Birkenstock Clogs: 2022’s Shoe of the Year
January 12, 2023
The typical pairs of shoes that win “Shoe of the Year” usually do not extend beyond the confines of Nike and Adidas. Being the most famous brands, they dominate release cycles and get the most exposure. That is just the shoe market in a nutshell. But, in two years of societal upheaval and trends going haywire, there was bound to be some change to the order of things. In shoes, it meant that something much older, taken for granted, and usually ignored took the footwear crown for 2022: the Birkenstock Boston.
If you are unfamiliar with its actual name, let us use its street name: clogs. These close-toed second sons of Birkenstock whipped up a storm to close out the year. It was already having a good year in becoming a go-to shoe during the pandemic, when its versatility won over people. Then, some of the most famous people on the planet started making statement outfits with clogs as the central attraction. Before long, and certainly before the year ended, business was booming for the German slipper maker, and you cannot seem to go anywhere without not seeing clogs.
So, how exactly did this aging pair of hippie-loved sandals become 2022’s shoe of the year? The past two years of comfort-first lockdown life might have something to do with it.
Comfort First Turned to Comfort Forever
When life, as we knew it, halted because of the pandemic, everyone threw any sense of pretension and started dressing for comfort. Women did away with certain undergarments, men committed to sweaters, and everyone switched to shorts once the weather got even a little hot. A big part of that transition is the Birkenstock clogs. Simply put, it was as comfortable as it was irreplaceable. Grocery runs, morning walks, brunches, nights out, and impromptu road trips, this pair went well with “comfortwear” that exploded during lockdowns.
Let’s touch on that irreplaceable part, shall we? For a company that started in 1774, you can bet your life savings that Birkenstock knows what they are about. Their cork-latex blend, which has been the material of choice for their footwear’s footbed for as long as they are around simply does not quit. Steve Job’s (RIP) iconic Arizona pair, which just sold for an insane amount of money, looks like it’s been through a lot and can still hold up for another 50 years.
More than anything, though, the Birkenstock clogs lend itself so nicely to most podiatric situations. It is particularly beneficial to people with flat feet, as said by an expert. It will mould to the shape of your feet over time, control pronation (flat footers, where you at), and alleviate heel pain; honestly what is not to love about the birkie clogs?
Even now, and especially now, people are reluctant to give up the clogs. Heels vs clogs? Only one pair is coming out alive from that fight (hint: cork can stand up to a lot of wear-and-tear). Sneakers vs clogs? Clogs win for one simple reason: you slip it on, and you go. If you do not believe these, believe the data: there was a 593% increase in searches for Birkenstock clogs in the first half of 2022. Then, the crowning jewel of every trend happened: celebrities.
Birkie Goes to Hollywood
When Kendall Jenner stepped out in her taupe clogs, straight jeans, and knitted cardigan, it gave lockdown/fashion/comfort that reflected everyone’s vibes. Before long, the who’s who of Hollywood got their pair of clogs and created timeless styles. Kristen Stewart’s denim-plus-clogs number is particularly beloved. The pair also blew up on TikTok, which put the cherry on top of this banner year for Bostons.
Overall, there is a nice feeling to and about these sandals. There is a certain pleasure in knowing that you can slip on something seen as universally stylish and comfortable as a pair of clogs. You can go out looking like you just woke up, and people will notice how well your pajama pairs with the Bostons. If you can do that, imagine the possibilities of opening your wardrobe and finding comfy combos that are going to be a staple in your rotation. That’s a lot of wins just from owning a pair of clogs.
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