Sunday, September 10, 2017

It's NY Fashion Week... but do people still care?

I want to start this post with sending my best to those being affected by Hurricane Irma and those recovering from Hurricane Harvey. Having gone through Superstorm Sandy, I can feel your pain. 

We're in the midst of New York Fashion Week, a tradition dating back to the 1940s. But now with social media and the Internet taking over, is it still relevant?

I recently produced an interview for CNBC with designer Rebecca Minkoff and her brother, Uri Minkoff who is the co-founder and CEO of her brand.

She says while the tradition is changing with the times, its still relevant. 

"Fashion week "used to be open to a very small closed circle of editors and buyers and we've seen a huge dramatic shift. We decided to open up our show to the consumer," Rebecca Minkoff, the creative director for her own line, told CNBCs "On the Money.""

The idea to include consumers came from the fact that with the Internet they could see things live, instead of waiting for media coverage.

In addition to giving customers access to the shows, the Minkoffs have most of their collection ready for purchase right away, its called "See ow, Buy Now." That includes shoes!

Traditionally, designer collections took 6 months to appear on shelves after being shown.

That lag gives fast fashion time to copy styles, which while nice for those on a budget, hurts designers. 

If you think fashion week is just about clothing, think again. The designers also set the stage for the big shoe trends. 

It seems like sneakers are not going anywhere. Jonathan Simkhai paired Reeboks with a jumpsuit and Public School and Air Jordan revealed a new collection, according to Footwear News. The sneakers were shown covered in plastic bag.

Other designers use NYFW as a time to announce shoe collections, such as Cushnie et Ochs, according to Footwear News. The shoes are sexy with a fun side

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Shoe selfies to the extreme?


I've been taking pictures of my shoes since before I had a smartphone and before the word selfie came into lingo.

These pictures above were all taken with a digital camera by bending over and snapping, to piggyback on the words of Legally Blonde.

But for some shoe selfie takers have decided to up the ante.

Refinery29 recently detailed a reporter strapping herself into a doorless helicopter just for shoe selfies. While the pictures are amazing, its over the top.

While that is experience is perfectly legal and with safety precautions, other shoe selfie takers are even more extreme.

For example, Instagrammer Tom Bruise, climbs bridges and roofs to get pictures with amazing backdrops. He even has been tapped by shoe and clothing brands to show their product on his shots, according to Refinery29.

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Bruise isn't alone.

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As much as I like my shoe selfies, and post them almost daily on Snapchat, I couldn't imagine going to these lengths. It's amazing what people will do for the 'gram and social media fame.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The gold standard for making men's shoes?

Technology is revolutionizing everything from how we shop for shoes, to the weight of our sneakers and even if we have to lace them ourselves. But most experts agree the best way to make men's shoes is a method invented 150 years ago.

It's known as the Goodyear Welt and while it is more expensive, the shoes can last forever.

The method is used by high-end brands, including Mezlan and Allen Edmonds.

Here are the ways a men's dress shoe can be made.


This is the cheapest and fastest way of attaching the sole to the rest of the shoe, according to Primer Magazine. Its attached with an adhesive and no stitching. While cheap, it does not last as long as other methods. A downside is that often the sole cannot be repaired and the shoe will need to be replaced.

The Blake Welt:
The Blake Welt uses stitching instead of adhesive to attach the sole. The stitching is located on the inside of the shoe and must be done by machine, according to Primer Magazine.

The advantages of the Blake Welt are that it is more secure than cementing and since the stitching is small, the sole can be cut close to the top. The sole is also usually repairable. While more expensive than cementing, it is less expensive than the Goodyear Welt.

The Goodyear Welt:

The Goodyear Welt is the oldest method, invented in 1869, according to Mezlan.

It uses an extra piece of leather that its attached between the upper and the sole. It has special stitching that runs along the outside of the sole, giving these shoes a distinctive look.

While the Goodyear Welt is the most expensive method, it lasts the longest and is easiest to repair, according to Mezlan. It is also more water resistant, according to Primer Magazine.

