The Birk Situation

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Photos from afterDRK, Tumblr & Celine.

After much deep thought and consideration, and after a very very generous offer by the boyfriend’s grandma, I decided to jump on the Birkenstocks bandwagon. The boy, his brother & I ordered our pairs off FootShopping, after I did much research about the shoes. I was never a big fan of the Birks, and used to cringe at them each and every time I saw them on someone’s feet. The weird thing is, after seeing Phoebe Philo send them down the runway for Celine, as well as witnessing them pop up on the feet of Alexa Chung, Miranda Kerr and Daria Werbowy, I was pretty much sold.

I began my search for the Monterey Black Exquisit, as seen on Sabrina of afterDRK, who does such an insane job of making them look chic, pared down, and effortless. Sold out on almost virtually all sites, I found them on FootShopping in very limited sizes. I considered ordering the regular Arizona ones with a soft footbed, since I have extremely flat feet – as flat as a pancake really – and I was a bit worried about the pain I would have to endure when it came to breaking in the leather. The Montery Black Exquisit is full on leather, and everything inch of the sandal is black. My rational for choosing it was that since I thought the regular Birks were a bit too common and not that stylish, the all black leather ones were my true destiny, since black + leather are a staple in my wardrobe. So big-footed me ordered a pair in 43.

Flash forward to today – my Birks have arrived! I tracked them on a daily basis, and knew that I could expect them when I returned from the office. Here’s a breakdown of what really happened –

Open the box, gasp, shoes, gorgeous, strap them in.

Uh-oh, too wide unless straps are tightened to the maximum.

Wow, leather, smooth, I feel a lump at the base of my foot, since I have no arch on my sole at all.

Walk about in them, my feet look majorly skinny, weird for a size 12/43.

The leather might give me blisters, I think.

Okay, they are too gorgeous with my black skinnies.

I will survive and I will make it.

I then begin Googling “how to break in leather Birkenstocks”. Plenty of suggestions, but what I gleamed from my search was that I had to wear socks with the sandals, then proceed to walk around my home for at least 30 minutes a day, increasing the time gradually over a week. After which, wear them without socks out and about for 1-2 hours at a time. Apparently individuals with high arches needed little or no time to break in Birks, while individuals with flatter feet would quite possibly ache from their bodies having to get used to the change in walking while wearing the Birks. There were a couple of disgruntled Birk customers who complained that they could never get their pairs to become comfortable, wailing about the pain and discomfort. Part of me began to regret getting the all leather Montereys, as I enviously slipped on the boyfriend’s pair, which felt pretty comfortable. I decided, however, to stick to my decision, gazing lovingly at pictures of Sabrina in her Montereys.

I begin my process of breaking in my Montereys, and will document my progress as I go along. Hopefully I’ll be able to wear it out for a full day in two weeks, so fingers crossed and the best of luck to me!

As a last note to everyone who owns Birks though, it is pertinent that your Birks never touch water, especially salt water, which will murder them!


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