The foundation of Birkenstock
However popular the Birkenstock sandal and shoes has become nowadays, the Birkenstock story goes a long time back in history, it until now stayed a family business which has kept to it’s main principle: a shoe should follow nature, not fashion.
With over 200 years of experience in shoemaking, the Birkenstock family company maintains it’s traditions and is reaping it’s fruits from sticking to quality right now. This German brand is most effectively understood for it’s contoured footbed, it’s ecofriendly production and the use of select, high-grade and therefore long-lasting materials.
The Birkenstock brand traces its roots to the German Johann Adam Birkenstock, registered in 1774 as a “subject and shoemaker” in local church archives. In 1897 Johann’s grandson, Konrad Birkenstock, developed the first contoured insole for use by shoemakers in the production of custom footwear. Konrad Birkenstock established a theory that would alter the world of shoes permanently. He thought that if the form of a shoe would be moulded in the form of the foot, it had to guarantee comfort. He developed the initial footwear to feature a contoured insole to be used in personalized footwear.In 1902 Konrad developed the first flexible arch-support for insertion into factory-made shoes. In 1964 Karl Birkenstock developed these inserts into a shoe – thus producing the original prototype of the Birkenstock sandal. More chronicle history.
Made in Germany
With over 10 production locations based in Germany, Birkenstock is and will remain „Made in Germany”. Birkenstock Orthopädie GmbH & Co. KG is headquartered in Vettelschoß, Germany. When Karl Birkenstock joins the family business in 1954 the German based shoe manufactures will grow exceptionally and will be in conflict with modern union regulations more than once. In one of the seldom moments Karl Birkenstock talked to the press (Handelsblatt, 1993), the king of sandals summed up a list of prominent buyers of his product: ‘Boris Becker, Steffi Graf, Madonna, Bill Clinton, Helmut Kohl, generaal Norman Schwarzkopf.’ Even Clint Eastwood would trade his cowboy boots for these funny looking German clogs who are still made after the principle: freedom for the toes and a shoe should follow nature, not fashion.
Birkenstock walking across the Atlantic
In 1966 Margot Fraser tried on a pair of the sandals while visiting a Bavarian spa; the yoga teacher at this spa showed Margot her shoes. She said, “This is what you should have. It’s made of cork. It’s flexible. You exercise your foot while you walk.” Two months later, she said to her husband, “Look. My toes have straightened out.” He said, “Yes, they really have. Maybe these are an item we should sell”. She would spend four decades as sole U.S. distributor for Birkenstocks. The first shoe shops she went to wouldn’t sell these funny looking slippers, too ugly. She moved over to health exhibitions and managed to get her Birkenstocks distributed at health shops. Today, Birkenstock USA, a $50 million company based in Novato, California, sells through large retailers and some of the same health-food stores that were the sandals’ early champions.
Fashion follows function
Birkenstocks for Women.The essence of all the Birkenstock shoe models is the original footbed, which is inspired by the natural imprint of a foot in the sand and feels just like walking barefoot. For a long time, the person who would wear Birkenstock would be stereotyped as the ‘eccentric aunt’, the ‘the colleague who spends his weekends hiking’, ‘the camp counselor’, a little anti-establishment, maybe not the most attractive person. But in 2013 and 2014, something strange has been happening to Birkenstocks: They’ve gotten kind of cool. Birkenstocks may still be ugly, but since celebrities started wearing them massivly, they’re cool. Birkenstock Shoes for Women
Birkenstock Sandal Sale 2014
Birkenstock Buy 2014