How to Choose Your Shoes for Summer Travel


As you firm up your travel plans for summer, thoughts on which shoes you’re going to bring and how you’re going to pack them are probably the furthest thing from your mind. However, it’s something to consider early on, lest you throw in any old pair that fits into your luggage and end up suffering blisters and sore feet throughout your whole vacation. Objectives for travel packing should include packing lightly, comfortably, seasonally, and stylishly – which is why it’s such a tough job to pack such a limited amount! Whether you’re hiking Mount Kilimanjaro, shopping Kensington High Street, or kicking a ball around beachside, here are a few considerations that will help you to feel relaxed and look presentable.

The most versatile set of shoes to pack are walking shoes; low profile, comfortable dress shoes; and a pair of special activity shoes such as flip-flops for the beach or hiking boots for trail walking.

Select Only the Most Comfortable Fit

Because comfort is priceless when you’re far away from home or on your feet for hours, preparation is key. If you just purchased a new pair to take with you, make sure you wear them for a long stretch prior to ensure they’ll feel as good during the fifth hour as they do during the first.

Additionally, use common sense: eschew a pointy-toed stiletto in favor of a dress shoe with a rounded toe, and switch out thin heels for a clog or platform. Choose the best textiles for the weather; a porous material like leather will help your feet breathe, and won’t be adverse to rain like suede.

Always keep practicality in the forefront of your mind when choosing what footwear to pack for nighttime. Travel is all about the unexpected and, if a series of events requires you to be on your feet for longer than you had anticipated, your choice to wear footwear with wobbly heels with delicate strap may haunt you. Therefore, strive to find shoes that have thicker heels, solid treading and a sturdy construction, like many of the options made by Dansko and Taos.

Style with Simple Picks

If your vacation involves jet-setting to a fashionable city, choose chic, simple, shoes with clean lines to go with as many articles of clothing as possible. The end goal is to select a pair that is sophisticated but ultimately very comfortable, such as a cute pair of flats with arch support, like the Women’s SoftWalk Napa. A variety of shoes will effortlessly transport you from the beach to dinner, and then for a long walk afterwards. Whether you opt for black or bright neon orange, select footwear will coordinate with the majority of your wardrobe. With this in mind, it may be wise to have your travel ensembles be similar to one another to make this task easier.

Anticipate Outdoor Adventures

When your vacation plans includes high adrenaline sports, recreational activities and other adventures, take care in selecting the proper footwear. When it comes to hiking boots in particular, there are a myriad of options in sole weight, water resistance and boot height. To ensure that your foot remains blister-free, try on the shoe with the boots unlaced, and move your foot forward inside the hiking boot. If you can’t slip your index finger between your heel and the back of the boot, it’s too small. Furthermore, consider the boot materials: Gore-Tex fabrics may be necessary for wetter, sportier trips that require waterproofing and breathability. For lighter hiking, rafting, or backpacking adventures, choose rugged, supportive sport sandals. For additional tips on selecting your outdoor hiking boots, click here.

Don’t forget to make the packing process as simple as possible: Wear the bulkiest pair of shoes while you travel to save room in your luggage.  Wrap your packed shoes in shoe bags, which will not only allow you to keep your clothing clean, but makes it easy to stuff those awkwardly shaped pairs into the corners of your suitcase. Hopefully these tips help in preparing you for your summer vacation!


Weekend Getaway Style Pin it to Win it!



No purchase necessary to enter or win.

You must be a member of to enter, and you must be following Footwear etc. on Pinterest, If you do not have a Pinterest account, you can sign up for one here:

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ELIGIBILITY: Limit one (1) entry per person.

Open to legal residents of the 50 United States who have reached the age of 18. Employees of Footwear etc., its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries, participating advertising and promotion agencies, and prize suppliers (and members of their immediate family and/or those living in the same of household of each such employee) are not eligible.

HOW TO ENTER:  Contest begins at 12:01 a.m. PST on July 7, 2014 and ends at 11:59 p.m. PST on August 1, 2014 (“Contest Term”).  How to enter during the Contest Term:

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(2) Create your own Pinterest Board titled “Weekend Getaway Style Contest” including at least 3 pinned images from or a Footwear etc. Pinterest board.

(3) Use the hashtag #FootwearetcPinToWin in the pin description and re-pin the contest announcement to your board.


