Pssst… come close. Did I ever tell you that I have a bit of a foot fetish? It’s not kinky or anything, that’s for hair. But I just have a thing for pretty feet, healthy feet. So for decades now I have been wearing Birkenstocks. The reason I started wearing these unique shoes designed for feet is because I used to stand on my feet for hours at a time doing hair. I needed support. It is a fact that support of our feet engenders support of the entire skeletal system, ankles, legs, hips, the back and neck. Most people with disfigured feet are women and they weren’t born that way. Instead, they’ve cause this mishap by their shoe choices. Later in life they end up walking crippled like and this doesn’t have to be. I’m not saying my feet are perfect because I’ve fallen victim to cute shoes myself from time to time, but for the most part, I am real keen on the fact that I’ll have my feet far longer than any cute shoes, so I make an effort to care for them.
For years I have heard all kinds of funny comments from friends and loved one about my Birkenstock, because back then, 30 years ago, “my folks” were not wearing what were considered ‘ugly’ shoes, Birkenstocks. They were just not considered desirable. Well can I tell you now how every year, for the last few years, a friend or two, or relative comes to me and admits that they have bought the very same style of Birkies (the Gizeh ) that I’ve been wearing for years? This news always makes me smile and happy for them and their feet, their bodies their health.
My niece Ptahra used to laugh at me when she was a teenager and once told me, ‘Auntie you could wear Birkenstocks with a ball gown and look good’. She thought it was funny that I’d some times get dressed up and wear pearls and then put on my Birkenstocks. Well guess who I saw the other night in pearls and her brand new, shiny and powder blue Birkenstocks? You got it, that very same niece, my mini-me, Ptahra.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that in terms of design, style, textures and color selection, Birkenstocks have come a long way, Baby! My first pairs of Birkies were the two wide straps across the foot, ‘the Arizona’. Not so cute! But they felt good, they felt really good to my body and my feet. But now that Birkenstocks has cool colors and designs they’re winning over many new converts. And whatever you do, don’t be fooled by buying shoes that look like Birkenstocks but have another brand’s name on them. Because they will not offer your feet and or body, the same support.
I remember a new friend of mine Thaifa, who is a real fashionista, a few months into our friendship declared one day, ‘Anu, you’re a granola’. I don’t know why I tried to deny it, because I did and do eat granola. She countered with “You wear Birkenstocks, Anu”!!! I fell out! That was hilarious to me. It was like she had a revelation. Oh well, I couldn’t deny that, I did and do wear Birkenstocks with glee! And do you see in the pic above this company has been in business since 1774? They must be doing something right!
Recently another friend told me she was having problems with her feet and turns out the problem was she was standing on her feet for hours a day making soap and wearing flip flops. What?! According to the Birkenstock website “It would make sense to think that a softer and more “cushiony” shoe would be more comfortable. But in fact, the Birkenstock concept of comfort is based on orthopedically correct support. As with a quality mattress, feet require solid support and correct positioning providing maximum comfort and health. Our foot-bed features proper arch support, a deep heel cup, and adequate room in the toe area – all to help distribute weight evenly for the entire foot. The result is improved posture and balance for greater comfort when walking”.
My problem is that I have too many Birkenstocks. I’ve been wearing them for so many years, and each year (up until three years ago) I would get a new exciting color, thought the same Gizeh style. Now there even more unique and exciting new colors… Sigh! But I am on a moratorium and I will not allow myself to purchase another pair. Because did you know Birkenstocks can be made look and feel like new again? You start by protecting the foot-bed which is made of cork, by using a cork sealer. And avoid getting your cork wet. You can also have the cork and the soles replaced by taking them to a certified Birkenstock shoe repair shop. Yes, young folks know nothing about shoe repair shops, but it’s a real business that helps you to extend the life of your shoes, any shoes. So you only need one or two pairs every ten years or so, but I have 14 pairs and that’s not even counting the pairs I used to have…
All this to say, my feet are happy! When spring-time comes around my toes can’t wait to be free from closed in shoes. I put on my Gizeh Birkenstocks and I’m good to go. I can stand for hours, walk for miles, work all day, play, shop till I drop without any discomfort and that’s is why I love Birkenstocks. So don’t wait until your feet are all jacked up. Do it know while they’re still beautiful, giving support to your feet , your bones and your posture.
To add to the beauty of your feet try my foot ritual. I begin by cleansing my feet using Anu Essentials Moisture rich Soaps. I then soak my feet with Epsom salt and a drop of Anu Essentials Herbal Oil which is formulated using two high quality lavender oils. Lavender is known for its aromatherapy benefits of soothing and relaxing the mind and body. Relaxed and feeling yummy, I then exfoliate the dead skin by using our organic, Malawi Sugar Polish. This is to get rid of dead skin cells that cause a dry and ashy look. I follow that up by moistening my feet using our luscious Body Body to moisten and seal in the hydration. This is a perfect beauty and self care ritual for the end of a hectic day, or over the weekend when you just want and or need to pamper yourself. It just makes my heart sing to know that women are taking care of their health, their bodies, including their feet. Beauty from head to toes ! Happy Feet!