will never give them up! People give me crap all the time for wearing them, but I just don’t care. I’m not a girl who can go around wearing tiny torture devices on my feet. I have wide toes, so heels and “girly” sandals are basically super painful. I’ve had at least one pair of Birks since I was about 20. I’m 38 now…and I have about 10 pairs. There was a Birkenstock outlet about 50 minutes from my house in Germany so I stocked up before we came home! LOVE LOVE LOVE MY BIRKENSTOCKS!

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71 Maria B August 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm

PS-The Mayari are my style of choice. The Gizeh is lovely too, but I just can’t handle the plastic bit between my toes.

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72 Faye Lynn August 23, 2013 at 8:33 pm

After my third day of teaching, I called three foot doctors and told them how my feet and legs felt. All three doctors told me to buy Birk’s and wear them daily. And I did. :)

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73 Lily @ Lilywanderlust.com August 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Perhaps I spent too many summer in Ithaca as a kid but Birkenstocks will always remind of of old professors at the farmers market…which isn’t exactly the worst stereotype to provoke.

After moving to Amsterdam 3 years ago I noticed nearly every woman wears them- with style! So, I purchased a pair if the Gizeh and now I’m hooked! They’re so comfortable, durable and great with summer skirts or cropped jeans or practically anything in the summer.

As expected my friends back in the States make granola jokes to me but at least I’m with like-minds ere in Holland :)

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74 Brannon August 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I love my Worishofer 251s. Equally German and orthopedic looking, but life-changing for me when it comes to comfort! http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00DM9CF9K

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75 mom in mendon August 23, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Birkenstocks were out??

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76 Sabrina August 23, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Birks bring me back to summer of 95′. Working at a camp, cut off jean shorts, tie-dye t-shirts, listening to The Grateful Dead, Phish, and Dave Matthews Band. Great memories and I loved my Birks!

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77 Jenny August 23, 2013 at 9:23 pm

I love them and have worn them for YEARS. On a trip to Paris I first saw that they license (?) to a few more affordable lines – Birkis and Papillio, they do funkier patterns on the shoes than the plain Birkenstocks. I have a pair of three strap sandals in a pale floral print that get compliments all the time.

I always just order them direct from a German online shop. Used to be cheaper than buying here in the states. I’d have to check currency conversions to be sure on that now. It’s been awhile as the shoes last FOREVER. So yes, they are worth the money. Last for years, super comfortable and let’s face it, I can’t chase the kid on the playground in heels.

I mean…polka dots? So cute. http://www.birkenstock-onlineshop.com/salina-black-mini-points-white.html?___store=us

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78 Katie August 23, 2013 at 9:37 pm

I bought my first pair in the 90s, when I idolized my older sister and wanted to be just like her, wearing Birks. Now I live in New York and walk way too much to buy uncomfortable shoes. A couple years ago I found myself wanting to wear Birks again but I couldn’t bring myself to do it — weren’t they outdated? But again, I’m a mom in NYC, uncomfortable shoes are not an option. So, I bought my Gizehs ($79 on Zappos) and wear them every single day and never looked back! I think they look great with everything. Four of my friends bought the same pair and I have seen them ALL over NYC lately.

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79 sandy johnson August 23, 2013 at 9:45 pm

In the 70′s I wore a pair of Earth Shoes. The heel was lower than the toes because the sole was angled down. They were supposed to stretch your muscles in the back of your legs. Mine were really ugly but oh so comfy. My boyfriend (now husband) had a pair too. We thought that we were pretty cool :)

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80 aneelee August 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Live in my birks. Have my every day pair and a slightly more feminine single strap style for my dressy days.

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81 Eva August 23, 2013 at 10:09 pm

I had a pair of imitation birks in the early 90′s All my friends had them too but mine were the best fake out of the bunch. Everyone else’s buckles were too narrow for the strap. It’s in the details, you know?

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82 Lesley August 24, 2013 at 2:30 am

How about the Dr Scholl’s sandals from the 70′s? I had a red pair with wood soles.

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83 L. August 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm

I’ve always admired Birks, but could never bring myself to buy them. I prefer Teva sandals while growing up in Boulder (we’re Birks are the norm). Since then, I’ve been addicted to Dr Scholls Dance Clogs. They’re hideous, but so comfortable. I could run a marathon in them!

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84 leslie August 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm

growing up in germany i’ve always had a pair in my closet….and we all wore them A LOT! i just simply love them and me &my sisters always say that we’re the “birks-generation” and NO other sandals will ever come close….and it’s very true!

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85 Cristina August 24, 2013 at 6:08 pm

The Gizehs are absolutely wonderful, and I could walk miles in them! I’ve had a pair for that I bought at Harrods in London about 8 years ago. I remember walking around and seeing all these cool girls wearing them. If you know how to style them they totally work.

