Women’s Boots That Are Fashionable Yet Comfy

I always look forward to boot season! I just LOVE a cute sweater paired with jeans and an awesome pair of boots. However, I have struggled to find boots that are supportive, look good on my feet/wide calves and that I can spend a whole day in without foot pain. Enter Aetrex women’s boots! I love all the attention to detail, not just in how they look, but in how they fit and feel on your feet. I’m going to share some of my favorite styles with you this Autumn.

The Kara Ankle Riding Boot

The Kara is a top winter and fall ankle boot with a comfortable stretch sweater design and functional side buckles for adjustability. This boot helps to align your knees, hips and back with built in Lynco® orthotic support while customizing to your foot with slow recovery memory foam cushioning. It keeps your feet odor free and prevents bacteria growth with anti-microbial technology and has soft fabric linings for comfort. I also love the side zipper, heel tab and side buckles for adjustability and ease of putting on and taking off. Most importantly, there is a removable foot bed so you can use these shoes with your Aetrex orthotics as well!

Chelsea Tall Riding Boot

Riding boots are a must-have for cooler weather, and the Chelsea combines fashion and comfort in an effortless style. I love how the sweater design in the back of the boot accommodates wider calves and provides a comfortable, unique look! This boot helps to align your knees, hips and back with built in Lynco® orthotic support while customizing to your foot with slow recovery memory foam cushioning. These also have a removable foot bed so you can use these shoes with your Aetrex orthotics as well!

Tessa Short Sweater Boot

The Tessa is a snug ankle boot with flexible sweater material that accommodates your movements to maximize comfort. The side-zip provides easy on/off wear making it great for casual Fall days. Featuring the Aetrex “Healthy 3” – Lynco Arch Support, Memory Foam Cushioning and Anti-microbial technology to keep your feet healthy and comfortable. I love that these are lightweight because of the cork/EVA midsole, making them good for a long day on your feet. The soft tumbled leather uppers not only look luxurious, but feel so soft, and look great without squeezing your feet.

Aetrex has other women’s boot styles you may also enjoy. Be sure to check out their website for a full selection.

 

Loving this cute, adjustable sandal!

I’m so excited that the weather is finally warming up. Once spring arrives, I am usually in sandals all the time, unless I’m working out. Having two young children, I always have to make sure that my sandals are comfortable, functional but also look cute. I’m always looking for the perfect sandal to go for a walk with the kids, run around at the playground, meet with clients or even go out with my friends – without looking like an old lady!

Enter the Terri adjustable thong! This sandal was love at first sight. It’s design is simple, yet stylish, and I absolutely love the leather petal details. I have a very high arch, and I love that these sandals are adjustable, so I can fit them specifically to my foot to make sure they don’t slip off when I’m running around after my kids.

I love that these cork midsoles are so lightweight, because I am on my feet all day, it’s important to make sure that my shoes aren’t weighing me down. The met bar pod in the ball-of-foot has also been a lifesaver for me because the extra cushioning has helped me avoid the sore, tired feet I get when I wear basic flip flops all day.

These Terri sandals are going to be my go-to sandals for this spring. The black is percent for every day, and I am loving the salmon for a little bit more fun and a pop of color!

You can learn more about these sandals and where to purchase them here.

 

6 Common Walking Mistakes to Prevent Back, Hip & Foot Pain

By Rachel Song

Walking is a great low-impact exercise for boosting cardiovascular health, strengthening muscles in the legs and glutes, and even preventing back pain common in those of us with 9 to 5 desk jobs.  The problem is that many people don’t learn how to walk properly as it seems like a fairly intuitive activity.  However, walking improperly not only prevents you from reaping the full benefits of the exercise but can also lead to injuries such as shin splints and foot pain.

Here are 6 common mistakes to avoid to improve your stride for a healthier walk:

  1. Over-striding

A natural tendency is to step out farther with the front foot when increasing walking speed.  This tendency throws off your natural gait, leading to a straighter knee, a harder heel strike, and a higher vertical leap which places even more pressure on the feet.

To avoid foot, shin, and hip pain, walk with shorter steps, pushing off harder with the rear foot to increase speed rather than compensating with a farther forward step.

  1. Limp arms

Letting your arms hang loosely by your sides while walking may be comfortable but they will act like weights pulling you back, putting pressure on your upper back and shoulders.

