In the 1890s, Konrad Birkenstock, descendant of Johann Birkenstock, and a custom
shoemaker himself, had an amazing idea. Why not create a curved shoe that reflects the true shape of the human
foot? The shoes that they created from that idea were an amazing success, but unfortunately the next decade
brought the introduction of cheaper factory-made shoes and a subsequent decline in the demand for custom-made
Nevertheless, Konrad Birkenstock remained undaunted. He knew that his idea was excellent, so he decided to
develop a flexible, contoured arch support that could be inserted into these new factory-made shoes. The result was
a unique and very comfortable comfortable shoe. Thus, the century-old Birkenstock shoemaking operation shifted from
the production of custom footwear towards orthopedic shoe inserts.
Konrad and his son Carl Birkenstock then decided to improve and refine the arch supports over the next 50 years.
Their unique and popular product became known as the "footbed supports" and the word "footbed" was then registered
as a Birkenstock trademark.
In 1954, Konrad Birkenstock's grandson Karl joined the family business. Not content with limiting the
Birkenstock product line to footbed supports, Karl Birkenstock dreamed of being able to create a shoe that would
allow the wearer to feel as comfortable and healthy as he would be walking barefoot. In order to create this shoe,
he combined his grandfather's flexible, contoured arch supports with his own knowledge of foot structure and
In a little more than 10 years, his dream became a reality with the introduction of the "Madrid" model.
In 1966, Margot Fraser bought her first pair of footbed sandals whilst vacationing in her native Germany. She
discovered that the sandals greatly alleviated the chronic foot pain that she had experienced since her childhood.
Margot realized that this was a shoe that had to come to America, and she began to sell the shoes to friends from
her home in Santa Cruz, California. She is now the exclusive distributor for Birkenstock throughout the United
Today, Birkenstock offers more than 400 styles of sandals, clogs, and shoes. Birkenstocks are available in a very
wide range of materials, colors, and sizes, and new materials and styles are introduced each year. Yet Birkenstock
remains very faithful to the idea that footwear should be designed first for the feet and should always be built to
Find shoes by Birkenstock @ the following eshops: