Monday, December 12, 2016

Pumped: The Art & Craft of Shoemaking at Charlotte, NC's Mint Museum

Back in June I was in Charlotte and was able to see Pumped: The Art & Craft of Shoemaking, an exhibit on the art of shoe making at The Mint Museum.

The exhibit ran from May to August, so unfortunately it is no longer open. Still you can enjoy my pictures and what I learned.

These are silk shoes from the early 1700s. Like other shoes from the time, they were made so that each foot was identical.

These are silk boots from the mid-1800s. They are beautiful, but seem very unpractical, like they would get filth the minute you walked outside.

These are some of the tools used in shoe making. It reminds me of visiting the shoe making shop in Colonial Williamsburg

These shoes are from the 1860s and represent a return to embellished shoes. Hooped-skirts were becoming popular and allowed glimpses of the wearer's shoes.

These are slippers from the 1890s but both remind me of more modern styles.

These shoes which include clear plastic are from the 1940-60s but remind me of newer shoes, including Cinderella's glass slipper being re-imagined

If you thought heelless shoes were a thing of modern times, these are from 1955-1960.

And one of m favorite displays, the shoe on the left are Yves Saint Laurent haute couture while those on the right are a knock-off. While the look similar, the knock-off is slightly different to avoid copyright infringement. The original is made of leather and the punches are done by hand. The knock off is made of man-made materials and the punching was done by machine.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Self-lacing shoes are actually here

Self-lacing shoes have hit the market!

Back in 2010, Through the Sole wrote that Nike had patented technology for self-lacing shoes. Earlier this week, those shoes hit the market, the NIKE HYPERADAPT 1.0.

Here's how the sneakers work. When you place your foot in them and stand-up, there is a sensor that automatically tightens them. Then, there are buttons to tighten or loosen them, according to Nike. The sneakers need to be charged and come with charging pucks and an adapter.

The idea of self-lacing sneakers was first shown in the movie Back to the Future 2.

Nike says the self-lacing is more than just a cool use of technology, the sneakers allow athletes to make adjustments quickly without slowing them down.

The sneakers retail for $720.

Popsugar recently got to try a pair out and said you cannot feel the batteries in the sole. The tester liked them for both training and running.

Nike isn't the only one trying self-lacing shoes. Puma is coming out with the Autodisc, also a self-lacing sneaker.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

New environmentally friendly sneakers

What if sneakers could be made of biodegradable material? Or how about recycled plastic?

That's just what shoemaker, Adidas, is doing with its latest designs.

Back in March of 2012, Through the Sole wrote about using recycled garbage to make shoes for the homeless. Now, the idea is going mainstream.

Last month, Adidas released the Adidas UltraBOOST Uncaged x Parley, pictured above, made from recycled ocean plastic. The 7,000 pairs of sneakers retail for $220. Each pair is made from 95 percent recycled ocean plastic and 5 percent recycled polyester. A pair of the sneakers reuse 11 plastic bottles. The shoes laces, heel cap base material, heel webbing, heel lining and the sock-liner cover are also made with recycled materials, according to Adidas.

Adidas plans to continue to make sneakers with recycled plastic, 1 million pairs by the end of 2017 and hopefully one day use no virgin plastic at all.

As for the sneakers themselves, they are part of Adidas Boost line which is popular for running. I have heard great things about them, but am yet to try them out.

Now what if sneakers could help the plastic problem by not creating waste?

Monday, November 28, 2016

New shoes cure the blues-- New shoe sign

I've gotten a new shoe sign. My parents picked this one up for me while traveling in New England.

It reads "New shoes cure the blues" and its true, nothing like a little retail therapy.

The sign joins these that are also at my desk.

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

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The oh-so-fashionable sneaker

When high-heel loving celebrities like Victoria Beckham ditch their heels for sneakers, you know the sneaker has become fashionable.

Nike Tanjun in White and Orange

It started a few years ago with sneaker wedges and now all sorts of retro shoes and trainers are being rocked as both part of an athleisure trend and general fashion.

Over the summer I decided to get in on the trend by buying the Nike Tanjun in white from Famous Footwear for $55.

The solid white look made them summery, without being too outlandish. Perfect for trying out sneakers for non-athletic purposes. I was instantly impressed with their cushioning and how they were comfortable for a whole day with lot of walking.

I tried them out with a few different outfits, including skirts and dresses and they added a fun casual but fashion-forward edge.

I even tried wearing them to work, and with the right outfit they worked. The only problem? They get dirty easily. I am able to hand wash them, but lately have been having more trouble getting stains out.

To avoid the dirt issue, I also bought a pair in bright orange. These are loud, but I have had multiple people stop me to tell me how cute they are.

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

While these get dirty less easily than the white, they do get dirty as well. I have had success hand washing them.

While many designer brands make sneakers, Allure says it's the affordable Vans than have been all around fall's fashion shows.

Have you gotten into the sneaker trend? Which do you like wearing?

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Related Posts:
How New Balance makes 4 million pairs of sneakers in the U.S.
Two more pairs of sneakers

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
Life is short, wear cute shoes...New shoe sign
Pretty Toes and Feet: Pedicure Statistics


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Two more pairs of sneakers

Runners need shoes.

In my last blog post I discussed my running journey and my new sneakers. That journey has continued and thus I have found myself in the need of new sneakers.

The Asics Gel Cumulus 17 provided great support and cushioning and got me through my first 10k.

The Asics Gel Cumulus 17

After the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K, which I ran in the Gel Cumulus

After the 10k, I found out I was going to be in Disneyland for their half marathon and decided that was my next running challenge, Unfortunately, I started to notice my sneakers were really wearing out, even the lining around the top.

They were on sale at Famous Footwear, so I ordered another pair and also decided to try the Asics FuzeX Lyte.

After a few sprints down the hall, I realized the FuzeX was more cushioned and felt more lightweight. It has gel and foam combined making them lightweight, but still cushy.

The Asics FuzeX Lyte

These sneakers were comfortable and I was immediately able to wear them on long training runs.

They cost $59.49.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Yet another new pair of sneakers

I decided to give Asics a run!

As I wrote in my last post on sneakers, I was still on the hunt for a second pair, looking for a pair that offered the cushioning and support my feet needed, especially as I train for longer runs.

I started my  running journey a few months ago, just barely making it through a mile. I completed my first race, a 4 miler on New Years, and now am working my way up to a 10k.

Crossing the finish line for my first race in my Saucony Grid Shadow Genesis Running shoes

The Saucony sneakers I own have the support I need and are super light weight. I am happy with the amount of cushioning but wondered if I would do better on longer runs with more.

After recommendations from friends, I decided to try Asics, as I heard their gel cushioning was great.

 I choose to order online through Famous Footwear because they had a wide selection and even though some pairs weren't discounted, you still got their rewards.

I ordered a few pairs, and decided to keep the Gel Cumulus 17, which I paid $90 for.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy 6th Birthday Through the Sole!

Today marks the 6th birthday of Through the Sole. Thank you for your readership and 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.

Here are the most popular posts of the 5th year:

5) Are these the worst shoes? Cowboy boot sandals

4) The quest for new running sneakers