Saturday, November 28, 2015

The quest for new running sneakers

My new Saucony Grid Shadow Genesis Running Shoe

I recently took up running and learned that I needed some new sneakers. Here are the new shoes and brand I choose, plus an update on my prior choices.

Back in March, I had finally found two pairs of sneakers after searching at many stores. My choices were decent at the time, but didn't fit my new interest in running.

The sneaker update

Nike Air Relentless 4

The Nike Air Relentless are lightweight, but still have cushioning with a roomier, less glove-like fit.

Unfortunately, I tend to be hard on my shoes and by September the shoes began to wear out, earlier than I hoped. I had been wearing them for Zumba, the elliptical, and sometimes every day wear when I knew I would be on my feet a lot.

Now if I wear them for longer periods, my arches hurt. They just lost support and cushioning

Mizuno Wave Prophecy 3

The Mizuno Wave Prophecy have tons of cushioning, especially in the heel, but throughout. They still feel like pillows when I put them on. Unfortunately they are beginning to wear down and do not work for running for me. They have a tighter toe box which as my feet swell and if I strike on the forefront, begins to press in, resulting in arch and ball of foot pain.

I like the cushioning and they have lasted a decent amount of time, but the toe-box shape is not right for my foot. 

The quest for new sneakers

I started my search this time where I succeeded last time, Rack Room Shoes. I went after a day of work and working out and decided to try on multiple pairs from multiple brands. 

My goal was to find the most comfortable shoes that would give me the support I need for running. I had read in the NY Times that going for shoes that seemed the most comfortable was proven in a study of military recruits to help prevent injuries. However, I knew that trying the tactic last time resulting in shoes that hurt.

The store's sales staff tried to be helpful, giving me time to try on shoes and helping me get a discount.

Unfortunately I found out after I left the store that I overpaid for them. Other discount retailers had the same shoes for less money and so they will be going back.

The good thing I learned was that Saucony's wider toe box and cushioning seemed to work for my feet.

So I decided to turn online. I went to Famous Footwear cause they had a good selection, good prices, and a good rewards program. Plus, I knew I could easily return them to the store.

This time I went with reviews from recent purchasers and running blogs. I chose to reorder the pair I purchased in Rack Room Shoes for less and another pair of Sauconys. These were the winner.

Saucony Grid Shadow Genesis Running Shoe

The Saucony Grid Shadow Genesis has the wider-toe box and cushioning I need, but are also super light weight. The first time I took them out for a run, they had the support I needed and my foot hurt less. I also like that the soles are flexible.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Life is short, wear cute shoes...New shoe sign

Over the July 4th weekend, I spied this sign in a Pennsylvania grocery store and had to have it.

"Life is short, wear cute shoes"

I figured for a few dollars it was perfect to add to my other signs at work:

Monday, June 22, 2015

Are these the worst shoes? Cowboy boot sandals

Have you ever thought that your cowboy boots need to be summer-ized?

Scotty Franklin of Springfield, Mo. and his company Redneck Boot Sandals will do just that, according to the Austin Statesman.

For $50 you can mail them your cowboy boots and they will make them into sandals. According to their facebook page, they will soon have their own designs. 

Since 2012, Franklin told the Austin Statesman that he has done boots for doctors, nurses, attorneys, pilots, teachers, preachers, and farmers

The idea of cowboy boot sandals has recently been trending online and the facebook page has over 4,000 likes.

My take? I've always thought that open-toed boots were silly. If its warm enough to have open toes, doesn't the extra fabric make you hot? And in the winter aren't you cold? I know the say to wear tights under the boots for winter but most tights are far from warm.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

How New Balance makes 4 million pairs of sneakers in the U.S.

I was able to visit New Balance's factory in Lawrence, MA and see how they make sneakers, for my job.

I will never look at a pair of sneakers the same way. So many parts and skills go into making each pair, yet the manufacturing associates are only supposed to touch them for 22.5 second each! That's even for things like hand stitching and cutting leather. The sneaker goes from raw materials to box in less than 3 hours.

While many of its competitors moved their manufacturing overseas, New Balance makes over 4 million pairs at its 5 factories in the U.S.

To learn more check out the video I produced and read my full article on CNBC

An overview of New Balance's values.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Is this the future of shoes? New e-ink technology

Imagine being able change the color or pattern of your shoes with the simple tap on an app. That's what the creators behind Volvorii Timeless, a new technologically advanced shoe, are trying to make reality for everyday consumers.

Lithuania-based start-up iShüu Technologies created the peep-toed shoe using e-ink, a type of digital paper that can display different colors and patterns. E-ink is most known for being used in e-reader displays.

