I have intentionally not written a blog in months. There are many reasons behind the silence. Pandemic life has been very chaotic and stressful. I have not bought a new pair of Birkenstocks since September 2020. And frankly, I have not had anything nice to say, so I have decided not to say anything at all.
I initially created my blog to share my love about Birkenstocks sandals. I felt like I needed to stay focused and only blog about all things Birks. But, I recently realized three things. First, Birkenstock is not listening to its long-time fans who are begging for more regular width Birks with their new releases. Second, since Birkenstock just sold most of their stake to a private equity firm, I don’t have high hopes for what is on the horizon for regular width devotees. Finally, I am the creator of this blog and I can write about anything I want. Thus, since I have nothing nice to say about all the ridiculous narrow width Birkenstocks being released, I thought I would write about something that I do have nice things to say about…..Duckfeet.
'DuckfeetUSA has a decent selection of shoes, boots, and sandals for people who require wide width shoes. While I have not tried Duckfeet sandals or shoes, I have tried one style of their boots and I have completely fallen in love with the Arhus boot. The Duckfeet Arhus are the most well-made and comfortable boots that this Birkenstock devotee has ever owned.
Over the years, I have completely given up on Birkenstock shoes and boots because they never fit me right. My regular size 38 were too small and the next size up, were too big. I always ended up with blisters on my heels when I wore them. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. And it really upset me because I wanted them to work…so bad.
I noticed that once Birkenstock encloses its regular width footbed, it immediately becomes narrow. For me, going up a size causes two problems, it is still too narrow AND is way too long. Believe me, I tried everything to make Birkenstock shoes and Birkenstock boots work and I finally gave up. In fact, I have sold all the enclosed Birkenstock shoes and boots that I have ever owned.
As one of Birkenstock's top fans, I was saddened by how much I disliked their shoes and boots. Come Fall and Winter, this Birkenstock sandal lover reached for her Dr. Martens and Frye boots. But, since the onset of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders were in full effect in California, my Docs and Frye boots seemed overly dressy for my work from home routine. My Birkenstock Boston shearlings were great, until my kids stole them to wear during remote learning. I found UGGs to be too floppy and completely unsupportive. Wearing insoles with UGGs just doesn’t work for me either. So, when another Birkenstock friend recommended that I try a pair of Duckfeet Arhus, I decided to give them a shot.
The Arhus was exactly the type of boot that I was looking for in the mist of California pandemic living. It was wide, well made, and warm. Duckfeet Arhus are an investment type boot. While I don’t live in snow country, I do live in the Bay Area where it is cold all the stinking time, except for a handful of days in October. And during non-pandemic life, we do travel to Lake Tahoe for snow time fun with the kids. For these reasons, I felt like I could justify the expense, only after Duckfeet dangled a 20% off coupon in my face on Black Friday. (I don’t recall ever seeing a Birkenstock coupon on Black Friday or any other Holiday for that matter….just sayin’….)
Even with the Black Friday coupon from DuckfeetUSA, the boots were still pretty pricey. Therefore, I sold off a few pair of gently loved Birkenstocks to pay for them. I tried sizes 38 and 39 in the Arhus. I seem to be in between sizes with this boot. After consulting DuckfeetUSA customer service directly, I decided that due to the shearling, I had to size up for comfort. Sizing up afforded me some space in the boot and I was able to insert a Birkenstock insole in the Arhus. The Birkenstock blue insole worked beautifully in my boots because Duckfeet are made with a neutral footbed, meaning there is no arch support.
With the neutral sole of the Duckfeet footbed, one can use any type of insole that they desire, or no insole at all. I personally found that the Duckfeet Arhus paired well with the Birkenstock blue insoles and created the absolute perfect Fall/Winter boot for me. I bought the Arhus in November 2020 and have worn them for THREE straight months. EVERY! SINGLE! DAY! And I have never, ever, ever worn the same pair of Birkenstocks for three months in a row.
When I found a pair of Arhus “returns”, for a fraction of the cost of a brand new pair, I jumped at the chance to add another color to my rotation. This time, I only had to sell one pair of Birkenstocks to pay for them.
As Spring approaches, I know that I will be able to wear the Arhus for awhile longer since it will remain cold in the Bay Area. However, eventually I need to pack away the shearling lined DuckFeet until next Fall. Before doing so, I am thinking about selling off even more of my Birkenstocks to make room for a non-shearling lined pair of Duckfeet boots. You know, something to get me through the chilly early days of Spring.....since I refuse to wear socks with my Birkenstocks. At the moment, I am eyeing these Duckfeet Roskilde boots…..
You might be thinking that I am disloyal wearing a different brand other than Birkenstock. And maybe even crazy for selling off some of my Birkenstock collection. But, to be honest, I really only need a handful of my Birkenstocks to last me a lifetime. For now, I am letting go of all my Birko-Flor and every single pair of narrow width Birkenstocks that I felt forced to purchase because the particular sandal was not released in a regular width.
Which Birkenstocks stay and which Birks go? Well, that’s a topic for an entirely different blog post. Just the fact that Gina Mama is selling off some of her Birkenstocks to pay for a different brand speaks volumes about the absolute comfort, craftsmanship, and the warmth of Duckfeet boots. More importantly, it highlights my level of dissatisfaction with the Birkenstock brand…and I know I am not the only one who feels this way. I highly recommend that you give Duckfeet a chance. They are way easier to break in than Birkenstocks. I promise!!