Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Update: Decorating with Shoes: Shoe Art and Motifs

The Scotch black pump tape dispenser

While I love buying shoes, sometimes working shoes and shoe motifs into other everyday objects is a fun way to show off my personality and interests. In December, I discussed using shoe motifs to decorate, including a red shoe tape dispenser.  Now, I just received a black pump tape dispenser as a gift and had to share.

Friday, February 24, 2012

New Nike Flyknit Sneakers: More Sock than Shoe

Continuing with the recent sneaker theme on Through the Sole, Nike has just released information on a new line of knit sneakers, which are unlike any shoes currently on the market.

The new sneaker line, the Nike Flyknit, is designed to be feather light, formfitting, and almost seamless.

The shoe was designed with runners in mind. Nike sought to completely re-imagine the sneaker and, with feedback from runners, came to the idea that the new shoe should be more like a sock, according to Nike.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shoe Review: Nike Running Sneakers

My recent sneaker purchase, the Nike Zoom Vomero +5

Sneakers have been a recent theme on Through the Sole, as I recently wrote about the Nike sneakers Knicks’ point guard Jeremy Lin wears (he’s sponsored by the brand), and should New Balance shoes support Susan G. Komen for the Cure after the recent Planned Parenthood controversy. Since I recently went sneaker shopping, I want to share my pick and some sneaker shopping hints.

I purchased the Nike Zoom Vomero +5 in the Nike Outlet for around $50, a nice discount from the original list of $130.  These sneakers are designed to replace my Nike Zoom Vomero +3 which are very comfortable and supportive and have lasted for 2 and a half years, quite a long time for someone who is hard on their sneakers like me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Comfort and Style: The Success of New Designs by Crocs

An ad for Crocs new designs, showing their comfort and style.

One of my biggest goals when shopping is to find comfortable and stylish shoes. I want to be fashionable but don’t want foot pain by the end of the day. Also, living in New York where rain is fairly common, I strive to have waterproof shoes. While rain boots do the trick, they look silly when it’s sunny and can be warm and inappropriate for some occasions.

Crocs has moved in and tried to fill this niche with expanding its line to include more style conscious but still comfy and usually waterproof shoes. The expansion has been profitable.

The brand was created in 2002 by three boating enthusiasts who wanted a lightweight material that was waterproof and slip-resistant. After a few years of profitability, in 2008, profits began to fall, partially because people disliked the look. For example, there is a Facebook group “I don’t care how comfortable Crocs are, you look like a dumb***”, and a website dedicated to their elimination.

However, starting in 2010, profits began to rise again, according to Andrew Adam Newman of the NY Times. It is projected the company will make over $1 billion in 2011. Only 45% of that profit comes from the traditional model, showing the success of Crocs expansions.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Linsanity: The Sneakers Knicks Basketball Star Jeremy Lin Wears

Knicks’s point guard Jeremy Lin has skyrocketed to international attention. Now people want to know more about the previously unknown Ivy League graduate. Of course, I wanted to know more about his shoes of choice.

According to a recently released Nike video, Lin’s favorite sneakers for hanging out are the Nike Airforce 1. You can purchase your own pair for $59.98 at Finish Line.  His favorite basketball sneakers are the now discontinued Nike Shox BB4. Lin is currently sponsored by Nike.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Through the Sole!

Through the Sole was started on February 8, 2010, after its second year, I wanted to look back at the highlights. I have written about a wide array of topic, from the economy to shoes made of cheese.

This year, the number of readers of Through the Sole has greatly increased, spiking during the late April and early May posts about the shoes of the Royal Wedding. Through the Sole was one of the first sites to show pictures of Kate Middleton’s wedding shoes. Seeing my readers’ interest in the Princess of Wales, I continue to produce related content, such as Kate’s other shoe choices, the shoe choices of guests, such as Victoria Beckham, the shoe choices of other royal brides, and even her sister, Pippa’s shoe choices.

The shoes of celebrities have been a big draw to Through the Sole, with Lady Gaga’s shoes also being a popular read.

In the past year, I have expanded my review of shoes, focusing on being budget-friendly while still providing comfort and style. Thus, I have reviewed lines for Target and shoes from Lands End. I have also shared my finds from discounters, like T.J. Maxx and outlet stores.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Controversial Shoes: The Susan G. Komen Off and On Funding of Planned Parenthood

Sneaker by New Balance that helps to fund raise for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation

Shoes can be used to support a cause or charity, but you want to make sure that the money is going to a worthy organization.

Recently Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, which is the nation's premier breast-cancer advocacy group, came under fire when it decided to stop sending funds to Planned Parenthood because it was under Congressional investigation, a violation of rules Komen recently enacted. The decision was overturned yesterday, but the legacy of outrage and controversy remains.

Planned Parenthood provides a broad range of health services, including abortion, to women who often would not be able to pay for the services. The funding was to be used for cancer screenings, according to the NY Times and The Washington Post.

Many shoe companies and stores have partnered with Komen to raise money for breast cancer. Sneaker brand, New Balance, has partnered with Komen since 1989. They have guaranteed a minimum donation of $500,000 a year through this year. Other previous partners include Payless Shoes, which in September and October of 2011 rose over $4 million through special earrings. Hunter Boots , The Brown Shoe Company, and have also partnered with Komen to raise funds.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Can Shoe Color be Trademarked? The Signature Christian Louboutin Red Sole

Christian Louboutin shoes are known around the world for their signature scarlet red soles. They've been seen on celebrities, such as Victoria Beckham at the Royal Wedding, and on popular TV shows, like Sex and the City. However, can one company monopolize this popular color?

I’ve discussed a proposed law to copyright fashion designs, but can color be seen as distinct? 

 Christian Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) have been locked in a legal battle since April 2011 over the use of the color red, specifically on the soles on shoes. Louboutin has been using red soles since 1992 when the designer saw an assistant painting her nails red, according to the Telegraph. In its 2011 resort collection, YSL included four shoes that were completely red, including the sole. However, the exact shade of red is different from that which Louboutin uses, according to the Telegraph. When Louboutin saw the shoes, he sued alleging that the shoes were virtually identical. Louboutin sought an injunction on the sale of the shoes and damages of at least $1 million.