The Volvorrii Timeless currently has a prototype which features panels that can be black, white, or a variety of black and white patterns. According to CNET, the shoes feature a Bluetooth sensor, allowing them to be programmed with a phone.

In addition to being able to customize the patterns, buyers will be able to add their own personalization. There are anchors to add accessories, such as bows, on the toe and heel.

If you're worried about charging your shoes, you're in luck. CNET says they only need to be charged once every few weeks because e-ink uses small amounts of energy.

To bring the Volvorii Timeless to fruition, iShüu Technologies has started an Indiegogo campaign, where for a donation, you can one of the first to get your hands on the shoes. Some of the options are already sold out. So far, they've raised over $40,000.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The quest for new sneakers

I recently read in the New York Times that after years of sneaker manufacturers trying to create shoes that imitate running barefoot the pendulum had swung the other way, and the new trend in running shoes was maximum cushioning, so-called maximalist shoes.  These sneakers are designed with extra cushioningthat some believe helps to prevent injuries. However, the scientific jury is still undecided.

Given the new trend, I thought I would be in good shape looking for sneakers. I deal with heal pain and tend to be hard on shoes, so I prefer cushioning and support in my sneakers.

My current sneakers are 3 years old and after being in them all day, my feet hurt. They were perfect, unfortunately, I just wore them out.

My old sneakers, the Nike Zoom Vomero +5 which after over 3 years were worn out

Five stores and dozens of pairs later, I was stumped. I had tried 3 different brands and various styles but couldn't find the right amount of cushioning and the right fit.

Despite the growing trend towards more cushioning, many brands were still focused on light weight barefoot type sneakers.

Finally, I tried a new shoe store for me, Rack Room Shoes. They had a large selection of various brand, most at a discount, and were even having a buy one get one half off (bogo) sale.

Dozens more pairs later, I had two winners.

Mizuno Wave Prophecy 3

I originally didn't want to try on Mizuno cause I was unfamiliar with the Japanese sporting good company and honestly, they did not look so nice. However, I was intrigued by the cutouts on the bottom and decided to give them a spin. I'm glad I did. From the front to the heel, they were ultra cushioned making me feel as if I was walking on pillows.

This shoe is designed for heel to toe cushioning that does not weigh you down. According to Mizuno, it is for high mileage runners with a neutral gait.

The Mizuno Wave Prophecy 3 is unfortunately discontinued but still available from many stores. It lists for $209.99, which I know is quite pricey, but you get ultra cushioning. The good news is you can also get them at a discount, like I did. Rack Room Shoes was $109 plus the bogo.

If you are having trouble finding them, the latest version, the Mizuno Wave Prophecy 4 is also now available.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Whether #thedress is white and gold or blue and black here are the shoes to wear

By now, you have probably seen this dress and the debate over whether it is white and gold or blue and black. 

But with a dress that has the whole Internet blowing up about what color it is, I couldn't help but think, what shoes should you wear?

It is now decided that the dress is blue and black, but depending on the lighting, it can be seen as white and gold, Thus, you need shoes that go with both.

Here are the shoes I would wear with the dress:

Nude shoes:

Nude shoes, like my Nine West pair go with any outfit, regardless of color. They bring attention to a dress and lengthen our legs.

Metallic shoes:

Metallic shoes work with any color, just like nude shoes, but add more interest. These work with both blue and black and white and gold.

A shoe like the one above matches the bandage look of the dress.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Update: Killer Heels Coming to a Museum Near You

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Yesterday, I wrote about Killer Heels, an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum on the art and history of high-heels. However, I realize many of my readers are not in the New York City area.

Good news! The exhibit is hitting the road.

Here are the tour dates and locations (according to the Brooklyn Museum):

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Killer Heels: Art and Shoes Collide at the Brooklyn Museum

The perfect shoes are a pair of art and today and I got to see Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe at the Brooklyn Museum,

Here is the museum's take on the exhibit:

When you first get into the area of the exhibit, the first thing you notice is a large sign saying Killer Heels. Perhaps it is because the exhibit ends March 1, but I also noticed a large crowd today.

When entering, you are greeted by a short film. Unfortunately, given the large crowd it was hard to watch as the security guard kept telling people not to block the entrance.

The next hallway of the exhibit traces trends and inspiration from the being of heels hundreds of years ago to today. It is amazing how Rococo style and Louis the IV heels have gone in and out of fashion many times.

From there, the exhibit goes into many architectural shoes, which may be hard to walk in, but are gorgeous to view. Some shoes even challenge traditional thinking of what a shoe is.  Here are a few of my favorites:

From afar, these look like classic t-straps, but the front of the t is actually a woman in an evening gown.

