to birk or not to birk?

before our trip to Florida, dlb bought a pair of Birkenstocks. I’ve been a little jealous ever since, wanting a new pair of comfortable sandals for myself. the weather hasn’t been just right yet, but I know it’s coming, and I need sandals.
I’ve had, what one might call, a love affair/dorkathon relationship with Birkenstocks. in 7th grade I got my first pair. I loved the cork of off them. then I wore my second pair all the time up until high school when I heard that “Birks were dorky and no body wears them anymore”. so I tossed my beloved shoes for something new because we all know how high school was: if you weren’t cool, you were just plain dorky.
so now that dlb has his new pair of Birks, I’ve been intrigued again, remembering that soft suede and cushiony cork that I loved so much. I checked out the site, and you know, the Women’s sandals really aren’t that bad if you steer clear of the ones with the big straps. but I’m still not convinced. I’m going to try some on this weekend and report back.

so what’s your opinion readers, Birk or no Birk?
{from birkenstock}

35 Responses to “to birk or not to birk?”

  1. Jess said:

    do not. I repeat. DO NOT buy a pair of birkenstocks. unless you will wear them with socks to tap into some weird latent early 90s lilith fair shit. or you are going for irony.

    to recap. ok for latent lesbianism or irony.

    (is that too bitchy of me?)

  2. alyson. said:

    ok, maybe I’ve had my head in the sand too long, but are these REALLY lesbianish? I mean, they don’t look that lesbianish… they look comfortable.


  3. Erica said:

    I love the Birks in the middle and have been coveting them — in silver or mango. I first saw that Birkenstock style in Vogue. Yes, Vogue.

    (But then, I like clogs and always thought lesbian-ish could be a good thing.)

  4. Alice said:

    I bought a pair like the ones in the middle – gladiator-ish – with an ankle strap. I simply could NOT find another sandal that had arch support. Although there are lots of cute sandals out this season they are all very flat (and flimsy). I say go for it. When I was walking around Brooklyn this weekend I saw at least 5 women with the same sandals (but no ankle strap)! I say they are can look very cute.

  5. ali said:

    I’ve always wanted a pair of white birks, ever since I saw them on this uber-fashionable woman trolling Covent Garden in London.

    The crisp color white seems to counter the whole grungy idea of birks, but they still looked cool and casual.

    These comments are cracking me up.

  6. Sara Christine said:

    My sister and I were in Europe a couple years ago and saw Birks EVERYWHERE. Particularly the thin, single strap kind in metallic colors. I bought a pair in bronze and I love them. So comfy. I think they can be stylish in the right design/color. I doubt that hundreds of Dutch women could be wrong! ;)

  7. Emilie said:

    I would say you can’t go wrong with the middle one. They are a basic / classic birk will never grow out of style (it’s like kickers or old fashion Clarks). But the other ones nahhh, not so sure…

  8. Megan said:

    Birks are classic and true classics never go out of style. They are never dorky if the person wearing them does so with the laid back confidence they require like those people you see who make them look so freakin’ cool and leave you really wanting a pair.

  9. Sheila said:

    Yes birks!!! They come in so many better styles than they used to and can fit seamlessly without being outwardly treehugger! I love them and always will!!

  10. mudrick said:

    The thong style is one of the sleeker looking models. I had a black pair that I wore out last summer and I actually had a few “non Birk” friends comment that they were cute. You might also take a look at Birkenstock’s Tatami line. It’s more fashion forward but uses the same cork soles.

  11. Natalie* said:

    just bought the red patent leather birkies…. giving me blisters, but i hear they’re worth the wear-in….

  12. The Sun Kissed Me said:

    Eh… no. I’m sorry, they just look too chunky to me. But whatever floats your boat… I do, however, think the middle ones are ok.

  13. Lee said:

    I find that it’s not just what you wear but how you wear it. Confidence is key. I’ve never personally been a fan of Birkenstocks, but if you rock them right, that’s what matters.

  14. miss money said:

    BIRK! being dorky is fun! & comfortable! & you obviously want them if you posted about them!

