The Perfect Shoe for “I Do”

A few years ago, I attended the outdoor wedding of one of my best friends. Summer dresses were required and I took plenty of time deciding on just the right one. What I didn’t  put enough consideration into was my shoe choice–mind you, this was before I started working for a shoe company.  As I stepped onto the damp lawn where the wedding took place, I knew my skinny heels were going to cause me problems. I was carful during the ceremony and made it through with out the predicted trouble. This good fortune, however, didn’t last through the reception. As I prepared myself for a night of dancing and dining around the reception area, my heel got stuck in a patch of mud and I lost my balance. Luckily the attention at the time was on the bride and groom so my mishap went largely unnoticed, but it has made me double and triple think my shoe choice for every wedding after that.  Whether it’s outdoor, indoor, formal or casual there’s a perfect shoe for them all.

Outdoor

Sofft Bijou Wedge

Steve Madden Tampaa

If it’s an outdoor wedding you’re attending, wedges or chunky heels are the way to go. They look classy and cute but you’re still able to walk around on the outdoor terrain without sinking into it. It can be hard to walk, let alone dance, in gravel and grass with a skinny heel. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t like to sit out any sort of dancing.  The Bijou by Sofft gives you the comfort of knowing you won’t get stuck in the soft soil, along with the comfort and style you need to look great on the dance floor all night long. The soft metallic upper and espadrille wedge give a perfect warm-weather dress look. Another great option would be the Steve Madden Tampaa Wedge. The strappy metallic upper gives a dressy style, and the wood-like wedge is nice and light, but thick enough to keep you sturdy.

 Indoor

Sofft Broadway Leopard

If it’s a more formal event, a comfortable pump will be in your best interest. A shoe like the Sofft Broadway will allow you to fit right in at the ceremony and feel comfortable dancing at the reception. It is also versaitle enough to wear to the office or out at night, so this definitely wouldn’t be a one-time-wear type of shoe. If you’re wearing a simple dress, a more noticeable shoe is can give a pop of style to your outfit. Try the Broadway in Leopard! Animal prints are still a big trend, so making a statement with your shoes is a great way to try out animal prints without going overboard. However, If you’re wearing an eye catching dress, go with a classic and simple shoe, like the Sofft Ramona or Ramona II. This way you’ll look great while keeping the attention on the lady in white.

Sofft Ramona II Black Patent

 High Heel Fit Tip: The last thing you want at the end of the night is to have to hold your shoes in your hand and stumble around barefoot on the dance floor because your feet hurt. By choosing a brand like Sofft, known for style AND comfort, you’ll be getting the famous comfortably padded Sofft footbed, and a shoe that looks as good as it feels. To find the proper heel height for you, we recommend standing on your tippy toes with the shoes in question on; if you can comfortably lift 1 inch off the ground, you’re good to go! If you can’t lift an inch off the ground, your feet will likely be tired and calves will be sore after a little bit of wear.

Fun in the Sun (and Water!)

What is the easiest way to cool off on a hot summer day? Play in the water! From running through the sprinklers at your local park, to sailing the seven seas, to whitewater rafting, summer water sports offer an excellent way to cool down on record-setting high temperature days. While enjoying the water, make sure you have an appropriate shoe to stay secure on your foot and provide the protection you need.

For those of us that don’t get TOO adventurous on our days at the water, a quick water shoe, boat shoe, or sandal may be just right.

Water Shoes

With drain-like holes and wet surface gripping siping on the sole, the Columbia Drainmaker is a great water shoe. Did we mention the quick drying mesh uppers?

Columbia has come out with some wonderful water shoes that give you the look of a sneaker. For men, we carry a couple color schemes in the Powerdrain and for women, we carry Powerdrain, in addition to the  Drainmaker and the Drainsock–which offers a slip-on style with no laces. Each of these shoes provides incredible breathability with a mesh upper; add in the drain-like holes and siping on the bottom and your shoes will not only dry in no time but also maintain great traction on wet surfaces!

 

Find out more about the Columbia Drainmaker collection:

Sperry Top Sider boat shoes are an undisputed American summer staple.

Boat Shoes
If sailing the seven seas (or even just the lake closest to your house) is something that you had in mind for your summer days, Sperry Top-Sider is the brand to look to for a shoe that is not only extremely stylish, but also quite functional. If you’ve been reading our blog posts up to this point, you may remember a few of these styles featured back in March with a fashion watch on classic nautical styles coming back in vogue, and not just for sailors! These shoes are available for both men and women and offer “wave-siping” on the sole, (to help to release water with every step), water-resistant leather uppers, and 360-degree boat lacing systems for a secure fit. These classic boat shoes have been around for decades (with a few modern updates), so you can be sure that with a pair of Sperry Top-Siders in your wardrobe, you’ll never have to worry about your shoes becoming out-dated.

Water-Ready Sandals
Although summer may seem like the perfect opportunity to pull out your many pairs of basic flip-flops, if you’re going to be spending any time in water, you may want to consider something with a heel strap to keep your shoes on your feet. The last thing you want to see floating off into the ocean sunset is your favorite pair of flip-flops!

 

Chaco is a brand with several styles of sandals that will stay on your feet even in the strongest of currents. Men, women, and children can rely on these sandals with a secure and customizable fit with the adjustable strap and traction on even wet surfaces with both the Chaco Vibram Yampa and Unaweep outsoles. The Z/1 sandal offers Chaco’s standard criss-cross fit with wide straps while the Z/2 sandal offers the same wide straps with an additional piece to hold onto your big toe! The ZX/1 and ZX/2 sandals offer the same criss-cross patterns, but with two thinner straps along the length of the shoe instead of one thick strap. Any of these Chaco styles will let you feel well prepared when playing in the water, and they will also all get you closer to the undeniable summer staple, the “Chaco Tan Line!”

There is no mistaking the summer classic Chaco Tan Lines!

More Than Your Ordinary Sandal
When you start to get a little more serious with your water activities, like whitewater rafting, you may want a little more protection for your toes than a typical sandal can offer. If this sounds like you, consider the Keen Newport. Again, these shoes are available for men, women and children, but in addition to a strap across the heel, they provide you with Keen.Protect–Keen’s patented rubber toe guard, protecting you from any unseen threats for potentially stubbed toes! Another great thing about the Newport is the elastic cord lacing system which is not only quick and easy, but also guarantees a secure fit. Each version of this shoe provides you with either a waterproof nylon or leather upper giving you a very quick-drying sandal.

If you’re looking for something a little less claustrophobic for your feet, you may want to consider the Keen Venice (available for both men and women) which provides all the same technology with fewer straps.

No matter what your summer water activity, you definitely want to be sure that you are not going to lose your footing–or your shoe! You can find the shoe that suits your summer cool-off needs right here at Dodds Shoe Co.

 

4th of July:
Find the perfect BBQ shoes

“No taxation without representation!” That was the battle cry of the American colonies while fighting for independence from England. These days, our 4th of July cries are more like “We’re out of brats, someone go to the store!” America’s independence is a time for celebration, fireworks displays, and good old fashioned BBQ’s. When spending time outside this summer, everyone wants to be comfortable and look good. During the 4th of July, what better way to show your pride in the U.S. of A than by sporting red, white, and blue from head to toe?

REDS:

Red shoes have been a closet staple ever since Dorothy trekked across Oz in those ruby red slippers. Not everyone can pull off a pair of glittery pumps like Dorothy can, but red patent leather heels have a place in every girl’s wardrobe. The Red Patent Sofft Ramona is a closet staple. American Sweetheart Reese Witherspoon shows off an adorable 4th-of-July-ready look in her latest movie “This Means War:” a cute navy sundress paired with some red patent leather heels.

In “This Means War,” Reese Witherspoon sports a navy sundress with red patent heels: a perfectly patriotic and adorable look! Get the look with the Sofft Ramona.

For those of you looking for a more classic BBQ look, try the TOMS University Classic in Red. This shoe has a summery espadrille sole, and a breathable fabric upper, perfect for hanging out on warm days.

 

Another cool, all-American classic summer look is the Converse All Star sneaker. Lauren Conrad sports a red pair with jeans, a white tee, and blue and red jackets. Perfect for patriotic summer travel!

BLUES:

Elvis may have made blue suede shoes a huge trend, but just like blue jeans, blue and navy shoes can complete any outfit with ease. From baby blues to navy blues, complete any outfit with a cool blue pair of shoes.

The Sperry Top Sider Angelfish, Born Sitton, and Dansko Veda show blue is cool in all shades.

WHITES:

4th of July and summer BBQ’s are the perfect times to wear white. After Memorial Day and before Labor Day (although that’s not necessarily a “rule” anymore), whites give a bright and summery vibe.

Be bright in white with the Born Yancy, the Sofft Spezia, and the Wolky Liana.

SURPRISE: Bottle Opener on the bottom of the Reef Fanning.

For the men out there who don’t like to color code to the holidays, we’ve got the perfect BBQ shoe for you too. The Reef Fanning is as comfortable as it is good looking, and any guy who wears it will be a BBQ crowd pleaser: the sole has a built in bottle opener, so the good times can keep flowing until the fireworks start.

Enjoy the BBQ weather in style with a little bit of help from all of us here at www.doddsshoe.com.

