As some of you may know, I have long had a tumultuous love/hate relationship with Birkenstocks, mainly veering over to the hate side. I know people buy them and then practically pass them on to their descendants because they’re so durable and they love them so much, but really, couldn’t a company make shoes that are both insanely comfortable AND somewhat beautiful, rather than looking like a huge board strapped to one’s foot? Is that really too much to ask? When one has size 11 feet, one must consider the impact (literally) of one’s shoes, you see.
When my roomie got a pair like this, and when she announced her intentions to Wear Them With Socks, I simply couldn’t let it slide. The sandals I could bear for the sake of the comfort they provide, but the travesty of wearing them with socks? Shudder. I wrote her a letter outlining the breakup of our friendship, because really, a girl has to stand by her principles! (If you haven’t yet, go read it, I’ll wait here.)
So you may be reading this and thinking, if this is how she feels, then why on earth did the silly thing buy herself a pair? Isn’t she just sticking her foot in her mouth? Well. Let me tell you why.
The weighty decision all boils down to three things; first, it’s a safety issue. For instance, if I am ever lost at sea, if I have my trusty Birkenstocks along, I can simply stand on one and paddle with the other and will find land in no time at all. Falling out of an airplane? No problem, simply tie the Birks together and parachute safely down to land. If I’m ever caught waist-deep in a sudden snow storm, I have nothing to worry about since my Birks will work as the best of snowshoes. And if a dragon is ever after me and trying to eat me, I’ll just make sure to be swallowed feet-first and he will be certain to choke on the broad expanse of my sandals before he gets to the rest of me.
But safety isn’t all that I’m gaining- I’m also getting so much in the way of convenience. Gone camping but forgot to pack a tent? Birks to the rescue. Set them up in a teepee shape and whole family and I will fit underneath with ease. Or maybe I’m hosting a dinner party but oh no, I realize I have no kitchen table available!? No worries, I’ll simply invert one sandal and the whole crowd will fit around its broad and capacious sole with plenty of elbow room for a lovely meal of soul food.
There’s one last reason I had to get Birkenstocks. Entertainment! If I’m ever bored at the beach I can just hop on one trusty sandal and ride those crashing waves a while. Never mind if I can actually surf or not- the broadness of the sandal will keep it from tipping over, even for a novice. If my nieces or nephews get cranky, I can upend one sandal and the kids can entertain themselves for hours, sliding down the undulating insole. And if I’m ever in need of a long board, I can simply affix a couple kombucha cans to the bottom of one and roll down the sidewalks in style (“in style”, a debatable term, given the subject matter).
On that foot I’ll end, but let me just add one more tidbit to the heel of this missive. The reason I actually got them? They were on a major sale, and I figured I could always resell them if I hated them. Gotta see what the hype is about, you know, and I try to be broad-minded. Also, I’d like you to know that I got ones with a toe strap, like this style, so the only way I could wear these with socks would be with toe socks. Precautions, man. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to make myself a vegan, gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, local, cruelty-free, acai smoothie bowl, buy some essential oils, and work on growing out my dreadlocks.
P.S. Kudos to you if you find all the puns wedged in this piece. 😀
A Year Ago: