Brand Spotlight: Vionic with Orthaheel Technology

Here at Dodds Shoe Co. we love when brands offer not only great support, but good looks, too!  Vionic shoes with Orthaheel Technology are offered in a wide variety of styles and you can view the many styles we carry on our website!


Vionic has a variety of casual and dressier styles, including (clockwise) the Willa, Joan, Cairns, and Walker.

From the luxury and femininity of the “Joan,” to the security of the back strap on the “Cairns,” to the sleek and stylish look of the “Willa” to the sporty walking shoe “Walker,” Vionic has a shoe to suit any style!


We’ve also recently added sandals to our Vionic collection here at Dodds!  Be sure to check out the fun and flirty animal print available on the “Bella II” thong-style sandal or the versatility of the removable decorative strap on the adjustable “Amber” sandal.  You can see all our Vionic sandals here.

Vionic Sandals

Vionic Bella II and Vionic Amber; two of the styles from Vionic’s Spring 2015 sandal collection

Vionic shoes with Orthaheel Technology can be a great choice for anyone experiencing pain or discomfort from pronation or plantar fasciitis. Pronation is the rotation of your foot inward, which collapses your arch and causes misalignment of your heel and therefore, the rest of your leg.  The vast majority of people pronate at least slightly, and never know it until they start experiencing pain. As an added point about pronation, many issues with back and knee pain can be alleviated by simply re-aligning your feet!


  • People with a normal arch tend to be normal pronators.  This means that as you move, your foot rolls inward about 15% to create more contact with the ground to support your body weight.
  • People with flat feet tend to overpronate.  This means that as you move, your foot rolls inward more than the ideal 15% causing instability through the foot and ankle and severely decreasing your body’s natural ability to absorb shock.


The plantar fascia is the connective tissue in your foot which supports your arch from the bottom of the foot.  When a person suffers from plantar fasciitis, this tissue has been strained, causing it to become weak, swollen and inflamed, resulting in pain, especially near the heel.



Why choose Vionic?  

The orthotic technology in each shoe is based on 30 years of podiatric experience and now also boasts years of customer satisfaction.  Every shoe from Vionic features a deep heel cup for stability, a biomechanical footbed for support, and a firm but flexible midsole for relief.


Every Vionic with Orthaheel Technology product has earned both a recommendation from world-renowned integrative medicine expert, Andrew Weil, M.D. and the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance.  The APMA Seal of Acceptance is only granted to products that have been submitted to a committee of experts that are found to promote good foot health.

In fact, the support provided from Vionic shoes can be such a vast improvement over traditional footwear, that the company suggests you wear your new shoes around for just a few hours a day to begin with, so your feet can get used to the increase in support.


If you find yourself looking for a supportive shoe or sandal but don’t want to sacrifice style, check out Vionic with Orthaheel Technology at Dodds Shoe Co.!


“Today Show” Shoe Trends

This morning on the Today Show, Savannah Guthrie tackled this summer’s hottest shoe trends with the help of Gilt’s Chassie Post. We’ve outlined the highlights, and made some suggestions you can find right here on!

The first trend was METALLICS. Post said that “Metallics are MAJOR” this season, emphasizing that traditional golds and silvers are a neutral, while colored metallic can add some “umph” to a traditional jeans and t-shirt look. Even though we normally associated metallic with night looks, this season metallics can help you seamlessly go from day to night.

Metallics are a MUST this season.

We offer classic Sperry Top-Sider styles in a variety of metallics for a great casual way to incorporate this trend in your wardrobe. For colored metallics, we love rose gold looks like the Taos Cleopatra and the Sofft Paharita.

Incorporate metallics into your summer wardrobe with the Taos Cleopatra, the Sofft Paharita, or the Sperry Top-Sider A/O or Audrey in Platinum.

Incorporate metallics into your summer wardrobe with the Taos Cleopatra, the Sofft Paharita, or the Sperry Top-Sider A/O or Audrey in Platinum.

The next trend they moved on to was “sassy sandals.” Post started out the segment by suggesting EVERYONE (including men!) get pedicures, because sandals are huge this summer (like most summers, I suppose). The difference this season is that Birkenstocks are BACK in a big way. Here at, we can attest to this trend, and we love that comfort is now cool again!


