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California Girl of the Month

June 10th, 2014 by: ddennis | No Comments »

Since we started this project, we have been in awe of the inspirational women that have joined our clan.  If you have a sense of humor and/or appreciate a story well told, you will fall in love with this month’s California Girl of the Month, Sharon DeVellis.  Sharon is the Creative Director at Yummy Mummy Club as well as a freelance writer.  She also took up speed skating at the age of 40.  No, seriously.  Isn’t that all kinds of awesome?  

I asked Sharon to send me a picture of her in her tights and cape, because she’s my definition of Superwoman. As accommodating as ever, the only thing missing from her picture is the cape.

Sharon D

Sharon modeling her lycra. The only thing missing is her cape!

We appreciate Sharon helping to spread the California vibe all the way from her hometown of Ontario, Canada. 

Age: Proudly 44

Your Life Mantra:  Just try.

 At the age of 40 I decided to take up short track speed skating even though I didn’t really know how to skate. This then morphed into me racing my first triathlon in 2013 even though I had to learn to swim first. While I’m still the slowest speed skater on the ice and my swimming is mediocre at best, putting myself outside my comfort zone taught me three important lessons:

1) There is immense accomplishment in simply getting out there and trying. You don’t always need to be great at something, just get out there and do it.
2) You’ll never become great at anything if you don’t take that first step.
3) I need to find a sport that doesn’t involve lycra.


Favorite Charity or Cause?  My mother died of a heart attack at a relatively young age so I support the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Locally I volunteer for a family centre in my neighbourhood and help coach at my son’s speed skating club.

Which word that describes the California lifestyle resonates the most with you and why?  Open-minded: When I was younger, I used to see the world in black and white but now I realize it’s a million shades of grey.  I focus on trying to listen and learn, instead of simply speaking about my own opinions. There’s sometimes that moment in a conversation one might start to feel defensive or that the other person is ‘wrong’ – that’s the exact moment I know I should be listening instead of talking.

What is your favorite pair of California Footwear Co?   That’s easy:   Hermosa.  Although I also have my eyes on the Clarion sandals in black because I think they would look good with a cute summer dress or casual capris.

When/where do you wear your California Footwear Co sandals/shoes/boots?  I basically live in my Hermosa sandals. I wear them when I run errands, around the house, when I’m outside with my kids….they are on my feet All.The.Time. I’m actually wearing them right now as I type this.

Choose one word that describes your fashion style.   Easy-going.  I have a ‘go with the flow’ attitude and that shows in my wardrobe. I definitely lean more towards comfort and since I’m in triathlon training mode right now, you’ll most often find me in some sort of work out gear.

Last thing that made you laugh?  My son when we were delivering newspapers together. Both my kids make me laugh on a daily basis–sometimes even on purpose.

Have you visited California?  If so, where and what was your favorite part about it?  I visited California on a press trip with my son four years ago. We spent two days in San Francisco and two days at Disneyland. Both my son and I loved Musee de Mecanique and visiting Alcatraz. Two days was definitely not enough time to see everything we wanted to see and I would go back in a nano-second. California is beautiful.

When someone says the word “California” what comes to mind? Sunshine!

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.  Please email us at if you’d like to be considered as the next California Girl!

California Girl of the Month

May 7th, 2014 by: ddennis | 1 Comment »

Katie SluiterWe are honored to have Katie Sluiter as our California Girl for May.  Katie is an exceptional English teacher (high school and college level) and is also an amazing writer. She was just nominated for a “Voices of the Year” award for her writing on her blog.  You can read the engaging piece she was nominated for here.   

As a full-time+ teacher and mom to two adorable and active boys, I’ve seen Katie’s weekly schedule and I got tired just reading it.  So we are grateful to her for taking the time to channel her inner California and giving us her take on what it means to be a California Girl.   

Town/State you live in or where did you grow up?

