My favorite part about winter is watching it on TV from California

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Favorite part of winter

I’ve mentioned before how lucky I feel to live in California.  As parts of the US are starting to see dropping temperatures and increases in storms, I become more reflective and grateful for our weather here.  We really do live in a special place.  

Warm hugs from California.  Stay safe!

 

My marathon took me from West Virginia to California!

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Sounds like I ran a REALLY long way, doesn’t it? 

Getting read to run MHM

Getting read to run MHM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Sunday, I was scheduled to run the Marshall University Marathon (We are Marshall!) in West Virginia with my friend Kim who is near the end of her goal to run 50 marathons in 50 states.  Kim  had run back-to-back marathons (as in, one on Saturday, and the next on Sunday!) at the beginning of October in Rhode Island and Connecticut.  She was a bit tight from running over 50 miles in a weekend and decided the best thing to do would be to go for a run.  

Lesson learned:  If you run with really tight and tired legs, you drastically increase your chances of falling.  Hard.  And ripping up all kinds of tendons and muscles that you need to run.  Or even walk.   

Enough about Kim, this is about ME!  (Totally, kidding.  I can’t even imagine dealing with what she’s going through.)

We decided to re-schedule MUM for 2015, and I looked around for some local marathons. (Can’t let all those training miles go to waste!)   I was kind of surprised to find a bizmillion to choose from.  Seriously, who knew the first weekend in November was THE time to plan a marathon in California?  I decided on the 5th annual running of the Morgan Hill Marathon.  Morgan Hill is a bustling, family-oriented town just north of San Jose in the heart of Silicon Valley.  Though the reviews said it was hilly, I knew it would be nothing compared to the local trail marathons.  

I’m assuming I was right, though I can’t remember the last time I ran a road marathon with switchbacks.  

The view from El Toro Hill (Mountain!)

The view from El Toro Hill (Mountain!)

Kim came with to cheer me on.  She dropped me at the starting line which was about a mile from our hotel.  I got myself settled into the 4:20 pace group and off we went.  At just over a mile, I realized I’d drank just a bit too much water and tea.  I figured I could take care of that at the first aid station.  Nope.  Not a port-a-potty in sight (though there was a gal running just far enough ahead of me and with the right color of shirt, that I kept thinking she might’ve been a port-a-potty — very wishful thinking/hallucinations).   Okay.  I convinced myself I could hold it until the next aid station, where there HAD to be facilities.  Uh, not so much.  

Which meant for the next two miles, I was looking at every bush, every tree, every fence as the potential for relieving myself.  I held out long enough to get to the third aid station around mile 6.5 to see a discouragingly long line for the lone port-a-potty.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who over hydrated.  After that five minute delay, I knew I wouldn’t be catching up to the 4:20 group, so I just settled into a comfortable (wow-my-bladder-feels-happy) pace.  

Around the halfway point, I tried to text Kim to give her an idea of how it was going (slow, up the hills!).  What I didn’t realize, is that when my phone sent that text, it was closely followed by a text that I had tried unsuccessfully to send to her weeks ago, shortly after her injury and when my mom was in the hospital.  The text “invited” Kim to come meet us and have some x-rays taken.  Here’s the exact text:  “Ugh.  Yup. Wanna come have some xrays taken? :)”  

So, your friend is running a marathon and you get that text.  What do you do?  If you’re Kim, you know how ungraceful I am and assume that I’ve broken something.   You freak out (her words) and start trying to call me, then jump in the car to figure out where the heck I am.  

At mile 16, we were finally done with the hills and I was able to pick up my pace a bit.  By this time, I’m running with the 4:40 group, though I was really confused as to how and why, because my pace was on track for around 4:30.  Kim finally finds me at mile 20 and seems more excited than normal to see me.  She’s asking me all these questions about the text and I have zero clue what she’s talking about.  (It wasn’t until I got back to the hotel after the marathon that I’d figured out what happened).  

Anyway, I felt relatively strong in the end and flew past the 4:40 pacer (partly because I think he realized his pace was too fast and slowed down considerably.  Or he was just trying to make me feel good).  I ended up finishing in 4:38 — though my GPS claimed I’d run 26.87 miles.  MHM end

So, not quite as many miles as from West Virginia to California, but I’m definitely counting that as an ultra.

Gorgeous view of Morgan Hill.

