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Harry’s Guide to Birkenstock

The Birkenstock brand’s revolution in the medical and fashion world of footwear.

By: Harry Rosen StaffDate: 2024-07-02

Where there’s warm weather, there’s Birkenstocks. It’s hard to deny them as a staple in the closets of many the world over, but what’s less commonplace is how these ever-present sandals even came to be. A worthy question to explore since they are, after all, in a category of their own for durability, comfort, and style.

  • man feet in Birkenstock shoes outside
  • Birkenstock shoes displayed on tree bark outside

The Forming of a Brand: Foot-Health Meets Fashion 

Inspired by the brutalism of modern architecture, Birkenstock made shoes with flexible ‘cork-latex’ footbeds visibly exposed, along with an adjustable strap. Initially popular among medical professionals and eco-conscious subcultures, Birkenstock reached a tipping point in the summer of 1990 when Kate Moss was photographed wearing a pair. This event catapulted Birkenstock into the realms of red carpets, runways, and mainstream fashion and culture, establishing the brand as a household name.

Birkenstock shoes displayed on pavement

The brand’s designer collaborations have included Rick Owens (2018, 2019, 2021), Maison Valentino (2019 and 2020),  Jil Sander (2021), and the students of London’s legendary fashion school Central Saint Martins (2021).

How to Style Your Birkenstocks 

For Casual Cool

Pair your Birkenstocks with classic blue denim jeans or shorts and a simple white tee. This effortlessly cool combination is perfect for weekend outings, running errands, or leisurely summer strolls. Accessorize with a baseball cap and aviator sunglasses to complete the look.

Summer Gatherings & Getaways

Opt for lightweight chinos or linen trousers paired with a crisp polo shirt. This ensemble strikes the perfect balance between comfort and smart casual style, ideal for summer barbecues, beach getaways, or casual garden parties.

Urban Street Style

For a sleek modern look, pair your Birkenstocks with tailored shorts or slim-fit trousers, and a crisp button-down shirt. This outfit offers all-day comfort without compromising on a polished appearance, making it perfect for city adventures, brunch dates, or gallery visits.

The Outdoorsman

Embrace the rugged terrain with Birkenstocks paired with cargo shorts or hiking pants and a moisture-wicking shirt. This combination ensures comfort and functionality for hiking, camping, or exploring nature trails. Don’t forget to layer with a lightweight windbreaker and a wide-brimmed hat for added protection against the elements.

Into The Night

Transition seamlessly from day to night for dinner dates, rooftop parties, or evening gatherings by pairing them with dark denim or tailored trousers and a sharp blazer for a sophisticated yet relaxed evening look.

  • male feet wearing socks in Birkenstock outside
  • male feet wearing socks and Birkenstocks standing on bench outside

TAGS:#Style Advice,#Brand Spotlight,#How To,#Trends,#Birkenstock,