The classic Birkenstock styles like the Arizona, Gizeh, and Madrid are now available in the color of the season (white), with pop-of-color soles, and can even tie in the previous metallic trend. One of our other favorite brands, Sofft, has developed their own line of Birkenstock-inspired styles, with cushioned comfort soles, fun uppers, and the cork support we all love.


Comfort sandals are back! Pictured: Birkenstock Arizona, Gizeh, Madrid, and the Sofft Belicia and Brooke.

The last summer shoe trend they highlighted is the platform. We love platforms because they are both comfortable AND stylish. Post said platforms can help “make a 4-inch heel feel more like a sensible 2-inch heel.” One platform must-have is the wedge sneaker. We’ve already written about why WE love wedge-sneakers in a previous post, and we’re glad they’re back again this season. A new twist on a classic is the “flatform,” or flat platforms.


We have wedge sneakers from both Puma and Madden Girl, and the Born Maldives is the perfect example of the Flatform.

Summer OFFICIALLY starts in just a few days, so get your shoe closet vamped up for the season with the hottest shoe trends, with help from the Today Show and Dodds Shoe Co.!


Perforated Details:
A Cut Above

Get out of the cold winter slump with shoes that are made for Spring…shoes with cutout and perforation details. This spring shoe trend is one of my favorites because these details not only add visual interest, but they add built-in ventilation as the days get warmer and warmer.

Oxfords are a year-round look, giving classic style and sophistication to any casual look.

Perforated Oxfords, Born Dallyce, AnnaLynne McCord

Actress AnnaLynne McCord puts some prep in her spring step thanks to perforated oxfords, like the Born Dallyce.

If you add some cutout details, you create a whole new warm weather presence. AnnaLynne McCord looks fun and flirty with her flowy dress and bright belt, and adds a bit of prep in her step with these perforated oxfords. Get her look with the Born Dallyce. If you wear them with tights, it gives the cutouts even more of an opportunity to stand out. Adding perforations and cutouts can add fresh new style to the classic oxford.

Perforated and Cutout Oxfords

Brands like Rieker, Jambu, and Cobb Hill have styled up their oxford looks with cute cutouts and perforations.

Boat shoe maker Sperry Top Sider has jumped on the perforated trend with one of their most popular styles, the Angelfish. The Angelfish Perfs has everything you love about their boat shoes, in a more breathable and eye-catching style.


Perforation and cutout details also lend a style boost to classic summer wedges and heels. The Born Marlys is already stylish, with the cork wrapped platform wedge and strappy upper.

born-marlysWhen the circular cutouts are added to a few of the straps, it brings the style to a new level. Any high heel, whether it’s a mary-jane, slide sandal sandals or classic pump, can get a fresh, new, jump-start on spring thanks to these details.



Enjoy the breezy breathability spring has to offer with shoes featuring the cutout and perforation trend. Check out our selection of styles here.


Spring Break Ready

Spring Break and the long weekends that come for Easter and Memorial Day are all coming up fast!  So, whether you’re planning a stay-cation close to home, or travelling to some far-off, exotic destination (and if that’s the case, please take me with you!), if you’re like me, you’ll use any excuse to buy a new pair of shoes – and the right pair of shoes can make a world of difference for any trip.

When I think of shoes to take along for travel, I want something easy to get on and off and something that isn’t going to weigh down my bags (because who wants to pay any more than you have to, if you’re flying somewhere?)…  We’ve compiled a list here of some of our favorite brands to take with us this time of year to help narrow your search for the perfect travel shoes.


Keen sandals are waterproof and ready for any terrain, from slick surfaces to rocky terrain….even iguana-y terrain.

Is it sandal season where you are? If you’re more of an adventurer, maybe you want to consider something from Chaco or Keen. Both brands make water-ready sport sandals, equipping you for the great outdoors.

Is your final destination still experiencing a transitional springtime climate?  Maybe you still need something closed-toe but it’s just warm enough to abandon your winter shoes. OluKai is traditionally known for their ultra-comfortable and supportive flip-flops, but the company also has several slip-on shoes that not only offer great support with a removable insole, but you can fold down the back to slide in with ease. If you’re looking for something with a little less support, but still super comfortable, my Sanuk shoes are one of my favorites; they don’t take up much space, they’re super lightweight, and they’re super cushioned.

