One Day Without Shoes 2012

"You work at a shoe store...why aren't you wearing shoes?" One Day Without Shoes 2012

After working at Dodds Shoe Co. for almost 6 years, I’ve got a lot of shoes. A LOT. But today, I’m not using a single pair. Why? We are participating in this year’s “One Day Without Shoes” campaign, to raise awareness about the hardships children who are forced to go without shoes have to endure every day. Now, I have never been one to overlook the importance of shoes, but while researching what to say when people ask me “why no shoes,” I learned they are much more important than relieving back and knee pain or completing outfits.

According to onedaywithoutshoes.com, shoes can help protect against injury, and in combination with basic hygiene and sanitation, help prevent disease and soil-transmitted infections.  In a case study done in the Philippines, 30,000 people live on one landfill, living with exposure to broken glass, syringes, and debris. In Kenya, nearly 2 million children are infected by burrowing fleas called jiggers, causing infections. All across the world, people are affected by hookworm, podoconiosis, and other hazards associated with living without shoes.

One of our brands, TOMS shoes, developed the “One Day Without Shoes” campaign to have —in founder Blake Mycoskie’s words—“one day where we focus 100% on the need.”  Through the one-for-one program, for each pair purchased TOMS donates a pair of new shoes to a child in need. Since 2009, the company has also united with Partners in Health, which has not only distributed shoes to impoverished families, the organization also builds hospitals and health clinics, while providing health outreach staff and education. By providing multiple layers of health care such as access to hospitals, vaccinations, medication, food, shelter, and yes, even shoes, PIH addresses the broad definition of health care. New shoes may be just one layer of the process of health care, not even the biggest layer; but they are a barrier of protection and a source of excitement. And when it comes to health care, all layers are important.

I love my shoes, but I will gladly forego my heels today (although I feel rather short!) to raise awareness about this movement and get just a small taste of what it’s like to go without shoes.

 

Espadrilles: Roping their way into Spring 2012 fashions

As the sun starts shining more and more, it’s time to get your summer shoes out of the closet. There’s a good chance that one pair of those shoes is some sort of espadrille, be it wedge or be it flat, because espadrilles have been a staple in warm weather wardrobes for centuries. Yes, centuries. From humble beginnings 700 years ago, espadrilles have evolved from peasant footwear in the Pyrenees to essential items for Hollywood Golden Girls, to modern all-around leisure “shoes of the shore.”

Classic Hollywood stars like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly brought espadrilles back to the fashion forefront.

Classic screen sirens like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly brought espadrilles back in Hollywood’s Golden Era, bringing an easy elegance to the classic jute/rope wrapped shoe. Part of the appeal of these shoes is their versatility. Wedge styles can easily be paired with some cute shorts, a summer dress, or casual capris.

 

Style icon Jennifer Aniston shows just how versatile a pair of espadrille wedges can be.

Modern movie star and style icon Jennifer Aniston showcases all of these options, paired with an espadrille wedge from Stuart Weitzman. Get her look for (a lot) less with the Indigo by Clarks Sky Pocomo wedge. You’ll get the versatile ankle-wrap espadrille style at about a fraction of the cost, from a brand known for comfort.

the Indigo by Clarks Sky Pocomo wedge gives Jen Aniston's ankle wrap style at a more affordable price.

Kate Bosworth and Rachel Bilson look summer-ready in casual cool espadrille style.

For a more casual look, get back to the basics. In the 14thcentury, espadrilles were made with a cotton or canvas upper and a flexible sole made of rope. This style is still alive and kicking, as shown in the casual cool looks of Kate Bosworth and Rachel Bilson. You can achieve this casual elegance with the Blowfish Smara or the Fossil Elway Flat.

 

Blowfish Smara and Fossil Elway Flat espadrilles, available at doddsshoe.com

Kate Middleton shows off the elegance of espadrilles.

 

 

From casual to elegant, we look to Kate Middleton who pairs a flowy blue dress and blazer with an espadrille wedge with a patent leather upper. Sofft has a long line of dressier espadrilles for Spring 2012, all worthy of the Duchess of Cambridge.

 

 

 

 

Sofft Spring 2012 Espadrille Styles

Versatility and comfort are the keys to this spring favorite’s longevity. Wedge styles are a more comfortable and laid-back version of the classic pump which goes with just about anything, while the timeless flat style doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. If the style is good enough for the Hollywood elite, English royalty, and historical icons like Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso, espadrilles are one style your spring wardrobe cannot be missing! Find the perfect style for you at doddsshoe.com.

Not just for sailors:
Nautical Style for Spring 2012

Nautical style has been a part of classic American style for years. Why? Maybe it elicits images of sunbathing on a yacht, sailing into the sunset with your beau, or maybe because the traditional styles are navy blue and white stripes with red and gold accents…doesn’t get much more patriotic than that! No matter why nautical style=classic Americana, it is simply an easy, timeless trend.

Blake Lively exudes nautical style in classic stripes and navy boat shoes.

Starlet and fashionista Blake Lively shows off the traditional nautical styles with a striped shirt, clean white pants, and some classic looking navy boat shoes. Let’s be honest, it’s the boat shoes that really give her look the undeniable nautical style. And the undeniable boat shoe specialist is Sperry Top Sider.

My version of nautical style is just as good as Blake's, right? Say yes 🙂

Today, I’m rocking a similar classic nautical look in my Sperry Top Sider Bluefish 2-Eye shoes in Navy/Deerskin. Paired with a tailored jacket and navy striped tank from H&M, I feel like I should be headed to the dock to board a lavish yacht…even though the reality is that there is still snow on the ground outside.

