The time-honored springtime tradition of tossing around the ol' pigskin is getting a whole new meaning by way of Birkenstock's latest Arizona and Boston sandals, made from a hefty leather lifted from real-deal footballs.

Specifically, Birkenstock is imbuing its signature slide sandals with Horween football leather, usually used for pro gear. That means heavy-duty beige n brown uppers built for long-term wear and tear, resistant to scuffs, scrapes, and the like.

Family-owned since 1905, Chicago-based Horween has been manufacturing leather for generations. Its wares are usually used for hardy boots but occasionally find their way atop sneakers from companies like Vans, adidas, and New Balance.

Launching March 4 for about $200 per pair, Birkenstock's new sandals will also be accompanied by a new iteration of the Bend sneaker, executed in matching Horween leather.

'tis the season, really. No shoe gets more rotation in my closet than Birkenstock's Arizona each warm weather season, except for maybe a pair of Zurichs that I've worn to the ground and had repaired back to functionality.

The Birk Arizona was so hot last summer that luxury brands aplenty lined up to imitate the timeless sandal and I'm sure we'll see plenty of high (and low) imitators pop up as we get closer to summer.

Still, you can't beat Birk. Its high-end 1774 collection shuts down most "premium" wannabes and delivers some of the German label's best silhouettes, including the fancy, Bottega-esque Sylt.

Let's not forget that we'll soon be blessed with Dior's collaborative Birk Bostons, one of the year's best collabs (in my humble opinon). It's a fitting partnership given that LVMH invested in Birkenstock last year, which opens the door for more Birk team-ups down the road.

Maybe after LOEWE's On Running collab, we'll be seeing the luxury label take on a Birkenstock silhouette — one can only dream.

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