If you have a very versatile and on-the-go Spring Break schedule, Keen has the perfect new shoe for you. The Cortona Bow ballerina flats are not only SUPER cute, but they are super flexible and can easily be folded up to shove in your purse or other bag if you need an easy transition pair of shoes.


The new Keen Cortona Bow flats are not only adorable, but they easily fold up to put in your purse or day bag so you can either switch from heels to a more comfy flat, or from dirty hikers to this more casual and everyday style.

Now that we’ve got your feet covered, don’t forget to grab the perfect bag to carry all your essentials for the trip!  The Keen bags are some of my favorite because I can fit a lot of stuff in my little Emerson bag, and it’s still small enough to fit in another bag for longer trips. Our other favorites are Sherpani and Dakine, which come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate any occasion.


Dakine makes a variety of duffle bags (like the EQ bag pictured here) and other travel bags to make your Spring Break packing a breeze.

Now, get out there and have a great time with all your new stuff from  Then, be sure to stop back by here or our Facebook page to tell us about your travels and how you made use of your new stuff! Safe Travels!

Unforgettable Prom, Unforgettable Shoes

Prom is one of the most magical and exciting events of a young person’s life. Finding the perfect dress can be tough but after finding an awesome dress comes an even more daunting task–finding the right accessories. The right accessories can add style to your dress…not distract from it.

For a classic and pulled together look, add a nude colored pump to your sparkly dress. Pictured: Steve Madden Unityy and Sofft Madeline.


Many of the hot prom dresses are adorned with subtle sparkle.  Whether you have a full shimmery dress or maybe just a rhinestone belt, you can play up the shine in a couple ways.  Opting for a neutral shoe such as the Steve Madden Unityy or the Sofft Madeline brings the focus back to your dress. By picking a classic, neutral pump, you can be sure you will get use out of these shoes even after the magic of prom is over.

You can also play up the shine in a dress by pairing it with a shoe that has a little sparkle of its own.  By choosing a metallic shoe, you will shine even brighter. The Sofft Filia has a light sparkle and features a multi sized jewels. Pair it with a gold sparkle dress and a chunky necklace with a similar detail and you’ll be glam to the max.

Add shoes with bling of their own to pull together an eye-catching ensemble. Pictured: Sofft Filia, Sofft Paharita, Madden Girl Getta.

Spice up your LBD for prom with colorful accessories like the Steve Madden BVistaa Bag or Remmedy pumps.



Pops of color are another great prom trend. If you’ve chosen a more basic dress, you don’t have to worry about getting lost in the crowd. Add style with colorful accessories. For example, if you’ve smartly chosen a versatile little black dress, add a pop of color with a bag or shoes…or both! A glam prom accessory is the Steve Madden BVistaa clutch in bright orange or pink. This is one awesome accessory, as it can hold plenty of lip gloss, bobby pins, and other prom touch up necessities. Pair this with a colorful platform pump, like the Steve Madden Remmedy in Violet, and your LBD will look anything but basic.


If your priority for the night is feeling comfortable and being able to shake it on the dance floor while still looking cute, pick a pair of TOMS to complete your prom look. They are stylish yet comfortable which will ensure that you can dance ALL night. They will give you the ability to dance all night long without making you feel like a baby giraffe.

Toms at Prom…so cute!

Perhaps the most unique prom trend is one that is a little…edgy.  Unleash your inner rock goddess and opt for accessories that make a statement.  Studs are so in! You can be the most fashion forward belle at the ball with the Grannite by Steve Madden.  These shoes are smoking hot with a combo of studs and bling.  Paired with a short dress and one of the BVistaa bags and you’ve got it going on! Studs aren’t your thing? Feeling more…wild? Try the Sofft Broadway in metallic snake print. Animal print has never looked classier and you’ll look fierce.

Add some edge to your prom look with studded shoes like the Steve Madden Graanite or shiny animal print like the Sofft Broadway in gold snake print.

