I'm Done Resisting the Birkenstock Movement And You Should Be, Too
I remember the first time I ever saw a Birkenstock. My mom had been traveling back and forth to Köln Germany every couple weeks from work, and she always returned with presents. By the end of her stint in Deutschland, I knew my way around a Kinder egg better than any of my classmates, and everyone in our family had a wooden incense figurine that blew milkier clouds than any teen with a Juul could dream of. Her gift to herself, though, was a pair of sandals I'd not seen anything like in my 12 years of life. "Check these out," she said, "everyone in Germany wears them." Even though I didn't care for the footwear personally, I though my mom's worldly knowings were pretty cool. At this point, Birks had had their moments throughout the decades in the states, but this wasn't SoHo, this was suburban Pittsburgh. It was all very new.
Now, in this the year of our lord 2019, Birkenstocks have had far beyond what you'd call "a moment" for guys and girls alike. For the last few summers you'd be hard pressed not to see a womenswear fit pic featuring the bright white straps or a stylish, hungover Brooklyn bro sporting the suede Boston clogs on his way to a bacon egg and cheese. According to Business of Fashion, by last fall there were more than 800 styles of Birks, including collabs with fashion's own king of dick-showing Rick Owens and most recently with Opening Ceremony.
And yet, I've still been stuck in my 6th grade brain. But I'm ready to conform, and maybe it's your time, too.
I'm not sure exactly what it was. Maybe my complete disgust for flip flops. Maybe my desire to reserve my slides for the beach, the pool, and for within a one-block radius of my apartment. Maybe it was street style photographer (and style idol of mine) Mordechai Rubenstein longing for a pair of Arizonas on this week's episode of Failing Upwards. Whatever the case may be, I think this is the summer I'm finally sliding into a pair of Birks.
No longer are these sandals reserved for my mother's German colleagues or insufferable Llewyn Davis wannabes. Birks are for all of us, and I mean that literally. The soles of these boys form perfectly to your feet over time. So while March isn't quite open-toe-shoe season here on the east coast, if you cop a pair now, there's plenty of time to wear them on your laundry run or dog walk to start breaking them in before summer.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.