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You are born, and then you die. shoes, is optional.

I have single handedly purchased hundreds of pairs of shoes. I blow through them quickly because I drag my toes. I punish plastic, mar leather and destroy cork.

Why? Because my walking pattern goes toe heel, instead of heel toe. My hamstrings are tight and taut, like guitar strings my body would play like a high E.

Because I’m not flexible, my range of motion is limited. Because my range of motion is limited, I hyperextend my knees to force my heel to the ground. But just before my heel hits the ground, my toes make momentary contact. And I drag my toes and scuff the top of my shoes. My body moves like a machine with dirty oil. Errrrr ka, slosh. Ka, slosh. Scrape.

Some say this is a side effect of cerebral palsy. I think buying a lot of shoes is a side effect of life.

In kindergarten, I was the only one with pint size orthopedics. My mom threaded colorful, sparkly plastic beads on my laces to make the clunky shoes prettier. The neon beads glimmered in the sun.

In second grade, I wore ankle foot orthotics. The plastic and velcro encompassed my ankles. I stretched lace frocked socks over the hard plastic. The other kids called me Frankenstein because of the bolts.

In fourth grade, I kept a pair of sneakers on a bookshelf. They were the lace up shoes from TJ Maxx in which I ran my first mile around the playground. My time: 14 minutes. Some schoolmates played dodgeball with the extra time it took for me to finish.

In eighth grade, I wore neon, pink and green striped leg casts hard casts below the knee and over my feet for four long months. My shoes were hospital shoes, duct taped to the base of the casts. My mom used the patterned duct tape from Ace Hardware to secure them to my legs once, she made a tricolored peace sign. I wore basketball shorts because, for once, I couldn’t fit the casts under jeans.

At home, I put surgical booties over the duct taped shoes to keep dirt off the beige carpet. I couldn’t go barefoot for four months; you can’t slip serial casts off when you enter the foyer.

Now, as a sophomore in college, I consider myself a connoisseur of shoes. I have worn them all.

And let me tell you: Contrary to popular opinion, Birkenstocks are not the world’s most comfortable shoes.

I fantasized for four months about being a Birkenstock owner. I thought Birks would complete my transformation into a Berkeley ite. Everyone knows that big government doesn’t like exposed toenails. Congress wears loafers.

My Birkenstocks gave me arch length blisters, however, and made my feet leak foot juice for two weeks. But I am stubborn, and these Jesus sandals were expensive. Therefore, I continued to wear them. I tried Band Aids, Neosporin and cotton swabs. I wrapped my feet in painter’s tape and shrouded the evidence with paisley socks.

I’ve owned my Birkenstocks for five weeks as of yesterday. The cork is beginning to separate from the rubber sole. The sandal is all worn down in the front. The words “Made in Germany” and “Tradition since 1774” on the sole of my left Birk will last another six weeks, tops.

I don’t grieve the loss of my shoes, and I don’t dread the inevitable downfall of my overpriced Birks. Sure, it’s annoying, because I bought these things with money money that came from an already emaciated bank account. But it’s all right that they didn’t hold up.

Because the things in our lives are temporary. Material possessions are tools to be used, then discarded. They serve a purpose for a time, and then we stroll on.

The under 30 crowd has an unhealthy attachment to consumer items. Clothes, especially shoes, are a status symbol. People, particularly the coffeehouse crowd, dress for the role they wish to have. I’m sorry to break it to you, but you are actually not an ethereal hippie. That distressed cardigan was $35.95 at Urban Outfitters.

I had a vision for my Birkenstocks that fell flat. Shoes take us places. But it’s important to remember that this is not a one size fits all scenario. Clothes don’t take into account what our bodies need, but we wear them anyway. We need to critically examine whether the shit we spend money on has actual or ascribed significance. Comments should remain on topic and be respectful.

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I did a lot of research before purchasing my Birkenstocks and I glad I did. A lot of American retailers are selling improper sizes to women because they are getting the certified retailers leftovers, the sizes hardly anyone wears, and then turn around and sell them as the standard sizes. They do this with narrow sizes because most people are so there is a surplus of narrows. Narrow and regular actually refer to the SHAPE of your foot, meaning the footbed is made by two different molds. Wearing a narrow when you not actually a narrow may mean your shoes will never become comfortable because the toe ridges don align with your toes and the shoes may pinch your feet on the sides. Do yourself a favor and go to a certified Birkenstocks retailer who knows about the shoes and can find you the proper size. Don go to the first store you find that sells them and assume they are all the same. Since this is a foreign brand, stores profit from American ignorance of European sizing. I have been told straight up lies when asking about these shoes in some stores, popular shoe chains included. Even with correct sizing and shape, they still take a while to break in (mine took about two months, but I have the stiff leather), so you have to be patient. But these are my favorite shoes that I wear every day, and they support my high arches just as well as my active sneakers. my boyfriend. If they don feel like Cinderella slipper after a few months, then you probably didn buy the right shoe. The treatment received from one of your managers located in Charlotte North Carolina at the store named Birkenstock Feet First in the Arboretum was terrible. They would not return a pair of Birkenstocks that were bought less than 24 hours prior to this email, and only worn for less than three hours. The store has a return policy of less then 30 days with receipt and box. All requirements were met in order to process the return. Before I drove the 30 Minutes to the store I called to be sure I would be able to return the newly purchased Birkenstocks. The gentleman whom I spoke with on the phone said as long as I had the receipt the return wouldn be an issue. Not only do I feel as if my time was waisted, gas spent for a trip to the store only to leave me feeling awful as well as miles added to my car, but I feel as if I was lied to by the managers representing Burkenstock. My feet were so sore and I had 3 blisters on my right foot your manager did not want to believe that I had blisters and made me show him in front of other customers, it was humiliating. The manner that he was speaking to me in was not something I would ever have thought burkenstock would support. Our intentions were to get a different pair that would not give me blisters so My boyfriend said he would go and try to see if he would be able to return them. Unfortunately the same manager was there and my boyfriend received the same rude treatment. After they were not willing to help us we then decided we wanted our money back he then said it was unfortunate because people like you give us a bad name Ive always thought you had a good product and that perhaps my feet just didn fit the shoe that your represtitives fitted me to. But now I not sure how the customer service of this particular store is. The location of the store is Birkenstock Feet First at 8128 providence RD STE 800, Charlotte NC 28227 telephone number 704 752 0432. I hope this can be resolved so that our online reviews do not also reflect the image of how Birkenstock corporate customer service handles their management retail store representatives and treats their customers. At least by staying true to the name by simply being sure to put their customers feet first vs only paying attention to the customers that will be able to line their pockets.
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