To walk more efficiently, keep your arms at a 90° angle and swing them forwards and backwards, keeping your elbows close to your sides and your hands below chest level at the forward swing.  Make sure your hands don’t cross the center of your chest as well—they should swing front and back, not to the side.  This natural swing will help elongate your upper back and shoulders to prevent tension as you walk.

  1. Looking down

It’s a natural inclination to look down at your feet while walking but unless you are on uneven or rocky terrain, it is more beneficial to keep your chin parallel to the ground and your head up.  This will lengthen your body, enhancing breath and lessening tension in your upper body.

  1. Not engaging your core

Walking without engaging your core leads to bad posture such as leaning back behind your hips or too far forward, which can put unnecessary strain on your lower back.

Keep your abdominals lightly engaged and your body tilted no more than 5° forward to keep your core activated.

  1. Overtraining

Walking mostly only builds the muscles at the back of your legs: calves, hamstrings, and glutes.  Therefore, continuous and repetitive walking can lead to an imbalance of muscle groups hazardous to the overall alignment of your body.

To combat this imbalance, throw in a few exercises for your quads and outer hips like squats, cycling, and outer leg swings.  It is important to keep your body aligned to prevent straining any one muscle group such as the hips.

  1. Wearing the wrong shoes

Hopefully this isn’t the first time you’re hearing that you need proper footwear to exercise properly.  Stiff or unsupportive shoes can cause a number of common foot condition such as Plantar Fasciitis, Metatarsalgia, and Bunions by restricting natural foot movement.

In contrast, properly designed & cushioned footwear from healthy footwear brands like Aetrex can prevent and even provide relief from these conditions.  The proper footwear should allow your foot full mobility while providing protection from natural wear and tear.

That’s why every Aetrex shoe features the “Healthy 3,” comprised of Lynco® orthotic support, memory foam cushioning, and Aegis® anti-microbial technology.

These attributes are perfect for walking: the orthotic is designed with arch support to minimize over-pronation, essentially stabilizing your stride and supporting the natural curves in your feet. The memory foam absorbs shock as your foot lands on hard surfaces, providing the proper cushioning needed to sustain long excursions.  Finally the Aegis® layer helps prevent odor and bacteria for a healthier foot environment.

This all may seem like a lot to remember but with some practice they should become a natural part of your routine and will lead to a healthier, well-balanced body! Good luck!

Strengthen your Feet & Prevent Common Foot Conditions with these 5 Exercises

By Rachel Song

Even some of the most health-conscious people neglect their feet.  It’s easy to do until you start to feel discomfort, which is highly likely with studies revealing that a majority of Americans have experienced foot pain, approximately 75%!

Aside from wearing shoes that provide proper support and cushioning from healthy footwear brands such as Aetrex, exercising is a great way to maintain your foot fitness!

These 5 quick moves are great for strengthening and stretching vital foot muscles that may help in preventing or relieving common foot pains:

  1. Toe grip

Drop a pencil on the floor and use your toes to grip and lift it off the floor. Hold the grip for 10 seconds and release. Repeat the exercise five times with each foot.

  1. Toe presses

Stand with feet hip width apart and grip the floor with your toes for 20 seconds and relax.  Repeat 10 times.

  1. Resisted toe extension

Toe-Abduction-stretch

Wrap an elastic band around all five toes.  Stretch your pinky and big toes in opposite directions as far as you are able, resisting the pressure of the elastic band.  Hold the extension for 5 seconds and release.  Repeat the exercise 5 times with each foot.

 

  1. Calf stretch

Sit with one leg straight out in front of you and the other bent comfortably inward towards your body.  Wrap a towel or exercise band around the ball of the extended foot and pull back on it gently.  Stop and hold the position for 10 seconds when you feel a challenging but still comfortable stretch in the arch of the foot and the calf.  Repeat the stretch 5 times on each leg.

Seated-Calf-Stretch

  1. Take a walk!

Walking is the best exercise for your feet as it promotes healthy blood circulation and muscle development.  Aim to take several short walking breaks throughout the day and go barefoot whenever possible to target the smaller muscles in your feet that are confined in your shoes all day.

Include these simple exercises along with healthy footwear providing proper arch support, cushioning, & alignment in your daily routine to recover or maintain your foot health!

Foot Pain? Your Shoes may be the Culprit

By Rachel Song

Foot health obtains varying levels of priority in American society.  Like our attitude towards other matters of health, most of us only start to worry about our feet when we start to experience problems.  Statistics show that foot health issues are highly likely to occur with 88% of women wearing shoes too small and 55% developing the associated foot conditions such as bunions, which is 9 times more common in women than in men.

