In a way that only The New Yorker can, we get a story about the entire history of Birkenstock. If you're a nerd wondering why no one has written 5,000 words about the foundation, evolution and comeback of Birks, along with the revelation that Germany is apparently really well known for its orthotic footwear, this is for you. I don't know who you are, but you have an equally interesting media diet and taste in footwear.

Here are the Cliffs Notes: Birks have roots that go back further than the United States of America, all the way to 1774 when Johann Adam Birkenstock was making shoes in Frankfurt. Years later, a descendent named Konrad opened two shoe shops of his own. The biggest innovation that Birkenstock had over its competitors? Insoles that were actually contoured rather than completely flat, which obviously provided better support. The piece explores how the Birkenstocks built an empire of supportive shoes, expanded into other leather-related areas and modernized its business, which has led the brand to insane levels of popularity recently, especially amongst the fashion set. It's long and in-depth and super fucking boring at some points, like every other New Yorker piece, but it's a documentation of how what was once a small time health-oriented piece of footwear has turned into a larger, somehow fashionable classic.

[Photo via The New Yorker]