You are currently viewing How Birkenstocks Became the Most Popular Sandal Brand

How Birkenstocks Became the Most Popular Sandal Brand

According to The Guardian, Birkenstocks were one of the #1 most-purchased retail items in 2022. Online searches for the Boston clog style alone increased by 593% from January to June last year.

After many fashion enthusiasts declared the Birkenstock dead during the 2010s, these shoes seem back on trend. But did they ever really go out of style?

Today, we are bringing you this Birkenstock guide to help you answer that question. Plus, we’ll tell you the best Birkenstocks to pick up this year and where to buy them near you.

Do you want to know how Birkenstocks became popular and why they are returning right now? Then keep reading for everything you need to know!

A Brief History of the Birkenstock

Birkenstocks are made by a German company that has been around for nearly 250 years. Johann Birkenstock created the first precursor of everyone’s favorite dad sandals back in 1774.

The original Birkenstocks were not shoes, though. Instead, Johann Birkenstock and his descendants designed footbed insoles for orthopedic shoes. It wasn’t until the 1900s that the Birkenstock company introduced its shoe line.

In 1964, Johann Birkenstock’s descendant, Karl, created the brand’s first sandal style, the Birkenstock Madrid. California hippies soon took notice, and the Madrid sandals gained a cult following in subsequent years.

As they say, the rest is history. Today, Birkenstocks are among the most recognizable sandals in the world. And the family that started the brand still owns a minority stake and operates the company.

At the beginning of 2021, Alex and Christian Birkenstock sold the family brand for an incredible $4.8 billion. The brand has since expanded its product line into more shoe styles and aesthetics.

Who Do People Love Birkenstocks So Much?

In recent years, the shoe that people either love or love to hate has made a significant comeback. And it isn’t just hippies taking note. Fashionphiles, models, and influencers alike are also jumping on the bandwagon.

The re-emergence of Birkenstocks is also due, in part, to the brand’s collaborations with trendy designers like Rick Owens, Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony, and former Celine creative director Phoebe Philo.

There are a lot of reasons to love the classic Birkenstock. Its centuries-old recipe for footbed insoles is tried and true, making these sandals one of the most comfortable options on the market.

Modern wearers of the Birkenstock also cite the it’s-so-ugly-it’s-cool trend as a reason to pick up a pair of these shoes. Adding a pair of socks in the wintertime adds to the ‘I’m too cool to care’ vibe.

Some genuinely love the look of Birkenstocks. Their hippy origin makes them a staple for bohemian closets. And with Harper’s Bazaar and others claiming boho is back in, they’re a staple for trendsetters, too.

Are Birkenstocks Trending in 2023?

Vogue named Birkenstocks the official shoe of 2020, but are they still trending in 2023? Yes, but with a twist. Elevated Birkenstocks are one of the top fashion trends for the year, especially as the spring/summer season comes around.

For example, try classic Birkenstock sandals in unexpected colorways. The brand recently came out with Metallic Silver and Ultra Blue to suit those looking for comfort and style.

You can also try out some of the designer collaborations. We already mentioned Birkenstock’s collaborations with Celine and Rick Owens and Opening Ceremony. You also have to check out the Manolo Blahnik and Dior collabs.

Another way to update the classic Birkenstock for 2023 is to try some of the brand’s newer styles. For example, models from coast to coast made Birkenstock mules so popular they sold out at stores nationwide.

Add a pair of cozy socks to bring your Birkenstock sandals into autumn/winter. Bonus points if you pair your socks and sandals look with something unexpected like a pair of trousers and a matching blazer.

The Best Birkenstock Styles

It can be a serious headache to find a shoe that is both stylish and comfortable. Are you searching for casual footwear that ticks both boxes? If so, Birkenstocks may be the exact shoes you need.

There are so many Birkenstock styles to choose from that it can be hard to pick just one. To help you, we rounded up our favorite Birkenstock styles available now.

Check out the best Birkenstocks available at Feet for Life below!

