Though fashion items can often exceed expectations purely in aesthetics, some come up short in usefulness. On the contrary, Birkenstock is a company rooted in utility, that has found its way into the realm of fashion. Phoebe Philo famously found inspiration in the famed sandals on her Céline catwalk, and Kate Moss appeared in The Face in a pair of Arizonas paired with torn denim in 1990. Whole articles have been written about Birkenstock’s relationship with luxury, even before that super-popular Proenza Schouler collaboration hit this past summer and took over our Insta feeds.
The brand’s sandals are often rated highest in terms of comfort, and some claim that they can heal foot ailments. But the shearling Arizona style that was introduced this month isn’t necessarily about giving the people exactly what they need. Rather, they’re like the shoe version of an outdoor bubble bath—something you didn’t even know you really wanted until it became an option.
The truth is once it’s cold enough to require shearling, you probably want your toes covered. So maybe you pair them with cashmere socks? Perhaps they are worn mainly in the house, or only after a hot yoga class? They worked perfectly for me (and my daughter in a coordinating pair) on a recent fall beach day—a glimmering outlier of an afternoon after waking to too many rainy, chilly mornings in a row.
In conclusion, the message of a great pair of fall sandals is simply this: Don’t wait for a somewhat cool yet sunny day to get your feet into something as unabashedly soothing as shearling and suede on an orthopedic cork sole. To parrot Eckhart Tolle (someone we can definitely picture in pair of cozy Birks), live in the moment—it’s all any of us are really promised, after all.
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