High quality materials and unique construction give durable comfort and long lasting good looks. The concept of Birkenstock is easily understood when one considers the design of our feet and the mechanics of walking. Each contour in a Birkenstock footbed is precisely placed to stretch, flex and move naturally. Your feet benefit from free movement, constant exercise and improved circulation, resulting in long lasting comfort and better health. Birkenstock use only high quality materials, whether they are leather or animal free. The leather used for Birkenstock® uppers is approximately 3mm thick and very supple. We value the natural properties of our leather and don't use artificial dyes. This way the leather remains open-pored with active breathing qualities. Although all leathers used by us are natural leathers, we distinguish the different optical appearances and handling. Birkenstocks - 200 Years of Comfort 1774 In the small German village of Langenberg, Johann Adam Birkenstock is registered as 'subject and shoemaker' in the church archives. 1896 Johann's grandson, Konrad Birkenstock who owns two specialist footwear stores in Frankfurt is starting to produce contoured insoles. 1902 Konrad Birkenstock develops the first flexible arch support to be used in factory made shoes. 1913 Carl Birkenstock, Konrad's eldest son joins the company 1925 Konrad Birkenstock JR. joins the company. Birkenstock® arch supports are now being exported to Austria, France, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium, Norway, Holland, , Sweden and Switzerland. 1932 Birkenstock® training seminars are held in many European countries. Leading medical specialists support the Birkenstock system 1947 'Birkenstock's Podiatry' is published. It became the most widely read and published book on foot- health of its time. 1964 Carl Birkenstock's son Karl uses his father's innovations to develop the first Birkenstock® sandal. 1973 The Arizona, Birkenstock's classic two-strap sandal is introduced. 1982 The first thong styles are launched. 1985 The first Birkenstock® shoes go on sale. 1990 Tatami®,a new line by Birkenstock® is launched. 1991 Papillio®, Birkenstock's seasonal range goes on sale. 1992 Birkenstock® launches the first hand stitched comfort shoes. 1994 Christian Birkenstock founds Betula® a new brand of affordable, alternative sandals and footbed shapes. 1995 Birkenstock's hand stitched shoes are now marketed as Footprints®. 2002 Birkenstock® celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Boston clog. 2003 The Arizona, Birkenstock's famous two-strap sandal is celebrating its 30 -year anniversary. 2004 In England, Birkenstock receives the Draper's award as "Footwear Brand of the Year" in acknowledgement of Birkenstock products' timeless design making them suitable for every age group, any occasion and all types of people. 2005 The Birkenstock store in Covent Garden is named BEST NEW STORE at the Drapers Footwear Awards 2005.