Would You, Could You? - une femme d'un certain âge

Would You, Could You?

Birkenstocks, Vogue Birkenstocks, Fashion Birkenstocks

Fashionista Footwear?

Vogue has spoken, and Birkenstocks have now been anointed as the newest darlings of the fashion set.

Some of you, of course, have been wearing and loving Birkenstocks for years. I had a pair back in college that wore like iron and suited my (then) earthy boho style. I was a bit surprised on one of our first European trips to see chic and smartly dressed Parisiennes sporting some of the sleeker styles.

Clockwise from top right:

Larisa” / “Mayari” / “Arizona” (the classic) / “Gizeh” (this was the style I spotted most frequently in Europe)

Would you or do you wear Birks?  What’s your favorite style?

Disclosure: actions taken from links in this post may generate commissions for unefemme.net.

Stay in touch.

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for unefemme.net. See my complete disclosure policy here.


  1. Sharron Zweig
    August 6, 2013 / 6:07 am

    Not only would I, but in fact I bought my first pair in years, in June. A brown rugged leather pair with braided crossed ankle straps & a plain toe loop. They are from a line called Tatami by Birkenstock. I love, love, love them.

  2. August 6, 2013 / 6:38 am

    Not for me… I know they are practical, I know they are comfortable and even if Vogue says they are the ‘go… The answer will always be, No… 🙂 xv

  3. August 6, 2013 / 6:43 am

    I’ve worn them for years, just for painting and running around. I wear the Gizeh and the Arizona and have always thought that they looked great – glad Vogue and others agree!

  4. Jill
    August 6, 2013 / 6:43 am

    Vogue may say they are okay but you will never see a pair of these on Anna Wintour. I just can’t wear them, they make me cringe. They are quite popular in my part of Brooklyn, however. I will stick with my strappy wedge sandals instead!

  5. Hostess
    August 6, 2013 / 6:44 am

    I think those days have passed for me…funny I just posted on Boho fashion and Birkinstocks were mentioned! We might be on the same wave length this morning.

  6. Marguerite
    August 6, 2013 / 6:52 am

    Mephisto is my preferred brand. Similar styles, but seem to run a bit more narrow. Customer service is wonderful and has a refurbishment plan. Love them.

  7. August 6, 2013 / 6:57 am

    I could, but they have never been comfortable to me;).

  8. August 6, 2013 / 7:02 am

    i’ve worn my mephisto helen sandals for many many years (similar to the gizeh style by birkenstock, but much more supportive/comfortable IMO) so the fuss over birkenstocks is a bit “meh” to me, but i will admit that i’m considering buying a pair of the classic two-strap arizona style (i did have a pair of those in college) because i think i could style the hell out of them 😉

  9. Sue B
    August 6, 2013 / 7:04 am

    I love them on some people…just not me. With very narrow feet and skinny legs….I look a bit like a duck in Birkenstocks.

    • August 6, 2013 / 8:16 am

      me too! for awhile, I had a pair of Birki gardening clogs. They were yellow….I called myself the “big damn duck”

  10. August 6, 2013 / 7:17 am

    I can and I do, in hot pink (the Kairo). Not for work, but for running around town; they’re super rugged and the color makes them cute.

  11. Heather Bryan
    August 6, 2013 / 7:41 am

    I have two pairs of Gizah (bronze and lilac). SO comfy, glad to know they are now fashionable again!

  12. Ann
    August 6, 2013 / 7:46 am

    I’m also a Mephisto Helen girl, but that’s because I have foot and knee problems and they are the only sandals I can wear comfortably. (I also wear Finn Comfort, but I don’t think Vogue will be anointing that brand.) I’m glad Mephisto has added colors and patterns in this style to give us a few more options in our support/orthopedic sandals!

  13. Susan
    August 6, 2013 / 7:59 am

    Nope. Had a pair once, an experiment in overcoming my aversion to the look, and they just weren’t comfortable. I can’t even bear to put on my comfy but ugly old Naots. I do, however, have a crush on Think! brand shoes from Germany, which provide supportive comfort without looking quite so dorky.

  14. August 6, 2013 / 8:03 am

    Birks are too wide for my feet, but I’m a die-hard Mephisto Helen fan (cross between a giza and mayari). Bought my current pair in May 2008 and had them resoled last summer. Still going strong!

  15. August 6, 2013 / 8:05 am

    Birks are too wide for my feet. Like Grechen, I’m die-hard Helen (Mephisto) fan.

  16. Kris
    August 6, 2013 / 8:07 am

    No Birks for me- too 60’s Hippy chic. I do, however, have a pair of Clarks in a shimmery goldish tone that I use for walking the cities and a pair of Naot Mary Jane’s for the same purpose in the fall.

