Injury-Proof Your Casual Shoes

2015_02_10_2flatsAs you probably know by now, we really love shoes here at PlanetShoes. Everything from winter boots to strappy heels gets our attention. See one of us walking down the street and our eyes will probably be looking down near the ground, checking out everyone’s shoes and the brands they love!

As much as we love them though, shoes can be awfully finicky. Whether you’re in between sizes or have foot issues like tendinitis, plantar fasciitis or bunions, it can sure be difficult to find the perfect pair of shoes that keep you pain-free all day long.

Knowing shoes as well as we do, we have a bit of insight into how to keep your feet as injury-proof as possible this spring. Whether you’re off for a night on the town or at a casual brunch on Sunday morning, we know exactly how to keep your feet happy in your shoes!

Let’s Make Your Casuals Comfortable
Heading out for date night? Dress shoes like heels, peep-toe pumps and flats can do a number on your feet… especially if you’re dancing the night away. For heels and pumps especially, be sure to test them out by walking around your house for a bit before you go out in them. The narrow shape of these high-heeled wonders can crowd your toes and blister your lower feet, so looking for heels with a wider toe box is key (your toes should be able to wiggle!). To avoid slipping and potentially twisting your ankle, grab some Foot Petalz—small stickers you put on the bottom of your heels to keep sturdy on slippery surfaces.

4615e8dce1cba31777de8ad49e509109While flats may not have the same issues as heels do, these shoes oftentimes don’t come with very good arch support. If you have feet that tend to feel best in this kind of support, look for flats that explicitly state their “high arch support” quality in the description. If you end up with (or already have) a pair of flats that hurt your feet, find a great insole to insert into your sole for a comfortable, easy walking experience.

As the weather gets warmer and sandals make their debut, arch support is important to keep in mind. Flip-flops are truly tough on your feet, offering little support while allowing feet to be subject to dirt and other debris. However, they’re super convenient. Try to wear flip-flops sparingly if you have finicky feet, choosing sandals with straps to hold your feet in and significant arch support. When you do wear sandals, be sure to moisturize your feet regularly to keep them happy and fresh!

How do you injury-proof your casual shoes? How do you take care of them? We’d love to hear your tips!

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How to Wear: Socks with Boots!

Here at PlanetShoes, we believe that accessories can truly make the outfit. From our love of shoes to scarves to hats and bags, we’re constantly looking for new ways to outfit ourselves in the most unique accessories we can find.

One winter accessory that tends to get lost in the crowd? Socks! Some bright color peeking out from the top of a riding boot, scrunched solids adding a little flair to ankle booties… the opportunities are endless when you accessorize with socks. Plus, they keep your feet warm… and with all this snow up in Boston, we’ve been really relying on quality socks and boots to keep our feet happy this winter.

Check out how we’re wearing some of our favorite socks. How do you stay warm and still look great in the winter? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

bootsock-blog-1.smlThese Clarks booties look great with some scrunched up Fits Sock Co. socks peeking around your ankle. Pair with a flirty dress or skirt with fleece-lined tights for an adorable winter look.

bootsock-blog-2.smlThese Miz Mooz mid-calf boots look best with crew cut socks in great colors. Pair with jeans for a casual yet fun outfit.

bootsock-blog-3.smlThese gorgeous tall Ariat riding boots stand out when paired next to funky, textured socks. Stick with subtle, classic colors for a more professional vibe.

How do you wear socks with boots? What are your favorite winter accessories? Let us know in the comments below and you could be featured in our next post!

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Explore our Home City: Boston!

boston skylineHere at PlanetShoes, we’re super proud of our home city. With downtown Boston just a few miles down the road, we’re in the heart of a culture-packed city filled with fun things to do and amazing sights to see. We love the small town feel, the delicious seafood and, of course, the sports teams we just can’t get enough of. :)

Right now, whilst under foot upon foot of snow, our weekend fun is pretty much relegated to dinners and brunches… which is totally fine, because there are tons of delicious restaurants around, both newly opened and traditional classics. At the same time, we’re still dreaming of warmer seasons leisurely strolling through our favorite city locales a dress and some flats.