Gorgeous view of Morgan Hill

Fresh and Fit: Eight ways to protect your feet

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Reprinted from Nooga.com

By Jay McKenzie

Originally Published Sunday, October 19th 2014

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association’s research, even though 50 percent of people surveyed said they experienced foot pain or discomfort at least some of the time, foot care scored last on the “very important” scale for overall health. Those who did have foot pain were more likely to have health problems in other areas of the body, but even though this link makes sense, it’s easy to ignore your feet. Unless you have a particular kind of fetish, feet aren’t all that exciting to look at. They are there for the grunt work to get us where we need to be, but we want them to do their work silently and without complaint. The problem is, if they start aching and causing problems, your life will get a whole lot less comfortable. Before that happens and you have to regret not practicing proper foot care, let’s see how we can prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

Visit a podiatrist.
Nearly 30 percent of people surveyed said that even though they had foot problems, they had done nothing about it. Weight problems, back pain and other joint pains went hand in hand with foot issues. If you have a problem, you should come at it from all sides. Ignoring these issues will only make them harder to fix in the future. Don’t be the person whose bunion is so bad that you ask the doctor to amputate your second toe.  

Podiatrists can help with all sorts of foot and ankle issues, including corns and calluses, heel pain, athlete’s foot, warts, nail fungus, ingrown toenails and more. You may think you can handle some of these problems on your own, and maybe you can, or maybe you try to trim corns and calluses on your own and cause an infection. If you have a problem, shouldn’t you go to a podiatrist at least once before you write them off entirely? It could save you from a lot of unnecessary pain.

Replace your old running shoes after 300–500 miles.
Everyone has different opinions on when exactly to change your running shoes. These numbers are nowhere near an exact science. Some replace them earlier, and some do so much later. There are differenttechniques you can try to decide if your shoes have had it, but the real problem is that people treat their shoes differently. The life of your shoe depends on your weight, running surface and how heavy your steps are.

There are two arguments that seem to hold the most water. If you think you might need new running shoes, go to a shoe store with your old shoes and try on a new pair of the same brand. If the new shoes feel noticeably more supportive, it is probably time to buy them. Also, listen to your body. New aches and pains popping up after or during runs and walks can be the simplest sign that you’re not getting the proper support. It seems that you’re the best judge in this case.

Wash and inspect your feet.
Scrub your feet every day to help prevent bacteria from building up, but do so gently to prevent abrasions. Dry them well afterward, even between each toe, because fungal organisms love moisture. Inspect your feet once a week so you can catch any problems early. White, flaky skin could be a sign of athlete’s foot, and discoloration of the toes could be a fungal infection.

Cut your nails straight across.
Cutting around the corners of your nails can cause painful ingrown toenails, which, if ignored for too long, will require podiatric care.

Be careful if you’re diabetic or at risk for diabetes.
Diabetes can decrease blood flow and sensitivity in your feet, so problems can go unnoticed longer if you’re not careful. You should make your feet a priority and inspect them daily. If left untreated, even a small cut could lead to an infection and may require amputation.

Wear the right shoes and socks.
Your feet can get bigger as you age, so consider having them measured again the next time you’re buying shoes. Wear shoes and socks that aren’t too tight (this can restrict blood flow and cause irritation) or too loose (if your foot moves around too much, you won’t be properly supported). Don’t wear sandals if you’ll be walking around all day, but do wear them in the locker room or other places where you might otherwise go barefoot.

Stay dry and warm.
Make sure that you keep your shoes dry and free of any foreign objects, and change your socks if you can feel moisture building up. Put socks on before bed and around the house when you’re cold to increase circulation and help prevent bacterial buildup.

Don’t wear heels too often.
Caring for your feet is a whole lot easier as a guy. It’s easy for me to say, “Don’t wear heels,” and I’m sure it’s easy for women out there to ignore me and think I don’t understand. Well, let me just say, no, I don’t understand what it’s like to constantly have to choose between fashion and support. But I will say that heels misalign your body and put all your weight on the muscles of your feet and toes. They simply weren’t made to do this, and that’s usually why pain starts. This link explains your options better than I ever could.

Jay McKenzie loves soccer, history and feeling great. He’s on a quest to eat better and exercise more, and he wants to share his experiences along the way. You can email him at jaymckenzie86@gmail.com with comments or questions. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.

I lost my daughter in Santa Cruz

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

 

I’ll start by saying the title is more alarming than it really is.

See, our daughter is 20-years-old and we lost her in Santa Cruz much like Frank Sinatra lost his heart in San Francisco. She packed up, like the mature adult she is, and moved with a dear friend to eventually go to school at UC Santa Cruz. Every fiber in my being understood her desire to not only leave the nest, but to make her new home (at least for the next few years) Santa Cruz.  

