Birkenstock celebrates its most memorable styles with colourful capsule (and matching socks)

Birkenstock marks the 40th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of the Gizeh, Arizona and Madrid sandals, respectively, with limited-edition versions

Birkenstock sandals on white background
Birkenstock anniversary collection, featuring Gizeh, Arizona and Madrid styles
(Image credit: Courtesy of Birkenstock)

Good things come in threes. This month, historic German shoemaker Birkenstock – best known for its ergonomic sandals with signature contoured footbed – celebrates a trio of anniversaries for its Gizeh, Arizona and Madrid sandals, which are turning 40, 50 and 60 years old, respectively. 

Three of its most memorable styles – particularly the two-strap Arizona, which is arguably Birkenstock’s most well-known export – they are worn by ‘millions of people around the world’, according to the brand. Each of the sandals features the brand’s footbed, born from ‘orthopaedic experience passed down from one generation of the family to the next’ and originally inspired by a natural footprint in the sand. ‘[They have been] “it” pieces for the creative and fashion industry, a symbol of nonconformist subculture, and faithful friends to a variety of specialised professions – their distinctive outlines have also become a brand’s hallmark and symbols of a “natural gait”,’ says Birkenstock. 

Birkenstock celebrates classic designs with anniversary collection

Birkenstock sandals on exercise ball

The reissued Birkenstock ‘Gizeh’ sandal

(Image credit: Courtesy of Birkenstock)

In honour of the anniversaries, Birkenstock will reissue original versions of the styles in limited-edition numbers related to the year each was first released (the Madrid will have 1,963 pairs available, the Arizona 1,973, and the Gizeh 1,983). Each of the colourful reissued versions will come with vintage-inspired socks, designed to complement the style (the Gizeh, for example, comes with a split-toe tabi-style sock to fit with the style’s thong design). They will also each come with a wax seal-style tag to ensure their authenticity and a box inspired by archival packaging.

Of the three styles, Birkenstock describes the Madrid as ‘the mother of all footbed sandals’, recognisable for its slim single strap and buckle and ‘unembellished, functional aesthetic’ which reflected the brutalist architecture of the 1960s. The bestselling Arizona is called ‘everybody’s favourite’, while the thong-strap Gizeh – introduced in the 1980s – is described as a ‘rendezvous with the world of fashion’ for the way it was adopted by industry insiders on its release.

Birkenstock sandals

The reissued Birkenstock ‘Madrid’ sandal

(Image credit: Courtesy of Birkenstock)

‘Birkenstock wrote design history with the Madrid, Arizona and Gizeh, and revolutionised the development of foot-friendly footwear,’ says Oliver Reichert, CEO of Birkenstock. ‘The successful symbiosis of function and design not only defines these three anniversary pieces, but also determines every step we take. Deeply rooted in orthopaedics, Birkenstock stands for sophisticated functionality, a commitment to quality and the promise of an inimitable product experience.’

The three anniversary styles are available now, exclusively from Birkenstock’s website.

Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*, joining the team in 2022. Having previously been the digital features editor at AnOther and digital editor at 10 and 10 Men magazines, he has also contributed to titles including i-D, Dazed, 10 Magazine, Mr Porter’s The Journal and more, while also featuring in Dazed: 32 Years Confused: The Covers, published by Rizzoli. He is particularly interested in the moments when fashion intersects with other creative disciplines – notably art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and reporting from international fashion weeks. Across his career, he has interviewed the fashion industry’s leading figures, including Rick Owens, Pieter Mulier, Jonathan Anderson, Grace Wales Bonner, Christian Lacroix, Kate Moss and Manolo Blahnik.