The Popularity of Birkenstock
I've been an authorized Birkenstock retailer for five years. It's a well-loved heritage brand and has life-long devoted fans as well as trending every generation or so.
- •A few years ago, Birkenstock became hot on the runway and everyone had to have them!Specifically the white Arizona, which I personally think is fairly useless anywhere that has dirt.
- •That popularity eventually trickled down to the tween/teen/early 20's age groups.All these girls look the same.
- •This is the same demographic chastising their mothers five years ago for buying something as classically dorky as Birkenstock.Nerd alert? Or normcore fashionista?
- •Birkenstock is a very old company and they understand that their extreme popularity is temporary and cyclical.Meaning they don't just build new factories because everyone age 12-24 suddenly decided their shoes are a must-have. They're all still made in Germany by one guy named Klaus. (Kidding; a whole factory of guys named Klaus.)
- •If you're familiar with the basics of supply and demand, you can understand how getting inventory with the ease I was used to became impossible.Former economics major here, for real!
- •The most popular styles/colors/sizes can be backordered for months at a time.Example: I placed an order in March that was pushed to May, then out to August. But I'm in Maine, so even something as hot 🔥 as Birkenstock doesn't sell much once it's Fall.
- •Everyone wants Mayari!This style has been around for at least a dozen years but it's just in the past year that everyone's gone gaga for it.
- •Or maybe they want Florida.This style has been around for way longer. It was the first style I ever wore, in 1995.
- •Or it's Arizona.Such a classic (some customers refer to them as "regular Birkenstocks"). People even specifically buy them to wear with socks, which was, years ago (and will be again) totally uncool.
- •My store is full of young folks looking for the elusive style that they and all their friends have deemed "must have".The rise of internet shopping has unfortunately convinced people that everything they want is always available. They also sometimes want a particular look seen online that doesn't work for them once tried on.
- •Birkenstocks do not fit like any other sandal!This doesn't just apply to the European sizing. They are uniquely designed to mimic a natural footprint on soft ground. I'm not sure why, but all of the sizing charts online are wrong. If I see someone wearing too-big Birks, I know they bought them online.
- •My advice: Go to an Authorized Birkenstock Retailer and have them fit you.This does NOT mean try them on in store and then go hunting online. That's a slap in the face of any small business owner, and just plain rude. Not to mention that, given how popular some styles are, you won't be able to find them elsewhere anyway.
- •Maybe you'll like Gizeh instead.It's my personal favorite. Don't be scared by the toe post--if you wear flip-flops, you'll be just fine once you break 'em in.
- •But you probably won't like Pisa.Or, at least I hope not, because it's ugly AF. Trust me, I'm a professional.
- •You can ask me questions!I'm not on li.st to sell anything. But I LOVE 💘 helping people find a good shoe that FITS. My only request is that you use your newfound knowledge to support an independent retailer, should you decide to purchase.
- •Thanks for reading! I'll leave you with a picture of a a heinous fashion item from the Birkenstock Premium line ($329).It's the Danbury Shearling. Let me know if you're interested in this style so I can find someone to slap you.