To perform the Goodyear Welt requires skills. Mezlan makes their shoes using artisan shoemakers at a factory in Almansa, Spain. They are still hand sewn.

Be careful, the stitching doesn't tell the whole story. According to Mezlan, some shoe makers add the stitching to make you think the shoe is made with a Goodyear Welt.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Did Pippa Middleton wear the shoes of the summer on her honeymoon?

After a high profile wedding, Pippa Middleton and her husband, James Matthews jetted off to Tahiti, according to the Daily Mail. And all eyes are still on Pippa's dress and shoe choices.

In the next stop, Sydney, she was spotted in espadrille wedges. Espadrilles a popular summer choice, have been called the shoe of summer 2017.

Pippa's pair is the Castaner wedge lace-up espadrilles, according to the Daily Mail. They retail for $175 and are currently sold out.

Other celebrities have also been spotted in espadrilles this summer, including Jennifer Aniston, according to PopSugar.

Also, on her honeymoon, Pippa has been spotted in black L.K. Bennett sandals, according to the Daily Mail. L.K. Bennett is also a favorite of sister Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Those sandals are still available for just over $90.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Can new Nike sneakers let you walk on air?

Its well known you can't walk on water, but now you can walk on air.

Earlier this year, Nike announced a new sole, made completely of its air technology. And today, a rainbow version in honor of Pride Month was released, Air VaporMax BETRUE. Unfortunately, they are already sold out.

To understand how this is revolutionary, let's take a look at the history of Nike Air. 

In 1987 Nike introduced the first Nike Air Max with visible air unit. In 1997, Nike developed the ability to put air cushioning along the entire sole, according to the sneaker manufacturer.

Those older versions needed a layer of rubber to keep the air from breaking. This made the shoes heavier and they often became a fashion statement instead of something for working out.

Nike Air Motion LW Sneaker

The above Nike sneakers I bought as casual sneakers, instead of athletic wear. They feature an air cushion in the heel and are very comfortable.

The new Nike Air VaporMax does not need that extra rubber leading to an ultra lightweight sole. The air unit also holds its shape, adding more flexibility. 

The upper on the sneaker is Nike's FlyKnit technology, which is also lightweight. 

The shoes are designed to have a cushy feel for running, as if you're running on a cloud.

 Unfortunately demand for the sneakers has outpaced supply and every version has sold out quickly. Many love the style even if they don't run. 

The downside for runners is that some reviews have said the shoes lack support and take an adjustment period.

I would love to try them if I could get my hands on a pair.

The Nike Air VaporMax retails for between $190-200.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Royal Fashion: Kate Middleton's shoes for Pippa's wedding

Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton may have gotten all the attention for keeping the bridal party filled with children, a common occurrence at British royal weddings, quiet, but I could not help but wonder what shoes she would wear.

True to British royal tradition, Middleton did not want to upstage sister, Pippa and went with very classic pumps.

According to Footwear News, Middleton wore Gianvito Rossi 105 suede pumps, which retail for $675.

The shoes are a very classic choice, although she gets credit for working with children in 4 inch pumps.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Pippa Middleton gets married...what shoes did she wear?

Pippa Middleton walked down the isle in a beautiful high-neck lace gown by Giles Deacon, but I could't help but wonder, what shoes were under the beautiful dress.

Middleton, the sister of Duchess of Cambridge, Kate, married James Matthews, a finance exec and former race car driver, in the English countryside. The reception was at her parent's house.

But what shoes did she wear?

According to the Telegraph, Middleton wore white satin Manolo Blahnik shoes with pearl details. They say they were a customized version of the Seneca Bridal shoes, which retail for $925.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Did Nike's sneakers lead to the fastest marathon ever?

26 seconds...that's how close Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya came to sub 2 hour marathon. Instead he finished in 2:00:25, just over a second too slow per mile.

But first...thank you for your support. Through the Sole had a record breaking April, over 8,200 pageviews!