I grew up in and currently live in Zeeland, Michigan. It’s totally small and I hated that as a teenager, but I sort of love it now.

Favorite Activities or Hobbies?

It’s so stereotypical English teacher, but I love reading and writing. It’s hard for me not to spend my free time reading. Currently I’m reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King. I also blog at

Favorite Charity or Cause?

My family supports many causes. We participate somehow with Relay for Life each year in memory of my father-in-law as well as other friends who have lost battles with cancer. I also support mental health causes. Each year I walk in the Stomp Out Stigma Walk to support suicide awareness and the mental health community. We are also frequent participants in food and clothing drives.

Which word that describes the California lifestyle resonates the most with you and why?

I think the word that resonates with me the most is open-minded.  It’s one of the things I am finding most interesting to teach to my own sons…and to my students. I want them to know that being open-minded doesn’t mean you are “cool” with everything, but that you are open to the idea that others might be. Open-mindedness is the idea that everyone can be himself/herself without judgment.

What is your favorite pair of California Footwear Co?   

This is hard. I love my sandals, but it’s been so long (stupid Michigan winter), that I have had my boots on the most lately. Either way I get millions of compliments and they are both super comfy!

When/where do you wear your California Footwear Co sandals/shoes/boots?

I wear them all the time! That means to school right now. They have great support and are comfortable without looking like old lady shoes. That is important when you are around style-conscious teenagers all day.

Choose one word that would describe your fashion style.  comfort

What is something you wish would come back into style?

Sometimes I wish over-sized clothing like what I wore in the 90’s (my dad’s flannels, man sweaters, and huge sweatshirts) would come back…not because I think it really looked good, but it was comfortable AND I didn’t have to worry about muffin top.

I spend a typical Saturday…..?  

With my kids. I always feel like I should be cleaning or grading or writing on the weekends, but it’s hard to not just play with my two boys since we don’t get to just hang out during the busy week because of school/work.

Have you visited California?  If so, where and what was your favorite part about it?  If you haven’t, where in California would you want to visit (and why)?

I was in California for BlogHer in 2011 in San Diego. It was beautiful and I vowed to come back with my family some day.  My husband and I would also like to take a solo trip without the kids to Northern California for some wine tasting because, well, WINE.

When someone says the word “California” what comes to mind?

I think of the sun when I think of California. I also think of how I came THIS CLOSE to moving there in 2003, but then got offered my current teaching position. A month later I was dating my husband. As much as I wish to go to California, I think I got the better deal.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself?  

As I mentioned I have two sons, Eddie who is almost five and Charlie who just turned two. I never thought I would be a mom and now I can’t imagine my life as anything else. I’ve often been asked if I could quit my job to stay home with them, would I? And the answer is no. I love my sons, I love our summers, but I am a better mom because of my time outside the house. Someday I hope to get my PhD in Teaching English and become a professor of English Education.


Are you our next California Girl?  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.  

Send an email to with the title California Girl of the Month and tell us a little bit about yourself!

Made in the USA

May 1st, 2014 by: ddennis | No Comments »

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.”  


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).

California Girl of the Month

April 7th, 2014 by: ddennis | No Comments »

Kristin ZaslavskyWe’re very excited to introduce our first California Girl of the Month, Kristin Zaslavsky!

Every month we will be choosing a “California Girl” to highlight the best of what our brand represents.  A California Girl can be a special person 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.

Kristin is a fabulous 31-year-old mom and Online Marketing Consultant who currently lives in Southwest Indiana. Kristin was kind enough to tell her story about what makes her an ideal California Girl.

Kristin, thank you SO much for being our first California Girl of the Month.  Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve got two boys, an active dog, and a great husband. We’re getting used to lives as “transplants” in what is to us a small city (most places are compared to Chicago where I grew up). When I’m not hanging out with the family, I’m working with clients at my small business. It’s a hectic life but it’s mine.

What are your favorite activities or hobbies?

 I love to read. I’ve tried my hand at crochet and am very, very slow.