Jack heading down Beach St. in Santa Cruz

Jack heading down Beach St. in Santa Cruz

There’s a reason it’s a tourist destination.

Let’s start with the obvious: beaches and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Santa Cruz boasts the kind of beaches and activities that encourage people to forget their every day lives and boogie board, swim, play beach volleyball, stroll, dance to summer concerts or scream wildly on a creaky wooden roller coaster that was built in 1924. There’s even a surfing beach called 4-Mile Beach — which, I assume, is because it’s 4 miles long.  (I might have to do some research and get back to you on that one).

santa cruz beach boardwalk

“No, really.   This is where I do my homework!”

USA-Santa_Cruz-Natural_Bridges_State_Beach-4

“Natural Bridge” in Santa Cruz

Surfers at 4-Mile Beach
Surfers at 4-Mile Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Santa Cruz has a beautiful downtown with over 100 one-of-a-kind stores and restaurants.  Not surprisingly, there are more than a dozen mouth-watering establishments solely dedicated to ice cream with signature flavors like lavender and cantaloupe.  (You’ll know where to find me on my next visit!)  

And, probably, in large part due to the college crowd, it has a well-known music scene drawing familiar names from the 70’s and 80’s (English Beat is playing this weekend!) and featuring local/regional bands in every musical style and venue that you can imagine.

Clock tower in downtown Santa Cruz dates back to January 22, 1900

Clock tower in downtown Santa Cruz dates back to January 22, 1900

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a population of 63,000 (I’m not sure if that counts the roughly 15,000 students), it’s almost the same size as our town that my daughter moved away from.  But because of the tourist aspect of the area, it feels busier.

According to their website, UC Santa Cruz campus sits on 2,001 acres overlooking the Monterey Bay.  Perhaps the most unique part of being a UCSC student, is not the location or the myriad of distractions, but their mascot, the Banana Slugs.  

An excerpt from the “History of the Banana Slug Mascot” tells how loved the mascot is by students and outsiders alike:  The Banana Slug has attracted a good deal of national attention over the years. In 2008, ESPN named it one of the 10 best college basketball mascots. Four years earlier, Reader’s Digest named it the bestPeople magazine once dedicated a full-page spread to the Santa Cruz Banana Slug movement. The National Directory of College Athletics named it the best college mascot and Sports Illustrated magazine once named the Banana Slug the nation’s best college nickname.

banana slug mascot

The “fighting” Banana Slug. He’s probably more intimidating in real life.

I’m sure K will have a wonderful education and experience.  But you can be sure I’ll be excited to hug her in all her banana slug-ness on the occasions she can rip herself away from Santa Cruz!

100-slug-175x89

Sunset through our dirty window on our way home after we'd helped her move.

Sunset through our dirty window on our way home after we’d helped her move.

 

The best post-run sandals EVER!

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

 

I am a runner.  

It’s taken me a while to get to the point that I take myself seriously enough to say that.  I tend to be a “middle of the pack” kind of gal, usually placing somewhere in the top half of women my age.  I sometimes brag about the one trail marathon where I earned a 2nd place medal!  (Okay, I admit, there were only four of us in my age/gender bracket).   But what I lack for in speed, I make up for in persistence.  In the last 8 years, I’ve participated in over 40 running events, 13 of which were marathons and six that were 200-mile relays.  (And at least one that I got to run with one of my favorite rockers!)

Me and Alanis Morissette (it was her first marathon).

Me and Alanis Morissette (it was her first marathon).

So, suffice it to say, I’ve covered a few miles in my running shoes.  

I love my running shoes.  I’ve been wearing mostly Brooks Adrenaline GTS’ during my running “career” with an experimental K-Swiss, Nike, and other Brooks model thrown in here and there.

But, I also love taking off my running shoes at the end of a run and slipping into something that helps provide a fast recovery for my feet.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that my very favorite post-running sandals are from California Footwear Co.  Our Beach/Spa collection is made of a super soft ergonomic EVA footbed that cradles the foot and allows the toes to spread out while supporting even my (very high) arches.  They also have over 150 reflexology-type bumps that not only help massage my feet but really do make my entire body feel better.  

Newport in White Pink

Newport in White Pink

If I need something less colorfully beach-y, I slip into a pair of our sandals from the Sunshine collection.  These have a flexible, ergonomic midsole – again, providing much needed arch support  – that are then stacked with layer upon layer of cushioning.   Heaven.

