Saturday, October 23, 2010



Words, Images Judith Ecochard

What started small--- has grown into a major “thing” of the footwear industry…the wellness, natural/barefoot style--- lifestyle ped groundswell--- in shoes and sneakers.

With a large booth at this past Outdoor Retailer, Earth Footwear …”GOOD FOR YOU GOOD FOR THE PLANET” is founded on a 3.7 degree incline that pushes the toes that much higher than the heel…thereby moving one’s weight baring back on the heels, letting the toes spread out …a position that’s “good for you.”

PLUS: Reinforced support throughout the arch and BioFoam® Cushioning, made from 70% recycled materials (YES)…for the supportve, shock absorbing footbeds that mold to the shape of the wearers’ feet. And it's all supposed to help tone up that lower body half making those muscles work a bit more  from "the gluteus to the maximus."

AND unlike other shoes…doesn’t throw off the body from its natural stride, so it works the right muscles correctly.

While “curing the high heel hang-over”…Earth footwear is also comitted to being good for the planet by sourcing renewable and/or biodegradable materials for its materials.

And---uses water based glues in the manufacturing process…for look good/ feel good style we thought absolutely adorable.

For Spring---we favored the hand crafted elements (beads, stones)---a strong theme for Spring in sandals---

Laser Cuts

Multi-strap Cage in on trend, snake print.

 Lifestyle Sneakers for walking warriors --- rated up there by Consumer Reports...

(MSRP $69.99-$119)

AVAILABLE NOW: Fall 2010 Earth’s offerings are heavy into boots…with a comfy rocker style heel…for a kicker “that brings style to new heights.”

There are rain boots in graphics--that are completely waterproof--- made from shiny microfiber patent.

Widely available too ---on line and in brick/mortar stores ranging from chic shoe boutiques to Whole Foods.

The slouchy suede Swank in Iron Grey ($149)

Invent ($109) forpull on warmth that's "posture-perfecting"

KIGO: Minimalist Footwear

We cruised right by the Kigo display at OR---but after sloooowing down…found it…and feel that for a debut at this tradeshow…the company's moderately priced, durable minimalist/barefoot athletics shoe collection …probably was founded by others too.

Weighing between 4-5 ounces, these flexible, hookless shoes have non-slip grooving, breathable stain’water resistant uppers with four way stretch (like a lot of the apparel we review)…and an anti-microbial removable EVA insole.

We saw two models at the show…a second generation as it was---from the original transitional travel shoes that started it all…

The CURVE –a Mary-Jane style that’s an all around town kind of shoe. Light and sporty cute---with a protective rubber toe, and a webbed loop for easy slip on and off...

The EDGE is designed for active types on terrain from the trail to a sandy beach---for men and women. Geared for those with a “Barefoot” stride, the high grip outsoles  are ‘enough’ to offer full protection…and the removeable EVA insoles add up to the dry slip-free tread. In 6 color comboc...

ADDED PLUS: Eco-friendly post consumer uppers made from “Cyclepet™ ” ---an energy conserving (to make) fabric made from PET plastic bootles/jugs.

And treated with “C 6” an EPA approved washed in water/stain protection that’s not toxic.

(MSRP $69.99)