Now back to the sub 2 hour marathon. In March, I wrote about Nike's attempt to break the 2 hour mark in the marathon, including with specially designed sneakers.

Nike decided the conditions were right and had the 3 selected runners try this weekend at the Formula One track in Monza in Italy, selected for having low wind, good oxygen, and being relatively flat with modest turns, according to Runner's World.

At 5:45am on Saturday, the 3 selected runners, Kipchoge, Eritrean Zersenay Tadese, and Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa set off in hat was deemed to be perfect weather. They had pacers in front of them in an arrow formation to block wind, according to Runner's World.

In the end, Kipchoge ran must faster than his previous record, 2:03:05 in the London Marathon. Tadese is the record holder in the half marathon and Desisa won the Boston Marathon twice, according to FiveThrityEight.

Tadese finished in 2:06:51 and Desisa in 2:14:10. The event was three years in the making and used science to try to engineer the sub 2 feat.

The current world record for a marathon is Kenyan Dennis Kimetto 2:02:57 at the 2014 Berlin Marathon. This attempt did not change that, according to Runner's World, because of practices involving pacers that are not allowed by the running governing body.

In addition to the specially designed sneakers that were customized for each runner, they also wore clothing that was designed to be aerodynamic.

It's hard to say how much came down to the sneakers and how much to other factors, but those are some fast times.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hillary Clinton models Katy Perry designed shoes

Secretary Hillary Clinton's new role: shoe model?

A post not related to running... As I have gotten into running, many of my recent posts have been related. But I want to keep my non-runner readers happy and continue to use shoes as a lens to view the world.

The great news is that Through the Sole has been breaking records. Already this month, there have been over 7,600 pageviews!  Thank you for all your support.

But back to Secretary Clinton's shoes...

Singer Katy Perry launched a shoe line in February, according to People, naming many of the shoes for famous women, including Clinton, whom she campaigned for.

The Hillary shoe came in a light pink, now often referred to as millennial pink, or seafoam green and had a 3.5 inch clear heel with moons and stars floating inside, according to the New York Times. It retailed for $139.

Katy Perry Collection's The Hillary

Last week, the singer posted a picture of the former presidential candidate wearing the shoes on instagram with information on how to buy them (see above) and Internet controversy ensued. 

Conservative news websites ran headlines like, "Hillary Clinton Reduced to Modeling Shoes for Katy Perry" (Breitbart), and "Hillary Clinton Now Hawking Katy Perry Shoes On Instagram," (Daily Caller).

Other pointed out that Perry and Clinton have a long relationship. Clinton recently made a surprise appearance at the Unicef Snowflake Ball to present the singer with the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award, according to the NY Times.

However, this was the first time the two connected on fashion. 

For the shoe brand, the results were great, the shoes began to quickly sell and appear now to be unavailable.

Clinton has not benefited in anyway from the shoes.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Trying a new kind of sole on running sneakers

I just crossed another finish line and this time in a new pair of sneakers from a new brand, the Brooks Neuro.

These shows look unusual and even heavy, but the sole is actually made of propulsion pods, very lightweight and responsive.

But before we get into more, let's do an update.

Prior to trying out the Brooks Neuro, I was continuing to run in the Asics Fuzex and Fuzex Lyte.

The Asics Fuzex (top) and Fuzex Lyte (bottom)

The Fuzex proved to have the right support for running distance without weighing me down. I ran the United Airlines NYC Half in March and shaved 4 minutes off my PR!

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I also wear the Fuzex Lite for shorter training runs and other workouts, like Zumba, but I am finding they are only slightly lighter and less supportive.

Never being totally satisfied and feeling like my sneakers were beginning to get worn out, I decided to start looking into other sneakers. 

I tried the Runner's World Shoe Finder and the Brooks Neuro was one of the top matches, so I decided to try them.

They may look unusual, but I like the feel. They are lightweight, but very cushioned and fairly supportive. I feel like they make it easier to run faster and get a quick turnover between steps.