  15. erika - urban grace said:

    Birk. Yes. I have the middle (Gizeh) in silver and wear them a lot. people might think i am a total dork, but i love them! I say go for it!

  16. Flora Douville said:

    Go for them, I have had two pairs now and they are the best when you need something open but comfortable enough to walk. I have the single strap (on top of the foot) one and am happy not to suffer when walking in the summer!

  17. Aran said:

    I actually love them. I like the first pair on that photo too. When I was working in professional pastry kitchens, I wore birkenstocks everyday for about 12 hours a day and they were so good to me… You know what other sandals I think are comfortable and stylish, Mephistos. they are really cute too. But yes, I am a birky girl.

  18. wildgoose said:

    Go for it! I love my Birkis. You might want to check out the single strap Madrid which is really popular.

    Just to add, I discovered your blog recently and really love it. :)

  19. Leila said:

    I love the one in the middle.

    I say that if they make you happy and comfortable, go for it, dorky or not dorky!

  20. Whatever Dee-Dee wants said:

    I didnt even know they still made birkenstocks. I thought they died with the 1990’s.
    I say if you love them, who cares what people think.

  21. Alicia said:

    Generally speaking I tend to shy away from the Birk section of the shoe store as it brings up memories of past days when I pretended to be a dirty hippie. I do, however, think that the middle shoe is great – I’ve seen it on quite a few women & it looks very elegant with tan feet, pretty toes & a great outfit. I say go for it! If I hadn’t already paid an obscene amount of $$ for some Calvin Klein gladiator sandals I might consider a little browse through the Birk section of my local shoe store..!

  22. Anonymous said:

    Yes, okay, I know. I am as german as the birkis are, and that is uncool from the beginning on.
    But: That is stylish.
    I do have the ones in the middle, in dark brown, and I like to wear them with long trousers or short feminine skirts.
    And I want another one, with one strap, in silver, this summer.

    You should be glad to not be in high school anymore and being judged by “cool” people you don’t even like.

    Enjoy your Birkis!
    Hello from Germany.

  23. Sal said:

    My ancient high school Birks get worn around the house but never leave it. However, I’ve been pressing my husband to get a new pair for himself. I feel like they are somehow more acceptable on dudes than chicks these days. Even though I think they’d look adorable on my hubs, I can’t imagine ever replacing my own pair.

    But they certainly are the comfiest. Might be worth embracing your inner dork. ;)

  24. Alice said:

    Thanks for sharing!! Well, I was also puzzled due to purchase of some new pairs of sandals, finally I got a place for wide range of sandals only at Zappos.

  25. jennifer said:


    i was just going through the same dilemma. i am going to paris next week (for the first time) and need a comfortable walking shoe. i am not known for being practical. i have some trendier gladiators packed up too.

    i bought the middle style in silver and they are really quite cute and definitely comfortable. i am looking forward to wearing them!

    the madrid is cute and i just saw some others like the gizeh with an ankle strap.

    go for it!!


  26. Colleen said:

    I bought the Gizeh in butter yellow. Ouch! More breaking in than the previous pair of not-so-cute Birkentocks, but definitely worth it.
    I say, if you like them, get them!

  27. trupeach said:

    if it’s strappy and patent, i don’t see how it could be wrong

  28. ambika said:

    I had 3 pairs in college & the years following that I never stopped wearing. I think this wore me out on them as a brand & I really canNOT go back. However, I don’t generally mind them on other people–minus the socks.

  29. laceyJ. said:

    What a funny topic! I love how passionate everyone is about Birks. I’ve owned 3 pair in my life- haven’t worn any in almost 8 years, and I have to say, don’t think I’ll go back to them… however! they ARE comfortable!

  30. jillian said:

    haha, i love your birk description. my first pair was in the 7th grade too. they were thin-strapped with blue/brown contrasting and of course i rocked them with bright white socks in the winter but remember wearing them as they should the following summer, barefoot and carefree. man, those were the days. and now, i’m reliving them again even though i thought i never would. i bought the middle pair in black patent. they rock.

  31. nicole hill said:

    don’t do it!

  32. Sarah said:

    I didn’t know people could be this passionate about Birkenstocks!
    I love mine.