I am a travel writer and need to exist in any climate, weather and social circumstance with ONE pair of shoes. I finally found the perfect pair for my feet (but not high class social situations).
Pro: Why do I like them?
P1. Perfect fit. Technically they are probably too big, but I don't care what any podiatrist might say. I know what *feels* good.
P2. They are funny shoes. I feel like a clown wearing them (see con!)
P3. They are 100% waterproof (but see con).
P4. My feet breathe. May people ask me 'Aren't your feet hot?' (I am in Bangkok). Quite the opposite. My feet are cool - perhaps one size 'too big' helps.
P5. They are very comfortable. In any other pair of shoes, including other Birks, I feel like a prisoner.
P6. They start conversations with German travelers I meet in S.E. Asia and beyond.
P7. Although supposedly one is supposed to wear ankle supporting boots
or athletic shoes
I walk mountain paths in mine, and have never a problem as long as the incline is not too steep.
P8. The insoles
are replaceable when they wear out.
P9. The insoles
are dryable when they get wet (and they do)
P10. I can wear them with or without socks
P11. The grip on the soles is very good. After about a year though they are nothing special.
Con: Why do I not like them?
C1. My pair are green - not exactly standard male attire. Singapore does not sock conservative colours like dark brown.
C2. Because they are healthy natural shows they cast me as a hippie.
C3. Because they look like work shoes
and have no status appeal they do not appeal to females looking for a breadwinner.
C4. The insoles
wore out in less than a year. Maybe this is normal. In Singapore, which is probably where I will get my next pair, insoles
cost over 20% of the price of the clogs
C5. They are waterproof only on the bottom. They are not boots
and they are not intended for walking in swamps. If it is pouring rain your feet will get very wet.
C6. They are expensive (but I have worn one pair of shoes for over two years - so per day they are not expensive).
C7. Frequently I get stones in them. I presume this is because they are open shoes.
C8. They are very hard to find in Asia outside of metropolises such as Singapore and Hong Kong.
C9. They are very expensive for a plastic pair of shoes. It is very frustrating to see gardening clogs
in Thai superstores for a fraction of the cost of these - from China I believe. But they are too narrow and the plastic is definitely softer. I know because I tried them on. I have also heard of knock-offs being sold in Australia for AUS$20 . But who knows how good they are for durability and comfort?
Conclusion: Curiously I have bought and worn other Birks and been very unhappy with them - I felt like my feet were being tortured. I am not willing to 'wear in' any shoes. They must be immediately comfortable and stay that way. These clogs
are very different. I can only suggest that anyone considering buying them might want to try a size bigger than usual.
I have a high instep, narrow heel and wide at the toes. If you are somebody who doesn’t care what people think, if you insist on comfort, and if like me you got tired of stubbing your toes on third world sidewalks - these shoes are a godsend.