Linda’s Story With Birkenstock Sandals
Birkenstock on a Shoestring
I’m sad to say that my first encounter with Birkenstock came in the form of an ancient pair of scuffed-up, dog-chewed sandals that an old boyfriend insisted on wearing. Despite my pleas my sweetheart would wear thesesandals everywhere, cheerfully bragging of their 17-year lifespan. Don’t get me wrong, the boy was a good dresser and I liked the simple style of the two straps and cork base (much nicer for a grown man than cheap rubber thongs), but like many 17-year-olds the old sandals looked pretty rough. Ipleaded, bargained and begged but the old sandals stayed put.
Of course this was years before we all got eco-conscious and had mortgages to worry about. When I think about those sandals today I realise that the boy was onto something. Heaven (and hygiene) forbid, I’m not saying that we should all wear the same pair of shoes everyday for several decades at a time, but isn’t it about time we start demanding a couple of year’s wear out of our footwear?
A while back I swore that if I was going to pay the one-hundred-dollars-plus that a store asks for a pair of sandals, then I want to know that they are going to see me through more than one summer. Surely this is not an unreasonabledemand. Yet I’ve searched at my local mall and have found nothing but flimsy soles, manmade linings and a complete lack of arch support. And so, I took the plunge and have finally joined the Birkenstock fan club.
Not only are my Birkenstock thongs unbelievably comfortable, they arebuilt to last (and last, and last). Their soles are lightweight, flexible and incredibly durable, their leather uppers are thick and soft. Plus, the style is a classic design so no matter how long I wear them I’ll never be caught in last season’s shoe.
As part of the company’s commitment to the environment many Birkenstock stores (including online retailer Birkenstock by Nature) now offer an affordable repair service. You simply hand in your old shoes and Birkenstock’s shoemakers will replace your heels, soles, buckles, lining orcork with the same products that they were originally made with. They can even upsize your children’s sandals – a great idea for growing feet!
So, for a fraction of the original price I can get my thongs fixed with exactly the same materials that they were originally made with. This means that I can keep them looking good and they’ll offer the same orthopedic benefits that they did on the day I bought them. I’m starting to think that my Birkenstocks just might be worth hanging onto for another 17 years…
Birkenstock: Shoes That Sculpt
Choosing the Right Birkenstock Shoe Style for Your Legs
Many of us find that squeezing in the recommended dose of daily exercise is a real challenge, but the trick to toned legs is as simple as making sure that every move you make counts. It’s a step that starts with choosing a Birkenstock style that suits your lifestyle.
Humans are designed to hunt — not type — and for this reason many of us find that spending all day at the desk can leave us feeling lethargic and our muscles less toned than we’d like them to be. Office workers need to be able to make the most out of every step they take so that every minute away from the desk is a minute spent promoting healthy circulation and toning muscle. This is as easy as choosing a Birkenstock stylethat suits your lifestyle. By wearing the circulation-boosting Madrid sandal every stairwell, bathroom break and coffee run is an opportunity to create beautifully toned calves.
It’s true that Birkenstock isn’t the only shoe on the market that promises lean legs with little effort, but what makes Birkenstock different is that the Madrid (known in Europe as the Fitness Sandal) is based on an orthopaedic design that has been more than 100 years in the making. Today’s incarnation provides perfect arch support and an even distribution of body weight, plus a deep heel cup to guide the movement of the foot. But the real genius of the company’s patented footbed isthe elevated toe gripper, a feature that is really put to work in this Birkenstock style.
Did you know that your toe muscles are actually located in your calves? Just try picking up a stick with your toes and you’ll feel exactly where those muscles are. When wearing a Madrid the weight of your body is transferred onto the ball of your foot and from here the toe gripper encourages the foot to make a strong gripping motion. This tenses the calf muscles before allowing the foot to completely relax into a comfortable and safe posture. Repeat this movement until you get to the nearest bus stop and you’ll really start to feel those calf muscles working.
With its single-strap design the Madrid is a deceptively simple-looking sandal and a far cry from the clunky orthopedic footwear of years gone by. A good Birkenstock shoes retailer such as Birkenstock By Nature’s online store will introduce a new range of colors with every season, so there’s always a couple of pretty pastels or quirky patterns that are light enough to work with summer frocks or skirts. Or you could also try a patent or metallic finish for a sandal that can be popped into your handbag and exchanged for heels at the end of a hard day in the office.