The Birkenstock family of Germany created their first shoe business in 1774, and by 1897, the contoured insole would change the name of footwear forever. The specially designed insole resembled a footprint, and it would mould to the foot in a natural state. The curved insole would evenly distribute body weight for advanced support.
Birkenstock footwear would have remained a little-known secret had it not been for Margot Frasier, an American housewife travelling through Europe in 1966.
Experiencing foot fatigue and pain from her travels, someone suggested she try the local Birkenstock shoe. She did and became such a believer in the benefits that she imported them to the US. Lucky for her, the hippie movement was swinging into action, and Birkenstocks became the only shoe to wear (if they wore any at all).
Birkenstocks were a household name throughout the late 60 and the 70s and remain as popular as ever, hugging the soles of hippies, tree-huggers and earth friends.