Birkenstock Imitations or the Real Thing?
Birkenstock shoes have been worn and loved since 1774. Made in Germany, this brand is most recognizable in the US for the sandals popularized in the 1960s with the emergence of Birkenstock USA. Many manufacturers imitate the look and style of Birkenstock sandals due to their widespread appeal. There are important differences, however, which distinguish an authentic pair from knock-offs that you may be tempted to purchase.
Characteristics of the Real Thing
Real Birkenstock shoes and sandals are made using sustainable practices. Their manufacturing involves strict labor laws and environmental guidelines. The traditional contoured footbed was invented in 1897. This footbed is made of cork and natural latex with leather, suede, nubuck, or nonleather upper parts. The quality of the product is such that almost any part of the shoe can be repaired or replaced if damaged. The footbed comes in 3 styles—original, soft, and high arch. The original is comfortable and supportive for those with average arches and a neutral gait. The soft version is better for those with lower and flatter arches. People with high arches or very flexible feet will benefit from the high arched footbed. The shoes also come in available narrow and wide sizes. Because many of these features can be mimicked, especially in photographs, the only way to guarantee that you are buying the real thing is to purchase from an authorized dealer.
What to Expect from Knock-Offs
You may be tempted to save money by purchasing a sandal that has a similar style at a lower price tag. However, you will sacrifice quality with this decision. Birkenstock footwear is not only made to last, but also made to be comfortable. Other brands will not have the same supportive contoured footbed that consumers have come to love and expect from their Birkenstocks. The hardware will not be as lasting, nor the leather as supple. When you have to buy a 2nd and 3rd pair because they keep falling apart, the dollars you saved will not matter.
Birkenstocks became a sensation for a reason. They are comfortable, practical, and long-lasting. Their tough construction means that you will enjoy wearing them for years to come. Their sustainable manufacturing means that you can feel good about wearing them. You can find these sandals and shoes in styles to suit any preference or environment—from earthy sandals to office loafers. The Birkenstock brand stands head and shoulders above imposters, representing heritage, sustainability, and quality.