Do you have a favorite charity or cause?

 I think water safety is really important and take time to teach lessons at our local YMCA every week. I also give regularly to our local food bank, the Red Cross and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Which of the words we use to describe California Footwear do you think resonates with you the most?

I try to be as open-minded as possible. Everyone comes from a different walk of life with different experiences. Those should all be respected. There’s something to learn from everyone.

When someone says the word “California” what comes to mind?

Palm trees and style. I always imagine life is easier in California – I doubt that it is as bills still need to be paid – but in my mind it’s a slower, more comfortable and fashionable place to live.

Have you visited California?  If so, where and what was your favorite part about it? 

I visited Disneyland when I was 9. I don’t remember much about the trip (which is why I have yet to stress about not taking the boys to Disney – I’d like them to remember). I’d really love to visit San Diego someday. Fresh seafood and beautiful beaches are a win in my eyes.

What is your favorite pair of California Footwear Co? 

My favorite pair of California Footwear Co shoes is the San Diego.  After I wore my bronze pair until they just about fell apart, I asked for a new pair in Champagne for Christmas. I wear them all the time, everywhere, forever. I love them. These shoes complete me.

Tell us why you love them so much?

I know that I need extra support due to an old athletic injury but I don’t want to sacrifice style for comfort. California Footwear Co gives me both. I can keep my body healthy without sacrificing style.

Choose one word that would describe your fashion style:  Breezy.


Thanks again, Kristin!  If you love California Footwear Co sandals and you’d like to be considered to be our California Girl of the Month, please email us at with the heading: CGOM and tell us about yourself.  We really look forward to hearing from you!

Mendocino – A view from our shoes

April 1st, 2014 by: ddennis | 2 Comments »

I know I’m lucky.  We live in a beautiful city, within a beautiful state.  We’re 45 minutes by car from some of the most photographed views of the ocean.  We can drive four hours east and we’re at the world-famous Sierra Mountains home of a ski resort called Heavenly.  Head 35 miles south and we’re crossing the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.  Not to mention our mostly sunny, California weather.  Again.  Lucky, blessed, spoiled.  Whatever word you’d assign it, we’re definitely that.


This weekend we decided to celebrate my husband’s birthday by visiting one of our favorite places on the California coast.  Mendocino Village is about a three hour drive northwest.  There are two incredibly scenic ways to get there from our town of Petaluma.  A favorite is to go straight out to the coast and soak in the rugged coastline with as many crashing waves, gorgeous rock formations, stunning seaside homes and beaches as our hearts desire.  However, the “price” sometimes includes large RVs, convertibles, and impatient motorcycles all vying for the same narrow hairpin turns.  (Literally, hundreds of miles of turns…and ocean views).


The other route is to jet up the freeway for about an hour before heading west through serene redwood forests, vineyards and farms and then up the coast where the Navarro River meets the Pacific.  For most people, the word “freeway” would immediately sway the decision, but let me tell you about “The 101”.  In that hour of driving from Petaluma to Cloverdale, there are five or six municipalities that hug the two-lane Highway 101.  One is the largest city in Sonoma County, Santa Rosa (pop: 170,000 –  California Footwear Co’s headquarters’ location), and another is Healdsburg, just voted second on Smithsonian’s top 10 Best Small Towns in America (April 2014 issue).  Along the way are dozens of wineries (Kendal Jackson and Coppola to name a few) and acres upon acres of rolling hills typically planted with familiar grapes.  There are even some rather intriguing, very large art sculptures that grab your attention and can dominate the conversation for miles.


I may sound like I’m justifying driving up the freeway, and you’d be partially right.  That is the route we opted to take for this particular trip.  We brought our youngest (11-year-old) along and we were going for maximum view and ambiance, combined with minimum car sickness (aka ambiance).


