Birkenstock Sandals - Standing the Test of Time
While most people associate Birkenstock sandals with the hippie movement of the sixties, there is much more to remember about these well-designed
shoes. Though they are made from natural materials and are crafted to last a long time, these are not just qualities that "flower children" can
appreciate. In fact, Birkenstocks have been around a lot longer than the hippie movement ever was. Here's what you need to know.
Where Everything Started
Back in 1774, Johann Adam Birkenstock was registered as a shoemaker in a small German town. While this seems to be the beginning of the
Birkenstock name, the actual sandal itself would not emerge for a few generations. In 1897, Johann's grandson Konrad began to look at shoe design
in a completely different way than other shoemakers of the time. Though the typical shoe was made to be flat, Konrad noted that our feet were
rounded, so perhaps this flat shape was not an ideal design for comfort.
A few years later, Konrad designs an arched insert that can be put into shoes in order to cushion the foot in that typical flat design. This helped to
create a more comfortable walking experience, while also helping to establish the Birkenstock name.
When Carl Birkenstock became involved in the business in 1925, these inserts where then shipped to Europe and command a high level of popularity
among all social groups. As the popularity grew, medical community itself began to sing the praises of this new shoe design.
In 1964, the inserts become the base for the design of the Birkenstock sandal in Germany. These sandals become extremely popular as well, even
showing up in spas and health centers.
Bringing Them to the United States
Birkenstocks supported the tired feet of Californian Margot Fraser at a spa in Germany, and from this single experience an importing business was
born. Birkenstocks, during this time, are being sold from an importer in San Rafael, California and word is spreading throughout the country.
What Makes Them So Special