Archive for May 2012

Styles in Kids Shoes

Kids have their own sense of style which can be even more individual than adults. Kids have no qualms in mixing styles, patterns and colors in ways that seem to only be harmonious to them. Clothing and shoe manufacturers have finally clued into this and are making offerings that run the gamut of style influences and allow your kid to put their own personal stamp on their look.

One of the best places to see this is in kid's shoes. Choices for girls used to consists of mary janes, saddle shoes, lace ups, and canvas oxford-style sneakers. Boys' styles were made up of canvas high top sneakers, lace up shoes and loafers. Shoes, with the exception of dress up shoes like mary janes, were more about function than style.

Today, most of the hottest styles in adult sneakers are available in kids' sizes. Brands such as Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Saucony and Sketchers spend a great deal of time and advertising dollars to promote their products to kids. There are specialized shoes for just about any sport your kid could get into, such as running, basketball, baseball, hiking and water sports.

Shoe choices for girls also mirror adult styles. Strappy sandals, funky wedges, cute flats and platform shoes are available for girls at every price point and in all the colors of the rainbow. Boots of varying heights and styles, from sleek riding boots to UGG style boots, can be found for girls of any age.

Boys' shoes are still available in lace up styles, but now boys have the choice of slip ons, shoes that close with velcro or bungee type straps and rubber clogs. While the range of colors for boys is much more conservative than it is for girls, there are a lot more colors available than the standard black, tan or cordovan. Sneakers are the most popular choice of shoes for boys, which is a reflection of the overall shift toward a more casual style in kids' clothes.

The days of buying your kid one pair of basic shoes for school are over. To keep your kid happy and fashionable, style is as important as function.

By Laura Bramble

Ladies Golf Shoes - Are They Necessary?

Ladies golf shoes are not only stylish and comfy, but they can help your game (in case you needed justification to buy another pair of shoes). Golf shoes give you traction, keep you balanced and help prevent slipping during your swing. Not to say you can't play a good round in a pair of tennis shoes, but if its at all damp, you're going to want those golf shoes.

Golf shoes, in my humble opinion, have really improved over the years. Many of the women's golf shoes on the market are really quite fashionable. They now come in a variety of colors and some look just like everyday athletic shoes (remember when the only choice was the saddle shoe?). You can even wear golf sandals now, which keep your feet comfy and cool, but still keep you from slipping during your swing.

How do you find the perfect pair of golf shoes? Well, for me, I go for looks. Hate to admit that, but its the truth and I'm guessing that's how most ladies choose their golf shoe. Nike, Ecco, FootJoy, Puma and a number of other brands have done a great job of designing beautiful, comfortable golf sandals or shoes for the golfin' gal.

Do you have to spend a fortune on shoes? Well, depends on who you ask. Golf specific shoes can be outrageously expensive. You can go crazy spending hundreds of dollars on a pair of golf shoes, but I personally don't have the budget for that and I'm guessing many other golf gals don't either. You can search for deals on eBay or look for discontinued or close out sales to find a good price.

But it is worth it to invest in a decent pair of golfing shoes, especially if you golf a lot.

Now, with that said, I must share a funny story. I recently played in a golf tournament with my sister-in-law. She's a really good golfer and has been playing since she was a kid. We get in the golf cart and I noticed she didn't have any shoes on. I asked her where her shoes were and she said "oh, I play barefoot".

I laughed out loud. Here I'm writing about how a good pair of shoes will help your game and she golfs barefoot (and is much better then me!). She said to me, "you should try it". So I did. I took off my shoes around the 9th hole and tried playing barefoot.

I ended up putting my shoes back on at the next hole. I'm not really a barefoot kind of girl - especially on the golf course. But I found al ot of humor in this, because when it comes down to it, you have to do, and wear, what works for you!

By Susan Osborne

What Is An Oxford Shoe And Are They Fashionable Today?

An oxford is a basic shoe constructed from heavy leather that laces up. The shoe originated in Ireland and Scotland. Historically they were made from untanned leather and were somewhat plain. Oxfords of today are created in a variety of styles and are made from many different kinds of leather such as suede or tanned leather and even synthetic material. Oxford shoes are usually considered a dress or business shoe for both men and sometimes even for women. Contemporary oxfords are shoes that don't come above the ankle and most have a piece of leather carefully stitched over the upper. These are sometimes referred to as oxford caps or toe car oxfords. A dictionary definition of an oxford is, "an esthetically elegant style with closed lacing that typically comes in plain, full-brogue and semi-brogue versions."