If you haven’t been lucky enough to have spent time in Mendocino, let me acquaint you with this Victorian village.  What we know as Mendocino today started as a logging community in the 1850’s.  Many of the same buildings and wooden walkways are still standing.  Mendocino has been the backdrop of many movies, but probably most known for the TV series, “Murder She Wrote.” Today, it is a quiet tourist town that welcomes a music festival in the summer and the Whale Festival January through March, the window in which you’re most likely to see migrating whales.  (We didn’t).


With a population hovering around 900, it has a very compact “downtown.”  There’s an abundance of small restaurants, café’s, coffee shops, bookstores, clothing stores, and wine tasting as well as specialty shops that feature handcrafted art, jewelry, chocolate, quilts and jams.  There’s a music store, toy store, and even two shoe stores.  All easily within walking distance of wherever you happened to park your car.


The historic shops and scrumptious restaurant offerings set the table for a wonderful experience, but the bluff overlooking the ocean is definitely the centerpiece of the village.  In this case, I’ll let my pictures do the talking as I could never string together words that could capture what my camera did (and when I say “camera,” I mean my smartphone, so look at these and imagine something even better).   See below.


We managed to eat (and eat and eat), do some wine tasting, shop, listen to some live music, read, and take several walks through the bluff trails and even trek down the bluff to the beach.  A perfect weekend if you ask me.  (It’s really convenient that my husband loves one of my favorite places as much as I do).


A quick sidenote:  If you only make it to Mendocino once in your life, please stay at The Mendocino Hotel.  It’s historic, it’s old and creaky, it has ancient plumbing, it’s still decorated with vintage furniture, rugs, and portraits and it’s perfect.  It’s the only hotel on Main Street that has unobstructed views of the ocean.  And, if you’re a book lover like I am, you can spend most of a day curled up in their lobby near the crackling fire with views of the ocean in a wing-backed chair sipping on a glass of wine brought by a friendly server.  Yeah, it’s as amazing as it sounds.  And no, I was in no way compensated for my “review” above.



Mendo cliff Mendo Clouds Mendo Q Silly Mendo Sunset

We have yet to name one of our styles after Mendocino.  When we do, you’ll know it is, indeed, a very special shoe.

Comfort is no longer a dirty word in fashion footwear

February 5th, 2014 by: ddennis | 1 Comment »

The comfort shoe revolution is hitting fashion and pop culture

By Booth Moore Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic
February 3, 2014, 9:00 a.m.

Could we be in the midst of a comfort shoe revolution?

It’s certainly starting to look — and feel — like it.

After years of tripping and tottering, women are stepping down from heels and platforms and settling into shoes that are more down-to-earth, whether it’s a Birkenstock-like slide sandal, a slip-on skater sneaker or a running shoe.

For spring, designers are offering an array of comfy-chic styles, including Valentino’s Rockstud Camo running shoe ($795), Givenchy’s Rose Camouflage slip-on sneaker ($570), Isabel Marant’s Edris thong sandal ($580, coming soon) and Marni’s double-band metallic, bow-trimmed comfort sandal ($830).

Celine’s Phoebe Philo is the one to credit for the trend. She started the movement when she created an haute, pony hair version of the Vans slip-on skater sneaker for her spring 2012 collection. (The style became a must-have and has since become a mainstay of her collection.)

She followed it up in fall 2013 with mink-lined fur-kenstock sandals. (Miley Cyrus reportedly bought five pairs.) And the trend for both slip-on sandals and sneakers has been unstoppable ever since.

During the last round of runway shows in September, bloggers and fashion editors were wearing Nike’s colorful Flyknit Lunar 1 sneakers with skirts for a 1990s “Working Girl” throwback look.

Karl Lagerfeld was obviously paying attention to what was happening on the streets. A few weeks ago, he made headlines by pairing each one of his Spring 2014 Chanel Couture looks with a pair of sneakers. And for once, a few of the models actually looked happy to be there.

(Chanel has been making sneakers for years, but these couture versions will likely cost around $6,000 a pair.)

