Retail Therapy at its Best!

Sometimes if I have a bad day, the only thing that cheers me up is some retail therapy. (Or Chinese Food, but I digress…) I needed some new sandals for the warm weather anyway, and I’m getting fussier about what feels good on my feet. I can’t wear huge heels anymore, my metatarsals just can’t handle that these days. But I want to have cute, stylish shoes, not something that Grandma would wear. Much to my delight, I found several new friends that my feet love wearing! And of course, wouldn’t you know it that they are from two very popular brands: Clarks, and Naot!

Clarks is a really reliable brand for me, I own several different models. My latest addition to the family is the Clarks Owl Boost in Black Nubuck. It’s a really comfortable slide, and it’s even available in narrow, medium and wide widths! The OrthoLite foam footbed with Active Air is covered in soft nubuck, and feels very cushiony and absorbs shock. I particularly love how this shoe works well with casual or dressy clothes! It’s a great all-around shoe for the warm months, and I can’t wait to take it out on the town!

I’d heard that Naot was a terrific brand in terms of support and style, but I’d never tried a pair. Once I put my feet into the Naot Petal, I didn’t want to take them off! What an amazingly supportive and comfortable sandal! While I don’t usually wear orthotics, the removable footbed works well with them if you do need them. But I can really feel the support in the footbed, which is made from cork – a superior product for this application. Naot is known for its comfort and stability in its shoes, and these are no exception. I love the feminine styling of the cutouts in the upper, and the softness of the leather. These will get a lot of use this summer!

Next time you need some retail therapy, check out some of the latest styles from Clarks and Naot. So many shoes, so little time….

Earthies – The Original Feel-Good Shoes Updated for the New Millenium!

Remember Earth Shoes? Those shoes with the heel that’s lower than the front of the shoe? They were all the rage years ago, and were definitely comfortable and good for your feet. Those same product developers have taken on the challenge of creating heels and wedges that are not only fashion forward, but also good for your feet and have come up with…Earthies!

“Wellness. Elevated.” may be a catchy slogan, but it really reflects the philosophy of this brand. Why wear heels and wedges that are ONLY attractive but aren’t good for your feet? Earthies were designed to satisfy your needs for health and wellness as well as appearance!

I love the cute styles, but I really appreciate the graduated arch support, cupped heels, and cradled footbeds. The insole feels like memory foam! And despite the fact that these are “elevated” shoes, you won’t feel like you’re walking on your toes. The unique wellness footbed cradles your feet and distributes your body weight so that your feet are in a more natural position than in typical heels, and alleviates pressure on any one part of your foot.

My favorite dressy shoe is Earthies’  Veria. The suede upper is so soft and classy-looking! It’s a wonderful shoe to wear from work to a night on the town. And I don’t have to worry about my feet hurting over the course of the day. The unusual yet beautiful style sets you apart from the masses.

Another really fun shoe is Earthies‘  Lucia. The wedge heel makes the shoe extremely stable, and you don’t sacrifice style for comfort! The leather upper creates visual interest as well as a custom fit due to the straps and the attractive gold buckles. I love to wear these shoes with jeans as well as casual summery outfits. What a great, versatile shoe!

So don’t sacrifice comfort when you wear heels and wedges. Check out the Earthies Collection and experience “Wellness. Elevated.”

Your Kids can have Comfort and Style too with Ecco Sandals!

I love shopping for kids’ shoes. While it can be an exhausting process if you have to drag them around to a bunch of stores, it’s fun when you can find exactly what you’re looking for and that your child loves too. That’s why I was so excited to see Ecco’s Kids’ Sandals!

As with all Ecco products, they are made from high quality materials, and provide excellent support for those tender little feet. Real leather uppers wear well and are durable, the leather insoles are breathable (and help reduce the chance of those little feet getting stinky like they would with lesser quality products), and the outsole holds up well to all that running around your child will do. Who wouldn’t want the best support and quality possible for your precious children?

Boys have an adorable model available, called the Ecco Kids’ Hide and Seek in Brown Leather. It’s a fisherman’s style, with a hook and loop strap to keep the shoe securely on your child’s foot. That strap also makes it easy to get the shoe off; no laces or buckles required. It’s stylish, durable, and easy to wear, and a fantastic shoe for little boys for the warm weather.

