And it came to pass that God saw the suffering of the forty-year-old people from plantar fasciitis and said, Let there be a sandal so ugly that everyone shall resist its wearing. But then word will spread like fire from a burning bush that these shoes be a Godsend.

The Lord continued, The Birkenstocks shall be made of hardened cork from trees that grow along the angry seas from which I have brought many floods. They shall measure .00000001 cubits high by .000025 cubits long, and they shall be finished with the hide of male and female cows so that thou may walk as nature intended. And by nature, I really mean Me.

For the first three weeks of wear, thou shalt shed thy skin as blisters form on thine feet like one of my famous plagues. Thou shalt feel holey during the break-in period, and afterward, holy.

Thou shalt not swear; unless thou art swearing by thine Birkenstocks. Because as thy gait realigns, thou shalt find thyself also divinely cured of back pain.

It shall make the most popular shoe list, much to the chagrin of Nike. But Nike does nothing for big toe arthritis. Also, thou shalt not wear any other shoes before me, especially one named after a Greek goddess. I am thy only God, and Birkenstocks shalt be thy only shoe.

Thy podiatrist shall try to convince thee to purchase expensive orthotics to alleviate the pressure on thy heel as thou standest on the train for most of thy commute. But heed my call: thy podiatrist is Satan. They will try to give thee a cortisone shot that will burn like the fires of hell and ultimately do nothing. So do not walk in the ways of the wicked. Walk in thy comfort of Birkenstocks.

Thou shalt not remove these sandals, even to sleep. Lest thine toes feel the freedom of non-constraint and freely grow an overnight bunion.

Mostly, thou shalt wear the double, wide-buckle Arizona. But thou shalt buy the Boston model for when closed-toe shoes are required. Or if thou art on a date night and art trying to hide the sudden appearance of a “hammer toe.”

They shall be the shoes of the summer at the beach and on the boardwalk. And also the spring and the fall and in the winter.

Honor thine Birkenstocks and keep them oily so the leather shall last until the end of days. Love them with all thy heart and thine aging soles. Heed my call and do not attempt to walk on water with these. For I have put fine sandals upon thine feet, and it would be a shame for them to become waterlogged.

Fear not wearing these on a weekend hike. At your age, thou shalt fear tendonitis resulting from wearing flip-flops.

If thou shalt make a pilgrimage from the city to a farm this summer by foot because thou now canst walk for days without tiring, thou shalt stop at a Tanger Outlets on the return journey, find a pair of Birkenstocks half price, and present them as an offering to me, the Lord thy God. Lift them toward the sky as Mufasa did with Simba in The Lion King. That will make one epic Instagram. #Godshoes

If thou heedest these commandments and observe them until the end of time, I shall think about also letting thee enjoy the comfort of Reefs.