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86 Makayla Sampson August 24, 2013 at 7:54 pm

My husband and I have been wearing Birkenstocks for years. I have many styles, and also wear Danskos too, but he only wears Birkenstocks. He buys the Birkenstock dress shoes and wears them to work every day. Birkenstocks are the cure for the foot conditin, plantar fasciitis. My husband’s physician told him to wear Birks years ago, to relieve this condition. It worked! He finds it difficult to wear anything else on his feet.
Some of the sandals with wide straps arn’t that flattering, but I have found plenty of styles with the thinner straps. I often get compliments on my Birks. They are more stylish than regular old flip-flops.

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87 Lauren August 25, 2013 at 12:23 am

I’m happy to hear they’re back in style! I probably had six pairs in high school and college and I would totally wear them again. Crunchy shoes are always acceptable in Seattle.

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88 cabesh August 25, 2013 at 8:45 am

I grew up on the west coast during the 80′s and 90′s, so Birkenstocks were a given. Twenty years and three babies later, my feet are wider and frequently ache at the end of the day from lack of arch support. A month ago I bought my first pair of Birks in in 15+ years, and my feet haven’t hurt since, even after spending hours on them. It’s hard for me to find shoes wide enough, and they usually never have enough arch support. But the Birkenstocks are perfect. I LOVE them.

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89 Tan August 25, 2013 at 10:06 am

I live on an island in Canada’s west coast where birkenstock’s are huge and very very hippy. I’ve always vowed never to buy a pair.
Until last year.
We went to Morocco for our honeymoon last year and I knew I wanted very comfortable sandals I could walk in all day. Birkenstocks were the first thing that came to mind. So I bought the most fashionable pair I could find and oh man! They are the best thing EVER. My feet were never sore after wandering all day through medina’s and souks, and they still look and feel just as new and comfy as they did when I first bought them.
I don’t think I could ever buy that classic two strap birkenstock (there’s still the anti hippy-style in me), but I know I’ll stick with my pair for a very long time

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90 Charmaine August 26, 2013 at 9:00 am
91 Chrissie August 26, 2013 at 11:54 am

I live in the tropics (Ghana) and wear Birkenstocks every single day! So, my life doesn’t exactly call for glamour, but they are the best. A friend here was complaining she needed to buy some new shoes (which good ones are pretty tricky to come by), and I told her to get some Birks. She complained about the price, and I reminded her that she and I had bought our shoes the same week, and hers were the only ones needing replacement! Every single day, and still going strong a year on! And some of the Papillio ones are really quite pretty!

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92 Dee August 26, 2013 at 12:39 pm

The homeliest shoes I’ve ever loved where a pair of Birk-esque slippers from Land’s End. They got me through being 9 months pregnant in Texas…twice! I wish I knew what happened to them!

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93 Laura August 26, 2013 at 3:56 pm

I’ve worn only Birkenstocks for the past 8 years since I had a painful bout of plantar fasciitis and my doctor advised me to wear Birkenstocks for awhile until my foot healed. I decided having a pain-free foot was worth the investment in a few pairs and I’ve never looked back. Worth the cost? Absolutely! And I’ve worn out many pairs and I’ve had several pairs re-corked and re-soled. Every year I buy another pair or two. I’m happy others are catching on to the comfort of them!

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94 Holly Brousseau August 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm

I haven’t worn Birkenstock’s since college, but I do adore my Sanita and Dansko clogs. I started wearing them when I developed plantar fasciitis after the birth of my son. I have worn my clogs religiously during this pregnancy and haven’t had any leg/foot issues yet.

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95 Sarah November 22, 2013 at 10:44 pm

At the suggestion of my Hubs, I ordered 2 pairs of very fashionable Birks…two summers ago…they are the ones with three straps and these ones are metallic with stamped flowers in the leather…I get compliments on them all the time…for me there is no other shoe…I am currently looking for closed ones for the winter but am not into the style of them…I will find what I am looking for…I was at a trade show this week and there was a booth selling shoe inserts…they tried to tell me that their insert would make them more comfortable…what a joke…I will wear them for life.

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96 Kelly July 24, 2014 at 2:46 am

I had a pair of imitation Birks about a decade ago when all the high street stores where selling knock offs of the Madrid style, and i loved them. They died after about a month and i’ve not bothered with them since.
I ordered 2 pairs of the actual Birks 2 days ago because in about a week’s time, i will need the most comfortable shoes in the world, and rumour has it, Birks are those shoes.
I’ve never liked the look of them, however on shopping for them, i have fallen in love with the Gizeh style, and have ordered pairs in black and white, and now have my eye on a fuchsia pink pair!

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