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Comfort 101

The earliest invention of footwear was designed to protect feet from injury, not to create it. How times have changed. Approximately one in six people have trouble with their feet, mostly from non-ergonomic and improperly fitting shoes. While an appropriate fitting, comfortable shoe is rarely considered cutting-edge fashion in a woman’s world, the typical, more “fashionable” high-heeled shoe with a narrow toe box has been found to increase plantar pressure and toe crowding. Higher heeled, arrow shaped shoes also do not let your foot lay or move naturally, which can cause bunions (hallux valgus), bunionettes, hammer toe, and even neuromas in severe cases.

Your shoes should start with durable construction so your feet are adequately protected. They should conform to the shape of your feet; your feet should not be forced to conform to the contours of a shoe.” American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Poorly fitting or non-ergonomic shoes affect more than just feet. Shoes with a heel of 1.5 inch or higher increase knee torque with walking, which may be associated with the increase of knee osteoarthritis among women who prefer higher-heeled shoes. Additionally, pain caused by an ill-fitting shoe can increase the risk of falling and otherwise hamper mobility, which may lead to injury.

No wonder there is a new trend shouting the benefits of going barefoot. But, as most of us know, going barefoot is unrealistic. So how do you pick a shoe that not only gives you the benefits of going barefoot, but gives your feet a stylish kick?

Start with California Footwear Company.

California Footwear’s ergonomic footbed is shaped like your foot allowing room for your feet and toes to function as they should. Our deep heel cup helps “focus” the natural shock absorbing pad on your heel. The deep heel cup also helps provide a neutral plane (no elevated heel) to the sandal, which benefits your posture. Think barefoot, but with better arch support.

 

CORK Product Highlights

  • We use cork and latex to make our footbeds. Some brands use a combination of cork and man-made rubber. Why does this matter? Over many years of experience, we’ve noticed that cork/latex shapes to the foot much better than any other combination of materials. How do you tell the difference? Take a whiff—cork/rubber smells like a basketball, while cork and natural latex has no smell at all. Man-made rubber is also heavier.
  • California Footwear Co. cares about the environment. Our products feature many renewable components, including cork, which is the bark of the cork oak tree and can be harvested every 6 years or so. And latex is a natural form of rubber that comes from a tree. Jute is made from cotton. The glue used in the construction of our cork line of sandals is water-based, which is better for the health of our assembly team and better for the environment.
  • California Footwear Co. sandals are a great value. They feature leather uppers made to last. Our products can be re-soled, and buckles replaced (although you probably would never need to) by many qualified repair shops. Since you have already broken them in perfectly to your feet, it saves money and makes perfect sense to prolong the life of your favorite pair of shoes – not to mention that it is one less pair in the landfill.
  • Every pair of our cork sandals has an added layer of latex cushioning and soft leather for instant comfort.
  • Over 30 people are involved in making each and every pair of our cork sandals.

 

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Recommendations for Footwear

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has developed tips to help people reduce their risk of foot problems.

  • Have both feet measured every time you purchase shoes. Your foot size increases as you get older.
  • Women should not wear a shoe with a heel higher than 2 1/4 inches. Low-heeled shoes (one inch or lower) with a wide toe box are the best choice.
  • Try on new shoes at the end of the day. Your feet normally swell and become larger after standing or sitting during the day.
  • Shoes should be fitted carefully to your heel as well as your toes.
  • Try on both shoes.
  • There should be 1/2-inch space from the end of your longest toe to the end of the shoe.
  • Fit new shoes to your largest foot. Most people have one foot larger than the other.
  • Walk around in the shoes to make sure they fit well and feel comfortable.
  • Sizes vary among shoe brands and styles. Judge a shoe by how it fits on your foot not by the marked size.
  • When the shoe is on your foot, you should be able to freely wiggle all of your toes.
  • If the shoes feel too tight don't buy them. There is no such thing as a "break-in period."
  • Most high heeled-shoes have a pointed, narrow toe box that crowds the toes and forces them into an unnatural triangular shape. As heel height increases, the pressure under the ball of the foot may double, placing greater pressure on the forefoot as it is forced into the pointed toe box.

 

California Footwear Company sandals are designed to fit a wide variety of feet with maximum adjustability and customized support. You’ll find that our footwear conforms to all recommended guidelines for both the AAOS and APMA.