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How to Care for your Swollen Feet during Pregnancy

Birkenstock Granada

As an expectant mother, you glow as your belly grows and are busy making obstetrics appointments and anxiously nesting away. However, as your list of bodily discomforts builds trimester by trimester, you may find that the pain and soreness make their way down to your toes.

Why Do Feet Swell During Pregnancy?

An overwhelming majority of women experience foot swelling during pregnancy, which usually worsens in the third trimester. The swelling is caused by the production of the hormone relaxin – which stretches ligaments throughout your body – in addition to the overproduction of fluids and water retention. The foot swelling that happens during pregnancy comes about due to gravity. Thankfully, there are several ways to ease the pain and annoyance of this condition. While swelling is a common side effect, it should always be discussed with your doctor, as certain symptoms and types of swelling could indicate preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy complication.

Shoe Styles to Look for When You Are Pregnant

For some, the increase in shoe size (typically a half to a whole size) experienced during pregnancy may be permanent. Whether or not your feet do eventually shrink, you will need new shoes to accommodate swelling and offer the support needed to combat discomfort and weight gain. Due to the relaxation of the ligaments, your arches may become lower, putting your feet in danger of overpronation.

Things to should look for in shoes to wear during pregnancy include: adequate cushioning to support your weight comfortably; arch support to avoid overpronation; breathability; and a large toe box (i.e. avoid pointed or narrow-toed shoes). Hook and loop closures are also extremely helpful to let you adapt to swelling over the course of a day, and allow you to adjust the tightness of your shoes as you need to. New Balance athletic or walking shoes are great for dealing with foot changes during pregnancy, as are Dansko clogs and Birkenstock sandals.

Exercises and Activities to Combat Swollen Feet

Standing and sitting for long periods of time can exacerbate the swelling (although standing for long periods is worse). For this reason, you should take a break from each activity at intervals. Other helpful exercises include stretching, fidgeting, and elevating your feet to keep the blood and fluid flowing. Going for a swim or even standing in a pool can also provide relief, and at night try sleeping on your side. Light exercise is typically prescribed by doctors: rotating, bending, and lifting your feet can prove beneficial, because improved circulation can help minimize swelling.

Avoid wearing tight clothing, and utilize support stockings or compression stockings specifically for maternity use. In general, you can help the condition by staying cool and applying a cold compress on your feet for short periods of time.

Foods to Help Prevent Foot Swelling

To avoid the water retention that contributes to swelling, drink plenty of water. Avoid too much salt, and keep your distance from licorice, processed foods, and caffeine. Enjoy foods that are water-rich and diuretic (celery, apples and citrus), as well as foods rich in potassium, like bananas.

How to Alleviate Foot Pain during Pregnancy

In addition to foot swelling, another common malady during pregnancy is foot pain. This is caused by the wide variety of changes occurring within your body that shifts your center of balance, in addition to the relaxation of the ligaments. One specific problem that can occur is plantar fasciitis, which is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis can only be diagnosed by a doctor; however, relief can be achieved by wearing closed-heel shoes with supportive heel and arch supports. Other home remedies include icing your feet as directed by your doctor, wearing orthotics, and keeping your feet rested and elevated.

Footwear Etc. offers many solutions for swollen, painful feet, including wide shoes and orthotics, adjustable straps, compression socks and sleeves, and special footwear, inserts, braces and more to treat planar fasciitis. Browse our bountiful online assortment today.



How to Clean Nubuck and Leather Shoes

Earth Wayward

Nubuck and leather shoes are fine investments in quality and, with the proper care, will endure for many years. A little time put toward their maintenance and upkeep will pay off season after season, as these two materials will earn you plenty of compliments throughout their lifetime.

How to Clean Nubuck

Nubuck is a beautiful, high-quality leather that is similar to suede. However, since it is fashioned from the exterior part of the cowhide, nubuck is tougher and slightly thicker than suede. This type of top-grain leather has been sanded and finished, meaning it possesses a natural ability to repel stains. However, to keep your shoes looking clean and new for years to come, you will be required to do a bit of maintenance.

One problem you may encounter with your nubuck shoes is that they may start to show shiny spots. These blotches can make your footwear look worn out before their time, yet they are the easiest things to fix! To keep your shoes looking sharp, invest in a nubuck brush. A quality brush is gentle enough to avoid damaging the shoes, but sturdy enough to buff out those shiny spots and eliminate dry dirt. They bring out the shoes’ natural grain and nap. Choose a brush that has both wire and either nylon or rubber bristles. To fix the shininess and restore that brand-new matte look, brush the shoe with the wire bristle section of a nubuck brush, then more lightly with the nylon or rubber bristles.