There are five main categories of oxfords: Bluchers, Balmorals, Saddle Shoes, Kilties and Wingtips. Bluchers oxfords are open-laced leather shoes which have the sides of the shoe sewn onto the front. They appear to have four distinct segments. Shoes in this style with leather soles are often used for jazz dancing. Balmorals are close-laced shoes meaning the laces are not seen as they are under the smooth tongue flap. They appear very streamlined and almost seamless.

Saddle Shoes are oxfords with a piece of leather sewed on them in the shape of a horse's saddle, the saddle being either a different type or color of leather than the base of the shoe. The most popular and well-known variety are black and white. Another variety of men's oxfords are the Kilties. They are more detailed in their design and have a fringed leather tongue that covers both the laces and the eyelets. One of the most popular types of oxford is the Wingtip. This type of fashionable men's oxford derives its name from the toe brogueing (leather embroidery) which resembles the spread wings of a bird. The most formal of the oxford family are the black leather close-laced oxford known as Balmorals. They look smashing with a suit and tie for any occasion. Black is more formal and brown oxfords can be paired with a sportier tweed jacket and slacks.

For women, oxfords have never been more fun or fashionable than they are today. Women can choose from a multitude of styles and colors, from casual saddle shoes to comfort oxfords, fashion oxfords, hiking oxfords and professional types of oxfords. Casual saddle shoes for women feature a traditional split-suede buck, a cushion crepe sole and a comfortable heel. These days they move beyond the traditional black and white to pretty combinations of pastel and other fashion forward colors. Comfort oxfords are sporty shoes with a leather lining, a removable cushion insole and a slip resistant sole. Fashion oxfords come in are either platform sneakers or athletic-inspired sports shoes and have a cushioned insole, suede uppers and a lightweight flexible rubber sole. Hiking oxfords are rugged and versatile sometimes with reinforced steel toes, water-resistant uppers and slip-resistant soles.

There is an oxford for every man, woman, child and occasion. You probably have some in your closet right now. The oxford has been around for centuries and there is no sign of their popularity declining any time soon.

By Gregg Hall

Style Options For Women's Golf Shoes

In the past, the choices one had to decide between for golf shoes, particularly women's golf shoes, were not that plentiful. There were one or two styles, just slightly different from one another, and size. Metal spikes were fairly standard (although flat bottom, smooth shoes are also available). But the appearance did not give much to be excited about.

Now, though, the shoe industry has finally caught up with demand, and there are a LOT of choices between shoe style, both visually and in terms of construction. One of the first choices is whether you want spikes or not. If you do, chances are you will be going with rubber or plastic spikes, since the traditional metal spikes have generally fallen out of fashion (and are banned from many golf courses both in the U.S. and Europe).

Next you will want to decide what design you are going for. Many women's golf shoes take the traditional styles and adapt them with a slightly more feminine, but still delightfully classic (and classy) appearance. Saddle shoe style golf shoes are a great example of this, boasting the timeless black and white (or brown and white or even more colors) in a way that still has modern appeal.

Or you can go with wing-tip golf shoes. This is sophisticated and elegant, while still plenty capable. There are modern wing-tip styles as well as more traditional, old-fashioned inspired types. Whatever style you are looking for is probably an option.

However, there are plenty of women's golf shoes that are even more modern than just an updated saddle shoe. With a wealth of natural and synthetic materials to choose from, these shoes have really come a long way.

For example, you can easily get shoes that look more athletic or casual yet still provide the essential features you want in a golfing shoe. Canvas or leather (suede or otherwise) are great options, and these often include the rubber spikes that make golfing easier, without sacrificing modern and independent style choices.

However, as important as style is, it's also good to note that many golf courses outlaw athletic or 'street' shoes. This may make you want to choose women's golfing shoes that maintain some of the traditional appearances (such as saddle shoes, mentioned above). Just because your shoes have golf spikes and are worn only for golf, this does not mean that others may not doubt them based on appearance. This is a hassle that is simply not worth it.

