Making sense of the ‘Birkenstock index’

Good for the sole

Sir, – In response to Jennifer O’Connell on Birkenstocks (“The Birkenstock index is soaring, a measure of the anxious times we live in”, Opinion & Analysis, September 16th), I have been wearing them since the mid-1980s from my post-punk days. Not only are they comfortable because they become moulded to one’s foot shape, but they are repairable. I have sandals for the summer and indoors now seven years old; furry leather boots for winter, bought six years ago in a sale in Dublin; and a pair of Birkenstock leather basketball boots bought on eBay for autumn and spring. And best of all I take the insoles out of my other shoes and insert the Birkenstock footbeds because they are more comfortable and less sweaty.

Repairable, long lasting and sustainable are not attractive to private equity firms, or stock exchanges, so I hope the owners don’t mess with Birkenstocks and get them made in China or somewhere where the quality suffers. – Yours, etc,




Co Clare.

Sir, – Jennifer O’Connell states that “Birkenstock isn’t just a shoe, it’s a symptom of anxiety” and the secret of their appeal is that they represent “stability and timelessness”, despite the irony of the company’s €7.4 billion valuation and its shoes retailing at €180.

I wonder where does that leave me with my €9 imitation “Birkenstocks” bought in a well-known Irish-owned outlet. Fake shoes? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 3.