It’s only February 1st, and the staff at Mar-Lou is already thinking about spring/summer footwear. We have new arrivals already from two lines – Naot and SAS. Both brands feature incredible comfort and support. Naot is a bit more style-based, while SAS creates tried-and-true classics with tons of adjustability.
This spring, SAS set the sandal-bar with the introduction of a new style: Mystic. If you’ve been wearing SAS for years, you may recognize this sandal from your own closet. Mystic is an update to the SAS Trio sandal, featuring even MORE adjustability than the original.
Mystic is crafted with four adjustable straps – three across the instep and one around the ankle.
Four adjustable straps make it easy to customize the fit of the shoe from day to day. Feet often change and swell the longer the day goes on. Your feet will feel comfortable no matter what time it is in this savvy new sandal.
Along with fit capabilities, Mystic features a soft, resilient footbed covered in suede. Find arch support and a soft landing for your heel, as well as a durable outsole. Ranging in widths from narrow to double wide, and available in a range of colors, from staple black to unique turquoise, Mystic is the perfect sandal for any foot this spring and summer.
What exactly is plantar fasciitis?
There’s a flat ligament linking your heel bone to your toes. Specifically, this ligament supports the arch in your foot. Over time, the tissue in this ligament may become strained, weakened or irritated in some way. Discomfort develops because the weakened ligament is no longer supporting your foot the way it should be – this is plantar fasciitis.
Many people who suffer from plantar fasciitis visit our store in the hopes of finding comfortable footwear. While plantar fasciitis can occur for any number of reasons, one element is common among those who have it: pain. Shopping for and finding comfortable footwear can quickly become a hassle. One of the most important features to look for when shopping to alleviate plantar fasciitis is arch support. Finding the perfect type of arch support is a game changer.
Ziera is a fantastic brand to look at when shopping for shoes to help alleviate the pain caused by plantar fasciitis. This company stems from New Zealand, and has found success creating shoes with incredible arch support. Ziera’s innovative designs even allow the wearer to replace the footbed with her own custom orthotic. Even better: Ziera works hard to create footwear you actually want to wear. Ziera designs unique styles from boots to sandals.
Below are 3 of our best-selling Ziera styles:
Smartwool socks are the misunderstood wonders of the clothing world. Customers sometimes say, in regard to Smartwool products, one of the following three statements:
1. “I don’t like wool socks they’re too warm.”
2. “Wool socks are too heavy.”
3. “Wool socks are scratchy.”
All three of these statements are easily debunked when it comes to Smartwool socks. They are made with a specific type of wool: merino. Merino wool fibers are breathable and made to manage moisture. Merino “…can absorb and retain up to 30% of its own weight in moisture and still feel dry to the touch” (smartwool.com). What does this mean in the grand scheme of things? Merino wool keeps you dry as your body becomes warmer, but adjusts to keep you warm as your body’s temperature drops and becomes cooler. This “smart” wool uses your body’s heating and cooling system to adjust your core temp to a comfortable degree in any element.
“Thermal body mapping” helps determine which areas of the body get the warmest and coolest at any given temperature. This technology is what helps make Smartwool better than the rest. Manufacturers of the products use more wool in “cold” areas and less wool in areas where the body typically heats up.
Last but not least, Smartwool uses a special knit construction to get the most out of merino wool. This helps in the heating/cooling part of construction, as well as the “itch factor”. Merino wool is made of very fine fibers, meaning they do not itch against the skin. In fact, these particular wool socks feel soft to the touch and flex easily, fitting your unique foot to a T.
Smartwool products are just that: smart. They are wearable in winter, summer and every season in between. To learn even more about these fantastic socks, click here.
It’s important to find out what features and benefits you’re spending money on when buying footwear. Knowing how and why a specific shoe will work for you is something all consumers should be aware of. Our men’s footwear buyer, Samantha Leta, gives you the scoop on why removable footbeds might be just right for you.
- “Removable footbeds allow you to put your own insole inside.”
Do you have custom orthotics? Or simply prefer your Powerstep inserts over most shoe supports? Removable footbeds make room for these kind of adjustments. Brands that feature removable footbeds in most styles include: Ziera, Finn Comfort, Wolky, San Antonio Shoemakers (SAS), as well as some Munro American product. When in doubt, especially while shopping online, look at the product features. 9 times out of 10 if the item has a removable footbed that information will be listed in the product features section.
- “Some removable footbeds provide dual-width capabilities.”
Ever fallen in love with a shoe, but found out the company does not make it in the width you need? If the inside of a shoe is finished properly, removing the footbed can provide extra width without losing out on comfort for those who need it.
- “Removable insoles make it possible to put in replacements.”
Sometimes the footbeds of shoes wear out before the outsoles do. This may happen for several reasons. Frequent wear runs down the footbed fabric, may cause unwanted odors and can decrease cushion and support. Some brands, Finn Comfort for instance, have footbeds that can be completely removed and replaced. Some companies will even manufacture a new insole for you.
Wedges have always made for a fabulous fashion statement, from Salvatore Ferragamo’s creation in the 1930s to present day. Most wedges (not all) offer more comfort and support than a high heel or stiletto shoe. With fashion and science evolving every day, many companies are finding unique ways to create wedges that are actually pretty good for your feet. The right design has the ability to provide incredible arch support and comfort that lasts when you’re on your feet all day.
Whether you’re searching for a summery shoe with comfort, style or a blend of both, the right wedge can provide you with exactly what you’re looking for.
Below is a list of our favorite wedges this season:
- Ka by Wolky
Arch support abounds in this unique wedge by the Dutch company, Wolky. Ka is adjustable at the ankle and across the front of the foot. After your first wear, Ka’s footbed molds itself to your distinct foot shape. If that’s not enough to convince you how amazing these wedges are, the company name itself tells you: Wolky stems from the Dutch word for cloud – “wolk”. The second you step into a pair of these bad boys, you’ll understand why they rock.