The Ecco Kids’ Jill Blossom is the perfect sandal for your girly girl! It’s lightweight and flexible, yet durable and comfortable. What little girl wouldn’t love a pink sandal with little hearts and flowers on it? And parents can rest assured that Ecco’s high quality and support will protect their children’s feet as they keep them cool and comfortable. 

So don’t prevent your kids from being just as stylish (or even MORE stylish) as you are. Check out the cute kids’ sandals from Ecco. Shouldn’t your children’s shoes be just as adorable as they are?

Time to Update the Footwear Wardrobe with Dansko Shoes!

I absolutely love Danskos. They are my go-to shoes for any time my feet hurt. And while they feel good, I really love the variety of styles they come in. I adore my Dansko Professionals; they are the perfect “anytime” shoe, and I use that model for dressy as well as casual occasions. The Kelsey is incredibly comfortable; it’s a wonderful casual shoe that feels like I’m walking on memory foam! And I have an ancient pair of Mary Janes that is still holding up beautifully after years of wear. Is this enough Danskos for one person? Absolutely not, and I’ve found two more models that are calling out to me!

The Dansko Becca is a gorgeous dress shoe with a 2 5/8” heel, yet has all the wonderful properties you’d find in any Dansko. The adjustable strap and buckle provide a custom fit, and the insole is soft and absorbs shocks. It feels really stable and comfortable, and I can wear this for hours on end without worrying about my feet hurting. How many dress shoes can you say that about?

For a great shoe that you can use to just slip on and go, try the Shyanne. I love the embellishment across the top of the foot! I can wear this with almost anything in my wardrobe, it’s incredibly versatile. The footbed is really soft, yet very supportive. And the shock absorption is fabulous! Now I just have to hope that my daughters don’t keep “borrowing” them from me…..

With the change in seasons, it’s time to change up your wardrobe and change your footwear. Dansko has models for every occasion!

Bond with Your Terrain Using Barefoot Technology from Merrell and New Balance

There’s a new trend in footwear: less is more! Manufacturers are just beginning to follow the lead of Vibram FiveFingers, which emulate the effects of barefoot walking/running yet protect the soles of your feet. Merrell and New Balance have both come out with fantastic new lines of shoes subscribing to the philosophy of “connecting” you to the terrain and providing the benefits of walking and running barefoot, yet protecting your feet from rocks and other potentially painful materials.

These collections may be minimalist in terms of padding, weight, and allowing your foot to move as if it had no shoe on at all, yet they are stylish and provide excellent traction and protection for the soles of your feet. The durable Vibram sole helps you resist slipping, but is also flexibile. These are not overcushioned, overbuilt shoes; they provide you with the ability to run off your arches, and land on your whole foot – thus diffusing the impact as you run. You’ll use muscles in the way nature intended, and will notice that your feet and leg muscles will become stronger.

Merrell’s Barefoot Collection has a variety of styles for men and women that are attractive enough to wear anywhere! I particularly like the Mary Jane-styled Barefoot Pure Glove in Lavender. I would have no qualms wearing it shopping, or even for a walk in the woods. They really let me feel in touch with the terrain, while protecting the soles of my feet. It’s an incredibly comfortable shoe.

Men have a variety of choices as well. A great shoe for everyday wear as well as running is the Barefoot Tough Glove in black. The laces secure the shoe to your foot, yet do not undermine the minimalist feel of the shoe. There have been numerous reports from runners as to how good this shoe feels when they run! And it transitions well for everyday activities too.

New Balance’s Minimus Collection is New Balance’s entry into the barefoot running shoe market. These shoes also allow you to feel the terrain, and are marvelous for trail running as well as casual wear. The Vibram outsole protects the soles of your feet, while the synthetic mesh upper provides lightweight support and comfort. Designed to be worn with or without socks, the Minimus is great for neutral runners as well as those with chronic injuries or gait issues. I particularly like the WT10GG in gray.

Note that an adjustment to Barefoot Technology can take time; using conventional shoes with their cushioning and stabilizing mechanisms may actually have weakened your muscles. You may need weeks or even months to get used to this technology, so start out gradually. As running shoes, these collections stimulate muscles, allows your feet to find their natural landing pad, and helps you attain a more efficient stride.

The Merrell Barefoot Collection and the New Balance Minimus Collection give you give you all the benefits of walking/running barefoot, in some stylish and incredibly comfortable shoes. Give them a try, and experience Barefoot Technology at its best!