The sole of the Brooks Neuro

About that sole: as I mentioned earlier, it's made of propulsion pods, BioMoGo DNA foam in rubber casing. The ring is supposed to bounce energy back to the runner. The pod placement is also designed to add flexibility. 

The shoe is for neutral pronation and speed.

For me, there has been an adjustment period. After adding them into my training and liking that I felt faster, I decided to run a 10k in them. Two issues for caution: a lower heel drop and the tongue.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

My running essentials

I've talked about the sneakers I choose for running, but logging miles requires other equipments. Here are my favorites.

For my Snapchat followers, I understand this is a repeat, with some extra details. For others, why are you not on Snapchat?... just kidding. I decided to try doing more of a story on Snap after seeing other websites, like PopSugar do some interesting stories.

Buddy Pouch, $13.99 Amazon

On longer training runs, I need to hydrate, but I find belts rub clothing wearing it out and holding a bottle in my hand can become a drag. I love this pouch that magnetically attaches to my waist band. Now if only they could make the bottle larger...

Supcase Samsung Galaxy s7 $14.99, Amazon

When the weather warms up, I need a place for my phone and use this arm band. I love that nothing covers the screen, I find it much easier to adjust settings on the go.

GU Energy Gel Chocolate Outrage, $11.60 for 8, Amazon

For my longer runs, I find gels help me power through and keep from hitting the wall. I originally wanted fruit flavored, but I love this chocolate flavor, it tastes like chocolate pudding. I also like the GU gels are more concentrated, meaning less to eat during a run.


Back when I used to participate in figure skating camps, I used to drink tons of Gatorade. Now that I am running, I find myself drinking it again. I like the electrolytes and find they help me feel better when I am sweating a lot. For shorter runs or when using gels, I like the low calorie G2 for electrolytes without too much sugar.

Old Navy Go-Dry Cool Compression Bermudas, $18

Once temperatures heat up, I prefer running in shorts, which unfortunately can lead to thigh chaffing. These are the perfect length to prevent that, but still keep me cool. They have held up through lots of races and training. They have a small pocket in the front for essentials. I have gotten various prints on clearance for as little as $5.

Kirkland Active Top, ~$19.99, Costco

I am hoping Costco comes out with more of these and temperatures warm up. I love the t-shirt style, which prevents sunburn, the small zipper pocket for essentials, like keys or a gel, and the mesh to keep me cool. 

Kirkland Active Jacket, $29.99, Costco

I have multiple Costco active jackets and they are my favorite. This one is still available and has wind proof patches, a hidden hood, and thumbholes to keep your hands warm. Plus two large pockets to stash my phone and essentials. Can't beat the price!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Could sneakers be the key to a faster marathon?

The Nike Zoom Vaporfly

As I have talked about my running sneaker choices, I realize that shoes could make a run more comfortable, more stable, but could they make you faster?

Sneaker company Nike has teamed up with elite runners and scientists since 2014 to achieve a sub 2 hour marathon, something some believe is impossible. The effort is known as Breaking2. The current fastest time is 2:03:03, quite impressive given how many recreational runners struggle to sub 2 a half marathon.

As part of that effort, Nike is releasing new sneakers. 

The Zoom Vaporfly Elite is only for the runners trying to break the 2 hour mark. The new revolution is a ultra light weigh cushioning material, known as ZoomX. The cushioning is lighter and softer than traditional foams, allowing more of it to be added, while still keep the shoe light. As a result, according to Nike, the sneakers are taller and more responsive while providing more cushioning from the road than a traditional racing shoe. The height of the shoe is also designed to reduce Achilles tendon strain. The sneakers only weigh 6.5 ounces, very light for a running shoe.

The Zoom Vaporfly has a unique heel designed to reduce drag, according to Runner's World.

The upper is Nike Flyknit, a knit material designed to be supportive. 

