Birkenstock – An Iconic Brand at Whole EarthPosted by Whole Earth | 07.06.2018
Birkenstock – An Iconic Brand at Whole Earth
Footwear fashions come and go, but Birkenstock has endured as an iconic shoe brand for several generations. Whole Earth has been selling Birkenstocks since 1974. Back then, the Arizona, a double strap, suede sandal, was a favorite with UT students and professors alike. Today, we offer a variety of Birkenstock styles that combine good looks and comfort.
The Birkenstock family began making shoes back in 1774 in Germany. At turn of the twentieth century, Konrad Birkenstock created a contoured insole that would mold itself to the wearer’s foot, an invention that led to the family being recognized as experts in podiatry and orthopedic footwear. Fast forward to 1964 (cue your favorite early Beatles song), Karl Birkenstock took the classic footbed, added a leather upper and a flexible sole and created the first Birkenstock sandal as we know them today. Margot Fraser discovered the sandals while visiting a German spa and began importing them to the United States in 1966. The rest, as they say, is history.
There are two schools of thought on the rise of Birkenstock’s popularity in this country. One version claims that the shoes became popular as a symbol of generational revolt. Birkenstocks looked nothing like the shoes and sandals worn by previous generations and so they were worn as an outward sign of a break with the past and an acceptance of new ways of thinking and living. An alternative version suggests that the early adopters of Birkenstocks were won over by the shoes’ comfort and quality workmanship.
The heart of a Birkenstock sandal is its four layer footbed. The EVA (ethyl-vinyl acetate) sole is flexible, durable and lightweight. There are two layers of jute, one to wick away moisture from the foot and the other to add strength to the sole. The cork footbed offers both support and resilience, and the suede footbed liner keeps feet comfortable and dry. The contours of the footbed ensure even weight distribution and better posture, and the extra toe room promotes better balance and correct foot alignment.
Today’s Birkenstocks are far more fashion friendly than the original spa sandal. Some of our favorite styles include the Mayari, a sandal with a toe loop and adjustable straps that can effortlessly go from beach to brunch; the graceful Daloa featuring a thin ankle strap and an elegant silhouette; and the Gizeh, a classic thong sandal with an adjustable strap.
For folks who are looking for shoes that are vegan friendly, Birkenstock offers sandals made with Birko-Flor uppers and microfiber footbed liners. Birko-Flor is made of easy-to-care-for and hygienic PVC that is lined with a soft, breathable layer of fleece that is comfortable and durable. The footbed is lined with a microfiber that mimics the soft feel and shape-retentive qualities of the original Birkenstock sandals.
And if you are looking for water-friendly Birkenstocks, try the Arizona Essentials EVA. It’s modeled on the cork sandal, but made of ultralight, highly flexible EVA. The high quality, odor-neutral EVA is waterproof, washable, and easy to care for, and it has the same anatomically shaped Birkenstock footbed, only in EVA.
At Whole Earth you’ll also find Birkenstock Cork Sealant and the Birkenstock Deluxe Shoe Care Kit. Apply a thin coat of Cork Sealant when the cork begins to look dull to protect it from drying out. The Deluxe Shoe Care Kit includes Cork Sealant as well as a cleaner, a stain remover and brush. Extend the life of your Birkenstocks with a little TLC!
Birkenstock offers comfort and classic styles for sandal wearers of all ages. No matter your generational affiliation, there’s a Birkenstock sandal for you. Find yours at our online or brick and mortar stores.