Shoe Styles for Men and Women to Help Welcome Summer

Icon boat shoe

Winter may be all about knee-high leather boots with crisscrossing straps and decorative zippers, but summertime is dedicated to warm-weather footwear that is breathable and practical while simultaneously delivering feminine style. From boat shoes to flip-flops to sandals of every sort, there are lots of exciting new fashions to choose from this year. Whether you’re headed for the water or the high country, our style guide will allow you to put your best foot forward.

Boat Shoes

Boat shoes originated in 1935 and have been a staple of the sailing lifestyle ever since. Created in Massachusetts by Sperry Top-Sider, the aesthetic of today’s shoe do not dramatically vary from the original look, though the choice in colors is now more wide spanning. Additionally, buyers will have multiple materials to choose from including leather, suede and canvas. While this classic design can look chic androgynous, those individuals who prefer a more “girly” feel will love the animal print versions crafted by Icon Shoes.

Sandals

In the world of summertime shoes, sandals are probably the most versatile of all footwear. They come in heels, flats and wedges, yet are constructed with soles made from everything from cork to plastic. While they can be dressy enough for a night on the town or relaxed enough for a beachside stroll, be aware that many work environments strictly forbid open-toe footwear. Regardless of the environment in which you’ll donning sandals, make sure they feature proper the foot support you won’t find in most five-dollar flip flops. We love the cute heels and wedges manufactured by Clarks, as well as the more sporty alternatives by Vionic with Orthaheel Technology. Women of the world can rejoice this year, as thin stilettos are “out,” making way for beautified flats, platforms and chunkier heels.

Espadrilles

Originally worn by Basque peasants in the Pyrenees Mountains, these light, flat shoes with their flexible sole are marked by their elevated level of comfort. They’re cool, comfy and easy to care for, whether you choose canvas or suede. Browse brands like Spring Step Shoes for plenty of fun options; the kinds of uppers available include horizontal bands, laser cutouts, floral embellishments and more.

Hiking Boots

When you think of hiking boots, you may imagine a set of tough, leather clad, tractor-tire-soled tanks for your feet. And that may, indeed, be what you’re looking for. But, today’s hiking boot can be as comfortable as it is protective for the hiker’s foot, but without the hot, heavy work of wearing them. Many designs are crafted with lighter textiles like mesh to encourage the flow of cooling air to your feet, as well as antibacterial insoles that prevent the buildup of odor. As you shop, keep in mind the temperature, elements, and terrain you’ll be hiking across to choose a hiking boot that will support and comfort your feet.

Ballet Flats

Last but not least are lovely ballet flats. To stay on point with top trends of summer, consider purchasing this style in either a light pastel or a zingy neon hue. Alternatively, for a nighttime outfit, consider metallic variations. These are just a few ways to add some zip to your wardrobe.

For all of these fantastic options, check out our catalog at footwearetc.com!

He’s the Man Gift Card Giveaway!

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He’s the Man!  Make Father’s Day great with a gift from Footwear etc!

He’s the Man Gift Card Giveaway starts Monday, June 9, 2014, and runs through Sunday, June 15, 11:59 pm (Pacific).  We’re giving away four $25 gift cards to four different Footwear etc. fans.  It’s easy to enter.  All you have to do is “Like” Footwear etc. on Facebook and like and share the original contest photo on your personal Facebook page between June 9 and 15, 2014, to enter.

You have until 11:59 pm (Pacific) on Sunday, June 15, 2014, to “like” us and like and share the image on your personal Facebook page.  Here are the general rules for the giveaway, and don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for our next contest!

He’s the Man! Gift Card Giveaway General Rules:

  • You must “Like” Footwear etc. on Facebook.
  • Liking and sharing the original contest graphic on your personal Facebook page will be accepted at any time between 12:00 am, June 9, 2014, and June 15, 2014, at 11:59 pm (Pacific).
  • You may only like and share the image once. Comments on somebody else’s post will not count, neither will just saying you like or want the prize. Off-topic or inappropriate comments may be deleted.
  • Four winners will be randomly selected from all eligible entries for the week.
  • The winners’ names will be posted Monday, June 16, 2014.  Once your name is posted, please send Footwear etc. a private Facebook message including your email address and phone number.  We will then notify you of prize redemption details.  Winners not responding within seven (7) days will be disqualified. Invalid or returned emails will be disqualified and a new winner will be drawn.
  • The four prizes for this drawing are four $25 gift cards for Footwear etc.  No substitutions, no cash-out.
  • Open to U.S. residents only. No purchase necessary to win.