On a pop culture level, sneakers took center stage in June 2013 when Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis ditched her heels for a pair of pink Mizuno running shoes to lead a 13-hour filibuster of an anti-abortion bill.

The comfort shoe revolution is even starting to hit the Hollywood red carpet, that last bastion of fantasy dressing.

At the Golden Globes, Emma Thompson spoke for a lot of us when she kicked off her Christian Louboutin heels and said, “See this red? It’s my blood!” She obviously learned her lesson. A few days later, when she walked the red carpet at the SAG Awards, it was in a pair of rose gold Louboutin Toboggan flat sandals. And she looked like the coolest, most self-assured woman in the land.

While it’s not likely women are going to chuck their stilettos in a giant funeral pyre, casting off footwear oppression forever, the comfort shoe revolution is a happy development.

And, just like that, our hearts grew 10 times larger

December 16th, 2013 by: ddennis | No Comments »

Every year, a local radio station does a Secret Santa program that has grown into one of the biggest acts of generosity I’ve ever seen.  Families in need (or others on their behalf) write letters to the station and ask for everything from a warm coat to a workable car that would get them to and from work.  Parents ask for presents for their children so that they have something to put under the Christmas tree.  Another asks for the essentials for her baby: diapers, blankets, etc.  Others ask for groceries for their elderly shut-in neighbor. 

“Dear Santa,

For the past year, I have had the privilege to help a disabled woman.  Even though she has been through a hard and abusive past, she is always smiling and is kind to everyone around her…”

The station now dedicates the entire month of December coordinating a fundraising and wish fulfilling campaign on behalf of these folks.  And listeners respond. 

Christmas should be a special time of year for everyone and KZST’s Secret Santa program has definitely brightened so many people’s lives who otherwise would’ve faced a bleak holiday season.  Hearing the stories read on-air and knowing that these people will have their wishes fulfilled brings a smile to my face.

delivering Shastas

My business partner and I have always felt strongly about building a business that allows for us to give back.  We have developed a program called BFF (Best Foot Forward) that partners with worthwhile nonprofits and programs to help raise money and awareness for their heroic community efforts.   KZST’s Secret Santa program, and all the individuals involved, obviously fall into the heroic category.

We are very happy this year to be in the position to give the gift of warmth and comfort.  We donated 25 pairs of shearling boots to the Secret Santa program.  When we delivered these to the radio station, you would’ve thought we were Santa himself sliding in behind flying reindeer.  The radio station’s team of “elves” was so excited to see us and so grateful for our donation.  They let us know that we were helping fulfilling a need of the teenage crowd who often gets overlooked. 

And, just like that, our hearts grew ten times larger.

If you’re able to be a Secret Santa or help in any way, please contact KZST at

Merry Christmas and may all your days be sunny!

7 Steps to Care for Your Feet this Winter

October 24th, 2013 by: ddennis | No Comments »

Just pause for a moment and think of everything your feet do for you.  You may spend all day standing on your feet for work, or possibly running from one errand to another.  At night, they transport you from your favorite chair to the kitchen for a snack.  Or, if you’re the more ambitious-type, they’ll take you out for a run, dancing, skiing or ice skating.  If you have nimble toes, they may even help you pick the errant Lego or pencil off the floor. 

Show your feet a bit of gratitude this winter with these seven steps and they’ll be healthy, happy and sandal-ready once Spring arrives.

