Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Perfect Shoes for When You're Not Running? Or Birkenstocks, a Love Story

Let's take a break here a minute from all this running talk to talk about Birkenstocks.


When I was in high school, Birks were "a thing," as in very popular. They were also expensive, so, like the Reebok Pumps of elementary school (have you seen they're making those again?!) only a certain crowd of entitled, preppy kids had them. Those kids were always talking about how awesome and comfortable they were. I couldn't care less though, I was not about doing what was popular, and frankly, I thought they were ugly.

Fast forward to a year or so ago and Birkenstocks are coming back in style. I started seeing these fashion/style blogging ladies with them and some of the styles were actually cute. They have way more options than the soft leather, two strap, wanna be, slacker, hippie shoe of the late '90s. Like the maximizer I am, I checked out every style and color online.
Surprising to no one, I found my sole sister (see what I did there? It's not funny, I know) in the Gizeh. I say that's not surprising because I'm a flip-flop kinda woman and these are very flip-flop esque. Flip-flop esque, yet without a flip or a flop and they can be dressed up better than most flip-flops. This is not a paid post, though I know I sound like a commercial. However, at $95 I knew I would just be an admirer from afar. I've spent that much on cowboy boots before, and I try to find my running shoes on sale so I don't have to spend that much, but on a sandal? No way.

That is until a few months ago when a friend of mine showed up to book club with Gizehs on and my lust was lit anew. Since the sizing is so confusing on Birkenstocks, I decided to try them on locally and was surprised to find out they were cheaper in the store than on Amazon and ermahgerd, soooo comfortable! They hug my foot in all the right places. I bit the bullet and emptied my wallet. Only later did I find out that my friend's shoes were actually Birk look-a-likes from Target and I had to buy those too. While the Target ones are surprisingly nice and very comfortable, they are Old Navy rubber flip-flops compared to the real deal.


Yes, my floor is dirty, I've been sick, back off


After having my Birks for a while now, my crush has grown into a deep and beautiful love. These are the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. As a runner, it's important to take care of your feet, heels are bad, flip-flops are bad, what do they expect us to do, wear running shoes all the time? I know a lot of runners do that but it's not my style. Plus, I live in Florida, my feet need to breathe. The answer: Birkenstocks. On one of my many trips to the doctor recently, she was happy to see I was wearing a good, sturdy shoe and not flip-flops, so they're doctor approved and recommended! I can tell they support my foot really well because when I take them off, I really feel the absence of support, I don't know, that part's hard to explain.

As for fit: I'm a 8.5 in running shoes (mostly Saucony), 8 in most flip-flops, 7.5-8 in dressy shoes, a 39 at Aldo (?!) and a 37 in Birkenstock Gizeh. I could have gone up, but the contour of the 37 seemed to fit best. I have a high arch, a narrow heel, and a somewhat wide forefoot (though not wide enough to be "wide").

I really think of these as an investment now; I know they can last a long time. They can go with pretty much everything and I could wear them every day (and I almost do). I wear them to church, I wear them to the store, date night, and even to the beach. I've even walked a few miles in them on vacation with no issues. Sure, I'd love to have every color, but the ones I have are perfect.

Do you have Birkenstocks? 

What's the most you've spent on a non-running shoe?

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