Why sales of these ‘ugly’ sandals have more than doubled during lockdown

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  • As we continue to have a summer of uncertainty, it seems that many of us are putting comfort at the top of the list when it comes to shopping.

    While many people on social media are growing tired of wearing loungewear all the time and have started putting on their good clothes to take the rubbish out, our shopping habits seem to tell a different story.

    According to The Times, sales of Birkenstocks have been increasing considerably since lockdown started, with John Lewis reporting an increase of nearly 50%, while Selfridges have seen a 140% since March.

    While most styles cost between £50 and £100, shoppers are also spurlging for more expensive models – the Birkenstock 1774’, which costs a whooping £330, is currently a best-seller at Matches Fashion.

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    Are Birkenstocks worth it?

    Birkenstocks wearers rave about how comfortable they are all the time, but the sandals will also give you serious fashion credit.

    Despite being commonly known as ‘ugly sandals’, the comfort shoes have been trendy among the fashion community ever since Phoebe Philo presented them in her Spring/Summer 2013 collection, while she was creative director at Celine.

    The brand also earned extra style points after their collaboration with catwalk brands such as Valentino Garavani and Proenza Schouler.

    And there seems to be a very simple explanation for the recent surge in popularity, according to CEO of Birkenstock Americas, David Kahan.

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    Speaking to industry publication Footwear News about the spike in sales, he said, “We’ve gone through [many] world crises, so it gives us a little perspective.

    “We know many people may have previously associated comfort with soft slippers, but after now weeks at home, they know there’s an [alternative]. This period may have given many an introduction to our brand.

    “When times are uncertain, people look for products that give them a degree of certainty.

    “Look at iconic products like Stan Smith, Adidas, Nike Air Force One. They [offer] an emotionally satisfying purchase – you feel good about buying them. It’s not like you’re going out shopping for something you think might be in style now, then out of style in 60 days.”

    The executive also teased more future collaborations, so fingers crossed for even more stylish designs soon!

    Shop our favourite Birkenstock styles