  1. Treat yourself to a pedicure…with a bit of a twist.  Cut those nails short and take care of your cuticles.  Do everything you’d normally do for your summer pedi, except skip the nail polish.  Your nails need a break from the shellac-ing and winter is the perfect time for it.  Do you always apply polish because your nails have turned yellow?  That’s probably because your nails are always polished.  It’s a vicious cycle that doesn’t end well for your toes.  Give them a bit of a rest and they’ll be healthier than ever the next time they see the sun. 
  2. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!  Colder temperatures and lower humidity (from indoor heat) dry out your skin.  Neglected dry skin can quickly turn into painful cracked and bleeding skin.  Do your heels ever stick to your flannel sheets at night? (Me?  No! Never!)  Those itchy, dry patches are nature’s way of letting us know it needs help.   Restore the natural oils and lipids by using a high quality moisturizer or petroleum jelly.  Want to turbo-charge your moisturizing efforts? Wrap those weary feet in saran and slip them into socks for a few hours for a deep moisturizing treatment.
  3. Properly protect your feet!  You’ve got a hat for your ears and gloves for your hands.  Don’t ignore your feet.  Whether your agenda is trudging into your office from the parking lot, or a scenic hike through snow-covered mountains, make sure your footwear is appropriate for your planned (or even unplanned) adventures.   Today’s technology offers breathable, waterproof materials (such as Gore-Tex®) to keep your feet warm and dry.  Do research on the features available (there really are a bizmillion options) and match your needs with your activities.  For day-to-day walking, opt for a non-slip outsole and a flat, wide heel to help keep you upright on wet and icy pavement.
  4. Buy shoes and boots that fit.  There’s no doubt that colder temperatures mean enclosed shoes (if not, then you should pay particular attention to #6).  Enclosed shoes, however, can lead to increased foot problems such as bone spurs, hammer toes, athlete’s foot, and bunions.  (If you have any of these issues, please see a doctor).  But you can avoid many of these issues with winter footwear that fits well and offers comfort and arch support.  Have your feet measured before each season (your feet really do change over time), but don’t rely on the number for the perfect fit.  While there is a standard measurement, sizing still does vary by brand.  You want at least a thumb’s width between the end of your shoes and your toes.  Well-fitted shoes, worn with the right socks, rarely leave blisters on any part of your foot.  
  5. Wear the right socks for the occasion.  We’ve come a long way since the biggest decision to make about our socks was the color and length.  Toss those shapeless, cotton tube socks.  New synthetic materials have greatly improved your choices for healthy and comfortable feet.  Nylon and Spandex help retain shape, and provide a more snug and customized fit.  Special polyesters, acrylics, and polypropelenes (yes, strangely, the same material used to make your dishwasher-safe containers) help wick moisture to keep your feet warm, comfy and dry, and can even prevent blisters.  And Merino wool has properties to keep your feet comfortable across a wide range of temperatures.  Above all, look for socks that fit well with your footwear.  If you have narrow feet, or are between shoe sizes, consider thicker socks.  Always try on your shoes and socks together to be sure they fit comfortably.
  6. Know the signs of frostbite. Your body tissue needs blood to stay healthy.   Usually your blood carries oxygen to all parts of your body.  But when your body is exposed to extreme cold, your blood vessels divert that blood away from your extremities to your vital organs. Which means that your fingers, toes, nose, and ears are at the highest risk of becoming frostbitten in cold weather as this lack of blood supply and oxygen to the skin starts to cause damage to the cells. The classic symptoms of frostbite are white or greyish colored skin, stinging/pain, numbness, or tingling in your extremities. Study up on what to do if you think you have frostbite at:
  7. Avoid hot baths, heating pads, or thermal warming disks to warm your feet.  Unless you live on a tropical island (and if you do, I’m expecting an invitation), we’ve all had those days when it feels like we’ll never be warm again and we need to be toasty NOW!  But the exact things that will help you warm up the fastest could also put your health at risk.  Hot baths, heating pads and the like are extremely drying, can damage tissue, and can even cause burns.   If you want to warm up your cold feet, pat them dry – don’t rub, slip into some cozy socks (my favorite pair is fuzzy and purple) and wrap them in a blanket.

Donita Dennis is the co-owner of California Footwear Co.  Our mission is to combine all of the best that California represents into high-quality footwear for people who care about their foot health.  We make absurdly comfortable shoes.


