How I Ended Up Ordering Birkenstocks

Never say never. Famous last words. Yesterday I ordered Birkenstocks, the shoe I swore I’d never wear.

Back when Birkenstocks were all the rage in the ’90s, I thought they were the most hideous things ever.  I also used to think Uggs and flats were pretty hideous too, until I tried them and discovered they have a place and a purpose in my life.

So when Birkenstock knock-offs came around again this season, I naturally thumbed my nose at them.

Pffffft. As if. Like I’m going to buy into that ugly little trend.

I mean, it was a legit mindset…I actually managed to bypass the wedge sneaker trend with no issues. But maybe that’s because if I’m wearing a sneaker/trainer, I’m actually weight training or doing something physical other than shopping. And I don’t wear them otherwise; there are cuter, more stylish option. Plus, working from home half the week, I spend so much time in athletic gear, the last thing I want to do is wear anything sporty when I’m going out or running errands.

Anyway, back to the Birks.

When I started seeing versions of them on the runway (and in Zara campaigns), I still recoiled in horror. However, lately, with so many home reno project tasks happening, I’ve been reaching for flats or my trainers more and more. Plus summer is almost here, which means I need something flat for riding my bike to Starbucks or the pool. I hate flip-flops, because they are too flat and they hurt after a while, and that flip-flopping noise is just dang tacky.

What could I wear that is flat-but-supportive, comfortable, and more refined than flip-flops? Mmm-hmm. Enter Birkenstocks.

This is kind of what went on in my mind…how I ended up ordering Birkenstocks:

my Birkenstock evolution
images: zara // style.com // pinterest

 

I have a couple pairs of the Birkenstock Gizeh coming to me shortly, and frankly, I really can’t wait to get them. How crazy is that? When they arrive, I’ll be sure to report back on my first impressions and the supposed break-in process.

Now I want to know: Have you ever worn Birkenstocks? Are you wearing or considering them now?

 

24 comments

  1. I nurse my hatred for birkenstocks and uggs like a momma cat her litter! Ha! I just can’t…..although those pink bow ones above are pretty stinking cute! I do love a bow!! However, my “birkenstocks” are Dr. Scholls wooden exercise sandals. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I do appreciate a comfortable shoe that is still pretty cute….PLUS my mom had worn Dr. Scholls ever since I could remember, and up until her death always made sure she had a couple of pair ready for the summer. The ones you ordered are pretty cute though! Birkenstock-lite, if you will…..

    1. Serene, I was seriously on that bandwagon ever since I laid eyes on the Arizona style…and I STILL can’t stand them. But I’m starting to see the Gizehs as not so bad…they look almost like FitFlops (I’m sure FitFlops were inspired by the Gizeh design), which is kind of my only other option, and one I am not crazy about since they are all plastic.

      So yeah, I chose “Birkenstock lite”…let’s see how they FEEL, though. People seriously rave about them. I’ll be happy if they feel as good as others claim.

      Thanks for dropping by, sweet lady!

  2. Whhhhhaaaaat??? I’m calling you out on this, girlfriend. You blasted me (“try-hard”) for those LAST spring when I got a pair. But I see you have come over to the corky, klunky, comfy dark side. Muuuhhhaaahhaa! Funny thing is? Now that it’s a trend that everyone is on board with I’ve pretty much shelved them but for the random trip to the beach (great for traversing hot sand with bear pad-like dexterity) or taking the garbage out. As to the break in process – it’s a bit like wearing an egg carton and hoping it will meld to the feet. I still don’t get the orthopaedic goodness from them? I’ve moved on to Hush Puppies. But I agree with you on the flip flops. So bogan. Anywho! Luv Ya! Di x

    1. Oh yeah, you got me! Call me out on it. I’m calling myself out on it. There was no shoe I hated more my entire adult life than the Birkenstock. But really, it was the Birkenstock Arizona, which I still think is quite gangly looking on a female foot. I can promise you I won’t be going there! Wait, who knows.

      I hope that they turn out to be more comfortable than you found them to be too. Most reviewers have raved about them, but there were a few dissenters. I know that there may be a little break-in time, so I’m prepared to offer it, as I have with many of my heels. We shall see.

      And the flip flops, GAH, especially living seaside in Cronulla it drove me CRAZY seeing (and hearing) them all the time. Southerners in the U.S. love them too. I don’t get it. They are just too flat, and I’ve only found one pair that doesn’t hurt to walk in, a years-old model from J. Crew with elastic straps with a chunkier sole. But still, I’d never wear those except to the beach or pool. They’re like my house slippers in summer (Uggs in winter, natch).

      So good to hear from you, doll

      1. Hahaha!!!! That flippy-flop-slop noise. Shudder! When I see bejewelled floppers I squirm, too. There is only ONE worse level down from flip flops. No shoes in social settings. I’ve been into supermarkets and even on airplanes where some people have no shoes on whatsoever. Just padding about in dirty bare feet. I don’t even know where to begin with that!

        1. OMG, that is a HUGE peeve of mine! SO. DISGUSTING. And they do it all the time in Oz, drives me crazy. I’m with you 2000% on this!

  3. I live in my Gizeh Birkies over the warmer months. Simple, comfortable and go with just about everything. What more could I want?

  4. Ah! I can’t believe you are telling me this!!! I have been shunning the reemergence of this trend. Perhaps part of my disgust has to do with the stereotype of the Germany tourist (and I being German)….