Everyone has their own unique style that can shine through to create a beautiful and one-of-a-kind prom look. Let help you find the best accessories to make your prom–or any special occasion–unforgettable.

Travels with KEEN

Taking in the view of Rio at the top of Sugarloaf Mountainwith my handy Keen Montclair Mini Bag. No, that wasn’t our helicopter…they were probably filming an episode of “The Bachelor.”

I was recently fortunate enough to spend a week exploring Brazil, and I believe I’ve found the perfect travel buddy. Sure, my boyfriend was a nice companion, but it was KEEN that really helped me out. I tried to pack light, but two things on my must-have list were my Keen Montclair Mini Bag and my Keen Venice H2 sandals. From every airport to walking along Copacabana Beach, my mini bag was draped across my shoulder. In the airport, I loved the secure zippered pocket underneath the hook-and-loop flap where I could be sure my passport and multiple plane tickets were safe and secure.  I didn’t bring my phone along on the trip, but the phone pocket in the back was perfect for chapstick and mini sunscreen on-the-go. It was just the right size for my camera and even a small water bottle, and I could wear it as a crossbody bag for more security—many other tourists told us about getting pickpocketed or having their purses snatched on the streets of Rio, and that was one problem I never had the entire time!

After spending time in Rio, we jetted to the border of Brazil and Argentina to the breathtaking beauty of Iguazu Falls, one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Here, my Keen Venice sandals were a must-have. The falls sprawl over one and a half miles, crossing the borders of both countries. We explored the falls on the Argentina side first, walking about

My Keen sandals chillin’ at the base of Iguazu Falls in Brazil.

half a mile on the a metal walkway to the Devil’s Throat, an up close and personal top view of the highest and deepest of the falls. Needless to say, with the water spray things could get pretty wet and slick, so I was very glad to have my Keens with the razor siping outsole to reduce the risk of falling over the side! It was a loooong way down. The razor siping and security of the sandals came in handy once again on the Brazilian side of the falls, where we hiked down a canyon to a walkway at the base of the falls. It was here where the COMPLETE soaking began.

Getting a little soaked at the base of Iguazu Falls in Brazil. So refreshing!

We were staying inside the park, so were able to hike down when the park was closed to outside tourists. Being at the base of the massive falls and feeling the spray shooting at me from seemingly every direction is a humbling experience, making me feel insignificant and strangely powerful at the same time.

I would recommend adding both Rio and Iguazu Falls to your travel bucket list, and would DEFINITELY recommend bringing a little KEEN along with you. You can find a huge selection of travel ready shoes and accessories at our website,

Another amazing view of Rio, with a faint view of the “Cristo Redenor” in the background…and of course, including my must-have carry all, the Keen Montclair mini bag.

Brand Spotlight: Dansko


The Dansko style has evolved from the classic Professional clog to a long line of styles including sneakers, high heels, sandals, men’s and even kid’s styles. However, no matter what style you choose from Dansko, you can be sure it is made of the finest materials and will take comfort to the max!

The Limited Edition Dansko Professional Arabesque has all the comfort and quality features known in the Professional, in a beautiful new patterned patent leather.

Stapled Clog: The Stapled Clog collection from Dansko is what made the brand take off. Living up to the name of Dansko, or “Danish Shoe,” the owners of the company were on a trip to Denmark to buy horses, and happened to try on a traditional Danish barn shoe. It was the most comfortable and supportive thing that had ever been on their feet. They brought the shoes home, and after some tweaking of style and materials, the Dansko Professional was born. Over the years, the colors and patterns and leathers have become more and more beautiful and creative, but the unbeatable comfort features stay the same.

  1. Upper – Made of highest quality leathers; designs follow the natural contours of the foot; instep collar is generously padded; upper designs accommodate most foot types.
  2. Toe Box – Thermoplastic;
    Sturdy reinforcement adds durability and toe protection; Allows toes to move comfortably.
  3. Heel Counter – TPU (Thermoplastic urethane);
    Acts as a natural shoehorn. Allows heel to move up and down when walking.
  4. Heel Cup
    The drop-in cavity cradles your heel and prevents it from sliding sideways in the shoe.
  5. Socklining – Leather Socklining; Anti-microbial;
  6. Footbed – Breathable open-cell PU foam;
    Absorbs and evaporates perspiration.
  7. Inner Frame – Polypropylene; Provides stability, reduces torque and provides lateral stability.
  8. Outsole – Polyurethane; Rocker-bottom sole propels foot forward when walking; Wider heel for greater stability; Improved compound for shock absorption equal to athletic shoes.

