Birkenstock Information

Located in Germany, Birkenstock is one of the most popular shoe manufacturers in the world today. The company sells a very specific type of shoe that shares the same name with the company, as well as other shoes that cork and rubber as main components. While the company has certainly been popular for a long time, many do not realize just how far back the origin of this company goes. It"s a long and interesting history that is well worth learning in order to understand where the company and brand are today.

The Early Days of Birkenstock

Johann Adam Birkenstock was a German shoemaker who lived in the late 1700s. He was one of the earliest shoemakers in the family, but it seemed to pass on through the generations. His grandson Konrad created the first contour insole in 1897, which allowed shoemakers to start creating custom footwear for people. Just five years later, he created the first flexible arch support that would fit into shoes made in a factory. These were popular. Even more members of the family went into the business of making shoes, and in 1964, Karl Birkenstock actually took those inserts and made them into a shoe of their own.

This shoe he created was the first version of what would become the Birkenstock. The shoes soon became quite popular, and in 1967, they started to sell in the United States and in other parts of the world. The story of how they came to the United States is actually interesting as well. A woman named Margot Fraser was vacationing in Germany when she saw the sandals. She started to wear them and quickly became enamored with how they felt. This led her to creating a distribution company for them in the United States, and that company was the sole importer of Birkenstocks into the United States until 2007.

Why Are the Shoes Popular?

When people discovered just how comfortable the shoes really were, they started to become popular with many different types of people. For example, medical professionals such as nurses and doctors who spent a long time on their feet were reliable customers. The 60s and 70s found the shoes to be popular with the hippies and the flower children. They had another resurgence in popularity in the 1990s, and they continue to be popular today. In Germany and many other countries, people use the Birkenstocks as house slippers. In the U.S. though, they have become a part of everyday wear for many people.

More Than Sandals

While it is true that the sandals are certainly the most popular of the products the company develops, and their name is literally synonymous with the style of shoe, they do make other items. In fact, they have a wide range of various shoe styles and options, all of which have their own unique aesthetic style and all of which are highly comfortable. They have many types of shoes, clogs, sandals, and even insoles for men, women, and the kids.

The Counterfeiting Problem

Birkenstock is proud of the footwear they create, and they know they have excellent, quality products. The family has been in the business for centuries, so they certainly know what they are doing when it comes to making great footwear. Because of their success though, they have had to deal with their fair share of counterfeiters. These imitations may look like the shoes and sandals from Birkenstock, but they are not the same, and customers can tell this when they put the shoes on. They are simply not as comfortable. However, some people do not realize that they are buying fakes, and they may have never owned a pair of real Birkenstock shoes before.

Thus, the company suggests that buyers always buy through a known and authorized dealer. This is more than mere marketing hype, as they really have had to deal with a variety of fake shoes over the years.

The brand today is going as strong as ever, and they have one of the most iconic names in the business. They produce shoes that might not be for all tastes, but those who wear the shoes swear by how comfortable they are and absolutely love them.


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PO Box 37761, Parnell, Auckland 1052, New Zealand