Birkenstock’s most classic sandals have finally hit middle age, fitting for shoes that were mistakenly belittled as shoes for old people not so long ago. Now, basically everyone’s caught onto the beauty of Birkenstock, and just in time to celebrate some major anniversaries for Birkenstock’s true icons (that ain’t just hyperbole).
In 2023, Birkenstock’s timeless Arizona, Madrid, and Gizeh sandals are turning 50, 60, and 40, respectively, and the German company is celebrating with limited edition colorways of each shoe.
The point is to put the focus on the OG Birkenstocks, putting the brand’s true icons on a deserving pedestal. Without these sandals, Birkenstock as we know it today simply wouldn’t exist.
Launching in mid-May via Birkenstock’s website and stores, Birkenstock’s anniversary collection encompasses three shoes that epitomize the company’s history, giving them the historical weight they deserve by way of a limited release that includes special packaging and vintage-inspired Birk socks.
Appropriately, each sandal will be offered in an edition that matches the year in which it was released. For instance, Birkenstock will only offer 1,963 pairs of Madrid sandals, in reference to the year of its debut.
Birkenstock’s Madrid was its first slip-on sandal to sport the now ubiquitous cork footbed.
It was the brainchild of Karl Birkenstock, direct descendant of brand founder Konrad Birkenstock, who opened his Frankfurt-based cobbler outposts way back in 1896.
The better part of a century later, Margot Fraser began importing Birkenstock’s Madrid and relatively new Arizona to the US nearly a decade after discovering the brand during a 1966 trip to Germany.
Back then it was a best kept secret but now the name “Birkenstock” is synonymous with strappy, comfy footwear.
The brand has truly never been bigger, what with Gen Z stripping store shelves of Boston clogs and top-tier luxury labels giving Birkenstock its flowers.
Worn by the most famous people in the world, imitated by everyone, and more authentically cool than nearly any other footwear brand of its scale, Birkenstock is at the top of its game.
So, why not look back and celebrate its roots?