Fit Tip: When it comes to fit, Danskos have their own feel. For the Stapled Clog collection, your heel should move up and down freely but you should be able to shake your foot and the shoe should not come off. Your toes should be able to wiggle anyway they choose because the Professional fits across your instep, giving the rest of your foot room to breathe, avoiding problems like bunions and hammer toe. It may take a little time to adjust to the fit for people trying these for the first time.

Dansko Pro XP: lighter than the Professional, with a memory foam footbed and slip resistant outsole.

XP Collection: One of the latest additions to the Dansko family is the XP Collection. Not that the Stapled Clog Collection needed improving, but everyone’s tastes are a little bit different. For the XP Collection, Dansko added a certified slip-resistant outsole (which meets the highest standards of slip resistance) and a memory foam enhanced removable footbed. Also, for those who thought the Professional was just a little bit too heavy, the XP’s are built using a new, lightweight construction by using coring holes in the midsole.



  1. Roomy design.
    Allows toes to move comfortably.
  2. Removable footbed.
    Triple density molded footbed is reinforced with memory foam for a softer feel.
  3. Lateral stability.
    Metal shank in the midsole provides stability and reinforced construction for longer wear.
  4. Lightweight construction.
    Coring holes at the midsole reduce weight for a lighter feel.
  5. Slip resistant. Nitrile rubber outsole meets the highest standards of slip resistance.

The Dansko Harlow mary-jane features beautiful details, and is crafted from the finest leathers.

Geneva Collection:

Looking for a slightly more dressy style? Try something from the new Geneva Collection. Luxurious, handcrafted details combine with a supportive, contoured, memory-foam enhanced footbed to define this collection of shoes. With a lightweight heel that is just over 2″, and a shank made of co-molded metals, you will get a little boost in height without any unsteadiness.




  1. Hand-crafted detail
    Texture rich design suits a range of looks from work to play.
  2. Memory foam footbed
    Luxurious memory foam contoured for all-day support.
  3. Reinforced construction
    Co-molded metal shank provides additional strength and support.
  4. Lightweight lift
    2 ¼ heel for just the right amount of height.


The selection and variety of Dansko shoes seems to be endless, so we know it will be hard to pick a favorite! However, we are confident that once you try on a pair of these Danish-inspired shoes, you will join the millions of nurses, waitresses, and people all over the world who are part of the Dansko family! Find one now at

Not your average flip-flop
Spotlight: OluKai


Halle Berry rocks a movie premiere in laid back style in a maxi dress and a pair of flip flops.

It’s summer and you know what that means! That’s right, it’s the time of the year to show off your flip-flops. These days, flip-flops are all over the place. People wear them with everything from shorts, to swimsuits, to summer dresses, even to the red carpet. Even though some of us may not like to admit it, we all have those cheap flip flops that you can get for a couple dollars that fall apart after wearing them for two weeks. While those sandals are easy to wear, they typically won’t give us the support we need for healthy feet. And you have to replace them every single summer, if not multiple times a summer! Some companies have changed that by providing flip-flops that are not only easy to wear and stylish, but they also provide comfort and support. One of our favorite high quality flip flop brands is OluKai.


The guy who started OluKai (Hawaiian for “comfortable ocean”) used to work for a running company. After moving to a more tropical locale, he saw that people didn’t wear tennis shoes in everyday life; they wore flip flops! Knowing the benefits of the support given by running shoes, he wanted to build a flip flop that provided that same support.

The OluKai footbed is unlike other flip-flip footbeds, because of anatomical arch, toe, and heel support.

