On Trend: To Birkenstock or Not To Birkenstock

(L) The metallic Arizona (R) Where Did U Get That blogger, Karen Blanchard.

(L) The metallic Arizona (R) Where Did U Get That blogger, Karen Blanchard.

Navigating your way through current fashion trends can be overwhelming. From asymmetrical haircuts to slashed high-waisted denim to flower crowns, some trends are worth stepping to the plate for and others we’d rather stand and watch as they slip by. Like our recent piece on the resurgence of the eighties style “scrunchie,” we like to approach international trends as fashion investigators: collecting the research, generating a hypothesis and coming up with a conclusion on whether the trend is risk worthy or risk worthless.

Today we are discussing the highly controversial Birkenstock style. The latest trend in women’s footwear that has our toes eagerly sighing in anticipation but our fashion radar spiraling out of control. Yes, the Birkenstock has been a much talked about trend since S/S 2014 fashion week last Fall when designers like Trina Turk, Edun and Shades of Grey embraced the broad, flat-footed sandal with a cork wood sole– even some styles were paired with socks! However, it may have been the S/S 2013 Céline collection that really propelled this hippie-go-lucky shoe into the limelight with a collection of luxury Birkenstock-inspired sandals lined with fur. Around late last summer the ladies of Vogue engaged the Birkenstock trend and soon bloggers followed, styling themselves in summer frocks and Birkenstocks for their #ootd posts.

(L) Trina Turk SS14 (R) Céline SS13

We recently flirted with a pair of shiny silver “Arizonas” (that iconic style with a double strap), appreciating the modern sleekness of its design on a sandal that we found rather clunky when we were eight and even clunkier now that we are grown. Shortly after we discovered that not only was the style sold out on Zappos.com, it was sold out everywhere and e-commerce site’s were redirecting us to the rather uncomfortable “wishlist” section. As for our fashion hypothesis we propose that the Birkenstock is one of the strongest fashion trends of the summer.

Here’s why: The Birkenstock trend is actually on its second summer season. That nineties resurgence we keep talking about? Well, the Birkenstock was a trademark of that oh-so-grungy period and with new designs in sleek silhouettes and funky colours, the brand developers over at Birkenstock look to be pushing for the trend’s longevity. As for our stamp of approval, we’re calling it risky worthy. Especially those oh-so-coveted metallic Arizonas, which recently popped up in our inbox as “back in stock.”

2 Responses to “On Trend: To Birkenstock or Not To Birkenstock”

  1. Sasha

    Umm, I’m on the fence with this one.

    On one hand, I understand the comfort and practicality of the Birkenstock sandal. I even appreciate how designers have either re-imagined the show for a runway show (a la Celine SS13) or how they’ve embraced it and incorporated them into their seasonal looks (a la Trina Turk SS14). The shoe basically isn’t very flattering to the foot (I don’t care what the material is made of) but they are very comfortable.

    I guess the only logical way to wear these as a fashionista is to style them with casual looks where an easy breezy feel is what you’re going for. Still not sure if I’d ever buy a pair but hats off to the people who love and wear this shoe in such a fashionable way.


  2. E. Hansen-McKnight

    It’s definitely a tricky style. As someone who retired most of her heels from knee and ankle issues, stylish Birkenstocks are a godsend.

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