Like many (well, not that many) sick little Max-inistas out there, I’ve spent the salad days of this apocalyptic summer hate-watching The Idol (or maybe I like it??) and listening to “World Class Sinner/I’m a Freak” on repeat. (I definitely like it.) This means that I’m also, of course, now following its star, Lily-Rose Depp, on Instagram; poring over her Wikipedia page; and clicking on every single paparazzi photo of her I can find on the internet. (Yes, including that one. Were we ever so young?) So far, my journey has mostly been a gorgeous waste of time. But I have learned something that, as they say, may surprise you: Depp cannot seem to get enough of these German orthopedic cork-wedge sandals by a brand called Wörishofer, and the Sexy European Coastal Grandma look can be yours, too, for a nasty $70 on Amazon. You know I want them bad.
As far as I can tell, Depp has been freaking it in these sandals since at least September 2021. She owns them in two different colors — black and silver — and she likes to style them with miniskirts and low-rise jeans. She is not the first person to wear them to the supermarket or around New York City. In fact, Wörishofer was founded by a German podiatrist in the 1940s and is a brand beloved by bunion-prone European nonnas and Brooklyn hipster moms alike. Michelle Williams, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Kirsten Dunst all wore them in the 2010s, prompting the Daily Mail to ask, “Are Wörishofers the new Crocs?”
According to a 2010 Slate trend piece, Wörishofers first became fashionable in the U.S. around 2006, when Lucky declared them “chic” and “ridiculously comfortable.” This magazine included them in its “ugly shoes” roundup the following year. Soon they started catching on and retailers such as Bird in Brooklyn began to stock them (hence Williams, Gyllenhaal, and Dunst).
It makes sense that Depp, who was 7 years old in 2006, would be discovering these shoes for the first time now along with other early-aughts trends like tiny sunglasses, butterfly clips, and low-rise jeans. But unlike her predecessors, who might have made Wörishofers look “chic,” Depp accomplishes something no nepo baby has done before: She makes these “grandma shoes” look hot. These are sandals you wear to passionately make out with someone in public and let them slip a hand down your Maryam Nassir Zadeh micro-mini. Birkenstocks are shaking. Tevas found dead!
Unlike Depp’s chain-smoking Idol character, Jocelyn, online shopping is my vice of choice, and after seeing her wear them not once but twice this summer, I had to have a pair for myself. I may not be French American or in the market for micro-minis and barely-there bodysuits (here are similar options if you are), but orthopedic footwear is a shockingly relatable choice. Last week, I ordered them on Amazon in red, and they were at my apartment faster than you can say carte blanche (pronounced car-tay blan-shay).
When I opened the box, which is green with a red cross on it, I’m embarrassed to report that I actually said “Oh, fuck yeah” out loud like dorky Tedros Tedros himself. The curve of the sandals’ wedge, the generous toe cleavage, the dainty perforations on the leather, plus the cute buckle on top all screamed Touch me, touch me, touch me. When I slipped them on my feet, I could feel the little arch support under my toes, and when I walked, I got that satisfying slide-sandal ASMR. Worn with some short-shorts this summer, I think they’re going to look freakin’ awesome.
Strategist writer Merrell Hambleton said Wörishofers “chafed” her feet, which, to steal a phrase from the Weeknd, I can feel it coming. But you know what? [Cue lights, camera, dancers.] I do what I want/Don’t give a fuck at all (nuh-uh). These are motherfuckin’ world-class sandals.
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