And finally, don't forget comfort. Style isn't everything. You deserve women's golf shoes that are comfortable and supportive. They should fit snugly but not too tight, and should not rub or irritate your skin. It's important to look good and feel good on the course, but you won't feel good if you're sporting blisters.

By Kate Marsala

Saddle Shoes Complete Your 1950's Costume - Guide for Girls

Are you attending a costume party soon? You should think of something different. Try to find something that a lot of other people won't be doing. Why not come up with a 1950's costume? You'll have a ball dressing for that one. Just pick up some saddle shoes and a few other 1950's items. It's a pretty easy costume to put together.

Here's a list of items you'll need to complete your 1950's look:

Saddle Shoes. No 1950's costume is complete without saddle shoes. These were "the shoes" to have if you were in style back in the 50's. They were two-toned shoes made of leather. The shoes were usually black and white. The actual shoe part was white, but there was a black part across the shoe kind of like a small saddle. That's where the name came from.
Poodle Skirt. These skirts were all the rage back in the 50s. Some of the skirts were long, stopping right above the ankles. The shorter version of the skirt stopped right above the knees. But no matter the length of the skirt, they all had one thing in common: the poodle. Each skirt had a poodle sewn right above the hem. The skirt was popular because of its full shape. Women could dance freely without having their legs constricted by a tight-fitting skirt. Plus, the skirt was cute. People who love retro-fashions wear poodle skirts even now.
Bobby Socks. You cannot wear saddle shoes without bobby socks. The socks complete your 1950's costume. The foot part of the sock is kind of thin. But the upper part of the sock is thicker. You turn the thick part down to create an ankle cuff.

Where to Buy?

Saddle shoes, poodle skirts and bobby socks aren't hard to locate. You can order the shoes online. The skirt is also available online. Or you can make your own from a pattern. The socks can be ordered online or purchased from a store that sells school uniforms. Get these three items and you'll have the perfect 1950's costume.

There's no reason you should be embarrassed about not being able to fin saddle shoes.

By Cindy Maddlehorn

Saddle Shoes Are Back In Vogue

Men's saddle shoes, men's saddle oxfords or saddles, men's saddle shoes were popular in the post-war era when men would jive, dance jitterbug and listen to the vinyl album of "The King". The classic or usually called "old school" men's saddle shoes are dress shoes with white leather back and toe box. The shoe's vamp, instep, throat, eyelets and tongue are black in color. The vamp and instep are shaped like a saddle in the center (that's why it is called saddle shoes). A complementary black strip ran on the back of the heel in the rear of the shoe. Some saddle shoe has a buckle on top of the black strip. The saddle shoe's sole is made up of composite low heeled sole which usually coral in color. The style of the saddle shoes have been used over and over since it was first introduced on 1906. Saddle shoe manufacturers have produced saddle shoes in every color combination and designs imaginable. This comes in handy so you can have a pair to go along with just about any wardrobe.

The market demand of men's saddle shoes at that time produced a lot of two-toned colored men's saddle shoes. Even though there are a lot of men's casual dress shoes in today's fashion industry, men's saddle shoes are still very much available in the market. Today men's saddle shoes come in many variants. There are athletic men's saddle shoes for active individuals. For those golf aficionados out there, there are also golf saddle shoes. Waterproof men's saddle shoes are also out now. And for the casual type, you can always buy saddle oxfords that are popular among executives.

Nowadays, men's saddle shoes are usually used for golf and sometimes in retro attires.

Most golf saddles have a classic saddle look but with advance features in comfort and support. Most have leather upper with a rounded toe box and its saddle has a contrasting color. Sporty or athletic saddle shoes now have a shock absorbing midsoles and stabilizers. Sporty saddles have superb traction which is another reason why they are popular among golfers. Having a shoe with good traction is crucial when playing golf, especially when swinging or putting.

So if you want to rock and roll, try on the craze footwear that replaced the loafers. After all, saddle shoes are considered as the ultimate All American Shoes. Believe it or not among kids today saddle shoes are coming back in along with bowling shoes. Who would ever think that the shoes our parents wore would be in with our kids? Well, I'm not going to knock it. It's saved ma a ton of money on shoes just by passing on grandpa's and picking them up at garage sales!

by Gregg Hall