Let’s face it, Birkenstocks have been the top name cork footbed sandals since 1774 when Johann Adam Birkenstock first set up shop as a cobbler in Germany.

Let’s face it, Birkenstocks have been the top name cork footbed sandals since 1774 when Johann Adam Birkenstock first set up shop as a cobbler in Germany.

It’s incredible to think that these sandals have been around longer than our beloved United States of America. Birkenstocks are loved by hippies and fashionistas alike for their versatility, comfort, and environmentally friendly ways. With a range of cork footbed sandals available in nearly every color imaginable, they’re always keeping up with the latest trends.

There are plenty of reasons to love Birkenstocks, here are 6 of the best!

Rooted in tradition

When Johann Birkenstock’s ancestor, Konrad, took over the family business and started selling flexible footbed insoles in 1896, the future of foot health was born. Before the 1902 development of the contoured arch support, 19th century shoes had been flat and flimsy.

Since then, Birkenstocks have been passed down generation to generation in the family, with each new owner making new and innovative changes to the renowned cork footbed. In fact, in 1932, Carl Birkenstock launched a training course and the “Carl Birkenstock System,” making the sandals officially endorsed by podiatrists and physicians.

Good for your feet

One thing that makes Birkenstocks long-lasting is how good for your feet they actually are. With that podiatrist stamp of approval, they’ve continued to dominate for a healthy foot option of fashion sandal.

Because of the way the cork footbed sole is designed, to support your ankle, and the way the cork actually molds to your foot, they’re about as orthopedic as they come. Not to mention the natural antibacterial properties of the cork will keep your feet free from germs and help reduce odor caused by locked in sweat.

Plus, the patented strap technology took more than 3 years to develop; the design is meant to hold your foot in the most optimal position for genuine foot health. The less your foot moves around in a shoe or sandal, the less prone it is to sustain injury.

Ease chronic foot pain

We’ve seen that Birkenstocks are designed to promote good foot health, but it goes even further than that. If you suffer from any kind of chronic foot pain, such as plantar fasciitis or bunions, the shape and design of Birkenstocks can actually help to ease it.

Because of the harder sole and the natural flexibility of the cork, your foot is both supported where it needs it most with each step causing less shock to your bones and joints. Sufferers of chronic foot pain report a reduction just from wearing Birkenstocks on a regular basis.

Introduced to America at a health fair

When Birkenstocks were first introduced to the American market by Margot Fraser, retailers refused the comfortable sandal, stating that American women would not wear any shoe so ugly. Margot decided to take a different approach by reaching out to people interested in health and fitness.

When she offered them to a woman who was limping through a health fair with a pair of high heels in hand, the future was changed for both women. The first Birkenstock store was set up in Margot’s Santa Cruz garage 1966, with most sales going to health food stores. The American foothold was taking place, pair by pair.

Environmentally friendly

Sustainability is a foundational pillar of Birkenstocks core principles. From production processes and logistics through to their products and packaging, Birkenstocks are just about as sustainable as they come.

Cork is a naturally sustainable resource, with trees able to produce 200kgs of material in their 500-year lifespan. Their water-based and solvent adhesives are among the first environmentally friendly used in the production of any kind of shoes. And the natural latex and rubber come directly from the rubber tree, another sustainable product.

Because of Birkenstocks firm rooting in the health food industry, vegan products made of synthetic materials instead of traditional leather and wool have been introduced.

Fashion forward

With over 100 designs and colors, Birkenstocks are fashionable. You can wear them with short skirts, long skirts, shorts, jeans, dress pants, cuffed pants, overalls, dresses, with or without socks. The natural, simple sandal certainly entices all sorts.

But is this enough?

However, the one thing that Birkenstock is lacking is the development of more interesting sandals. Where are the wedges and platforms? The bananas and palm trees? While the simple shoe does reign king for many, the original 1966 response remains: Birkenstocks are, simply put, not appealing to everyone. With their lack of innovation, the competition is outpacing them.

Who says you can’t have high fashion and comfort? That’s where ETHEM Shoes comes in. We have all the same principles as Birkenstock, but with a flair. Our sandals come in a variety of high-fashion styles perfect for a night out, a day at work, or a walk on the beach. Visit our site to see all the styles we have to offer.