There are several different ways you can develop this condition but the biggest culprit is ill-fitting shoes that pinch the toes and compress the foot.

Here are a few examples of footwear that can cause and worsen bunions & other foot conditions:

  1. The pointed-toe shoe

Shoes that are too narrow are bad for your feet because they compress your foot causing a protective barrier around the nerves within to break down.  As fluid builds up, you may experience inflammation and discomfort that eventually translate into foot deformities. The pointed toe can even force your toes to squeeze on top of one another which can lead up to a permanent deformity called crossover toe.  Also common are calluses that form between the toes as they chafe together.

  1. Small shoes

Shoes that are short in length relative to your feet can also cause a wide range of foot issues.  Hammertoe is a common consequence of wearing shoes too small.  Although this tip may seem obvious, many women don’t wear shoes that are the correct length.  There should be at least an inch of space between the tip of your big toe and the tip of your shoe to accommodate the shifting of your foot within the shoe as you walk in them.  To get your feet properly measured, visit a local footwear retailer or try the insert removal test to check shoes for the proper length featured in the video (1:48) below.

  1. High heels

High heels put an abnormal amount of pressure on your forefoot and strain the tendons and ligaments along your foot.  Yet we all know that heels are hard to resist especially on special occasions.  For those days, try opting for a lower heel to reduce the strain on your foot and make sure to do some foot stretches at the end of the day!

While the search for fashionable yet healthy shoes may seem daunting, the rise of comfort footwear brands makes it a lot simpler than you’d think!  Brands such as Aetrex cater specifically to health-conscious people who value comfort and wellbeing using innovative technologies such as Lynco orthotics for better support, balance, & alignment, slow-recovery memory foam, and PU midsoles for shock absorption & resilience.  They also create wider toe boxes to accommodate the natural shape of the human foot! This couldn’t be a better time to reevaluate your shoe collection to prevent or alleviate painful foot conditions.

Foot Health Issues: Causes & Solutions

By Rachel Song, Aetrex Marketing

Did you know 75% of Americans will experience foot health problems at least once in their lives? Of this inordinately high percentage, 4 out of 5 are women largely due to unhealthy footwear such as high heels and ill-fitting shoes. For that reason, any foot pain you’re struggling with can most likely be alleviated by better footwear. The best of healthy footwear provides proper body alignment, shock absorption, arch support, and pressure-alleviating cushioning among other benefits. Aetrex is a great resource for reevaluating your shoe wardrobe because it has one of the most comprehensive selections catering to different foot types and conditions. Stretch materials, adjustability, and wide toe boxes are just a few ways Aetrex keeps shoes uniquely comfortable.

Every foot is different and getting to know yours is vital to choosing footwear that’ll keep your feet healthy!

Arch type, size, and pressure points are the primary things to consider:

  1. Arch type

There are three varying levels of arch height you should be aware of in order to find insoles that provide the right support for your feet.

arches2

People with low arches or flat feet need medial rear foot posting (slightly increases heel height) and arch support to help correct over-pronation, the most common foot problem related to this foot type.

People with medium arch feet are susceptible to heel pain and metatarsalgia and require medium arch support as well as cupped rear foot cushioning.

Finally, people with high arches should also use cupped rear foot cushioning and metatarsal pads for forefoot relief.

  1. Size

This one is fairly straight-forward. Your shoes should match the length and width of your feet! The average foot size starts to increase anywhere between the ages of thirty and forty due to the gradual collapse of the arch of the foot & weight gain but most people continue to wear the same shoe size, making themselves vulnerable to all types of foot conditions related to tight footwear. To find the most accurate size for you, get your feet measured either by a professional or by using high-tech foot scanning machines such as iStep, patented by Aetrex, which captures length and width to the nearest millimeter.

  1. Pressure points

Depending on the structure of your foot and the way your body distributes weight, different sections of your feet will accumulate varying levels of pressure. Aside from providing measurement, the iStep foot scanner also identifies where your feet bear the most weight and custom selects an orthotic for your needs. A unique, customizable orthotic from Aetrex goes one step further and allows you to adjust the orthotic according to the pressure points detected. The Mozaic orthotic has removable gel cushioning pads enabling you to alleviate painful spots on your feet by sharing weight more evenly across the rest of your foot.