We’ve decided to put together a list of our favorite places, both for our own bucket lists and for yours if you’re planning a great Boston trip this spring (we definitely recommend it!). Check out our faves, and let us know where you love to visit when you’re here.

Walk this Path
The Freedom Trail is definitely a classic if you’re into American history, but it’s also just a great way to walk through the city. It basically takes you through all of downtown (be sure to note cute restaurants as you go!). If you’re looking for a more leisurely path, start walking through the Boston Common, through the Public Garden, across the swan boat bridge and onto Commonwealth Avenue, one of the most beautiful streets in Boston (Tom Brady used to live here!). Parallel to Comm Ave is the infamous Newbury Street, known for its collection of fashionable shops and eateries.

Go Sky High
If you’re looking to see the city from a better angle, head up to the top of the Prudential Center to see a sky-high view. You can pay to go up to the observation deck, or you can have lunch at the Top of the Hub (if you’re willing to shell out some cash).The lounge is wonderful, but there’s a $50 minimum purchase to sit there. Snag a seat at the bar for cocktails and a light appetizer to enjoy a great meal with a beautiful view!

Explore the Neighborhoods
Venture out to Somerville or Cambridge for some of the newest, trendiest eateries around. Southie is great if you’re looking for an authentic Irish vibe, while the North End is the go-to spot for Italian food. South Boston is beautiful, lined with cobblestone streets and filled with delicious restaurants, bars and the like. The Seaport area (or the “Innovation District”) is very up-and-coming and definitely a fun summertime spot to have a great meal overlooking the ocean. And of course, if you’re here in the summer, the beaches just outside the city (on the South Shore, for instance) are impeccable.

What are your favorite sights in Boston? Where’s the first place you stop when you get here? Let us know in the comments below!

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Throw the Perfect Green Dinner Party

greendinnerpartyWith mid-February upon us, we feel as though we’ve all finally recovered from the holiday season. Routines are back in check, workouts and healthy eating are back in full force, and the din of yuletide parties has totally faded. We don’t know about you, but we’re back and ready to get together with friends again. What better way to do that than to throw a fun, food-filled dinner party?

Of course, being us, we want to keep our parties as eco-friendly and healthy as possible. Check out these tips for throwing the best dinner party of the year. It may even beat last year’s holiday parties!

The Food: Shop Local Veggies
vegan-dinner-4
Eating a hearty helping of veggies each day isn’t only good for you… it’s also good for the earth. Consuming less meat decreases your carbon footprint, lessening your environmental impact. Making dishes based around vegetables – or keeping your whole party vegetarian or vegan, if you can pull it off— is super easy too… the recipes are endless! Check out our recipes thread on the blog for easy inspiration.  If sticking to an all-veggie meal feels difficult, start out by shopping locally at farmers’ markets or buying in-season produce to lessen your impact and reduce the miles your food has to travel.

The Décor: Decorate with Food
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Keeping the decorative elements of your soiree happily green is a lot easier than you’d think. To make traditional décor—like balloons and streamers—a bit more sustainable, visit sustyparty.com, a great site for upcycled and reusable party favors. We’re also loving the reusable chalk banner pictured to the right… just write whatever letters fit your occasion for each and every party! Not looking to spend some money? Use your food as décor. A bright soup in a clear glass bowl, surrounded by flowers, may just be the perfect, beautiful décor you crave.

The Trash: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
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Placing recycling bins (decorate them if you please!) around the party may just be the easiest way to make sure your dinner party doesn’t produce lots of trash. For even more of an impact, though, opt for reusable dinner and tableware. Head over to a thrift store and grab a bunch of plates that you can use for every future party you throw, as well as cloth napkins to throw in the washing machine (instead of the trash!) after dinner is over. Grab a beverage dispenser to put your homemade drinks in and offer up reusable glasses. Not only will your party look super classy… it will stay super sustainable!

