For a large period of my life, I defined myself by my Birkenstocks.
I put them on my feet on the first day of spring, and I put them away on the last day of fall. I wore them everywhere. I hiked in them, I slept in them, I even showered in them. It’s kind of a wonder that they didn’t actually meld into my feet.
After 10 long years, I finally had to get rid of them. The cork was long gone. The soles were misshapen and distended. I literally wore a hole through the leather.
So what did I do? I bought a second, identical pair. That second pair was purchased 10 years ago.
So for 20 years I have had the same sandals. You can see why I felt a little sentimental about them, which is why I have been feeling a little guilty about purchasing a new pair of Keen sandals the other day.
Living in the city, I do have to walk a decent amount, and the Birkenstocks made that a little difficult. There was no strap holding on the back, which meant I had to sort of flex my toes up every time I took a step to keep the sandal from falling off my foot. After any significant time walking, my feet would start to ache from using these obscure muscles. Additionally, they would slip off and try to trip me at the worst possible times, usually when I was trying to walk up stairs (and especially if I was carrying something heavy!)
Because of these difficulties, in more recent years, I found myself wearing my Birkenstocks less and less. Rather than just slipping into my sandals, as I usually would, I would opt for shoes. Even still, any thought of disloyalty towards my Birkenstocks was ruthlessly squashed by my brain. Until one day I kind of thought, “You know, maybe I should just get some new sandals that don’t fall off my foot.”
Besides, after 20 years, I suppose it’s kinda sorta okay to maybe update your style, right?
My new ones were sort of expensive, but when you plan to hold on to a pair of sandals (and I do…oh boy, I do), it’s worth it. So far I love them. They are so unbelievably comfortable. I’m excited for the summer to be able to give them a true workout.
Let’s make a plan right now: meet back here and we shall reevaluate them 20 years from now.