Tips to Picking Hiking Boots

Merrell Moab Mid

When your feet hurt, you hurt all over. For this reason, buying the right hiking boot is a project that requires preparation and careful consideration.

Depending upon how rigorously you engage in this popular hobby, you will have different footwear needs. If you hike at least once each year, you can get away with a much different boot than if, say, you intend to hike the Continental Divide Trail this summer.

Different Levels of Support

The features that enable a boot to withstand the longevity of a trek across great distances and treacherous terrains are also what make the shoe heavier. The footwear might include thicker protective material, high-impact soles and waterproofing. On the other hand, these added benefits can cause the boot to become much weightier and slow down the average amateur. Therefore, honestly determine the kinds of environments in which you anticipate using the hiking gear; a stroll through a city park may be complemented by lightweight walking shoes from brands like Naot, while days on the Appalachian Trail will require much sturdier alternatives.

Preparing for the Elements

The materials used in walking footwear are widely varied, and each textile carries its own set of pros and cons. Thinner options like mesh, nylon and suede are utilized to encourage the flow of oxygen in order to prevent the buildup of heat and perspiration. Of course, this does not offer as much protection from the weather like heartier, waterproofed leather, which consequently allows limited breathability. Hence, it is important to research the temperature and hiking conditions of your next destination before making your purchase.

Get Into Your Feet

As you try on the boots, close your eyes and ‘be your feet.’ Do you feel any irritation? Is there a seam or fold on the inside of the boot that you can actually feel? Know that, on the trail, this little sensation may likely become a full-fledged blister. To make an educated judgment call about whether or not the hiking boots are for you, try on the footwear with the socks and orthotic insoles you intend to wear on your journeys. Any pressure, pinching or squeezing should disqualify the boot.

There are benefits to ordering the hiking boots online – starting with the fact that you can try on the footwear at multiple points throughout the day. Because our feet slowly swell from morning to evening, what may be the perfect fit at noon might not feel the same around dinnertime. Footwear etc. will allow you to exchange the shoe for free so you can be 100% satisfied; click here to learn more about our shipping policies.

Good hiking boots can be a big investment. More importantly, the fit and quality of the boot can make the difference between an exhilarating day on the trails and a miserable waste of time, energy and opportunity. Be protective of your feet and treat them for what they are: your greatest mode of transportation. To begin the search for the perfect pair for you, check out the outdoor boots from New Balance, Merrell and Wolverine.

 

My Favorite Dressy, Elegant Shoes: Marchez Vous!

Marchez Vous Ophelia

One of my very favorite brands has come out with a bunch of new models for the spring, and they are absolutely FABULOUS. Marchez Vous, which means “to walk,” is a really fashion-forward company that makes amazing shoes. Designed by Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson of the TV series “The Simpsons,” this line is known for its incredible quality and phenomenal style. These shoes rival big name brands like Prada and Manolo Blahnik for their gorgeous designs, yet are approachable for the discerning woman who wants high style at a price that won’t bankrupt her. Why are these shoes SO amazing? Let me tell you…..

First and foremost, it’s all about the designs. I absolutely love elements like the curvature to the heels, or the stunningly rich colors. From flats, to kitten heels, to high-heeled pumps, there are gorgeous styles to suit anyone.

Yeardley Smith insists on five quality standards. All Marchez Vous shoes have to be comfortable, sexy, witty, unexpected (using unconventional materials, etc.) and timeless. The timeless aspect really resonates with me; how many of us can say that we’ve got barely-used shoes sitting in our closets that we can’t part with, yet just don’t fit in well with the current fashion trends? I know I’ve got a few of those… but they’re not from Marchez Vous!

Given I have a wedding to attend soon, I am excited to see the stunning new styles out now from Marchez Vous. Here are a few that really speak to me:

The Rose – a beautiful new pump with gorgeous curves around the foot, a peep toe to show off your pedicure, and a floral detailing on the heel for feminine visual interest.  It’s available in Natural Leather with red accents, or White Leather with black accents. If you’re concerned about the 3.5” heel, rest assured that there is great cushioning in the footbed – Poron is the material originally developed by NASA that acts like memory foam! Not only that, there’s a hidden platform to alleviate the stress of the slope of the heel. This shoe is incredibly beautiful, and you’ll want to wear it for more than just special occasions!

