Birkenstock have a long and storied history of cobbling shoes, which harks all the way back to 1774 and a small village called Langen-Begheim in the mid-west of Germany. Over a hundred years later in 1896, Konrad Birkenstock the great-great-grandson of founder Johann Adam developed the first contoured insole and the rest as they say is history.
Birkenstock were beavering away making orthopaedic comfort shoes largely for their domestic market, come 1966 though a woman named Margot Fraser had come across Birkenstock sandals at a German spa and began distributing them in the USA. There was little initial take-up, but rebellious Californian youth looking to distance themselves from their staid parents started to seek out these obscure European sandals and their unique styling, which would come to represent the open minded, hippy movement of the 1970s.
Still built to exacting standards in Germany utilising their incredibly comfortable four-part sole unit, these orthopaedic wonders are suggestive of escapism and a life lived out of doors.