  17. Judy
    August 6, 2013 / 8:13 am

    I love my Mayari sandals, bought two summers ago in bronze leather, they still look brand new and I wear them continuously. These are just great for every day wear. I have high arches and they are supportive for standing for long periods of time. I am tall, so I think they look proportionate on me. They are not the prettiest shoes I own, but at 54 I don’t care. I wear them all spring, summer and fall until it gets too cold. I can’t leave them in the past, because this is the first pair I have ever owned, I was inspired by the cute pair my friend got to try them for myself. LOVE!

  18. Cornelia
    August 6, 2013 / 8:18 am

    Having been born and raised in Germany, Birkenstock is part of my DNA. I have had a pair of Gizeh in my closet for as long as I can remember. I must have left them somewhere in a hotel, and they will be replaced as soon as I had over next week. The Arizona (and its closed toe cousin, Florida (?), have been my shoe of choice during long cooking projects for years. Wouldn’t go to the mailbox in them, though, 🙂

  19. August 6, 2013 / 8:24 am

    I bought a pair of Gizehs two years ago, and they just now wore out. I love those suckers, but then again I have serious foot issues. Having said that, I only wore them with really casual things.

  20. Tagatha
    August 6, 2013 / 8:49 am

    I don’t care what Vogue says. Ever since my feet rebelled and decided I can’t wear even kitten heels or wedges, I’ve been in search of comfortable flat-ish shoes and sandals. My favourite Birkenstock model, which I haven’t seen in years, had a strap over the big toe and another over the foot, close to ankle – and they felt so incredibly good and looked great with dresses as well. I wish they’d bring it back!

    Now I have a pair of bronze Bali (with ankle strap) and a lilac Mayari and another pair of delicate ankle straps by Birkenstock’s sister line (?) Tatami. They look good and my feet are happy! (I have a few pairs of Think! sandals as well… once a shoe addict, always a shoe addict.)

  21. Janice Larson
    August 6, 2013 / 9:08 am

    I bought a pair of Gizeh’s three years ago after spotting them on a lovely lady in Santa Monica. I was beginning to have serious footbed pain from years of beautiful high heeled shoes. I now wear them nearly every day, all year long, and carry them with me in my briefcase as the welcome break from 3 inch heels when working. They are my travel and outdoor concert footwear of choice as well. They are a boho classic, just like Ray Ban aviators. They are always “in” and they can change your life.


  22. Dee
    August 6, 2013 / 9:43 am

    Could, would and do. Who cares if Anna Wintour would ever wear them? 🙂 Gizeh for running around and Granada for home.

  23. Andrea
    August 6, 2013 / 10:16 am

    I have a pair of mint green gizeh and also the three strap florida version in silver. They’re great with jeans and t-shirts for a casual weekend and very comfortable – I’m nearly 50 and beyond wearing uncomfortable shoes! For anyone interested I also have narrow feet but birkenstock do a narrow range – I think all the styles come with a narrow option and I’ve ordered online.

  24. Jill Ann
    August 6, 2013 / 11:29 am

    I’m surprised with all the positive responses here! I’m all for a comfortable shoe, but those things are just plain ugly. So no, I won’t be embracing this trend…..I’ve found some decently attractive Clarks lately, and I have several pairs of Sperrys which are pretty comfy and SO cute.

    To each her own, of course! I bet we can all agree on hoping for the demise of the 6″ heel giant platform “hooker shoe”!

    • Minerva
      August 7, 2013 / 12:41 am

      I’ll second that Jill Ann. I have some of the ugliest feet in the world and I need to wear attractive shoes. That definitely ain’t Birkenstocks.

  25. August 6, 2013 / 11:39 am

    Yes! I wore Gizehs all through high school and then abandoned them for over a decade. After seeing them pop up over the past few years I realized I wanted them back in my life 🙂 I got a pair of black patent Kairos this year and love them. The Arizona style will take a little more getting used to (they are just the quintessential hippie shoe to me) but I may be after a pair before long…

  26. August 6, 2013 / 11:52 am

    I have never worn them but I would consider it. I would wear them over 5″ platform stilettos any day, that’s for sure!

    Out of the shoes you’ve featured, I would go with the thong style. They’re quite cute, surprisingly.

  27. Gauss
    August 6, 2013 / 12:51 pm

    I’ve been wearing Birkenstocks for years. My favorite are the Gizeh – I’ve been wearing them long before they were “fashionable”!

  28. Lynn
    August 6, 2013 / 3:25 pm

    Just too blocky and ugly. I’m short and I look all feet in these. However, I have a friend who lives in these and looks great. There are other, more fashionable comfort shoes I prefer.