Crissy - in 3 colors

Crissy – in 3 colors

If you’re a runner, we’d love for you to try our sandals for post-run recovery and let us know what you think.  Use the discount code RUN30 at checkout to receive a 30% discount.  

Enter to win a pair of our Beach/Spa sandals AND a pair from our Sunshine collection. 

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

 (Open to residents of the USA and Canada)

 

Whitewater Rafting on the American River

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
Middle Fork of the American River

Middle Fork of the American River

When I told people we were going whitewater rafting over the Labor Day weekend, their first response was, “is there enough water?”  As you probably know, California is in a serious drought.  While we have guiltily enjoyed beautiful sunny day after day, our reservoirs and lakes have gotten lower and lower.  

Got a little wet on that one!

Got a little wet on that one!

Just another day in paradise!

Just another day in paradise!

The short answer to whether there was enough water for rafting down the American River was, “Yes.”  The reason why is a bit more complicated.  You see, much of our electricity is generated through hydroelectric dams along our waterways.  Since water needs to be flowing through the dams to create the energy, the thoughtful people at our public utility coordinate the flow of this water so that the rafting companies can count on an exciting whitewater experience.  Since we got started at the right time, we enjoyed class 3 and 4 rapids (with names like “Hospital Bar,” and “Satan’s Cesspool,”) versus what would’ve been a leisurely float (with some occasional raft dragging) if we hadn’t “caught the water.”

Hospital Bar

We used Whitewater Excitement for our amazing two-day experience down the Middle and South Forks of the American River.  Our guide, Jordan, was everything you’d want him to be; experienced, trustworthy, fun, and slightly devious.  He kept us all safe, but I’m also pretty sure I heard him giggling whenever we took a face full of water.

Jordan doing a victory yell while bringing us safely down the most dangerous rapid of the day

Jordan doing a victory yell while bringing us safely down the most dangerous rapid of the day

 

California proving once again to be one of the most amazing places on earth!  

We Lived!

Comfort shoes: How to find the support you need.

Friday, August 29th, 2014

As written in the Washington Post by Jill U. Adams November 11, 2013

I’ll be honest: I have rolled my ankle more than once while wearing Dansko clogs. And yet, as soon as one pair wears out, I buy another.

Putting aside the risk of injury for a minute, I do find my clogs comfortable. Indeed, they are marketed as foot-healthy comfort shoes. These particular clogs are shoes of choice for many people whose jobs involve lots of standing, such as nurses and chefs.

But are comfort shoes always more healthful? Not necessarily, according to some foot doctors.

Buying shoes from a store specializing in comfort shoes doesn’t guarantee that they will be comfortable or good for you.

What makes a shoe a “comfort shoe”? Generally speaking, it means cushioning under the foot and supportive features such as arch support. Birkenstock sandals, another comfort line, have a molded foot bed with an indented heel cup and a bump under the forefoot — the metatarsal pad, which deflects pressure away from the ball of the foot. “They’re a really comfortable choice for many people,” says Erika Schwartz, a podiatrist with DC Foot and Ankle.

But for others, not so much. You know what they say about if the shoe fits — well, not all comfort shoes are comfortable or healthy for every foot.

A small study of people with osteoarthritis of the knee found that walking in clogs and so-called stability shoes was harder on the knees than walking barefoot or in flip-flops. This suggests that certain supportive shoes can alter your gait in a way that’s unhealthy for joints above the ankle, at least temporarily and in people with arthritis.

“What are the best shoes to wear? I hear this question 20 times a day,” says Selene Parekh, an orthopedic surgeon at Duke University Health System.

Parekh says to look for a shoe that’s supportive and comfortable — for you. That may not mean spending nearly $200 on a pair of loafers marketed to fit what one shoemaker calls the “anatomical footbed.”

If you are having foot problems, the best thing to do is figure out the type of foot you have and how you walk. Do you pronate — rotate your foot so that the inner edge of the sole bears the bulk of your weight? How high or how flat are your arches?

When a patient comes in with foot pain, Parekh looks at the wear pattern on her shoes. If the inner part of the sole is worn, he’ll look for flat feet overloading that area. Outer-sole wear may indicate high arches. More wear on the heel or under the ball of the foot can show whether a person is a heel-striker or a forefoot-striker when he walks.

These wear patterns are not problems in and of themselves. “If you don’t have pain, your walking pattern is fine,” Parekh says.

If you do have pain, a foot expert — either a foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon or a podiatrist — can help you understand shoe features to look for and to avoid. For example, if you have bunions, you want to look for a more box-shaped toe, Parekh says, “to not compress that part of the foot.”