Cinderella's Glass Slipper Re-imagined

Prince Charming with Cinderella's glass slipper in Walt Disney World's Main Street Electrical Parade

Next month, Disney's live action Cinderella movie his theaters. As you probably know, I can't think of that story without thinking of the glass slippers.

Now, Disney has asked designers to re-imagine those famous shoes for modern princesses (or adults who still harbor princess dreams). Sketches from the 9 designers have been released and the real shoes will be available in stores in early March. For those of us in the U.S., the shoes will be available from Saks Fifth Avenue in New York and Beverly Hills, according to the press release.

First, check out the movie trailer to see how the live action movie presents the glass slippers:

The glass slippers from the movie seem pretty traditional with butterfly decals on the toes. They were produced by crystal company, Swarovski.

However, the 9 designers selected for the re-imagination went much more modern, with booties and cage heels.

And like the sign that decorates my desk says, these shoes could change your life.

Here are the designs:

Alexandre Birman

Charlotte Olympia

Monday, February 9, 2015

Pharrell was Happy in Custom Glitzy Sneakers at the Grammy Awards

Singer Pharrell Williams gave a memorable rendition of his hit, Happy, at the Grammy Awards last night. Even with the message and so much going on, I couldn't help but notice his bright yellow shoes.

FootBasket had a close up of the shoes and the details.

According to FootBasket, Pharrell's shoes were Adidas Stan Smiths. It makes sense, Pharrell does a collaboration with the sneaker brand.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Happy 5th Birthday Through the Sole!

Through the Sole was founded 5 years ago today. Thank you to all my readers for your support!

At the beginning Through the Sole was all serious, started for a college class. Now, I have expanded to more lighthearted news, shoe reviews, and tips while still striving to give you the news through the lens of shoes.

I am so proud that 5 years later Through the Sole is still going strong both on this blog and on social media. This blog has gotten over 74,000 hits!

Here have been the most viewed posts this year:

1. Shoe clothing: when wearing one shoe isn't enough

2. Driving in high heels: fashion over safety?

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3. Shoes for the other gender, Picking men's shoes

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Pretty Toes and Feet: Pedicure Statistics

I've noticed my post on the history of pedicures getting some buzz the last week, so I decided to research pedicure statistics today. After all, sandals, the perfect way to show off a pedicure, are starting to hit stores.

According to Nails Magazine, nail salons brought in $7.47 billion in 2012, with 29 percent or $2.17 billion coming from pedicures. That's a lot of manicures and pedicures!

The average price of a pedicure was $31.69 in 2012. That's up 47 percent from 1992, when the average price was $22.02. During the same period, manicures were up 80 percent, making pedicures almost seem like a bargain.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Katy Perry wore shoes with 12,600 Swarovski crystals for the Super Bowl Halftime show

If you were performing in front of thousands of people and on millions of TV sets, what shoes would you wear?

According to People Style Watch, Katy Perry wore Custom LaDuca booties adorned with 12,600 Swarovski crystals when she performed for the Super Bowl's Half Time.

As you see in the above screen shots, the pop star wore the same shoes from start to end of the performance. Also check out the photos Moschino designer, Jeremy Scott shared on Instagram, embedded below. 

If you're looking to draw attention to you feet, what better way than with blinged-out shoes?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

New, free shoes with rewards points

You've heard of using miles to get free plane tickets or using credit card points to get money back, but how about earning free shoes?

I recently headed to Famous Footwear to return shoes that unfortunately did not fit right. While there I couldn't resist peeking at the shoes they had in stock, especially since clearance was buy on get one 50 percent off.

In my size, I saw black flats with buckles by Dr. Scholls. I had owned the same shoes in metallic silver and after some time wore them out. They were the perfect fit and comfortable.

Now I needed another pair. I found red pointy-toed heels by Life Stride that were a lower heel and padded, making them comfortable. The style was classic, if also a bit safe. They were marked $10, so I figured for $5, how could I go wrong?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Just click your heels...Ruby Red Slipper Memorabilia

Hope everyone in the Northeast is doing well digging out from the snow!

We're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz!

A photo posted by Through the Sole: A Shoe Blog (@throughthesole) on

I recently got to go to Kansas City and drove into Kansas to add a new state. Pardon the stereotyping, but I couldn't help but think of Dorothy and those ruby red slippers.

In December I visited the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in DC and got some ruby red slipper memorabilia. The museum normally displays the shoes from the movie, but unfortunately it was under construction and I was unable to see them. Still, for fans or shoe fans, the shop had some great souvenirs.

The first up was the above magnet which says "it's all about the shoes." How perfect!

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