 

How to Choose the Right Socks for Your Lifestyle

moresocks

Selecting the correct shoe for your daily activities is important: if you frequently hike, climb, run or even work out at the gym, you know the importance of specialty footwear. Shoes are an essential investment towards comfort and performance during recreational activities. However, just as important to your health is the process of selecting the socks that are best for your particular feet and lifestyle. These days, there are many more options than the simple cotton we are all familiar with, each designed to promote good foot health. Before you make your purchase, there are considerations you should take into account.

Your Activities Count

If you are a runner, you know that your socks should provide not just comfort, but also adequate cushioning to protect your feet from the jarring that comes when you run. If you are a hiker, you know that your socks must become a buffer between your boots and your feet. Before you buy socks, you must first know what features they need to provide for you; the socks you would purchase to complement your dress shoes are much different than those required on a long day outdoors with the family. No matter the activity, the socks will need to keep your feet cool and dry to prevent rubbing, bacteria and irritation – the right sock can wick moisture away from your feet, keeping you comfortable for miles.

Temperature Matters

As mentioned above, understand that your sock should be selected in response to planned activities, environment, and weather. Thermal insulation to keep out the cold is a key consideration when shopping for socks. If your plans include traipsing through the underbrush in search of a trophy buck or cheering on your football team at a wintery outdoor stadium, you’ll wish you had socks to warm up your feet.

BYOS (Bring Your Own Shoes)

It does you no good to buy a sock that won’t work perfectly with the hiking boots, or running shoes you’ll be wearing. The retailer you buy your sport shoes from understands this, and will allow you to try them on ahead of purchase. At Footwear etc., we offer easy, no-hassle returns and exchanges to ensure that you receive the perfect online purchase.

The sock must fit snugly, but shouldn’t be too tight. You don’t need a sock that will slip or wad up under your toes, as that is an open invitation for blisters and burns. Also, remember that if you are tall, you may need a longer sock so that your boot tops don’t abrade your skin. It’s impossible to enjoy activities thoroughly when you’ve developed an irritating blister or chafe due to ill-fitting footwear.

Fantastic Fabrics

Once upon a time, all socks were cotton. Sadly, cotton absorbs moisture like a sponge and dries at a snail’s pace. Today’s fabrics are critically important– and because you pay a pretty penny for good athletic footwear, you want them to earn their worth. If your sock’s job is to wick moisture away from your foot while you jog, you may want a sock made from merino wool – like those from Smartwool Socks. Perfect for both hot and cold days, socks made from this fabric are not itchy like you’d expect wool to be. There are also socks made from spandex and other synthetic materials that utilize technology designed to inhibit sweat from your hard-working feet.

Health Benefits

For certain health conditions, the right footwear can be the answer to numbing aches. For example, compression socks can help limit edema, thrombosis and varicose veins. Additionally, diabetics can benefit from specialized socks that limit friction and the growth of bacteria on their particularly vulnerable feet.

When you’re searching for the best socks to pack in your athletic bag, be sure to fulfill your purchase with a physical or online store like Footwear etc. that understands your unique needs for differing sports and activities. Check out our full assortment of high quality socks to find the right pair for you.

 

Floral Shoes for Spring and Summer!

Earthies Vanya-floral

I am a sucker for floral motifs. I love them in home décor, clothing, and even shoes! Flowers always brighten the area up, and I enjoy seeing beautiful colors and patterns of flowers on everything I come in contact with! Why not on a pair of shoes? We’ve got a bunch of models that are beautiful and can be worn with many types of attire, so check out the floral patterns available at footwearetc.com! Here are a few happy-looking examples:

Earthies makes a casual ballet flat called the Vanya. One of its versions contains orange multi floral fabric, which just makes the world a brighter place. With beautiful hues of blue, green, red, white, and green, this shoe can go with almost anything in your wardrobe. Earthies is known for very comfortable shoes, and the Vanya is one of its most popular models. You’ll love how the anatomic arch support and cradled toe area make your feet feel, while the beautiful floral pattern brightens your day!

Alegria is known for its colors and patterns; now there’s a model with a beautiful floral pattern. Check out the Kaitlyn in Dark Floral Leather. It’s muted and subtle colors only augment the gorgeous floral pattern. It’s not just a pretty shoe; it’s a practical shoe since it has a stain resistant upper, a slip-resistant sole, and a footbed containing memory foam, cork, and latex that molds to your feet. You don’t have to choose between pretty and comfortable, the Kaitlyn does it all.

I’m a huge fan of Dansko clogs. They are my go-to shoes when my feet hurt. The mild rocker sole, firm footbed, and overall support mean phenomenal all-day comfort for me. And now there’s an upper that reflects my big penchant for flowers: the Professional Mosaic Floral Patent Leather. The Professional is an amazing shoe to start with; it is endorsed by the American Podiatric Medical Association, so you know it contains fabulous support. The shock absorption is also really helpful. But what really sold me on the Mosaic Floral Patent Leather are the stunning jewel tones. With shades of green, purple, red, and yellow, this shoe is elegant and versatile. I can wear it with anything!