What about minimalist shoes, designed to honor the form and function of the foot? They are the antithesis of the comfort shoe: Advocates say that cushioned supportive shoes encourage runners to land on their heels, which can lead to bad form and chronic injury.

However, minimalist shoes are not right for everyone. “We’ve seen enough patients with Achilles tendon issues and stress fractures from running in these,” Schwartz says.

And whether the purported benefits hold true for walking and standing has not been nearly as well studied.

People with high arches — that is, people like me — are more likely than flat-foot types to roll an ankle in clogs, Schwartz says. That’s because arch height can affect which part of your foot bears the most weight as you walk.

Properly aligned ankles sit directly over the heels. Feet are pronated when the heels tilt out from the body and the ankles roll in — picture young children on ice skates — a characteristic that is often linked to flat feet. When heels tilt in and the ankles roll out, the feet are supinated; this often occurs with very high arches.

An orthotic insert that raise the outer edge of the foot can help stabilize a supinated foot within the clog, Schwartz says. (Pronated feet can benefit from arch supports.)

Orthotic inserts, whether purchased at the drugstore or custom-made, are designed to correct the alignment of the foot and ankle, which helps maintain proper positioning of the knees and hips and even the lower back.

Clinical studies of orthotics demonstrate their usefulness in many serious foot problems, such as diabetic neuropathy. For the rest of us, with more everyday aches and pains of life on our feet, there’s less applicable research.

A 2008 review of research on easing foot pain found one small study in which custom orthotics helped people with high-arch, supinated feet. For other conditions, such as bunions and plantar fasciitis, the evidence was equivocal.

Orthotics can be helpful, but “the vast majority of people don’t need custom orthotics,” Parekh says.

“In my experience, cheap orthotics really work just as well as custom-made ones for the most common problems,” says Katherine Margo, a family physician at the University of Pennsylvania.

Foot experts recommend shopping at shoe stores with experienced staff who take the time to do a good fitting. Schwartz sends her patients to high-end running shoe stores with a description of what to look for and what to avoid.

About my clogs? Parekh says their oversize shape allows “freedom of the foot” — a good thing. They’re comfortable and cushioned, which helps with standing on hard surfaces for long stretches. “The problem is,” he says, “no ankle support.”

I’m nonetheless loath to part with them. I’ll just avoid hiking in them — and be super careful on uneven surfaces.

The Most Comfortable Sandal Among Comfort Sandals!

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

There are a few tradeshows in the shoe industry that draw in a broad enough group of retailers to be considered national.  The Magic/Platform show taking place right now in Las Vegas is one of those.  The show is so large that a buyer can shop for everything from the highest of footwear and apparel fashion, to the most basic accessory.

California Footwear Co Booth at Magic/Platform

California Footwear Co Booth at Magic/Platform


This year we were super excited to talk to retailers around the U.S. because we’ve made some significant changes to our collections.  The changes can be seen in our styling, felt in our added comfort features, and also where we’re manufactured.  (As we mentioned before one of our collections will be made in the USA!)  

City Collection - Made in the USA

City Collection – Made in the USA

We realize that comfort can be somewhat of a personal, subjective thing.  (Just ask my husband when we’re discussing the “appropriate” level of air conditioning in the car).  And I wouldn’t dare to presume what makes you comfortable when it comes to sandals.  There’s a range of foot shapes and sizes as well as foot maladies.   Someone with diabetes might need something different than someone who suffers from plantar fasciitis.  What I can tell you, is that this year’s crop of California Footwear Co. sandals are the most comfortable I’ve ever worn.  They have an ergonomic footbed that most people need and enjoy, with ample cushioning to make you forget you’re wearing something really healthy for your feet and body.

Our freshest crop of Spring styles

Our freshest crop of Spring styles

So far, we have received phenomenal feedback from retailers.  We are expecting to greatly  broaden our distribution in brick and mortar stores in Spring 2015.  In the meantime, you can find a limited availability of some of these styles available now on our website.  Check out the Clarion in our “Caliente” Collection from Spain if you like a slight heel.  Or the Crissy in our Sunshine Collection if you want a plush, “walking-on -clouds” experience.  

