Cork. Leather. A buckle or two. A simple idea that’s made feet happy for over two hundred years. That’s the original Birkenstock. Made in Germany since 1774 (with a few minor design tweaks in the meantime). No smoke. No mirrors. No gizmos. You walk, the shoe molds to your foot. You feel good. We feel good. That’s the deal.
The Birkenstock brand traces its roots to a German by the name of Johann Adam Birkenstock. Birkenstock was registered in 1774 as a "subject and shoemaker" in local church archives. In 1897 it was Johann's grandson, Konrad Birkenstock, who developed the first contoured insole to be used by shoemakers in the production of custom footwear. 1902 saw another first in shoemaking by Konrad when he developed the first flexible arch support to be inserted in factory-made shoes. In 1964, these inserts were developed further into a shoe by Karl Birkenstock, and what would become the Birkenstock sandal was created.