I’m a shoe girl. I always have been. Each time I buy a new pair of shoes, I am filled with excitement. When it comes to getting a new pair of Birkenstocks that thrill is magnified by 100. Finding a unique pair of Birkenstocks in my size is a challenge. Many of the new models sell out quickly and, in the US, certain Birkenstocks are only sold in narrow width, making some styles just as hard to come by as a collector car.
Some individuals might consider Birkenstocks the VW camper of shoes. Mostly because many people still associate Birkenstocks with the hippie generation. Plus, people might think it is fitting to describe a German made shoe with a German made car. I disagree. Birkenstocks are much more sleek, stylish, and luxurious than a VW bus.
There are many well engineered German made cars that are also luxurious. However, there is only one car that encompasses sleekness, style, and luxury. That car is the Ferrari. In my opinion, Birkenstocks are the Ferrari of shoes.
I am sure there are fashionistas out there who would argue otherwise. Some people might think that Manolo Blahniks or Louboutins deserve the “Ferrari of Shoes” title. I disagree because a pair of designer heels is not going to handle the every day twists and turns of life, like a comfy pair of Birkenstocks.
I challenge anyone who does not agree with me. It’s an easy competition. To determine the winner, all we have to do is to walk a mile in a pair heels and in a pair of Birkenstocks. How far can a human possibly walk in a pair of high heels without discomfort?
It would just be a few steps before I would want to toss the pair of heels in the donation bin and slip on a pair of Birkenstocks. Designer heels may be expertly crafted for style and appearance, yet they offer minimal foot support when compared to a Birkenstock.
Birkenstocks and Ferraris are crafted and engineered from the finest materials available. The Ferrari’s engine is the heart of the car, just as the Birkenstock footbed is the heart of its shoes. When I slip my foot into a well conformed Birkenstock, it feels as good as slipping into a handcrafted bucket seat of a Ferrari.
I recently ordered a pair of finely crafted Birkenstocks. I was filled with excitement when they arrived. I couldn’t wait for them to have that the custom-made feel like my other well loved Birks. I was eager to break them in and take my shoes out for a spin.
I realize that Birkenstocks require a break-in period. As a seasoned Birkenstock wearer, I was going to attempt to speed up that process by doing half of my normal elliptical work-out in the new Birkenstocks and then switch shoes. I often wear an older pair of Birkenstocks when exercising since athletic shoes do not provide me enough foot support. My hope was that as my foot warmed up during the work-out, that this warmth would help accelerate the softening of the footbed.
I was essentially trying to do a REVERSE “Ferris Bueller” with my new Birkenstocks. In the movie, “Ferris Bueller,” Ferris and two of his friends play hooky from school. They “borrow” a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder, owned by his friend’s dad, to get around for the day.
They leave the car with two parking attendants who take the Ferrari for a joy ride. At the end of the day, they pick up the car only to discover that the parking attendants added 100 miles to the car’s odometer. Ferris runs the Ferrari in reverse in hopes that the miles from the odometer would be removed. When this does not work, his friend gets upset and begins kicking the Ferrari, which forces it to roll off the jack. The car, which is still in reverse, flies out of the garage and crashes into the ravine below.
Ferris and his friends were attempting to make miles disappear from the odometer, as quickly as possible, by setting the car in reverse. I was doing the opposite of the this. By wearing my Birkenstocks on the elliptical, I was trying to rapidly break-in the footbed. I wanted to add miles to my shoes because the more miles you put on a pair of Birkenstocks, the more comfortable they become.
This experience was a teaching moment for me. Taking a new pair of Birkenstocks on an elliptical joy ride is as bad an idea as borrowing someone’s 1962 Ferrari for the day. By attempting to hasten the footbed break-in process, I created a blister on my foot. Fortunately, a blister is only a minor discomfort compared to totaling a collector car.
I would not recommend wearing a new pair of Birkenstocks on the elliptical. Just like breaking-in the engine of a new car, by driving it gently for the first several hundred miles, one needs to take his/her time to slowly break-in a new pair of Birkenstocks. It takes patience and time to get your Birkenstocks to feel custom made.
I guarantee you that a pair a designer high heels will never feel custom made. High heel shoes may look like a Ferrari on the outside, but on the inside, the arch support is not that of a Ferrari’s engine. The arch support of a high-heeled shoes would be more comparable to the engine of a Jaguar. A Jaguar’s engine is always in for maintenance and your feet are always going to be uncomfortable wearing high heels for long periods of time. Unlike high heels, Birkenstocks are designed with foot health in mind.
Dealing with an occasional blister when breaking-in a new pair of Birkenstocks is nothing compared to long-term aches and pains that may develop by prolonged use of high-heeled shoes.
I say, toss out your high heels and try on a pair of Birkenstocks. Wearing Birkenstocks is an awesome experience. Just like riding in a Ferrari. These days Birkenstocks have sleek, stylish, and luxurious designs for anyone’s taste. Though the initial break-in period may be a slow and bumpy road, I guarantee that once the shoe molds to your foot, you will never want to take them off.
Birkenstock blogger since 2016.