The Most Unique Footwear Ever: Vibram FiveFingers Shoes!

Ever want a shoe that fits like a glove? Now you can have one – the Vibram FiveFingers shoes. These are by far the most unique-looking shoes I’ve ever seen, and I was anxious to try them out!

These are the only shoes you’ll find where each of your toes fits into its own “finger,” like the fingers on a glove. Why is this important? This allows your toes to move more naturally. It also helps to strengthen muscles in your feet and legs. The heel is not raised; rather, it’s lowered so that your body weight is distributed evenly across the shoe and therefore encourages spinal alignment and proper posture. All of these factors together help to improve balance and agility. You get all the benefits of walking barefoot, with the protection of a shoe.

 Vibram FiveFingers makes shoes for a variety of activities, such as:

The KSO- a great general-purpose fitness shoe. The patented Vibram sole is slip resistant, and razor siped for extra flexibility. (The Vibram sole material extends up over the ends of the toes, adding protection.) This is a fine shoe to wear for running, water sports, yoga, and even light hiking. The upper is a thin, breathable and abrasion resistant polyamide fabric that stretches to conform to your foot shape. The antimicrobial microfiber insole adds a little bit of cushioning. I can easily see myself wearing these to go rafting, or boating, or for a short trail hike. And it’s machine washable!

The Komodosport– the ultimate shoe for the serious fitness enthusiast.  Take the KSO and ramp it up with functional improvements to get this shoe designed with the athlete in mind. The durable 4mm Vibram outsole makes this shoe perfect for running and cross training. The footbed is stitch-free and seamless to ensure as little friction as possible. You can get a custom fit by using the hook and loop closures over the top of the foot and around the heel. Machine washable like the KSO, it’s a rugged shoe that you can feel great about as you train.

The Performa Jane – women have a great option to wear for indoor activities. The Performa Jane was designed specifically for indoor fitness activities, yoga, and pilates. You get all the great benefits of all the Five Fingers shoes with added flexibility in the sole plus a Kangaroo Leather upper. You can customize your fit with the hook and loop closure over the top of the foot. You also get maximum feel of the exercise surface along with a slip-resistant sole. Just note that this shoe is not designed for extended outdoor wear.

If you love walking barefoot, you’ll really love the Vibram FiveFingers collection. Protect your feet while strengthening the muscles in your feet and legs. Just be sure to wear them just a few hours at a time at first; since you’re probably not used to using these muscles, you’ll need to strengthen them gradually. But in the long run, it’s worth the wait!

Custom Shoes Without the Custom Price!

Little did I know that you can actually have customized shoes at affordable prices. How is it possible? Aetrex found a way!

Aetrex has come up with a fascinating new technology called Mozaic Customization. It allows you to modify all Aetrex footwear so that you can relieve any pressure points on your feet and provide for an equal distribution of pressure as you walk.

How does it work? First, you identify the pressure points on your feet. (You can do this by noticing particular areas of pressure as you stand. Another way is if you have access to a store that has a machine that can do this for you, the machine can map out those areas.)  Next, find those areas on the insole that correspond to your pressure points and remove the little squares there. Finally, put the modified insole back into your shoe. You’ll notice an immediate difference in how your weight distributes throughout your feet, and how the pressure areas are relieved!

I love how you can get this custom fit on a wide variety of types of shoes. Aetrex makes athletic walking and running shoes, casual everyday shoes, and dressy shoes for both men and women!

Love to run? Try the Aetrex Women’s Voyage Runner V557. Not only does it have the Mozaic Customization system to relieve pressure, it also contains a molded, external heel counter for extra rearfoot control. The Carboplast footbridge provides motion control and stability, and the mesh upper keeps your feet cool and dry. This shoe even helps you avoid overpronation! I’m looking forward to taking these out for a run through the local park!

 The Aetrex Men’s Ariya is a beautiful, dressy shoe that you can wear to work, out on the town, or even with casual wear. The soft, luxurious leather upper is beautiful and comfortable, and the polyurethane outsole provides superb shock absorption. And as always, you can customize the shoe with the Mozaic Customization system to relieve pressure. Your feet will be happy all day long with these shoes!

Here’s a slip-on shoe for women that’s stylish and provides outstanding support: the Aetrex Essence Slip-on E240. The black patent leather version is especially elegant and versatile. And as always, it utilizes the Mozaic Customization system and the polyurethane outsole provides outstanding shock absorption. Your feet will be cool and dry because of the polyester and leather linings. Beautiful shoe for casual or dressy occasions!

So who needs to pay outrageous prices for customized shoes? Try out the Mozaic Customization in all Aetrex shoes. There’s a fit just for you!

The Ultimate in Luxurious Walking Shoes: Finn Comfort!

All too frequently I hear people say that they don’t WANT a walking shoe that looks like an athletic shoe, they want a walking shoe that they could wear to work, or out on the town, or anywhere! They want shoes that look nice, but would be perfect for travel and sightseeing. Such shoes do exist, and they are made by Finn Comfort.

