BIRKENSTOCK Sandals — yay or nay?
50 minute docu on the not very pretty but functional and good-for-feet orthopedic Birkenstock sandals, which came out of West Germany in the 1960‘s.
The brand traces its roots to Johann Adam Birkenstock, registered in 1774 as a “vassal and shoemaker” in the small Hessian village of Langen-Bergheim. In 1896, Johann’s great-great-grandson Konrad Birkenstock developed the first contoured insole for use by shoemakers in the production of custom footwear. Also in the year 1896 Karl opened two shoe stores in Frankfurt, where he continued to make and sell his insoles. 1902 saw the development of the first flexible arch-support for insertion into factory-made shoes; and in 1964, Karl Birkenstock developed these inserts into a shoe — thus producing the original prototype of the Birkenstock sandal. In 1925 Konrad Birkenstock expanded the company by buying a large factory in Friedberg, Hessen. After World War II (1939–1945) the Birkenstock sandal was popular among returning soldiers because of the orthopedic support. Starting in 1963 and continuing into 1964 Karl Birkenstock released his first athletic sandal with a flexible footbed called Madrid. It soon became popular, especially among gymnasts.
The footbed of the Birkenstock shoe was created in the 1930s and possesses four different layers that complete the shoes. The first layer of the shoe is the shock absorbent sole, followed by two layers of jute fibers, and a firm corked footbed. The last layer is the footbed line which is a soft suede.