  29. Sherry
    August 6, 2013 / 4:04 pm

    Yes, I wear them all the time. I have 4 pairs. I started wearing them when I had a bad case of plantar fascitis several years ago. Unfortunately, the best way to cure it and to keep it from coming back is to wear shoes with an arch support. Hence the Birk’s. When I first started wearing them, I got a lot of negative comments, but everyone’s gotten used to them now. No one of my immediate circle has followed my fashion lead.

  30. Trish
    August 6, 2013 / 5:30 pm

    Absolutely would wear them. I own multiple pairs. I have wide feet with injuries, and they fit perfectly and help a lot with walking. My 1992 pair of heavy purple suede Arizonas have been resoled and recorked several times. I do tend towards boho style, so that helps.

  31. August 6, 2013 / 6:34 pm

    no way! I live in Vermont where these and a corduroy sack can qualify as date night attire. they’re hideous (but might be effective birth control).

  32. Elle
    August 6, 2013 / 6:52 pm

    Nope, no can do. At 55, it’s too easy for me to slide into “dumpy” looking, and this would just accelerate the inclination. I am assuming that Vogue endorsed them for the young and sleek set. I think it’s ok if one is doing it for comfort and an I-don’t-give-a-d$mn attitude, but I wouldn’t confuse that with a fashion statement.

  33. August 6, 2013 / 8:20 pm

    It’s been amusing to hear numerous Style Mavens declare lately that Birks are now in. I haven’t been without a pair for the last few decades, “Upgrading” to the Gizehs for a trip to Paris 8 years ago when a friend who lived there assured me all the cool kids were wearing them. They’re the only sandal that I can walk all day long in, and I think that as long as enough attention is paid to the rest of my outfit, they don’t have to look schlumpy. At least, that’s my story. . .

  34. Coco
    August 7, 2013 / 5:49 am

    Good God NO I wouldn’t be seen dead in them. They are quite the most ugliest shoes I have ever seen. There are far more chic and comfortable shoes for me to choose. I sometimes think the fashion industry plays a joke on us suggesting we should wear the most ridiculous and ugly clothes and shoes.

  35. sisty
    August 7, 2013 / 8:24 am

    I could, I would, and I do, and have for years. It makes me look forward to the end of summer when I can get a new pair on sale. Gizeh style only. My calves are on the slim side, which helps, when you wear them with a skirt. But they look great with pants, too.

  36. August 7, 2013 / 10:31 am

    I did have a pair and they were very comfortable but sartorially no. I would wear them in the house perhaps but not outside.

  37. Nicole
    August 7, 2013 / 11:07 am

    Well said, and that is how I feel as well. 🙂

  38. Karen
    August 7, 2013 / 7:10 pm

    Hellz no! There HAS to be a better way!

  39. August 8, 2013 / 8:02 am

    I do wear them – and I noticed several French women in them on holiday!

  40. cathy
    August 8, 2013 / 7:58 pm

    i bought my first pair of gizehs after seeing them on nicole kidman several years ago in harper’s bazaar (i think it was bazaar anyway). first time i’ve truly lusted after something to the point where i bought it. i’m on my second pair, but i nearly gave them up after going to a festival and seeing every young mom there wearing them, too…

  41. Marilyn
    August 10, 2013 / 6:57 am

    No way, sorry Vogue. I do have silver sequined FitFlops that I wear in the house and garden but they are rarely seen passed the front gate!!

  42. eleanorjanebirdy
    August 11, 2013 / 1:08 pm

    Nope. I had one pair of the clog-type ones when I worked at a Birkenstock shop (mainly because they were some of the cheapest and I had to pay for them myself), but other than that, I can’t be doing with clunky sandals. Also, the high arch support doesn’t suit my flat feet.

  43. Mary
    September 18, 2017 / 1:21 am

    Wore Birkenstocks for years until I found Mephisto. It’s a one way trip. Mephisto are WAY more comfortable than B and exude quality. Mephisto make a dreamy sandal. Buy s pair of both B and M and wear one on each foot around your house. Let your feet do the talking. And step away from the sheep and be your own woman.

  44. Nicole
    September 18, 2017 / 10:47 am

    My daughter and niece wear the first pair and look very cute. For me, nope, never. My flat feet look duckish in these and they are much too wide for my narrow feet. (Plus, imo, they are not attractive in any way, shape or form, so I do not feel I am missing anything. Too hobo for my taste.) Sounds like Vogue is fresh out of ideas. 😉

  45. Jenny M.
    September 22, 2018 / 1:47 pm

    I have been sporting my “Larissa’s” in oiled leather for 5 years. I can’t wait to break in the new pair I just ordered. It is impossible to remember when I wore anything but Papillio or Birks as staple sandal-wear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

powered by chloédigital