The wire bristles can also be used for harder stains or ground-in dirt. If that fails, use one of many liquid cleaners made specifically for nubuck. After following the directions of the cleaning solution and being careful not to over-saturate, use a gentle-bristled brush to lift the nap. An alternative to liquid includes a package of nubuck cleaning cloths for spots and scratches that already have cleaning solution on them, which will make it easier to dispense just the right amount.

Other nubuck cleaning products for spot cleaning include a solid rubber block made specifically for this purpose, as well as a nubuck eraser. No matter what you do, always remember to patch test first.

How to Clean Leather

There are many ways to clean the wide variety of types of leather footwear. Again, always perform a spot test on an inconspicuous area of the shoe before proceeding with any and all cleaning methods, so you don’t ruin your footwear.

Simple, everyday leather cleaning solutions include mixing distilled water with a teaspoon of gentle liquid face or body soap, and rubbing it in the direction of the leather grain with a sponge. Significant dilutions and gentle products are necessary to prevent drying and splitting of the shoes.

Leather shoe protector can go a long way toward reducing the need to clean and protect the exterior of your shoes from permanent damage, and you should always condition your shoes after cleaning. Otherwise, the soap can dry out the leather and result in long-term damage.

If you need to remove rock salt stains from your boots before packing them away for the warmer seasons, you can do so by mixing one part water with one part white vinegar and gently wiping off the boots. You can also mix equal parts lemon juice and cream of tartar for another solution option. For stubborn stains (especially those with ink), try applying some rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball and gently wiping them away.

Check out the wide variety of leather and nubuck types of footwear and related products at!

Sandals for Every Summer Activity

Spring Step Abigail

For many of us in colder climates, our feet have spent too long falling asleep under the weight of boots trudging through snow (so long polar vortex!). Now is the time to do the opposite and don some chic sandals, as our feet have undoubtedly earned this sunshine and warm air. Of course, no one particular model is practical for all your summertime activities. Luckily, there are variations that are specifically designed for a wide range of activities and weather, from the rain of spring to the dog-days-of-summer; from dancing and dining to rafting and hiking.

Let’s start off with many of our favorite summertime pastimes of going to the beach. For some, this may entail doing nothing more than simply lounging about in the sand. However, many of us fill the hours with running after the kids, trekking up and down the boardwalk, riding the Ferris wheel, playing a round or two of volleyball, wading in the water and napping under an open paperback. With so many different activities happening on top of unpaved surfaces, don’t make the mistake of wearing sandals without arch support. In addition to your discount flip flops that you don’t mind getting ruined in the salty water, the Women’s Vionic with Orthaheel Technology Fleur II is super cute and can help to prevent injuries.

There are many gatherings that take place outdoors, from BBQs to backyard dances. More often than not, you are going to be on grassy surfaces rather than pavement, so forego the thin heels in favor of sturdier platform sandals. Designs like the Spring Step Abigail sandals bring a sense of femininity that will elongate the legs and pair flawlessly with a sundress, and you won’t have to worry about thin stilettos sinking into the dirt.

Many workplaces become more lenient on the dress code over the warmer months so, if your office allows you to wear sandals, check out peep-toe footwear like the BeautiFeel Women’s Valentina. The limited amount of exposed skin and darker aesthetic still make this shoe professional while simultaneously infusing a touch of summer. Avoid flip-flops or flats with minimalistic thin straps that might be interpreted as overly casual.

For activities that will involve more walking, check out a sandal like the Women’s Pikolinos Alcudia. Its gel-padded insole helps to lessen foot fatigue, and the strap around the ankle provides an especially secure fit that won’t “flap” about. Also note that this synthetic sandal is a vegan shoe.

Sometimes what’s in store for the weekend is less hammock lounging and more go-getting. If your feet are going to get wet while rafting, kayaking or hiking, look for breathable synthetics.  The Merrell Azura sandal is a sporty solution for numerous reasons: it provides odor control in the mesh lining and in the footbed; the cushioned heel provides outstanding shock absorption and cushioning; and the durable outsole helps ensure traction as you traverse the great outdoors.

Regardless of what endeavor activity you engage in, make sure that your sandals don’t rub or squeeze tightly. Browse our many options of women’s sandals to make sure your feet are stylishly equipped for your favorite summertime activity.