Anti-fashion is always in style.

‘Blame it on the Birkenstock, but it’s official: Man sandals are happening for spring, the chunkier the better’’ says Fashion magazine in a March 2014 trend report. It’s not the first time the epitome of anti-fashion has been responsible for a fashion trend. Granola, grunge, wellness… it’s all a winning formula for Birkenstock.

German shoemaker Johann Adam Birkenstock created comfortable insoles to promote healthy feet in 1774 and laid the foundation for today’s Birkenstock anatomically shaped footbed insoles. Today there are sandals and shoes for workers in every profession that spends long days and nights standing, as well as footwear for fashionistas who want to stand out in comfort, available in eighty countries around the world.

birkenstock articleThere are Birkenstocks in a rainbow of colours, patterns and styles, but it’s all in the footbed: By ensuring that the foot is supported properly, the whole body is aligned, resulting in less strain from head to toe. The footbed is produced in two widths, normal width for normal or wider feet and narrow for slim feet. It mirrors and supports the shape of a healthy foot and ensures even weight distribution.

You should stand inside the footbed, not on the side of the rim, with several millimeters of space in the heel and toe to allow your feet to move freely when walking. This promotes better balance and overall toe health. It’s a weird feeling at first, a combination of barefoot and orthopedic, but persevere and you’ll be a dedicated Birkenstock wearer in no time. Podiatrists even recommend these sandals for times when you want a break from custom orthotics, or for wearing with cozy socks as slippers at home.

Furthermore, the raised toe bar encourages the natural gripping motion of the toes, improving circulation. The neutral heel profile and deep heel cup promotes natural spine alignment and keeps natural padding where it belongs. The shock absorbing sole is lightweight, shock resistant and replaceable if it wears down because you’ve worn them all day, every day. Two layers of jute fibers served to wick away moisture, add strength and make resoling easy. The suede liner keeps feet comfortable and dry.

Like most European footwear manufacturers, the environment is close to Birkenstock’s heart. The firm strives to reduce energy consumption with innovative manufacturing processes, they use water soluble and solvent free adhesives, the natural and renewable materials used include cork, vegetable tanned leather and felt. The cork used in the footbed is actually from cork oak bark and is heat and cold insulating, antibacterial, absorbs moisture and has a high degree of elasticity.

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At Le Jardin de mes Pieds we have Birkenstock sandals in stock all summer, and can order them for you all year, as well as the classic ‘Boston’ style clog and other styles.

Images courtesy of Serum International Inc – Canadian distributors of Birkenstocks.

Photo captions:
Proper alignment wearing Birkenstocks (correct posture birks.jpg)
The Birkenstock footbed: top view and crosscut (birks footbed.jpg and birks footbed crosscut. jpg)
The classic Birkenstock Arizona sandal (Birkenstock Arizona.jpg)

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