    But— I do understand the mental moves you’ve made to get here…. just not sure I could do the same! Report back!

    1. Hey Alexis! Well, my complete adoption of them remains to be seen. I still haven’t put them on my feet, but they arrive today, so that will be the defining moment!

  5. If there were ever a post I thought I would never see on G & G – this is it. I can’t believe you went and bought Birkenstock’s! When I think of you I think Valentino and GUCCI…. and now… Birkenstock?!? Wha?!?!

    I’m just kidding (sort of) 🙂

    In all fairness, I completely understand you feelings and recent purchase. I don’t own any Birkenstock’s but the last time I was in Europe I DID buy myself 2 pairs of Grubin’s in a style similar to the Gizeh (I find the Grubin’s to be very similar to B’s but somehow a tad more comfortable for me). They definitely have a place in my world, I just wish they were a tad more glamorous somehow.

    Let us know how you like your sandals when they arrive!

    1. Ha…yes, the Grubins are just like Birkies! I will let you know what I think…mine arrive today. I’m thinking the black patent pair may have just enough oomph to pass. But glamorous they will never be, it is true.

      Maybe it’s my old age catching up with me, maybe it’s that I have a need for more flat shoes these days…whatever the reason, here I am. Let’s see how they work IRL!

  6. I love it! I feel exactly the same way. The one time I did “buy in” (in the 90’s) they sat in my closet until I finally gave them away. I am on the precipice of jumping in myself. Loving the Isabel Marant version, but might take baby steps with the Zara knock-off first.

    victoria
    alltheshoesfit.com

    1. Hi Victoria, thanks for your comment. Definitely go for it! Especially for summer, they are a great wardrobe addition and surprisingly versatile.

  7. Wow! Birkenstocks hey? I remember when everyone was wearing them, but I was much younger then, so don’t know if there was a tribe that hated them the first time round.

    I’m not a fan of the Arizona style, as you mentioned they seem to make women’s feet look big and clumpy. But I did watch a YouTuber the other day put together a pretty cool outfit with a pair the other day. It probably would have looked way better with heels or some chic flats. But didn’t look a catastrophe with them. I think this season we’ll see people given a free pass to wear them everywhere! Then next spring summer they’ll be worn in settings that match the shoe; casual and relaxed places.

    I have to admit, while they’re not my favourite shoe, the style you choose are much better than some of the others and a more stylish option than the flimsy flip flops that people tend to adopt in summer.

    1. Hey Arash. Yes. BIRKENSTOCKS. I’m kind of shocked that I not only finally accepted them, but I wear them every day! Crazy. As you wrote, the more I saw them styled, the more they grew on me.

      I always thought they were super clunky and ugly on, but I have to say IRL, the Arizona actually makes my 9.5 foot look small. The Gizeh is not as flattering, interestingly enough. As you probably saw on Instagram, I also bought my hubby a pair the same as my Arizona Soft Footbed and he loves them. I was afraid he’d be like, “Whoa, where are your sexy heels?” But he loves the Birks on me and him, because they are so Euro.

      I was excited when he was open to the idea of a pair for himself, because he hates flip-flops (aka thongs), mandals of any other sort are out, and seeing him resorting to trainers throughout summer is kind of sad. He already loves his pair. We’re twinsies but who cares. You should see the number of times we dress in the same color scheme or similar styles without even trying, so this is par for the course.

      As always, thanks for your comment! Now I have to see your How to Walk in Heels Guide! A friend used to tell me I should teach women how to walk in heels. It’s definitely an art!

  8. Ooooh Birkenstocks….
    They are so very 90s aren’t they? I used to steal my mom’s pair ALL THE TIME. They were so comfy, although as we’ve talked about all the 90s trends at work this was the one, I have to say, I was the least excited about coming back. (Well that and those ridiculous foam platforms we wore) I like the Gizeh though…I might have to order myself a pair for when I’m opting for comfort. 🙂

    1. Funny, I so hated them in the ’90s, and I kind of don’t get the same vibe from them now, because the way bloggers are styling them today is just so fresh and sophisticated!

      If you decide to scoop a pair, I actually recommend the Arizona Soft Footbed…it is ULTIMATE comfort. The Gizeh style is OK, but not nearly as comfy.

      Cheers, sweetie!

  9. How did I stumble upon your blog/website? I googled images of “people wearing arizona birkenstocks” because I just got my very 1st pair — I needed to visualize how people incorporated this into their outfit. Lucky for me, one of your images lead me here! I’m simply writing to find out after a year, how you adapted to your Gizehs? I traded in my Gizeh’s to grab the Arizona’s simply because the Arizona’s are more comfortable. Plus, I wanted a birk that I can wear socks with.
    To be exact, I got the flower crush version (http://www.freepeople.com/shop/flower-crush-arizona-birkenstock/)

    Feedback please! THANK YOU from southern cali.

    1. Hey SoCal, so glad you found my blog! I actually ended up selling the Gizehs back in June of this year because they were getting no love anymore…I much prefer my Arizonas with the soft footbed, my bronze-colored pair, in particular. So there you go! Oh, and if you want more Birk outfit inspo, check out my Birkenstyle board on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gritandglamour/birkenstyle/.

      Thanks for your comment and for visiting!

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