Birkenstock is a brand steeped in history. Since 1774, the art of crafting premium quality shoes has been passed down from generation to generation, all starting with German cobbler Johann Adam Birkenstock. In 1896, master cobbler Konrad Birkenstock begins manufacturing flexible footbed insoles, and in 1902, develops the first contoured arch support.
Fast forward to 1963 and Karl Birkenstock launches the first fitness sandal with a flexible footbed, the Madrid model. Sat on an EVA outsole, the footbed was constructed from a flexible and shock-absorbent core of cork and latex, sandwiched between layers of jute and lined with suede.
Introduced to the USA in 1966 by Margot Fraser, who discovered Birkenstock sandals when they relieved her painful foot condition while on a holiday in Germany and set up a trading company to import them, the brand soon expanded, and set new standards for sustainability when they began using environmentally-friendly adhesives in their production in 1988. In 1990, they managed to reduce their production energy consumption by over 90%.
Today the brand still manufactures most of their products with premium leathers, nubuck and suede in its German factories, and their sandals are known for their durability and quality.
Popular sandal models include the open-toed closed upper Birkenstock Kyoto, the closed-toe Birkenstock Nagoya, the two-strap open-toed Birkenstock Arizona and the Birkenstock Milano, which features two tops straps and a third heel strap.
Generally, Birkenstock sandals fit true to size. They offer regular and narrow fit options.