I always associated Birkenstocks with sandals, but they make a complete range of footwear (including the boots illustrated above), all with the trademark toe grips.
I ordered some sandals (as well as the boots) in my customary size – European 43 (narrow fit) – only to find that they were quite definitely too big. I returned that pair of sandals and rejoiced in the greater range of ladies styles available in a 42. But I kept the size 43 boots (which may or may not have been a good idea).
It’s not quite the right weather for sandals yet, but I have been wearing the boots and I am pretty confident that the built-in Birkenstock toe grip is helping, although the boots themselves are tricky to get my high-arched feet into because the lacing starts somewhat higher than in the walking-boot styles I am used to.
I’ve also been assessing the toe props that the podiatrist gave me. Chunkier than the Birki toe grips, they go inside my (conventional) socks and have an unfortunate tendency to move when I’m putting my shoes on. Nonetheless, they are doing the trick – I have even able to run a little without feeling that I would injure my toes. The standalone toe props make it possible for me to continue wearing shoes that the thick custom insoles won’t work in, so I think that they may be worth hanging on to (as an idea if not this particular pair; the fabric cover is coming off one of them). I did acquire a silicone toe prop from eBay, and the toe-feel is, I think, better with silicone; however, the toe loop is bulkier.
I’m looking forward to seeing what the podiatrist can do, and to being able to just pull socks on, put shoes on, and walk in relative comfort, knowing that I can accelerate to a (badly coordinated) run if necessary.