On Birkenstocks

And giving credit where credit is due


I want to tell you that I will never forfeit my sky-high heels. Sure, I look like a stork more frequently than any woman should want to and will fall every so often, but what’s so wrong with a few walking blunders? I for one, find that particular blazon of imperfection wholly endearing. And quite frankly, standing five inches taller than my natural height feels fantastic enough to compromise comfort under any circumstances.

Fine, I won’t suggest you run the reservoir in heels, (which, full disclosure, I did once) but I can confidently say that in matters of footwear, Leandra, and Leandra in footwear, comfort will only ever be a state of mind. I think.

Fall Fashion Week forecasted a different fate for my feet come spring, (which according to my excellent meteorological discernment, is now), when designers began to more rigorously (albeit inconspicuously) enforce a dress-code that would include (gasp!) pretty damn low heels. Could I have seen it coming? Of course. It was only a matter of time before looking like a stork could no longer be rendered en vogue. But to be quite honest, which often I am, I couldn’t have seen the low-heel’s violently odd and awkward cousin, the Birkenstock, slip through the fashion week cracks if Celine hit me over the head with one.

Actually, that’s probably not true–Celine did kind of hit all of us over the head with one. But Birkenstocks? Really? Yes, really. And though when I noticed the instances resurfacing last season at Miu Miu, Celine, Giambattista Valli, and through the continued efforts of Marni, (she’s a ride or die man repeller,) I swore to myself, self: never-would-I-fucking-ever, guess what? I fucking ever. Meaning, I think I’m into it.

An interlude for context: there were approximately 12 months during the course of my high school career where in spite of my aversion toward narcotics at large, I found myself enamored by the fascinating and curious world of Jam Bands. As such, I ate a lot of Cherry Garcia and Phish Food, wore a lot of tie dye, and, yes, Birkenstocks. When I came out of that brief phase (Casey Jones still on the mind,) I burned that shit faster than Ray Bradbury’s firemen could have defeated a library full of books in Fahrenheit 451. So, there’s that.

Now, if you ask Wikipedia about the history of the shoe, it will take you back to its genesis in Germany, eventually thrust you into the thick of American liberalism and find you at the heels (literally) of Generation X.

If you ask me, however, I will tell you that in spite of better judgement, I’m not falling into this trend because the aforementioned fashion designers (photographed in order above) told me I should.

No, I will argue that the fascination digs back into the Zeitgeist of 90s culture, which of course means Clueless and more specifically, one particular Travis Birkenstock. Indeed and in honor of the now ubiquitous Throwback Thursday, I think it’s important that we delegate credit where due and salute Mr. 12-Step-Program for his trailblazing efforts. You with me?

But really, you with me? Are we going to do this or what? I think I smell a DIY in our very near future.

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