An Ode to Birkenstocks

The first time I ever saw a pair of Birkenstocks, my high school English teacher was rocking a really nice pair of clogs. I later found out that she had multiple pairs, each festooned with a specific cartoon animal that stretched across both shoes. The pair with a happy whale dancing across the suede upper of her clogs was always my favorite. Needless to say, I could never aspire to pull off such a trend.

As I have become more seasoned in fashion, I learned that colorful, animal-themed clogs are not the only footwear made by Birkenstock. I slowly learned that Birkenstock sandals, the shoes my mom had in the ’70s, were going to be one of the loves of my life.

Despite the obvious style points, Birkenstocks are purposefully engineered to achieve maximum comfort. These seemingly simple sandals have had a lot of brainpower put into their design. Each footbed is crafted from cork and natural latex and shaped to emulate the ideal walking environment. A raised toe tar, increased toe room, and a shock absorbing sole are just a few of the aspects that show that Birkenstocks have beauty and brains.

Birkenstocks have also taken their root on Jewell’s campus, with students sporting all styles. The Quad becomes a catwalk modeling this season’s favorite Birkenstock styles. The sandals are the perfect accessory in the summer, while also becoming an iconic fashion statement when paired with socks in the fall and winter. Stickers on water bottles and laptops proclaim the owners’ fondness for the shoe-sock pairing: “Birks and Socks,” it declares.

One also has the arduous task of deciding upon a color and style of Birkenstocks. Sandals with straps allow socks to also be worn in tandem, and you can express your personality with various colors and patterns, such as snake-skin and metallic gold. Variations of strap styles also abound; two, three and even one-strap Birkenstocks are all popular and wise choices. Oppositely, styles featuring a toe strap add a little flair to any wardrobe option.

In sun, cold or rain Birkenstocks are predominantly the shoe of the moment on campus and in my heart. Birkenstocks no longer sells the wondrous horse-themed clogs of my English teacher. Unfortunately, I was just to young to realize how much she would influence both my future footwear and my ability to use prepositions correctly.

Cover photo courtesy of Pinterest.


Jesse Lundervold

Jesse is a senior chemistry and studio art major and the Lifestyle Editor for the Hilltop Monitor.

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