What are your tricks for throwing the perfect dinner party? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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Prevent Common Workout Injuries… for Good!

walklunchHave you been exercising a lot lately? Good for you! It always feels so good to put your sneakers to the floor and sweat it out, making for a healthier, happier day.

While soreness is natural (and typically a good thing!) when working out and strengthening new muscles, every once and a while that extra work can lead to injury. Having to halt your workout momentum is so frustrating, and the last thing you want when settling into a tried-and-true routine is to have to stop it abruptly due to unmanageable pain.

Luckily, there are a variety of things you can do to prevent injuries obtained from the gym. The first thing to add? Stretching. Taking 10-15 minutes to stretch at the end of your workout, when muscles are most limber and your joints most lubricated, could be the ultimate tactic in reducing risk of injury. Not only this, incorporating stretching into your routine helps your energy levels thanks to improved circulation, improves posture and increases range of motion.

Stretching is particularly important for runners, who tend to get painful leg ailments like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, pulled muscles and runner’s knee. If you’ve come to know your weak spots, those places where you tend to get injured most, it may be worth it to go further than just stretching… you may need to move forward to strengthening.

It’s always good to add strength training to your routine, an activity that allows for muscle building and toning. New to the world of strength training? Starting with bodyweight exercises is probably the way to go, as well as checking out some fitness blogs for easy routines.

Hip & Knee Strengthening Exercises
Hamstrings & Glutes Exercises

Between stretching and strengthening, the chances of cardio injury are easily diminished. One more thing you can do? Buy the right equipment. A great pair of sneakers is key to keeping your feet and ankles healthy during your workout routines. All feet are different, and a pair of sneakers that fits your friend perfectly may not work for you. Check out our athletic shoes here, and feel free to let us know if you have any questions in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Happy running!

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Perfect Your Winter Hike This Season

JuliaCagninelli-TRPStaying inside for the entirety of the winter months can give us some serious cabin fever. That’s why we love layering up for an awesome winter hike; some fresh, cold air, plenty of sunshine and the smell of the trees is enough to make us feel that much healthier in only a few hours.

Looking to undergo such an endeavor? Plan out your very own winter hike! No matter your hiking level, from small hills to huge mountains, the activity is incredibly good for you and so much fun at the same time. Whether a seasoned veteran or a total newbie, starting out with these tips will prepare you to embark on your best winter hike yet!

dd8e573326bbc296a3f61c7087ecdb64Befriend the layers
It’s very rare that you’ll regret bringing too much clothing on an outdoor winter adventure, especially if you have a great hiking pack to stuff an extra coat in if you get too warm. Layer up with a hat, scarf, mittens, a good sweatshirt and jacket before you head out to stay comfortable through your entire adventure.

Find an experienced friend
Fear you could get lost on your first climb? While there are a variety of great, easy hills and safe state parks to try, bringing a knowledgeable friend along can make you feel that much more at ease. Even better, he or she probably has a bunch of great hike-worthy snack ideas, too!

Start slow
If you’re super excited about the prospect of a hike, it can be tempting to try and conquer the biggest hill with the best views your first time around. It’s important, though, to start slowly on your first experience so you don’t end up lost and super sore.

b91e472795a0fedc3b20d56564ece4d7 (1)Study your trail
Begin early in the morning, so there’s no fear of it getting dark before you’re ready to return. Pick a smaller trail to begin with and map out where you’re headed to get a better idea of how long it’ll take. Also, be sure to check the weather… pouring rain can really dampen the mood.

Be okay with turning around
You may not make it to the tippity-top during your first hike, and that’s okay! If darkness is rolling in quickly, the weather is looking sour or your legs are super tired, don’t be afraid to call it a day. There’s always next weekend. ;)

Find your best hiking boots
There’s nothing like an amazing, waterproof pair of hiking boots to make for a perfect hike. Keeping your feet warm and dry is an absolute necessity when exploring the great outdoors. Check out this article for expert tips for finding the perfect-fitting hiking boots, or explore our selection here.

Do you love to hike in the winter? How do you prepare?

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