Stay Cool in the Rising Summer Heat!

“Stay Cool” isn’t just an old 70’s term.  With temperatures reaching record highs in the Spring, we can expect this summer to be a scorcher. It’s time to start thinking about ways to stay comfortable and cool in your shoes.  While flip flops and sandals are an obvious choice when it comes to keeping our feet cool and happy, many of us have jobs and hobbies requiring something more. Safety toe boots, dress shoes, hiking boots, and walking shoes are often a necessary part of our daily lives, and the wrong choice of shoes can make the summer heat unbearable. Fortunately, we have some helpful tips to keeping your feet cool and dry:

  1. Alternate shoes.  Switching out the shoes you wear at least every other day is

    Alternating between different pairs of shoes every day helps keep feet cool and comfortable, while eliminating odor.

    the best way to keep your feet cool and dry.  This may sound like a clever sales pitch to sell two pair of shoes, but we’ve got science to back it up! Consider this:  The average pair of feet have 250,000 sweat glands, and these glands can produce up to 8 ounces of water every day! That’s as much as a recommended average glass of water–thirsty? Most of this moisture is absorbed into your shoes, and when you take your shoes off and throw them in the closet, they don’t have time to completely dry out before wearing them again the next morning. Putting your foot in a wet shoe first thing in the morning is a recipe for discomfort. Built up moisture can make shoes deteriorate faster, and the moist environment also contributes to intensified shoe and foot odor. Alternating shoes allows the footwear to dry completely, thus creating a more comfortable (and less smelly) environment. It also helps your footwear last longer, saving you money in the long run! If you can’t alternate your shoes every other day, you can take the insoles out at the end of the day to help the shoes dry faster.

  2. Ventilate.  Many of today’s modern shoes designs allow air to pass through the shoes to keep feet dry. Air movement is key to keeping you cool and dry, so look for

    Mesh panels lend to breathability, helping the Merrell Moab Ventilator live up to its name.

    shoes with key words like “ventilate,” “breathability,” and “air mesh.”  For example, the Merrell Moab Ventilator has lots of mesh in the upper to allow your foot to breathe. Ventilation is great in the summer, but remember that high ventilation usually means that you’ll get wet faster in the rain or dewy grass.  Fortunately, if your ventilated shoes get wet, they will typically dry faster too.

  3. Moisture wicking materials.  For those of you with jobs requiring a more professional look, some companies have developed moisture wicking technology to add to casual or dress styles. There’s a plethora of moisture wicking materials built in to shoes today.  Materials like Cambrelle and Climasphere are specifically designed for temperature and moisture regulation.  This isn’t just built in to work boots, but dress shoes too. Take the men’s Ecco Atlanta for example. Ecco’s  Comfort Fibre system is on the bottom of their removable leather insoles and is designed to pull moisture away from the foot.  This not only helps keep your feet dry, but also helps the shoes dry faster.  Clarks has developed the Unstructured Line of shoes, featuring the company’s Air Circulation System (ACS). Considered “fresh air for your feet,” ACS increases airflow with intake vents built into the sole which bring in fresh air, and exhaust vents throughout the shoe to expel moist, warm air. The result? Better airflow, and a comfortable and dry foot environment!

    The Clarks Unstructured Line features ACS (Air Circulation System), resulting in better airflow for your feet.

  4. Less is better (sometimes).  Many shoe companies tout the fact that their waterproof materials are breathable.  We agree that most of them are, but the more layers you put in a shoe, the more they retain heat. If they are keeping out water, they are more likely to keep in heat. We recommend avoiding waterproof membranes if your goal is to stay cool.  If you must have a waterproof shoe or boot, you should purchase one with a breathable membrane (like Gore-Tex), but try to find a light weight one that has some ventilation like the waterproof version of the Merrell Moab Ventilator.

If you follow these tips, you should find much more comfort in those dog days of summer. So get out and enjoy the heat with the help from all of us at doddsshoe.com!

Color Blocking Guide for Spring/Summer 2012

Every year it seems when the temperature goes up, the color palette broadens. For Spring/Summer 2012, however, it seems color is making a bigger statement than usual. Hot neon tones and monochrome outfits have been seen all over the runway, but the trend that is overtaking them all is color blocking.

Pop stars Rihanna and Katy Perry embrace the color blocking trend from head to toe...hair included. Pippa Middleton takes a subtle approach to the trend.