Need a thong-style sandal? Take a look at the Aetrex Kendra. It has n adjustable hook and loop strap, so you can have a customized fit. The memory foam cushioning feels luxurious, and you can customize your support with the patented Mozaic Customization Technology. But the floral pattern…with shades of pink, green, and yellow and containing some detailed stitching and decorative studs, this shoe is just SO pretty that you’ll want to wear it all the time! With comfort and a beautiful floral pattern, this shoe is perfect for the beach, or to wear around town.

Flowers don’t have to be in bright colors, you can enjoy them in subtle patterns. An elegant and subtle floral shoe is the Pikolinos Puerto Vallarta 655-9638. This shoe is available in Nude Leather or Sandia Leather, and has a series of floral cut-prints and cutouts in the upper. I love the soft leather lining, and the gel and foam padded midsole – it makes a really comfortable wearing experience! The sole is slip resistant, and the hand sewn construction adds visual interest. There are a LOT of outstanding features to this shoe, not the least of which is the cute floral pattern!

Satisfy your need for floral motifs in your footwear with some of these or many other choices at footwearetc.com. Let your shoes improve your mood and make every step happy!

‘Tis the Season for Wedding Shoes!

Marchez Vous Mara

Seems like every June, invariably there’s a wedding I need to attend. (While I didn’t get married in June, apparently some folks think that this month is THE month to do so.) This year is no exception; latest wedding in my life occurs in mid-June. During the Decade of Dusty Rose (a.k.a. the 1980s), picking out shoes appropriate to wear was fairly simple: anything pink for women, anything black for men – especially if you happened to be IN the wedding. Fortunately, my days of being IN weddings are mostly over, but attending weddings is still an option. Therefore, finding appropriate shoes is paramount. They’ve got to be beautiful, but comfortable too. I personally find it abhorrent to have to ditch my beautiful shoes during an event to opt for some random flats because my feet hurt! Take a look at some shoes that might work for you for the entire event!

BeautiFeel is a flagship brand for dress shoes. They are handmade, and contain the highest quality leathers, latex, and other materials. The footbed is softly padded, and anatomically contoured to help provide support. The leather uppers are soft and luxurious, and since they are leather lined, they help keep your feet cool and dry. Best part of the shoe, however, is that it is GORGEOUS. I love the floral accent and the peep toe. The Blanche is available in Nude Sparkle Suede, perfect for the summer. It is elegant and timeless, the perfect shoe for that special occasion!

If you like wedges, definitely check out the Earthies Seria. It is another elegant shoe appropriate for your dressiest occasions, and comfortable enough to wear all through your event.  The gorgeous upper is created from soft, premium leather. The adjustable ankle strap ensures that the shoe stays properly on your foot. The rubber outsole provides extra cushioning as you walk, but the piece de resistance is really the Earthies wellness footbed. The cupped heel, anatomic arch support and cradled toe area provide outstanding support and help keep your feet in their natural alignment. Pressure is taken off your toes by that cradled toe area, so you’ll be able to enjoy your shoes for many hours on end. Available in Mauve Full Grain Leather or Black Full Grain Leather, the Earthies Seria is suitable for weddings or even less dressy occasions.

Slingback shoes never go out of style, and Marchez Vous has a stunning model in the Mara. Available in White, Black, or Red Leather, this shoe provides that extra special zip to any dressy outfit. This timeless design is a favorite of young and old alike; it looks good with all sorts of dressy attire. And the Poron cushioning in the footbed ensures that you can wear this shoe for many hours. The Italian styling is evident in this shoe, and its design is simple and incredibly elegant. This shoe could last for many years and be perfect for all sorts of formal occasions.

Men also have some great dress shoe options. Bostonian makes a classic slip-on shoe called the Corben. This shoe is available in Black or Tan Leather, and is classy and elegant. This loafer looks great with a suit or even a tuxedo, and provides exceptional comfort and style. The lightly cushioned EVA footbed provides soft comfort, and the dual vamp goring allows you to get the shoe on and off easily.

The Ecco Edinburgh comes in two different styles: the Bike Toe Tie, and the Buckle Slip-On. Each of them has classic elegance, clean styling, full grain leather uppers, and are remarkably comfortable. With options for a lace-up (which ensures a custom fit) or the ease of use of a buckle slip-on style, there’s a version of this shoe suitable for every man. Try it for special occasions, office wear, and beyond!

These models are just the tip of the iceberg of what’s available in dressy shoes appropriate for this wedding season. Find a model that’s just right for you, and have a great – and comfortable – time!