I still remember the last words my best friend in Toronto said to me before my flight to Vancouver: Don’t turn into one of those crunchy granola, birkenstock wearing, yoga hippie types! And I’m sure I laughed, rolled my eyes, and thought: not a chance in hell!
Back then I was still a posh, label-wearing mama of one, who wore stilettos on a daily basis, while more practical wedges were saved for the playground. I only wore flip flops on the beach, and even then they usually had a platform or a wedge to them. I moved to Vancouver with only one pair of flats, my favourite leopard-print pony-hair Tory Burch Reva flats, the rest of them were heels.
Two months after I moved I purchased my first pair of Hunter Wellies, they were glossy red, and an absolute must as I moved in the fall (the rainy season!) and some of my shoes were getting ruined. But you know what? I loved my rain boots. I started wearing them even if it wasn’t raining (because it might rain later!)… and so began my crush on more comfortable shoes.
My first pair of Birkenstocks was purchased in Amsterdam. Jay & I were on our honeymoon, and after a day of sightseeing my feet were absolutely killing me – and it was only midday! We ran into the shopping district looking for cheap, comfortable shoes, which usually didn’t exist. And lo and behold, my husband came around the corner holding a pair of shiny, red Birkenstocks.
First impression? Meh, they’re kind of ugly. But then I tried them on and a huge light bulb went off. They were so goddamn comfortable. This is why all those hippies wear them! Comfort! And the price was hilariously cheap: they were on sale for 10 euro. I should have bought more (they also had them in silver!), but I said out loud that I probably won’t get much wear out of them after this trip anyway. (File under: things I shall regret.) Back home these sandals are over $100. Hits head with sandal.
Those red sandals lasted me a good year before I located a leopard print pair at a local shoe shop, decided I needed those and I bought them too! I’ve never met a leopard print I didn’t like. So now there were two Birkenstocks amidst the Manolos and Choos. Then last year the same store had a pair of simple black Birks ON SALE, so I bought those too.
I’m growing a Birkenstock collection. While I’ve always purchased the Gizeh thong-type Birk, I’m starting to notice the Arizona sandal as well (I’ve got my eye on this blue pair). I can’t believe I’m admitting this (my old self would not believe this!) but I wear these on an almost daily basis. I have to remind myself to wear other shoes. And I can’t even call them ugly anymore, I just don’t see it! My love for them has grown too large!