B is for Birkenstocks #AtoZChallenge

April 3, 2017

So I was looking at my sandals that are beat all to hell, and I realized that they are in such terrible shape because they are so well-worn and well-loved.

When I started grad school, I lived in a cold climate, and I kept having issues with my right ankle. The ankle issues weren’t exactly new–I’ve had problems with my legs for years. When I was younger, it was attributed to growing pains. But I knew, for instance, at a very young age to elevate my leg if it were giving me trouble. I can vividly remember spending the night at my friend’s house (when I was 9? 10?) and being in tears because my ankle hurt and having to elevate it to go to sleep.

Right. So not new to ankle pain.

Anyway, I thought it had been acting up because of the cold, but it was bad enough that the doctor prescribed me orthotics. The orthotics were all well and good until I moved to the balmy clime of Florida, land of the flip flop and sandal.  Oh, and I could no longer blame the cold for my ankle issues.

More doctor visits, and this time I was instructed to get some sandals/shoes with good support. More specifically, it was recommended that I get some Birkenstocks.


I am on my third pair of these. I don’t understand people who have had the same pair for over 20 years, since the longest mine have lasted is maybe three, and that includes getting them re-soled. Probably because I can’t deal with the grody foot bed. But I digress. source

Doing so changed my life. I can teach in my Birkenstocks and not be in pain at the end of the day. This is HUGE. I can also walk around theme parks without wanting to throw in the towel before the day is over.

It’s pretty great.

It also showed me that I had to invest in good footwear. My personal budget for footwear was around $50-60, and that was for sneakers. I never wanted to spend more than $20 for sandals. And that was a lot! And it also meant no more flip flops. Or whatever other super flat sandal is in style and adorable and that I want. But to kick it back to yesterday’s letter A post, I had to accept that those types of shoes would not serve me. Even if they would look amazing.

Oh well.

So, yes, I am grateful for Birkenstocks, the sandals that helped save my ankle.

a2z 2017 participant badge

Blogging from A to Z is a challenge that runs through the month of April.

For the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year, my theme is gratitude. Every day, I am going to post about something I am grateful for. Tune in tomorrow to see what I pick for C.

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  1. Ally Bean

    I love, love, love Birks. They have helped me remain moving, safely, for years now. I get that they’re frumpy and hippy-dippy, but I don’t care. They are much more sane than heels, and I suspect will keep me walking long after my peers who wore 4″ heels all the time are shuffling along on bad feet in the nursing home corridors. [Me? Snarky?! Really?]

    • Akilah

      Yesssssssssss. I also had a rolling backpack in college and one of my friends said she was too cool for that, and I was like, “Honey, I’m beyond cool.” I also just bought a pair of sensible flats from Dansko because that’s the brand the nurses wear. I’m not that pressed to be cute.

      • Ally Bean

        “Honey, I’m beyond cool.” Best line of the day! 👏

  2. chrissy50

    When I lived and taught at ASU, Birks were almost a requirement. At a place where one could literally fry an egg on the sidewalk, it was a necessity to wear sturdy, protective, stable footwear for getting through the day, and Birks met all those requirements. I couldn’t live without them. Ouch, the only thing I hated was breaking them in. Talk about blisters!!


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