I am a born and raised Bay Area girl who proudly wears Birkenstocks. One thing that I love as much as my Birkenstocks are the San Francisco Giants. I am a longtime Birkenstock wearer and a lifelong Giants fan.
I remember watching games at Candlestick Park in the freezing cold. One of my most memorable moments as a kid, was touching Will Clark’s hand when he autographed a baseball card for me. I was at home alone waiting for a World Series game to start between the Giants and A’s when the earthquake hit in 1989. I was at Pacbell Park (now AT&T park) when Barry Bonds hit his 500th home run against the Dodgers. One of my favorite pictures of me and husband was taken on the field at AT&T Park. In May 2016, we took my youngest kid to his first Giants game. It rained the entire day but that didn’t matter. In fact, on that rainy day I was wearing my Birkenstock Woodbury’s and my feet stayed warm and dry. I could go on and on, but all you need to know is that I bleed orange and black.
As a lifetime Giants fan, I will never change my allegiance to my favorite baseball team. Even if I were to move out of state, I would remain a dedicated San Francisco Giants fan. It’s like Tony Bennett’s song, “I left my heart in San Francisco”. No matter where I am in the world, my heart will remain true to the orange and black.
Just as I am a steadfast Giants fan, I am a Birkenstock loyalist. I love Birkenstocks so much that I started my blog to share this love with like minded individuals. People who know that I am a blogger often come up to me and suggest other brands of shoes that “I should” try. People send me emails or leave me comments on Facebook and Instagram about what brands “I should” try that are not Birkenstocks. I am dumbfounded by other peoples' well meaning, but unsolicited, advice. My blog is not titled “Help me find a shoe brand”, it is titled “I Love Birkenstocks" for a reason.
Friends are suggesting that I try Keens, FitFlops, Danksos, and Fluevogs. Social media “friends” tell me to try Reefs, Olukais, and Naots. Those who have read all my blogs, know that I have tried Danskos, Keens, and Olukais. I feel like the people who are making these recommendations are the same people who have never tried on a pair of Birkenstocks. If they had, they would know how awesome Birkenstocks are and would likely be wearing them too. The only brand of shoe that transformed my life by eliminating foot and back discomfort is Birkenstock.
Birkenstock shoes have been so life changing that I am no longer willing to try different brands of shoes. When people tell me “I should” try this brand or that shoe, it is almost as if they are asking me to become a Dodgers fan. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN! For you East Coasters, it is like asking a Yankee fan to root for the Red Sox, or vice versa.
The Giants and the Dodgers rivalry is deeply rooted. I am such a devoted Giants fan that I will not even buy articles of clothing a certain shade of blue. Just a few months ago, I was curious about the limited edition soft footbed Birkenstock Gizeh. I went to a local store and when I saw it up close I knew I could not buy the shoe because, sadly, it was Dodger blue.
You could never get me to buy an article of clothing in Dodger blue, just as you will never get me to try a different brand of shoe by telling me “I should”. When someone tells me “I should” try a certain type of shoe, I immediately feel a psychological response happening to me internally. I feel myself wanting to do the opposite.
I know that my body will react to a perceived threat when someone tells me that “I should” do something. I feel as if my freedom to choose the type of shoe I want to wear is being threatened. The science behind this is outlined in Brehm’s (1966) Reactance Theory. Reactance can make an individual strengthen their own views or act in a way contrary to what is intended. Reactance is so powerful that Pearl Jam alludes to it in their song, “Corduroy,” with the lyrics “push me and I will resist.”
When someone tells me “I should” try Keens, Naots, Fitflops or any other type of shoe that is not a Birkenstock, that person is making me strengthen my allegiance to Birkenstocks. Thereby not wanting to try the brand that is being recommended. I have documented my experience with other brands of shoes in previous blogs. I have spent unknown amounts of money on different types of shoes, in my effort to find one that meets the needs of my feet. All of which were donated because they lacked peerless comfort and support.
Keens left my arches aching. Naots were too narrow. Danskos were a fall risk. Sauconys were my best friend until they discontinued my favorite model. Then, I was re-introduced to Birkenstocks and found my “sole” mate.
For me, being a Birkenstock loyalist is like being a Giants fan. No matter what, I will never change my allegiance. When the Giants lost 100 games in 1985, I still rooted for them everyday. If Birkenstocks don’t remain in the fashion limelight, I am still going to wear them because they make my feet happy. What other shoe besides Birkenstocks mold to your feet and provide a custom fit? None.
I believe that wearing Birkenstocks is the single most important thing you can do for your feet and it’s up to you whether or not you choose to wear them. If and when you decide to try a pair of Birkenstocks, I am confident that you will find a pair that will work for you.
I am not telling anyone that they “should” wear Birkenstocks. So, please, stop telling me “I should” try other brands. I Love Birkenstocks and that’s why I started a blog dedicated to all things Birkenstock.