Lounging Sandals

Lounging Sandals

California Girl(s) of the Month

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

We’re chalking up a lot of firsts in July.  This is the first time our California Girl is actually from California (Sacramento to be exact). Our other first is that we will celebrate TWO California Girls. We’d like you to meet Mom and daughter, Kate Mathany and Getty Storm.  We met Kate and her family while participating in the first annual Getty Owl Run that was organized by the family’s charitable foundation named for their beautiful daughter Getty to help spread awareness and help find a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).  Kate, 37, is “Mommy to the best little lady in the world.”  Getty was diagnosed with SMA when she was 4 months old and has grown into a smiling, bright-eyed four-year-old.  

Kate Mathany and Getty Storm

Kate Mathany and Getty Storm

Tell us about the Getty Owl Foundation:  We raise awareness for, support and advocate for families affected by and raise research funds for the #1 genetic killer of young children, Spinal Muscular Atrophy. We fight SMA everyday and we are convinced that one day there will be a cure and our sweet and precious children will live long and enriched lives. (For more about SMA, please click here).

Favorite Activities or Hobbies? I run. I love running long distance (half marathons and I finished my first marathon with past December) Running helps me feel free. Running helps me feel rejuvenated. Running makes me a better mom.  

(Kate has taken her love of running and through the The Getty Owl foundation has created one of the most fun, family-friendly, well-organized 5k/10k races in the area.  If you’re a runner in the greater Sacramento/San Francisco Bay Area, put this one on your list!  Getty Owl 5k/10k)  getty owl run

Which word that describes the California lifestyle resonates the most with you and why? Resilience. Historically we were settled by resilient individuals who saw the capabilities of life here in California. A better way of life and endless possibilities for happiness. I feel as though in certain ways I capture that spirit every day. I always look for the good and the positive “what if’s”.

What is your favorite pair of California Footwear Co? Absolute favorite pair of CFCo sandals are the San Diego, Champagne. They go everywhere I go, everywhere! They are comfy and very hardy.

When/where do you wear your California Footwear Co sandals? I wear my sandals in the house all the time. I also wear them outside when I garden and I actually got to wear them once to the ocean. 🙂

Choose one word that describes your fashion style:   Preppy

Last thing that made you laugh?  My daughter’s laugh. Without fail.

When someone says the word “California” what comes to mind?  Opportunity to do whatever you want.

Getty Up and Away

Getty Up and Away

Your Life Mantra:  Love as hard as you can.

What is something you wish would come back into style?  Clogs? I mean I don’t think they are totally out of style, but I like them. 🙂

I spend a typical Saturday…..Laying with Getty, watching a Pixar movie. 🙂  

A California Girl can be a woman from anywhere in the world who loves comfortable shoes (especially California Footwear Co!) and considers herself healthy, casual, active, open-minded, cutting-edge, fashionable, pro-active, revolutionary, and/or friendly.

Being a California Girl isn’t about where you live, it’s about who you are and how you think. California is a state of mind.  Let us know if you want to be considered as our next California Girl! 

Made in the USA

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

We’ve been working on some big changes here at California Footwear Co.  The biggest is that we’re no longer manufacturing out of China.  This is a HUGE deal.  We’ve been diligently researching and developing relationships with factories who live up to our standards of quality. 

It’s not easy.  We have very specific criteria of comfort and ergonomics that we require in all our styles.  Not all factories understand or are capable of this.  We used two companies in China to make different parts of a sandal because each was good at that one thing, but not the other.  

Ultimately, we want to move as much production as possible right here to the U.S. of A.  At least one of our collections will be assembled in a small factory in Southern California this season. 

Imagine that.  California Footwear Co sandals made in California! 

We’ve also found some amazing shoemakers in the traditional shoemaking regions of Elche, Spain, and Leon, Mexico.  Both of these factories have been making high-quality sandals for hundreds of years.  When Queen Elizabeth I was looking for a pair of shoes in the 16th century, the history books report that she commissioned a shoemaker in Spain.  The former Pope Benedict is known to have all his shoes custom made in Leon, Mexico whom many consider the “Shoe making capital of the world.”  

Alicante

We’re in good hands.  And so are your feet.  The knowledge, experience, and quality control that we demand for our products is second nature to these fine folks. 

You can see our beautiful cork wedge sandals made in Spain here and  our ultra-cushioned Ruflex® sandals made in Leon here.

Our Made in the USA collection will be added to the website in the coming weeks.

We’re very excited about these changes and hope you’ll see and feel an even higher level of quality.

 This picture was taken from my hotel room in Alicante, Spain (right outside of Elche) last week.  Pretty amazing, huh? The Alicante/Elche region is about a 4-hour drive from Madrid.  I know, because I drove it.  All by myself.  In a car with a manual transmission.   On a freeway, with signs in Spanish.  (More about that in my next blog).