Finn Comfort shoes provide outstanding orthopedic support, and are made from the finest materials available. Handcrafted in Bavaria, these shoes are specifically designed as luxury walking shoes for the sophisticated consumer. They are also specifically suited for orthotics. The comfort and support that these shoes offer is unparalleled. I’m anxious to take these on vacation! Some of my favorite designs are:

The Phuket, in Chili Selena leather. Gorgeous thong-style with an orthopedic firm footbed produces an incredible shoe for the summer. The hook and loop strap ensures a secure fit, the leather lining is soft and comfortable, and the PU outsole absorbs shock and reduces joint and muscle fatigue. All this in a handcrafted shoe…what a way to pamper your feet!

The Stanford, in Black Napa leather, is a beautiful slide with Mary Jane details. There is a hook and loop strap over the top of the foot to ensure a custom fit, and the footbed cradles your heel, provides arch support, and is hand washable! The polyurethane outsole provides great shock absorption and lets you feel like you can walk forever! Stylish, comfortable, and easy to wear!

The most comfortable shoe I have ever tried on, hands down, is the Tofino. I particularly like the Cigar Sprite leather version. It has phenomenal support, softness, shock absorption, and it fit my foot beautifully. I can wear this with dressy slacks or casual clothes, and can walk for miles in these shoes with comfort. I like the soft leather upper, and love the fact that the footbed is hand washable (as it is in all Finn Comfort shoes). This is truly a classic shoe that you can get a lot of wear out of, for many situations.

Finn Comfort excels in making your feet feel like they’re in the lap of luxury as you walk. Try out some classic elegance today!

For a Spa Experience at Home, try Gilden Tree Products!

Sometimes we all need to be pampered. But why go out to a spa to treat yourself nicely when you can do it for less at home, with high-quality ingredients (many of which are organic)? Gilden Tree products make it easy to spoil yourself and make your skin feel so much better! Here are just a few:

Gilden Tree’s Footscrubberis actually made from terra cotta and acts like a pumice stone that doesn’t wear out! It’s two-sided; one side is for exfoliating dry skin, and the other side is for polishing and smoothing the skin. It’s best used with a few drops of liquid soap.  This fantastic product is made by a group of women in Pakistan, and it’s been so successful and popular that Gilden Tree has actually given back to that community by putting the children (and later the women themselves) through school. What a wonderful way to support the makers of the Footscrubber!

Need a really good moisturizer for your feet? Try Gilden Tree’s Healing Foot Cream. Gluten free, safe for Diabetics and those with Celiac disease, this cream does a phenomenal job of helping dry, cracked skin to heal. It’s made with aloe vera, jojoba oil, and shea butter for a rich, luxurious product that soaks into the skin. You’ll love how it can help repair and soften your skin.

Sometimes at the end of a hard day, it’s nice to just soak your feet. Gilden Tree makes Revitalizing Foot Soak Crystals that helps draw out toxins and soothes dry skin. Using 1 Tbsp. Revitalizing Foot Soak Crystals to a basin of warm water can make a huge difference to your skin!  Soak your feet in this solution for 10-15 minutes to maximize the properties of the crystals’ Epsom salts, sea salt, and shea butter. Moisturize as you soak!

Gilden Tree products have been recommended in O, the Oprah Magazine for their high quality, and the excellent results they produce. So check out Gilden Tree products for the ultimate home spa experience. Your skin and your wallet will thank you!

Do Your Shoes Reflect Your Sense of Humor?

I don’t know about you, but I like my shoes to reflect my mood. I also like them to show that I’m not stuffy and like to have fun. Yes, this IS possible, you just have to choose the right shoe! Here are a few brands Footwear etc. carries that add some whimsy, lightheartedness and comfort to your wardrobe:

Think! shoes are particularly appealing if you want a unique style. They’re made with vegetable-tanned leathers and are hypoallergenic, toxin-free, and absorb moisture well. Think! shoes are very fashion forward, yet don’t skimp on style and fun. I particularly like the Think! 82337-9 in Black Kombi Leather. Not only is it colorful and happy-looking, its leather-lined cork footbed provides excellent shock absorption and helps reduce foot fatigue. It’s also a terrific shoe in terms of arch and heel support, and the durable outsole provides very good traction. What a fun, summery shoe!

You can really feel good about using El Naturalista products. The outsoles are made from recycled rubber, the footbeds are made from recycled polyurethane, and the leather is tanned in an all-natural process with vegetable extracts, tree bark and river stones. The Iggdrasil is an especially fun model. I love the whimsical stitching detail on the toe box! El Naturalista says that it makes shoes for people who embrace life as they walk, and you can really show off your personal style with this shoe. This shoe is available in black, Tibet (reddish color), and brown leather. It’s another happy shoe to wear on those happy days!

Show your sense of humor with some fun shoes, like those from Think! and El Naturalista. Wearing these is a great way to be comfortable, but not too serious!