OluKai sandals are built like more traditional shoes with an insole for cushion, midsole for support and shock absorption, and outsole for traction and durability. Also, the toe post is connected throughout the whole shoe, so you won’t have the problem of a broken toe post with a pair of OluKais. From the custom-made lasts and anatomical footbeds, to the premium materials and attention to detail, OluKai sandals are undeniably more than your average flip flop. The company even collaborated with the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association to engineer a flip flop and a shoe to meet the lifeguards’ fitness training and daily demands. The result is the Kia’i sandal—all 450+ guards wear the Kia’i sandal as part of their uniform.


The OluKai Kia’i sandal is the official sandal of the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association. Quick drying, water-resistant, and with stitching showing the Hawaiian islands, the Kia’i embodies Polynesian culture.

From genuine leather sandals and shoes to waterproof flip flops, OluKai has something to match any life style. The Makai Collection, meaning “toward the ocean,” includes amphibious footwear. Made with the very best in water and sand resistant materials, sandals like the ‘Ohana and the ‘Amo are perfect for romping around in the ocean (or lake, or river, or pool–depending on what body of water you spend your time in!). Featuring water-resistant synthetic straps and quick-drying jersey knit lining, the Makai Collection sandals will easily serve your summer water needs.

The OluKai Makai Collection features sandals and shoes made specifically for wet activities. The ‘Ohana (left) and feminine ‘Amo are two key styles in this collection.

The Mauka Collection, meaning “toward the land,” combines native art with premium handcrafted leathers and materials for sandals that exude quality and Polynesian style.

OluKai Haiku ‘Elua: Polynesian Moko tattoo work is laser etched into the footbed of these sandals.

The women’s Haiku Elua sandals are anything but average. Pigskin lining will feel so soft against your skin, while laser etched Polynesian Moko tattoo artwork adorns the footbed for a look that is unmatched. The streamlined silhouette will keep you feeling feminine and pretty, while the anatomical footbed will keep you comfortable all day.


For men, the Kukui sandal is infused with rich island style. Full grain leather in inlaid with suede to make up the upper, with pigskin lining for softness against your feet. Again, the anatomical footbed and soft nylon toe post will ensure long lasting comfort.


This Hawaiian brand is all about making shoes that are functional for your outdoor lifestyle while preserving the Polynesian culture that serves as inspiration. A portion of proceeds from the Kia’i go to the HLA Junior Guard Program, while a portion of sales from the water resistant Ohana sandal goes towards the company’s ‘Ohana Giveback Program, preserving the cultural resources of the islands.

If you’re used to wearing flimsy flip flops and sandals with no support, once you slip into a pair of OluKai sandals you will feel an immediate difference. Find the perfect pair for you at

Father’s Day 2012:
Your shoe gift guide

As the weather gets warmer, it’s time to break out the grills and golf clubs…and what better time to honor our fathers for the great men that they are and for the important roles that they play in our lives.

Father’s Day was first celebrated in June of 1910 when a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd (no relation) wanted to recognize her father for the selfless way that he raised his 6 children as a widower. Father’s Day became officially recognized in 1972. Father’s Day 2012 marks 40 years of celebrating just how important dad’s are in our lives.

Important, yes…but if your dad is anything like mine, he may be a little bit hard to shop for. Have no fear: at Dodds Shoe Company we have great gift options for all types of Dads.  



Maybe your dad loves to run.  Matthew McConaughey is a busy dad that is often seen running on the streets and the beach. Get your Dad out in McConaughey style in shoes like the Nike Air Pegasus or the Asics GT-2170.



Is your dad a golfer?  Take a cue from fan-favorite, professional Fred Couples, and have your dad head to the course looking like a pro in a pair of Ecco Golf Street Premiers.









If fishing, hiking, and just spending time with the kids is what your dad enjoys the most, a pair of sandals that is ready for all sorts of summer fun is just what he needs.  The Keen Newport H2 would be a perfect gift: great in the water, on land, in a boat, on the trail…basically a great all around outdoor shoe.







Or, maybe your dad likes to enjoy the outdoors by lighting up the grill and doing a little barbecuing.  The New Balance 623 is a great shoe for grilling and walking around town.









We are so happy to be able to celebrate all types of dad’s this year.  The soccer coaches, wood shop mentors, goof-offs; our heroes. To all the great Dad’s out there, thank you for all you do from all of us at Dodds!



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, 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.