The BIRKENSTOCK Journey
Often, in our preoccupation with the future, we miss celebrating the milestones we’ve achieved so far. Today is one of those days where we’d just like to stop for a moment, sit back in our comfortable BIRKENSTOCKS, and just take a trip down memory lane to moments that mean a lot to us. As our avid wearers, it would mean a lot to take you with us in the past to our pivotal times. Here are 5 very special but lesser-known facts about us:1. BIRKENSTOCK has been around for almost 250 years.
For almost two and a half centuries, the BIRKENSTOCK name has been associated with exquisite footwear-making skills. The brand was founded in 1774 by Johann Adam Birkenstock, a cobbler, according to church archives of Langen-Bergheim in Germany. What’s even more phenomenal is the fact that all through these years, the core idea remains firm and consistent, generation after generation: the principle of well-being and providing the wearer with unparalleled comfort.2.The Footbed is wholly and solely a BIRKENSTOCK concept.
The term ‘footbed’ was coined by us. The first flexible insoles were manufactured by master cobbler Konrad Birkenstock in 1896. This could be called the foundation of the footbed, developed in the 1930s. The footbed, as we know it today, has been around and unchanged for almost a century. Inspired by natural footprints on the sand, the footbed mimics the shape of the soles. With its heel cup, arch supports, and toe box, the footbed provides anatomically-shaped support to your feet, ensuring maximum comfort and ease during movement. Often copied but never equaled, our footbed has been perfected over the years, creating an experience you will not find elsewhere.3. Madrid is the first BIRKENSTOCK sandal.
The minimal Madrid, launched in 1963, is the first sandal of the family. Previously known as the “gymnastics sandal”, the flexible cork and latex footbed was coupled with a single strap with an adjustable buckle that allowed the wearer to customize the grip. While the footbed worked its magic and aided the rolling motion of walking like never before, the minimal and contemporary upper design soon became a crowd favorite. This is the model that set us up for our subsequent success.
Launched in 1973, the dual-strap sandal was developed by Karl BIRKENSTOCK. It was first tested on employees before its debut. The style soon caught our patrons’ fancy and received so much love and popularity that it remains unchanged to date. The unisex sandal accounts for nearly 1/3rd of our sales, today, and is available in seven variants and almost 100 options.5. Expressing creativity through BIRKENSTOCK 1774
BIRKENSTOCK 1774 was launched in 2019 as a platform for pushing the boundaries of creativity and luxury. The BIRKENSTOCK philosophy, minimal designs, and of course, unparalleled engineering became the soul of all design collections. It wasn’t long before collaborations started forming with designers and design schools. Along with our own collections, collab collections with CSM, Stussy, Manolo Blahnik, Proenza Schouler, and many more are showcased on the website. These collections build on the heritage of BIRKENSTOCK to redefine luxury.
Sometimes, it's a good thing to pause and take it all in. The journey so far has been exhilarating and humbling, and we are excited for what’s to come. We are ever grateful for the love you’ve showered on us all these years, and we hope that you’ll walk with us the rest of the way!