Color blocking takes one or more solid, bold color to make an outfit really pop. You can take this trend literally from head to toe like Rihanna or Katy Perry, with bold colored hair to top the outfit off. Or you can start simple with just one pop of color surrounded by neutrals like Pippa Middleton, sporting a black skirt with a solid stripe of green, combined with a white shirt, and a neutral tote and peep-toe heels. The result is visually striking, but relatively simple by following a few simple suggestions:

1.  Refer to your handy-dandy color wheel. The key to color blocking is complimenting, not clashing. Complimentary colors are opposite each other on thewheel. For example, blue and orange are complimentary colors, and look impeccable on Victoria Beckham. It’s also nice to pair colors that are right next to each other like red and pink or red and purple. Emma Stone shows this off in an adorable peplum-adorned red and pink frock. Both Beckham and Stone finish off their looks with a classic and neutral colored pump.

Victoria Beckham and Emma Stone use neutral shoes to balance the bright colors.

The Steve Madden Traisie would be perfect to complete either of these looks!


2.   Don’t go overboard with a variety of textures. This trend plays off the minimalist movement, so don’t go mixing colored lace with animal prints…unless you are VERY confident in your eye for mixing and matching! In general, choose solid fabrics, no patterns, and un-fussy silhouettes.

The Duchess of Cambridge shows how a good pair of colored jeans easily transitions from casual to classy

 

 

3.   Invest in a pair of colored jeans. Bright colored jeans are SO big this year. They can be casual, combined with a matching pair of Converse sneakers, or throw on a blazer and some pumps and be ready for a more formal occasion. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, shows how versatile a pair of salmon skinny jeans can be by looking regal in the jeans and a blazer and pumps, then joins in some field hockey after switching to some sneakers and a hoody.

 

 

4.   Make the most of your accessories.  As many of these celebs have shown, adding a neutral shoe or handbag can help your look focused and put together. However, don’t be afraid to use a brightly colored shoe as PART of the color blocking. The Sofft Garde is a two-piece, peep-toe pump, that has color-blocking built in! Starting with the accessories is a good way to get a few key color blocking pieces in your wardrobe so you can see if you want to invest more in the trend or not.

Color Block with your shoes!

Color blocking can look good on all shapes by hiding parts you don’t like and emphasizing parts you love most.  It can be done with neutrals, jewel tones, or even neons. With a relatively keen eye for color, you can achieve high-fashion looks with minimal effort.  Give the color blocking trend a go, and don’t forget to finish off your outfit with a fabulous pair of shoes from www.doddsshoe.com!

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?

Trend Watch:
Menswear for Women

Taking a break and getting inspiration from my Born shoes

It’s your classic story of “Boy Meets Girl.” Taking the classic styling of menswear and making it sleek, feminine, and cute. Menswear was a huge trend for Fall, and for good reason. The definitive tailoring, the strong lines; there’s something empowering about this trend! With clothes, getting the look right can be tricky. You don’t want to go TOO baggy, TOO slouchy, or TOO boyish. With shoes, however, it’s pretty much a safe bet.

The wing tip shoe has been a staple in men’s closets for years…centuries, actually. Known as “brogue” in the rest of the world, Americans adopted the name “wing-tip” by interpreting the perforated/stitching design on the toe as either a “W” or a bird taking flight. To be honest, women’s wingtips have been around for nearly as long as men’s, but were nearly impossible to tell apart—no fun.

These days, your favorite shoe companies are coming out with more ladylike and comfortable styles that can be worn with everything from light and airy dresses to skinny jeans to cropped pants to dressy shorts…to basically anything in your closet.

Born Arletta in Desert Natural

 

The Born Arletta was a huge hit for the Fall (and for my own personal closet).  For Spring, Born has come out with a lighter, very versatile color in the Desert Burnished leather. The velvet laces give a perfect touch of femininity, while the low profile upper allows delicate exposure for your upper foot and ankle. LOVE this style.

 

Actress Emma Watson pairs pink and black wingtips with a polka dot dress

 

 

While I am sporting this style with rolled skinny cargos today, fashionista Emma Watson shows the perfect example of how a pop of color can help a wingtip oxford pair perfectly with a Spring-ready dress.

 

 

 

 

The Fossil Savanna paired with an airy skirt and socks for a fun and flirty look

If you don’t want to totally delve into the wingtip look, a more subtle version is a cap toe  oxford pump. The Savana Lace Bootie from Fossil would go great with a pair of tall socks or tights as it starts to get warmer but isn’t quite summer weather.

 

 

 

 

 

Born made another hit on the menswear trend with this loafer inspired pump. A perfect example of a modern take on traditional style, the Born Nance has the look of a tassled loafer combined with a stacked heel and rich leather, bringing handsome sophistication to any look.

Born Nance Sauro Tan

Embrace this trend and look entirely chic and sophisticated with styles you can find at the right price on at Dodds Shoe Co.!