About Us

We’re Paul & Claire Tinkerhess, owners of Fourth Ave Birkenstock. Paul was Tinker and Claire was Hess so when we got married we just squeezed our last names together. With our three boys, two daughters-in-law and two grandchildren we think we might be the only Tinkerhesses in the world.


Soon after we met we discovered some remarkable similarities. We’re each the youngest in families of 6 children. Both of our fathers were Methodist ministers who were both born in 1919. We both care deeply about peace and the environment. We fell in love, got married, moved to Michigan to work for peace and the Quakers, started having babies and stumbled into the shoe business.

With the help of our staff we’ve run this little store now for three decades that have flown by. We live not far from the shop and almost always walk to work which is one of many reasons we feel very lucky.

We make most of our living by selling and repairing shoes, and we are passionate about our business. But the truth is, it’s only a part of our lives and we are passionate about all the rest, too.

Likewise we know that you are much more than our customer, and we feel privileged whenever you visit.

Fourth Ave Birkenstock
209 N 4th Ave
Ann Arbor, MI  48104
(734) 663-1644