- Carousel by Taos
Adjustability across the front and around the ankle is beneficial when it comes to finding that “perfect fit” (we really love adjustability at our store). The suede-lined footbed is made from cork and contours to your specific foot. If reviews on the Carousel don’t convince you they’re amazing, we don’t know what will. Other than trying them on yourself, of course.
- Calla by Earth
Here’s the scoop on Earth brand shoes: the footbed and support structure is modeled after a specific yoga pose. Mountain pose or “tadasana” finds you standing with your back straight, core pulled in, hands at your sides and feet firmly planted beneath you. This promotes proper posture and connects you to the earth from the feet up. Calla emulates mountain pose by providing firm support in the arch, keeping you feeling steady and comfortable on your feet.
- Clarene Award by Clarks
Behold! A cute, comfy wedge offered in WIDE WIDTHS. Clarene Award has made quite an impact this season, with its offering of bright colors and, most importantly, Clarks Ortholite footbed construction. Ortholite is a blend of synthetic materials and recycled rubber that creates a lightweight, easy-to-walk-in cushioning.
- Cast by Walking Cradles
Aside from the fact that this shoe is adjustable (shocking, we know) and available in widths up to a double wide, the big deal here is the Tiny Pillows footbed technology. You can probably guess what the footbed on these slip-on wedges feels comparable to. Tiny Pillows is 5mm of foam that not only cushions while you’re wearing it, but bounces back after you’ve removed the shoe. This makes for lasting, durable comfort over the years.
What makes Wolky shoes unique?
Aside from the obvious – bright colors, funky patterns and eye-catching design – Wolky shoes are designed specifically for walking. The word “Wolk” is actually Dutch for “cloud”. Cloud-like softness inspires the careful craftsmanship of each shoe from this bold brand.
Cork and memory foam contoured footbeds are anatomically designed to mold to your unique foot shape. Feet are cradled in cushioning and shock is absorbed with each step. This means less pressure on joints and an added bonus of an overall more comfortable walking experience. Find superior cushioning comfort in each footbed, while the wide-bottom shape allows for your weight to be spread evenly across the shoe. This allows for more correct posture and less strain with movement.
At this point, you might be saying to yourself: “This is all well and good, but what about my orthotics?” Many Wolky styles are crafted with removable footbeds – custom orthotics are no problem! Versatility is a key factor in the creation of each shoe. At Mar-Lou, we love brands that appeal to every type of customer and foot need – exactly why we have such enthusiasm for the Wolky line.
Wolky takes the best of both worlds – fun style and ultimate comfort – and blends them beautifully. You’ll never find yourself bored with the wide range of styles and varieties offered, and you’ll never find yourself uncomfortable. If you’ve been looking for a walking shoe that keeps it fresh and keeps you comfy, look no further than Wolky.
Never tried on a pair? This weekend is the perfect opportunity to expand your horizons! Our Wolky rep will be at Mar-Lou on Saturday to show off the entire line. Whether you’re a Wolky-fanatic or a first-timer, stop in and see what all the fuss is about.
An added bonus: with each Wolky purchase made May 19-29, 2016, you’ll receive a $20 Mar-Lou Shoes gift certificate!
SAS makes getting ready in the morning easy with all the gorgeous slip-ons they have to choose from. From the Simplify to the Metro SAS makes sure you look good, and most importantly, they make sure your feet feel fantastic.
Let’s face it. The weather this winter has been… confused, to put it lightly. We get 50 degrees for two days, snow for three, rain for one, and then it’s back to 60 degrees and sunny again. While I can’t complain about this mild winter we’ve been having, I will say it would be nice to have some consistency, if only from my wardrobe’s standpoint. At this point, most of my fall and winter clothes have met in a large group on the floor of my bedroom. Every time I put my lighter clothing away, it hits 50 degrees, and I drag my short sleeves right back out again.
While it can be difficult to find all purpose clothes for every season, it is much easier to find all purpose footwear. The perfect style to invest in this “winter” season is a fabulous pair of boots that are waterproof, but don’t make you look like you’re about to go trekking through the arctic tundra. Having a heavy duty pair of snow boots is immeasurably important, but weather like we’ve been having calls for a different type of boot.
Luckily, for us, we live in the age of multi-tasking. People multi-task, technology multi-tasks and, yes, even our footwear multi-tasks. Weatherproof, durable footwear that looks great with your favorite pair of jeans or dress pants is no longer a myth. At Mar-Lou, we carry a lot of great brands with adorable waterproof boots. Blondo boots bring their “A” game when it comes to cute, waterproof footwear. The five styles pictured below fit the bill. All five are waterproof without screaming I’M WATERPROOF. No silly patterns normally associated with rainboots, no clunky design. Sleek, trendy, on-point for almost any outfit.
So. It’s December 17th. We’ve yet to see snow or even temperatures below 40 degrees. I’m not entirely upset about the overall lack of chill this winter, because it means I get to wear my favorite fall shoes even longer! When it comes to fall footwear, we have selections in both women’s AND men’s. Jerod Cherry knows this! A former NFL player for the New England Patriots, and renowned radio show host on WKNR in the Cleveland area, he is a loyal customer. The Mar-Lou family appreciates all he does to promote our store. Jerod recently stopped in to the store to participate in a photoshoot to show off some of our amazing men’s footwear. Three outfit and four shoe changes later, we had a ton of pictures, and a lot of fun! Stay tuned to the Mar-Lou blog the next couple of weeks to see images from our shoot, and to see some of our men’s footwear in action!