In between 2 layers of foam is the most controversial part, a carbon-fiber plate. According to Nike the plate adds stiffness and helps reduce energy loss. According to the New York Times, the plate is shaped like a spoon and acts "as a kind of slingshot, or catapult, to propel runners forward." 

The plate is designed to reduce 4 percent of the energy required to run. The NY Times says that's the equivalent of running downhill 1 to 1.5 percent.

That's where the controversy comes in. as any shoes that give an unfair advantage, like a spring are banned. According to the NY Times, Spira Footwear had shoes banned because of spring technology.

So far the Nike Zoom Vaporfly is allowed. Runners have worn an earlier version to great success. "The shoes cushioned the feet of all three medalists in the men’s marathon at the Rio Olympics last summer. Later, in the fall, they were worn by the winners of major marathons in Berlin, Chicago and New York," according to the NY Times.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Through the Sole named a top shoe blog

I have some exciting news to share: Through the Sole was named to Feedspot's list of Top 75 Shoe Blogs. Thank you for the honor!

If you're unfamiliar, Feedspot, is a content aggregator.

In other exciting news, Through the Sole has been getting a record number of hits. In January, it was nearly 6,200 page views, a record, and then February topped that with nearly 6,600 pageviews.

Thank you so much for all your time and support!

And this is Through the Sole's 150th post. Here's to many more!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

President Trump and shoes

No matter where you stand on politics, we can all agree that President Trump is making changes. One thing you probably did not expect him to influence is your shoe choices, but that is exactly what has happened.

Here are three shoe brands that have been impacted:

New Balance

Even before the inauguration, sneaker company, New Balance, was feeling the heat.

Wall Street Journal reporter, Sara Germano tweeted this about New Balance.

New Balance makes over 4 million shoes in the U.S. As an American manufacturer, trade deals with other nations could put New Balance at a disadvantage. 

Still, many Americans were not happy with the comment and decided not to buy the brand's shoes any more. Some even took to social media to share videos of them burning the sneakers.

In a statement to Sole Collector, New Balance clarified its position: "As the only major company that still makes athletic shoes in the United States, New Balance has a unique perspective on trade and trade policy in that we want to make more shoes in the United States, not less...New Balance publicly supported the trade positions of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump prior to election day that focused on American manufacturing job creation and we continue to support them today."

L.L. Bean

Iconic outdoor brand, L.L Bean, was the next to feel the heat. 

After reports that Linda Bean, a granddaughter of the company's founder, had donated thousands of dollars to a political action committee (PAC) that supported Trump's presidential campaign, liberals began to boycott the company. 

Then, in mid-January, President Trump decided to show support for the retailer on Twitter.

The Twitter endorsement upset many, and some took to social media to say they were throwing out the brand's products or no longer buying from them, according to the NY Times.

Grab Your Wallet, a group that advocates boycotting companies with ties to the Trump Family, added L.L. Bean to their boycott list,

In a statement posted on Facebook, L.L. Bean said, "We were disappointed to learn that Grab Your Wallet is advocating a boycott against L.L.Bean solely because Linda Bean, who is only one of 50+ family members involved with the business, personally supported Donald Trump for President."

"We fully acknowledge and respect that some may disagree with the political views of a single member of our 10-person board of directors. Like most large families, the more than 50 family member-owners of the business hold views and embrace causes across the political spectrum, just as our employees and customers do. And as every member of the family would agree, no individual alone speaks on behalf of the business or represents the values of the company that L.L. built."

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Happy 7th Birthday Through the Sole!

Yesterday, Through the Sole turned lucky 7. Thank you for your readership and support!

This year, Through the Sole traveled to Cleveland, Ohio and to Charlotte, N.C. I also shared my continued running journey.

And just last month Through the Sole had its most visitors ever, over 6,100 visitors!

Here were the 6 most popular posts from the 6th year:

6) A new pair of running sneakers

5) The Shoe Ornaments on My Christmas Tree

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

3) Self-lacing shoes are actually here

2) Two more pairs of sneakers

1) Yet another new pair of sneakers