Sometimes, you just need a flat shoe. For those instances, the Liza fits the bill. This elegant ballet flat works well with almost any type of outfit, and as a result is amazingly versatile. It’s so comfortable (due to that Poron foam) you’ll want to wear it to work and then out on the town! I love the simplicity of the shoe, and the snub nose design of the upper. This shoe is available in Black Leather or Natural Leather (which looks like cork!), so you have two neutral colors to choose from! This could be your next go-to shoe for any situation!

An absolutely adorable slide is the Ophelia. The 2” heel makes the shoe easy to wear, and the beautiful raffia and patent leather upper adds casual elegance to the design. I love the accented cut-outs on the top of the shoe, and the kitten heel! This may just be the shoe I wear to my niece’s wedding. Yet it’s casual enough to wear with less formal attire, since the upper is made from raffia. See what works with YOUR wardrobe!

Choose Marchez Vous shoes for elegance, timelessness, and comfort this Spring and beyond!

 

What is Gout and How to Reduce Its Effects

Gout

 

(Photo copyright by uvahealth.com)

If you have Gout, you understand a thing or two about severe and relentless pain. What is it and what causes it? Read on….

What is gout?

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that occurs when there is an overabundance of uric acid in the body. Uric acid is the byproduct of the metabolization of compounds called purines, a step that is necessary for our body to create energy. Purines are naturally produced by our body’s cells and can be found in certain foods as well. While the generated uric acid should effortlessly be flushed by our liver and kidneys, there are times in which the body is not able to cleanse itself as fast as the rate of production. As a result, uric acid then accumulates in the bloodstream, causing a condition called hyperuricemia.  The excess uric acid takes on a crystalline form that congregates around the joints.

How does this feel? Acute Gout is characterized by the sudden onset of pain, redness and swelling, most commonly around the base of the big toe. However, other joints such as fingers, wrist, elbows, and ankles can also be affected. The first acute attack can last between 3 to 10 days. If left untreated, subsequent flare-ups can last longer and become more frequent.

Who Does Gout Affect?

Gout can affect anyone, but more often affects middle-aged men and post-menopausal women. It is often associated with the eating of rich, fatty foods and too much alcohol, earning the label “the disease of kings.” Research shows that overconsumption of beer, being overweight, and consuming foods rich with purines can indeed increase uric acid levels. While these lifestyle choices can clearly increase risks, other factors such as heredity and thyroid issues can trigger incidences of gout.

Diagnosis

An examination of the affected region and an overview of your medical history will give your doctor the information needed to determine the underlying cause and treatment of your joint pain. Diagnostic tests may include withdrawing fluids from the area around the inflamed body part, as well as blood and urine tests.

Are there treatments for Gout?

While Gout is a chronic disease, under most circumstances it can be managed. Flare-ups can be reduced and possibly prevented with medication and/or lifestyle changes. Early intervention during an episode medication can lead to a decline in frequency of acute attacks, and prevent permanent damage to joints and the kidneys.

Home remedies

  • Ice Packs – apply cold packs or cold compresses to the area to minimize inflammation and lessen the pain. Ice the joint for 20 to 30 minutes several times a day.
  • Rest – to hasten the healing process, rest the inflicted joint on a pillow that is raised above your heart to lessen throbbing.
  • Hydrate – when you’re dehydrated, the uric acid in your blood will be more concentrated. Therefore, drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid Purines – consumption of seafood, organ meats like liver, and sweets can contribute to your uric acid imbalance. Avoid eating too many purine-rich foods and beverages; instead, focus on incorporating complex carbohydrates and fruits like apples, grapes and cranberries.

 Choosing The Right Footwear

The shoes you wear can aggravate Gout-related symptoms. Women should avoid wearing heels that put unnatural pressure on the front of their feet. Both men and women should look for shoes with wide toe boxes, so that their toes have as much room to move as possible. The outsoles should also be designed to absorb shock. Luckily, brands like Dansko,  Vionic by Orthaheel, New Balance, and Drew manufacture wellness shoes for men and women that meet all of these qualifications to provide the utmost comfort possible.

Need Slip Resistant Shoes? Try Genuine Grip!