Baby Steps

October 9th, 2013 by: ddennis | No Comments »

Keep your kids’ feet healthy with these tips.


When my oldest first started walking, I was sure she was destined to be a ballerina.  She was so graceful (at least in my mind), and she was already walking on her tip toes.  Surely, only a prima ballerina in the making could do that, right

Pfffft.  Not that my daughter isn’t a beautiful, graceful young woman today, but she went the route of rowing and roller derby to express her athleticism.  I think she lasted exactly four weeks in ballet classes.  And that’s only because she adored the tutu and I’d already paid for the classes.

It also turns out that her joy of walking on her tip toes is actually very common for those first cherished steps.  Walking like a cowboy that just slid off a horse is also normal.  We always suspected her bowed legs were due to a possible load in her diaper, but it turns out that it really is just the anatomy of babies.  She outgrew it — as do most toddlers — by the time she was two.

Flat feet, sweaty feet, bowed legs, pigeon toes.  These are all normal for babies.  There’s a wide variation of timing, but most babies take their first steps between 9-13 months.  Once you’ve got a walker on your hands, keeping them safe is obviously priority one.  It’s time to move anything you care about or that is unsafe to higher ground.  Walkers manage to get into things crawlers could only dream of. 

It’s also our job to keep their feet healthy. Kids don’t really need shoes until they start walking. 

There is an abundance of adorable miniature shoes to choose from.  Just seeing all those cute shoes makes my ovaries do a baby dance.  However, as important as being stylish is, keep these thoughts in mind when shopping for shoes for your newly-minted speed racer:

Comfort is key. 

  1. Shoes should be made of soft, lightweight materials that breathe.  Some babies’ feet sweat.  A lot!  Luckily, they don’t stink yet.  That’ll happen in about 10 years. 

  2. The soft materials are also important for comfort.  Unlike shoes YOU might be willing to break-in for a long-term fit, there should be no break-in time for kids’ shoes (especially since they’ll be wearing them for about three days before they outgrow them, see point 5).

  3. Make sure the shoes have soles with rubber grips.  Unless you’re trying to win America’s Funniest Home Movies, you’ll want to avoid slips.

  4. Check for fit.  The shoes should fit well, both in width and length.  Your baby is not going to be able to definitively verbalize that their delectable toes are mushed, so make sure you can feel room at the toes and both sides of the foot.  If you notice your child tripping (more than usual), limping, or raw spots on their feet, rethink your shoe choice (style, size, materials, etc.).

  5. Finally, babies triple in size about every week or so.  Or at least that what it seems like.  You need to replace shoes often to accommodate their quickly growing bodies.

Almost everyone is born with flat feet, but most won’t stay that way for long.  By the time your kids have reached their terrible twos and threes, you’ll want to find shoes that help support their developing natural arch.

With kids this age, you’ll be spending a lot of time on your feet too.  So be sure you’re paying attention to your foot health too.  You’ll need to be at top form to keep up with your budding marathoner.


When did your kid(s) take their first steps?

What does LA know about comfort? Apparently, a lot.

January 15th, 2013 by: ddennis | 1 Comment »

What do you think of when you think of California? The beautiful coastline? Majestic mountains? Now, what do you think of when you think of Los Angeles? Hollywood? Fashion?

In some ways, it seems impossible to believe that one is a subset of the other. There just aren’t a lot of runway shows set up on the trails of Deep Creek Hot Springs or folks walking the Golden Gate Bridge in their stilettos. Can the fashion world be combined with an active, comfortable style? We’re very happy to say that Los Angeles Fashion Magazine recognizes that YES! — indeed, fashion AND comfort can co-exist — in our new Spring 2013 line.


California Footwear Company, provider of high-quality comfort and wellness footwear, designed with the California good life in mind, has unveiled its spring 2013 line of cork and EVA sandals. The new brightly-colored sandals are built on California Footwear’s renowned ergonomic footbed and feature…

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