Is Birkenstock A Luxury Brand?

A brand that is considered luxurious is characterized by the following: premium-quality products, rarity, and high-end. The question is, does Birkenstock have what it takes to be called a luxury brand?

Most shoe enthusiasts consider Birkenstock a luxury brand. One reason is that it has produced sandals made with the finest materials, which is why its lineups are a bit pricy compared to others. In addition, their exclusive design has been the standard in creating comfy and stylish footwear: imitated but never replicated.

Given these, Birkenstock could pass as a luxury brand. Apart from these reasons, included in this article are other aspects which make Birkenstock a brand of its own. So, carry on reading to know more!

Birkenstock’s History

Birkenstock Women's Madrid Birko-Flor Sandal, Black Birko-Flor, 37 N EU/6-6.5 2A(N) US

Birkenstock Women's Mules

Every success story starts with a little spark. For Birkenstock, this spark was visible to Konrad Birkenstock as he witnessed how his grandfather became a subject and a shoemaker in a German church archive.

In 1896, Konrad transformed this spark into uniquely designed and flexible footbed insoles. He realized that traditional footwear has flat soles while our feet have curves and contours. Thus, he initiated producing something out of the ordinary.

In 1902, he launched the very first contoured arch support. This creation was widely known and used in Germany. Konrad’s son, Carl Birkenstock, enters the company and later on sets training and seminars in motion in 1932.

In 1963, Karl Birkenstock, Carl’s son, integrated his grandfather’s footbed design into making a sandal now known as Madrid. This was the first ever fitness sandal that comes with a footbed that offers superior comfort and flexibility.

In 1966, the American Margot Fasser, arriving as a tourist in Germany, discovered Birks and the benefits one pair brings to people with foot problems. Margot suffered from chronic foot pain herself. 

She experienced the wonders of Birkenstock first-hand. After months of wearing Birkenstocks, the pain which bothered her for a year went away.

From then on, she decided to import Birkenstocks into the US market, paving the way for the birth of Birkenstock USA. New models were introduced and have contributed to the brand’s fame. For instance, the record-breaking and iconic Arizona model was launched in 1973. 

Everything else is history. Margot and the brand have received several awards and recognition. Birkenstock rose as one of the most sought-after brands in the history of shoes.

In 2021, Birkenstock opened its doors to new investing partners such as L-Carton, which LVMH backs. As of today, Birkenstock has been included in LVMH’s portfolio with Fendi, Dior, and Louis Vuitton.

How did Birkenstock become a luxury brand?

Birkenstock Unisex Arizona Black 41 (8-8.5 US M US)

Birkenstock Arizona Sandals

Birkenstock has not earned its title of becoming a luxury brand in an instant. The people behind Birk’s success fought a good fight by bringing forward a strong brand identity.

When asked what makes Birkenstock so unique, the brand’s footbed design is undoubtedly on everyone’s mind. There may be many brands trying to replicate this. However, the uniqueness of Birk’s footbeds is unmatched even up to this day. 

As previously mentioned, the brand’s footbed design came from the genius minds of the Birkenstock family. It became a luxury brand because of innovation and exclusivity, two essential aspects other brands do not possess. 

Successfully, they have built an empire where consumers ultimately choose their models out of all available ones in the market. Although some models are more expensive, they are worth their price.  

What makes Birkenstock a luxury brand?

One significant factor as to why Birkenstock is viewed as a luxury sandal brand is its rich German craftsmanship and heritage. Birks are icons of their own. Their designs are originally produced from a German bloodline, the Birkenstock family.

Birkenstock’s lineups were the results of this family’s innovations. Apart from being exclusive, the brand's sandals are made of top-rate and high-quality materials, from natural to synthetic ones. The brand’s construction techniques are also superb.

These are the primary reasons why Birkenstock pairs are much more expensive than other brands in the market. Without an inch of a doubt, Birks are made to last and are great investments to ensure long-lasting comfort for your foot.

Birkenstock is also considered a luxury brand because it made available aesthetically pleasing and fashionable sandals in the shoe industry. They can match every outfit from your wardrobe for every season. 

What are the materials used in producing the brand’s footwear?

Birkenstock Men's, Boston Soft Footbed Clog Habana Brown 42 M

Birkenstock Men's Boston SFB Sandals

For their anatomically curved footbed, they incorporate four natural materials together: cork, latex, jute, and suede. These renewable materials are the composition of the footbed’s first layer.

Birkenstock is known to utilize many types such as oiled, nubuck, smooth, suede, and Amalfi for the upper leathers. For synthetic Birks, the brand makes use of Birko-Flor, Birkibuc, and Birko-Felt patented materials. To know more about the difference between leather and synthetic Birks, you can check out this article.

Birkenstocks made of genuine leather can be purchased at a higher price rate than synthetic ones. One good reason is that each type's dying process is different, which will be discussed later on.

Due to the utilization of superior-quality materials, Birkenstock became prominent in producing highly durable and long-lasting footwear. If they had not made these kinds of sandals, they wouldn’t indeed be able to sell their products abroad and become the brand they are known for today. 

How does Birkenstock create its products?

Birkenstock Women's Arizona Birko-Flor White

Birkenstock Arizona Women's Sandals

Birkenstock uses natural materials in creating its products. To ensure that these materials will retain their genuine characters, Birkenstock carefully builds them together in a thorough and gentle process.

Birkenstock’s footbeds are anatomically and ergonomically designed to provide a high level of comfort and reduce pressure on the feet and joints. They are proven great for people with foot problems and pain.

Leather Birks are dyed in a different process compared to synthetic ones. Birkenstock uses vegetable tanning in dying their natural leathers and does not include chemicals. 

Are Birkenstocks a Luxury Brand? Final Thoughts...

Rich heritage, superb craftsmanship, and excellent materials are the top reasons why Birks are luxurious. Aside from these, Birkenstock is a luxury brand of its own as its footwear design is innovative and exclusive, unlike others. 

These attributes, which Birkenstock showcased, make it a luxury brand. Although not the fair-priced sandal available on the market, every Birks’ durability and comfort level are exceptional. Indeed, you will get what you have paid for.

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