The secret of Birkenstock's enduring success
Pandemic restrictions have meant one thing for most wardrobes: comfort. As many of us continue to work from home -- and staying safe with a trip to the park remains the height of summer's social calendar -- sensible flat sandals are now more pervasive than ever.
And, it seems, the ultimate expression of this phenomenon is a pair of Birkenstocks.
Last month British Vogue declared Birkenstocks the official sandal of 2020, while fashion search engine Lyst reported that they had become the platform's most searched-for shoe. Meanwhile models Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Kaia Gerber have all stepped out in theirs -- with and without socks. Not bad for a shoe that claims to have always put its orthopedic prowess above its fashion appeal.
Before Ugg, Crocs, Hasbeens and Fitflop, there was Birkenstock. With its tagline "often copied, never equaled," the storied brand's lineage goes back over two centuries. Now, in these times of uncertainty, there is something reassuringly reliable about this durable sandal.
With its boat-like natural cork, jute and latex sole and chunky buckled straps, Birkenstocks make an anti-fashion statement that transcends trends -- yet somehow keeps managing to set them.