Welcome to the Post Sneaker World
Words: Caiza Andresen
»A post sneaker world is upon us.« (James Harris, Lawrence Schlossman – Failing Upwards Podcast)
That‘s a sentence that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. Is the infamous Sneaker Bubble actually going to burst like a lot of people predicted or wished for? What exactly is a Post Sneaker World? Can you even imagine a world without sneakers? Not without sneakers anyway, but without sneakers in the mainstream? No. Definitely not. Sneakers are mainstream. You don’t need to have some classic leather shoes in your trunk to slip on in order to get past the doorman to the club anymore. Some sneaker lovers/collectors/heads may shed some tears realizing that our (for the record – I myself have been organizing sneaker conventions since 2013) small subculture no longer is a small subculture, but »The times they are a-changin‘«. Now the big question is: Do you want to be mainstream yourself? Nobody and nothing can take away my love for sneakers. Cro once tried to ruin Air Max 90s for me. Jimmy Blue Ochsenknecht tried the same thing with Bape and Ice Cream. Kanye West actually is fucking up Kanye West for me, but sneakers are and will always be my first love. Even the 389th sneaker convention in Germany won‘t change that. Period. What happened, however, was that I started to look beyond my regular footwear and broadened my horizon a little. And I liked what I saw there. Clarks are part of every cool person’s inventory anyway, but there’s more. And that’s exactly what we long for. Something that sets us apart from the mainstream of 2019. Boots, loafers, clogs. That’s what’s up.
The latest newcomer in my shoe rotation may be the footwear weapon of choice of my declared enemies (teachers), but I’m proud to say it and everyone should know: I’m a sucker for Birkenstock. Or how I like to lovingly call them: Birkies. Birkenstocks have been on the radar of the under-35-year-olds for some years now, but I haven’t found them really cool yet. Until I wore them. This summer I had only two shoes on my feet: Birkenstock Boston in green suede and Birkenstock Boston in blue suede. The wearing comfort is really something else compared to pool slides. It looks good, stands out from the mainstream and for me is the epitome of a »Fuck you. I wear what I want« attitude. Is it stupid to wear things out of defiance? Do I do that at all? I think my fascination was born out of defiance, but those Birkies stayed on my feet. Shall we briefly list a few facts about the brands?
Birkenstock was founded in 1774 in the German town of Neustadt, emerging from the shoemaker dynasty with the same name. About one hundred years later, in 1896, the first two Birkenstock shoe stores opened their doors in Frankfurt am Main and for the first time their own footbed insoles were produced. A few years later, in 1945, the flexible cork insole became the standard insole of the Birkenstock shoe. After that, Birkenstock sandals conquered almost every doctor’s room as well as the feet of almost everyone who was working in a nursing profession. The peace movement of the 1980s then adapted the classic sandal for itself, which is why Birkenstock still has that »alternative vibe« for many today. But hey, what’s wrong with peace, right? At the same time, the young fashion enthusiast may also still have Birkenstock’s public rejection of Supreme in mind. To reject a Supreme Kollabo is a fierce move, indeed.
The Post Sneaker World is upon us and I’m decked out with my Birkies. I love each and every one of my SB Dunks, my AM90s in my apartment, but my heart truly belongs to Birkenstocks. How can it even be possible to feel so cool in the »standard home slippers of every average German family«? Because it simply is the best thing you can do to your feet. And I bet my two pairs of Birkenstock Boston that these shoes will get bigger in the streetwear cosmos next year. Mark my words.
HHV offers you a large selection of Birkies. For men, for women, Arizonas, Bostons, Gizehs, Amsterdams, you name it. But my dear friends, just as the Post Sneaker World is coming, so is autumn. But if you think that the Birkenstock season will only take place within your own four walls, then you are wrong. Please have a look at the styles Milton and Marton. Inspired by moccasins, finest leather, yet cork sole and ergonomic footbed. Thank me later for the recommendations. Birki Boyz we lit.
Discover Birkenstock at HHV: www.hhv.de/shop/en/birkenstock
Visual Content: V.Raeter