I’ve always had a thing for Birkenstocks. What can I say? I’m a total 90’s babe.
Funny thing is, I never wore them in the 90’s. I coveted them, yes. But I was a struggling artist / college student and the idea of forking over $100 and some change for a pair of sandals was out of my league. Nevermind the fact that they were excellent quality and offered great support for people with miserably flat feet like mine, I just couldn’t swing it. All of my art teachers wore them, of course. So, I just continued coveting them.
I totally wore the fake ones. Faux-Birks. Probably with socks. Oh yeh, fake Birks and socks all day, baby.
Fast forward a few years and I was now a young mother to four little boys. Deep in my crunchy phase, wearing Mexican peasants tops, I never did my hair, I made my own shampoo and hemorrhoid cream, used a serape purse, fed my kids goat milk and gave birth to my babies in a tub in the middle of my kitchen. I believe it was 2002. I finally got my hands on a pair of Birkenstocks.
Don’t ask me how I talked my husband into buying them, seeing as how I was a stay at home mom to four little ones with a non-existent budget and all. But he said yes and so I did.
They hurt at first.
So much so that I was kicking myself for dropping that much coinage on a pair of sandals. Then one day they magically formed to my feet and I wore them all the time. A few non-crunchy friends questioned my fashion judgment but I didn’t care. Years passed by and I thought my battle-worn Birkenstocks had seen better days. I figured I would resole them and keep on keeping on. But they got swallowed up the seasons and ever-evolving closet and I forgot about them.
Imagine my surprise to see the Birkenstock trend on the runways and fashion blogs and Instagram earlier this year. My inner hippie, the non-conformist, the crunchy granola mom who gave birth in a tub in the middle of the kitchen was like, yassssss.
Then I remembered the suede pair I had from over twelve years ago. I proceeded to tear up my closet in search of my Birkenstocks from back in the day. I found them.
I slid on my pair of 12 year-old sandals and was like, they’re vintage.
I’ve been wearing them ever since. Gently worn in with the Birkenstock stamp slightly faded but they haven’t skipped a beat. They are super comfy. A great perk? They seem to help with my plantar fasciitis which apparently is an affliction of middle-age people, according to webMD. Ahem.
I was hunting for a pair of Birkenstock-inspired sandals from Sam & Libby at Target a couple months ago. I kept thinking about those gold studs every time I stalked a Target within a 20 miles radius. Then I found them.
I was victorious. They were only $29.99. And I had a gift card. Boom.
I’ll leave out the part about my daughters calling them my “hospital shoes”. My “broken foot” shoes. My “lesbi-honest” shoes. Whatever. I’m now saving up my pennies to purchase another pair, the Birko-flor Gizeh. If not the Gizeh’s, then I definitely want a pair of clogs for the Fall.