Genuine Grip Dress

Here at Footwear etc., we get a lot of phone calls from people who need to have slip resistant shoes for work. These folks include restaurant workers, medical professionals, and even factory workers. When you need slip resistant shoes, it can mean the difference between being able to tackle your job without having to worry about safety, or falling and potentially injuring yourself on the job. No company takes this concept lightly; it can cost a tremendous amount in terms of dollars, wasted time, medical expenses, etc. If you need slip resistant shoes, GET slip resistant shoes!

A great new brand for us is Genuine Grip Footwear. They’re available for both men and women, and come in a variety of styles.  You can get them dressy, you can get them sporty, you can get them utilitarian; there’s a style for every situation. Genuine Grip’s mission is to help ensure that people avoid injuries due to falling, and their products set out to do just that.

How do they help you stay safe? It’s all in the rubber outsole. The diamond pattern and texture of the outsole is specially made to help reduce slippage. Genuine Grip uses the latest technology to ensure that the shoes perform to industry standards. In fact, all of its footwear has been tested for slip resistance by Precision Testing Laboratories using the Brungraber Mark II Slip Tester, and certified slip resistant based on ASTM Standard F1677. If these shoes can pass testing with oil, water, and shortening on tile, they MUST be slip resistant. I can think of a bunch of restaurant workers who NEED these shoes.

These shoes are not just slip resistant, they are comfortable too! The footbeds have an ergonomic design to help reduce stress on your feet, legs, and back. They’ll help you get through a full day of work! Each shoe contains a polyurethane footbed that is specifically designed to help reduce shock, and the insole also contains Dri-Lex® fabric, which is designed to reduce moisture and help keep your feet cool and dry. You might not ever find a more comfortable work shoe!

Both men and women have a variety of styles from which to choose. Men, if you need a sporty, athletic-styled shoe, check out the 1010 Jogger. It’s a great shoe for work, or for jogging around the neighborhood. This may be the only athletic shoe you’ll ever find to help reduce slippage from the rain. The women’s version of this shoe is the 1110 Jogger. It’s perfect for casual environments.

How about a dressier shoe? Men have the 7100 Oxford, and women have the 420 Oxford. Both are available in black leather, and provide a more formal appearance yet still retain their outstanding slip resistance.

For an easy-to-wear slip-on shoe, try the Men’s 4700 Slip-On, or the Women’s 410 Slip-On. With its elastic goring, you can get this shoe on and off very easily, yet still be assured of the comfort and grip you expect from any Genuine Grip shoe.

A men’s shoe that’s merges the world of slip resistance and formal attire, there’s the 9540 Dress Oxford. This is about as dressy a shoe as you’ll ever need, and still provides comfort to get through a long day of work, while supplying outstanding slip resistance. I can easily see waiters in fine dining restaurants wearing this shoe – even with a tuxedo!

Why risk an injury on the job? Check out the slip resistant shoes from Genuine Grip today. You may just avoid a nasty fall with these shoes!

 

Footwear etc. ♥s Mom! Make her Mother’s Day with a gift from Footwear etc!

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Why We  Mom Gift Card Giveaway starts Monday, May 5, and runs through Sunday, May 11. We’re giving away one $100 gift card to one lucky Footwear etc. fan.  It’s easy to enter.  All you have to do is “Like” Footwear etc. on Facebook and use the comment space below to answer the following question:

 “Why are you thankful for mom?  Be as specific as possible in 100 characters or less.”

You have until 11:59 PM (Pacific) on Sunday May 11, 2014, to submit your answer using the comment section on Facebook. Here are the general rules for the giveaway, and don’t forget to keep an eye out for our next contest!

Why We  Mom Gift Card Giveaway General Rules:

·         You must “Like” Footwear etc. on Facebook.

·         Answers to the question will be accepted at any time between May 5 and May 11, 2014 at 11:59 PM (Pacific).

·         You may only submit one answer and it must be 100 characters or less and relevant to the question to be eligible. Comments on somebody else’s answer will not count, neither will just saying you like or want the prize. Off-topic or inappropriate comments may be deleted.

·         Answers must be submitted using the comment section below.

·         Winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries for the week.

·         The Winner’s name will be posted and they will be notified via personal Facebook message.  Winners not responding within seven (7) days will be disqualified. Invalid or returned messages will be disqualified and a new winner will be drawn.

·         The prize for this drawing is $100 Footwear etc. Gift Card.  No substitutions, no cash-out.

·         Open to U.S. residents only. No purchase necessary to win.