The classic maritime colors will probably never go out of style, but this spring the seafaring style is getting shaken up with pops of color and combinations of unexpected patterns. The juxtaposition between the classic style and surprising new hues/designs is just what you need to bring a modern twist to your Spring wardrobe.

 

A combination of different classics equals a fun and modern twist on all of them.

For Spring 2012, Sperry Top Sider has come out with cool new looks on one of their most popular shoes, the Angelfish. In one new look, they combine a classic houndstooth pattern with classic black patent leather in a classic boat shoe design, proving that classic + classic + classic = something totally new and modern! Or you can go glam with rich, metallic animal print leathers, like this Angelfish in Gold Snake Print .

Go glam with metallic snake skin leather

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great thing about Sperry Top Sider boat shoes is that they are not only fashionable, they are functional as well. The uppers are all made of stain and water resistant leathers so you don’t have to worry about a little wave ruining your shoes. Speaking of waves, the Wave-Siping™ design on the bottom of all their boat shoe styles makes it easy to grip any wet surface you may come across. The wave-like design opens when you flex your foot, releasing water and providing traction on slick surfaces. Don’t be afraid to get caught in the rain in these shoes!

Wave-Siping™ technology helps you grip wet surfaces with its water-releasing wave like grooves

Whether you’re at a resort or just wish you were, you don’t have to be a sailor to bring the ocean to you in these fresh new nautical styles for Spring 2012! Find them all right here at www.doddsshoe.com.

 

Shoe Show Season

Recently, I returned from FN Platform/Project in Las Vegas, NV where my senses were  overloaded with fantastic new colors, textures, and styles and got me excited about Fall 2012.

Platform

Yes, that may seem odd, but when buying for Dodds Shoe Company, we look 6 months in advance.  So, while the winter snow hasn’t even melted off the streets, we are already thinking about what the next big trends of Fall will be.  It is kind of fun to know in advance what colors are going to be the “hot hues” of the season.  Will boots be just as popular, or will another style of shoe hit the market?  And, what new brand will send us all in a frenzy, desperately trying to get the new “it” shoe on our feet?

Project

 

It’s at shoe shows where we pick up new lines for Dodds Shoe Company. For instance, last year we saw the excitement at the booth for TOMS Shoes and today we received our first shipment, and all of us could not be more excited!  Other recent acquisitions from these shows are Frye Boots and Alegria…both great additions to Dodds Shoe Company.

TOMS

Frye Harness Boot

Alegria Feliz

I’m almost sad to see the shoe show season coming to a close, but we will be happy for it to roll around again in August.  In the meantime, we will continue to provide the most current, fresh, and fun shoe styles for you to wear this spring and summer.  For the future, what lines would you like to see on www.doddsshoe.com?

To Be Minimal Or Not To Be Minimal

One of the great debates we have here at Dodds Shoe Company is the new trend in running shoes…minimal running shoes.  Maybe the first known shoe to dabble in this market was the Nike Free in 2005, allowing runners to increase foot strength by having less on their foot.

Born To Run

The Free sold well, but it was a book called “Born To Run” that really peaked the interest of runners with the introduction to barefoot running.  Vibram Five Fingers, or “those funny toes shoes” became an overnight sensation and had many runners rushing to their favorite running stores to buy a pair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Bikilas

Being that I like to run and am up for anything, I soon bought my first pair of Five Fingers. I definitely got a lot of strange looks and many people stopped to ask me what I was wearing, but I have enjoyed them.  I began running in them.  While difficult at first (the day after my first run, I thought I was going to die), I soon began to experience what the hype was all about.  Becoming more of a midfoot-to-forefoot striker vs. a heel striker has made me a more efficient runner and lighter on my feet.  That is a good thing.

Vibram Five Fingers lists the following as the “5 Reasons To Wear Or Train In VFF’s”

  1. Strengthens muscles in feet and lower legs.
  2. Improves range of motion in ankles, feet, and toes.
  3. Stimulates neural function.  Important to balance and agility.
  4. Eliminates heel lift to align the spine and improve posture.
  5. Allows the foot and body to move more naturally, which just feels good.

Not everyone likes the look of monkey feet, so New Balance and Merrell have teamed with VFF and have created their own barefoot shoes.  The New Balance Minimus and the Merrell Trail Glove/Pace Glove are great alternatives to the VFF.

So, here is where it gets interesting.  Many customers come to our store asking if this is good for you.  The most common question we hear is, “do these shoes have good arch support?”.  The theory behind barefoot running is to run in a more natural state with shorter, quicker strides that gives you better alignment.  The shoes do not have arch support, but will strengthen your foot to support itself.  I’ll let you decide for yourself if these shoes are right for you.  Personally, I like them and prefer to do all of my running and training in a minimal shoe.

Asics Gel Neo33

Asics Gel Neo33

Still not convinced?  Look at the Asics Gel Neo33, the

Brooks PureFlow

Brooks PureFlow

Brooks PureFlow, and the Saucony Kinvara. Here are 3 shoes that still provide some structure and cushioning while following the trend of a “less is more” shoe.

 

Saucony Kinvara

Saucony Kinvara

Be sure to visit https://www.doddsshoe.com/ to check out the latest in minimal running shoes.  In the meantime, get out and enjoy pounding the pavement.