The curious appeal of Birkenstocks
The proudly orthopaedic sandals have shown that anything can become chic under the right circumstances
I once thought acidic cartoonist John Callahan had the final word on the attractiveness of Birkenstocks. He pictured an earnest-looking doctor offering a pair to a patient: “I’m out of birth control pills — try wearing these.”
The point is not gender specific. On men or women, it is hard to imagine a shoe less conducive to sexual attraction, or any other type of attraction, than these dirt-coloured, Mitteleuropean, proudly orthopaedic sandals. To me they are like regular bowel movements: healthful and comfortable, but utterly without charm.
Such is my view, anyway; some share it. What is amazing to those of us who have been purposefully averting our eyes whenever a pair of Birks walks by is that the fashion world disagrees, and has done so for a long time now...