The Arizona

The Arizona style is the classic Birkenstock sandal everyone knows and loves. It features two chunky straps around the front. The open back makes it easy to slide on these shoes and go.

You can pick up a pair of Arizona Birkenstock sandals for men, women, and kids. These shoes come in various material options, including suede, oiled leather, vegan Birkibuc Nubuck leather, or EVA (a type of plastic).

These shoes also come in multiple colors. Stone grey, mocha brown, Habana brown, black, and white are classic options. But there are dozens more colorways if you love the Arizona.

The Milano

Another of the more recognizable Birkenstock styles is the Milano. Like the Arizona style, this sandal features two buckled straps at the front. This Birkenstock sandal style also features a backstrap with an adjustable buckle.

Milano Birkenstocks are available for men, women, and kids. They come in oiled leather, EVA, Birkibuc, pebbled leather, and suede. This style also comes in Birko-Flor, a soft leather-like material with an interior fleece lining.

These shoes come in many of the same colorways as Arizona Birkenstocks. You can even choose from different buckle finishes. Pick the bronze shade for a classic look, but Birkenstock offers black, silver, gunmetal, gold, and more.

Recently, Birkenstock released the Milano sandal with a more oversized buckle. These shoes tick off the elevated box if you are searching for a more trend-driven pair of Birkenstocks.

The Yara

Another thing many people love about Birkenstocks is that they are traditionally gender-neutral. However, the brand has developed some more feminine-forward styles in recent years. The Yara sandal is one of them.

This modern sandal style features a thin front buckle strap featuring a thong-like toe loop. The ankle strap crosses in the front for a gladiator-style look and ultimate durability.

Birkenstock only sells its Yara style in oiled leather or its proprietary Birkibuc vegan leather. Choose from black, light tobacco brown, medium Habana brown, or mocha, a dark brown color.

The Mayari

The Mayari sandal is another feminine style. It is reminiscent of the Yara but in a slip-on version for easy, on-the-go looks. Though Birkenstock created the style for women, men can easily pull off this shoe style, too.

The front strap is much like the one on the Yara Birkenstock sandal. It features a minimal strap with a small buckle and a toe loop.

The Mayarie does not have a back strap. Instead, these sandals feature a chunkier mid-strap to keep them from flapping when you walk.

These sandals come in a variety of colors and materials. Choose from oiled leather, Birko-Flor, Birkibuc, true Nubuck leather, or microfiber in classic Birkenstock neutrals or colors like fuchsia, Riviera blue, coral, and lavender.

The Gizeh

The Gizeh sandal from Birkenstock is one of the brand’s modern classics. It is an older style but one of the first models to break away from the brand’s comfort-centric aesthetic. Still comfy, these shoes are also fashionable.

These Birkenstock sandals are a thong style. They feature a soft thong strap with an adjustable buckle pin. The strap attaches to a chunkier mid-strap with Birkenstock’s classic buckle for a custom-like fit.

While not necessarily gender-neutral (the Gizeh leans more to the women’s side), these shoes can work for anyone. They come in various types of leather, EVA, or Birko-Flor. You can get the Gizeh in Birkenstock’s new big buckle style.

The Boston

Birkenstock mules have been featured on the feet of Kendall Jenner and Dakota Johnson, Jason Momoa, and Ashton Kutcher. And overwhelmingly, the mule of choice is the Boston.

The Boston style features a clog-like front with no backside for a slip-on fit. They have the signature Birkenstock strap and adjustable buckle on the top.

Great for autumn and winter wear, these shoes are also ideal for the beach. Try them in oiled leather, suede, Birkibuc, or wool. Each mule has super soft and warm suede, shearling, or faux shearling lining.

Where to Buy Birkenstock Sandals in Bakersfield

Birkenstocks have been around for centuries. Unlike most trends, though, these shoes have never truly gone out of style.

Are you searching for Birkenstocks in Bakersfield? Feet for Life has locations in Bakersfield and Visalia. Browse our Birkenstock sandals, clogs, and more selection to find the stylish and comfy shoes you’ve been searching for!