Not enough people pay attention to their feet, especially considering how important they are to a functional life. Today, it can’t get any easier to properly care for your feet with all the advances in the technology and design of healthy footwear. Plus, while healthy and comfortable footwear has built up the reputation of being aesthetically unappealing and elderly-looking in the past, there are brands such as Aetrex that place as much focus on fashion as comfort and wellness in their products. Comfort fashion is a growing trend for a reason. You should never have to sacrifice your health to feel your best looking!

How an Aetrex Shoe Is Born: Behind the Scenes of Product Development

By Lina Kirby, Aetrex Marketing

Ladies own about 20 pairs of shoes on average but I don’t know about you—I tend to not ask too many questions beyond, “Is it cute?” and “Is it comfortable?” when I’m shopping.

Whenever I walk into a shoe store, I feel like I’m on a mission. I scan the aisles, zero in on a particular size and style, and block everything else out. What I think a lot of us shoe-shoppers don’t realize is the amount of creativity and hard work that goes into every single style you see on the shelf.

The array of Aetrex shoes in the Product Development office.
The array of Aetrex shoes in the Product Development office.

The other day, I got to take a fun behind-the-scenes look at the Product Development team at Aetrex. When you step into their office, it’s like Christmas in Santa’s Workshop if he only catered to shoe lovers. Everyone’s desks are surrounded by shoes and drawings, style guides and color palettes, leathers and soles, oh my! Rows of Aetrex shoes fill the walls and prototypes for the future are scattered about but the team is laser-focused on making sure each individual shoe is just right.

All Aetrex shoes incorporate the “Healthy 3”—Lynco® orthotic footbeds, memory foam cushioning, and antimicrobial linings to create the healthiest shoes you’ll ever wear. And this team is exactly who is responsible for making sure all of that happens in a cute and stylish little package!

The in-house footwear designer’s sketches are neatly and proudly displayed as constant reminders of the goal ahead. This is where all of the strategic creativity is born—to create shoes that are unique and fashionable but incorporate all of the important healthy elements that make Aetrex, Aetrex!

Footwear designs.
Footwear designs.

But what I find to be the coolest part of the process is the way this team knows every nuance of every shoe–how moving a strap a few millimeters can change the entire fit or adding a little extra stretch can make a world of difference. The mad scientists in the group look like they’re performing surgery with small utility knives and bottles of crazy glue to get each shoe just right.

The Product Development team analyzing an early production shoe sample.
The Product Development team analyzing an early production shoe sample.

The team asks office employees to come in and fit test the shoes, watching the way the shoe moves as they walk, taking vigorous notes if something is bothersome to the foot or feels extra-comfortable. They even have testers stand on top of a makeshift platform to get a closer look. I got to do it, too… made me wish I got that pedicure I kept putting off!

The team utilizes Aetrex employees to help them properly fit the shoes.
The team utilizes Aetrex employees to help them properly fit the shoes.

Understanding all of the details that go into one single Aetrex shoe–the arch support, the adjustability features, the leathers and stitching, and beyond–it gives me a much deeper appreciation for the work done to create the pair of shoes I choose to keep me comfortable all day long. Hopefully now when you take a look at the long line of finished Aetrex products, you’ll see them in a whole new light!

Aetrex Healthy Three – I’m loving it!

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As a health enthusiast, it always baffles me when people take their foot health for granted. Our feet are such an important part of our body. We depend on them to get us where we need to go, and as anyone who has ever had a foot issue knows, when your feet aren’t happy, you aren’t happy. This is why I think it’s so important to treat our feet with the love and respect they deserve!

To me, supporting our feet with proper footwear is essential to good foot health. If you are squeezing your feet into unsupportive, ill-fitting shoes, you are surely creating serious future foot problems that can be inconvenient as well as uncomfortable or even painful.

I love that Aetrex’s shoes feature the “Healthy Three.” I absolutely adore my Lynco orthotics! The fact that they are now incorporated into the footbed of the Aetrex shoes is simply awesome! They help to keep my body in alignment and my arches properly supported. I also love the super-comfy memory foam that cushions my foot and provides a customized fit. Last but not least, the anti-microbial technology maintains a healthy environment for my feet and helps to keep the “stinkies” away.

I know that when I have on comfortable shoes, it makes it that much easier to get through my busy day. When my feet are bothering me, it just makes everything I do seem like a chore. I love that these shoes help my feet feel awesome AND that they look super-cute! It’s a win-win!