Now I love me some Birkenstocks and I know people are willing to pay resale for the Boston clog as it dominates TikTok feeds but $218k for some Arizona sandals just feels crazy, especially a well-worn pair.
But I guess things change when the sweat that’s soaked into that cork footbed belonged to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Sounds like a smelly proposition either way but there are some nutty people out there.
Jobs’ personal Birkenstocks sold on November 13 for a whopping $218k, handily beating the $80k estimates and making these the most valuable (and simultaneously least desirable, at least by my book) Birks ever.
I can’t imagine what you’d do with these things — 3D molds of Jobs’ soles from the imprints on the footbed, perhaps? — but rest assured that they’ll arrive safe and sound inside a comically huge padded case. Wouldn’t want your beat-up Birks to arrive with any scuffs, of course.
Then again, there are fanatics of every influential tech billionaire who ever lived from Jobs to Musk (barf), so maybe the winning bidder just really wants to walk a mile in Jobs’ stinky shoes and the reissued New Balance 992s just aren’t cutting it.
The auction included Jean Pigozzi’s The 213 Most Important Men In My Life book, which features a snapshot of Jobs’ piggies within the Arizona’s suede straps, in case the winner was worried that they wouldn’t pass the authenticity sniff test.
For some reason, the sale included a matching NFT of Jobs’ Birkenstocks, which is presumably useful as a digital chain of custody for the cooked sandals and not much else.
It does spin a 3D version of the shoes around, though, and that’s pretty fun to watch for a couple seconds: look at them go!
Jokes aside, Jobs does hold a special place in history with regards to Birkenstock’s international expansion.
Margot Fraser, the woman responsible for bringing Birkenstock to the states in the ’70s, made sure that Jobs was one of the brand’s early adopters and he clearly enjoyed wearing them to bits. This pair has since been exhibited at Birkenstock’s HQ, 2017’s Salone del Mobile, and Germany’s History Museum Wurttemberg.
Now, they’ll sit in the closet of someone with a deep fascination with Jobs’ feet. Arches to arches, dust to dust.