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How to Adjust Your Chaco Straps | 6/10/2014

adjust-your-straps-chacoIf you’ve just purchased your first pair of Chaco sandals (or maybe your third!), you may be wondering how to adjust the straps to fit your feet “just right.”

Correctly adjusted straps are actually just as important as finding the correct size. If you already own a pair of Chaco and don’t find them as comfortable as you had hoped, the problem may just be in the strap adjustment rather than the shoe itself.

Good news! Here’s our handy-dandy guide on how to adjust the straps on the most popular Chaco styles. The steps vary slightly depending if your style has a toe-loop or not. We’ve listed the steps in bullet points, but if you’re more of a “visual learner” check out the videos from Brandon with Chaco at the end of the end of each step-by-step.

For styles WITHOUT the toe loop

You first want to open the straps up as wide as possible so you can get your foot into the shoe. To do so:

  • Start at the buckle on the outside of the foot & open the buckle.
  • Loosen the buckle strap by tugging the outside portion of the strap
  • Open the strap that goes across the top of the foot near your toes by tugging the outside.
  • Place your foot in the shoe.
  • Pull heel-strap around heel.

To tighten:

  • Start with the top strap and tug from the inside of your foot until you reach a comfortable snugness.
  • Tighten the buckle strap from the inside until it fits snugly.
  • Close the buckle strap & VOILA! A perfect fit.

For styles WITH the toe loop

For the most part the instructions are the same; you just have one extra strap to adjust on these styles.

Again, you’ll want to open the straps up as wide as possible so you can get your foot into the shoe. To do so:

  • Follow the first three steps above, starting on the outside of the foot.
  • Then loosen the toe loop on the same side you’ve been pulling from (outside)
  • Next loosen the “toe knuckle” (or mid-foot) strap that crosses your foot at a diagonal.
  • Place your foot in the shoe
  • Pull heel-strap around heel.

To tighten:

  • Start with the “knuckle” of your big toe, pull up on the inside of the strap.
  • Tighten the toe loop.
  • Tighten the buckle strap from the inside until it fits snugly.
  • Close the buckle & you have now correctly adjusted your sandals!

A good way to remember the toe-loop style adjustment process is: “Knuckle, Toe, Buckle”. And then perhaps, chuckle.

Remember, if you take your Chaco sandals on and off by undoing the buckle instead of yanking them off, you are more likely to keep the straps adjusted the right way. This means you only have to go through this process once. Whew!

Support Your Local Shoe Store | 6/6/2014

This is a post by a guest blogger: Bill Brunelle, Co-founder of Independent We Stand

Independent We StandCould your community use cleaner parks or a new elementary school? Are there people in your community struggling to find work?

What if you and your neighbors could solve all of these problems – just by shopping for shoes? It’s possible, and it’s already happening in communities across the country thanks to local businesses like Abbadabba’s.

Better Customer Service

Local businesses are locally and independently owned by people who live and work in your community. These stores are unique to your community or region, and they’re often run by teams of family members, friends or neighbors. Although local businesses compete with national chains for customers, they operate very differently. Local business owners make decisions based on their expertise of the industry and their experience with the product, rather than following national buying plans. They also offer better customer service because they can make decisions on the spot, rather than having to wait for approval from a long chain of command.

Abbadabba's in the CommunityKeep Money in Your Community

Supporting these small, local businesses can make a big difference in your community. They support the local economy by creating jobs and keeping money in the community. Local businesses return more money to the local economy and donate more money to local causes per dollar of sales than national chains.

Through this reinvestment, your community has more money for schools, parks and little league teams. Local stores also make your community a more charming and pleasant place to live. Together, they create walkable town centers and unique shopping destinations.

Who knew shoe shopping could have such an impact? With their economic and aesthetic benefits, local shoe stores like Abbadabba’s will keep your feet and your community feeling good.

About Independent We Stand

Independent We Stand is a buy local association and advocacy group that connects consumers with the small businesses like Abbadabba’s in their community. Whether you’re looking for a new pair of running shoes, a gift for family and friends, or a new restaurant to try, Independent We Stand’s local business search and mobile app can help you find it. Download the app for free on the Apple App Store or Google Play, and check out our website at www.independentwestand.org for more buy local blogs.

 

Choosing the Best Travel Shoes, Part 2: For Him | 5/30/2014

“I need shoes for travel”

This is a common request we hear from our customers, and we have some suggestions to make your travel time easier, more comfortable, and most importantly – more fun! There are a lot of shoe marketers out there making claims about how their shoes are “great for travel,” and there are (unfortunately) a lot of travelers in the world who may make it seem like white sneakers and tube socks are your best bet for travel…but we’re here to help steer you in a better, more focused direction based on your needs, both form (or fashion) and functionality.

When traveling, comfort supportive shoes are key. And no – this does NOT mean wearing your gym shoes. In European destinations, even with uneven cobblestone streets, bulky gym shoes are a dead-giveaway that you are an American tourist. And you don’t really want to be that guy, right?

There are three things you should consider when choosing shoes for travel. If you make your choices wisely using these factors, you can usually get away with 1-2 pairs of shoes, or 3 at the most (if your travel activities are more specific). The three factors you should consider are: Comfort, Durability, and Style.

Travel-Shoes-Chaco-and-Merrell-MensComfort

The comfort factor is obvious. You’re traveling. You’re probably going to be walking all day in your shoes and sometimes on terrain you are not used to (dirt, gravel, cobblestone, hard city streets). Not to mention the time spent waiting in lines…on your feet. You need something supportive, a proper fit, and lightweight so there’s less strain on your legs and back. The easiest way to ruin a vacation is by wearing ill-fitting shoes that cause blisters or backaches on the very first day.

Durability

Of course you want a pair of shoes that will last and that will hold up to a lot of wear and tear. But you also want shoes that have the durability enough to hold up to inclement weather, or muddy, uneven terrain. Easy-to-clean options are an added bonus. A perfect warm-climate option that meets all of these requirements is a pair of Chaco Z/1 Yampa sandals.

While these first two factors, Comfort and Durability, might also lead you to light-hiker or hiker/walker combo options like the Chaco Outcross Lace or the Merrell Moab Vent - and those are both great shoes! – you’ll want to consider the third element, style. It’s important to consider the activities you’re planning for your vacation.

Travel-Shoes-Mens-StyleStyle

If you are doing nothing but hiking or outdoor activities, light-hikers may be a perfect option. However, if you are planning to go out to dinner, theater or museums, a more casual – yet comfortable and durable – option may exist. Generally a casual brown leather shoe like a Blundstone 510 Work Boot or the Mephisto Felix fits all three bills: all-day comfort, water-repellant durability, and yet stylish enough to go out at night. Instead of a hiker/walker AND a casual shoe, you can satisfy all needs in just one pair. (These two options have the added bonus of being slip-ons to help you breeze through TSA security lines!)

Another option is a comfort shoe “masquerading” as a casual sneaker. The Keen Timmons lace-up provides supportive, all-day comfort, a lightweight yet durable upper and a stylish look.

Whatever travel shoes you pick, we recommend that you always take time before your travel to break them in and ensure a proper fit. It is also important to let your shoes air out overnight if they have gotten wet or muddy. If they have a removable insole, take that out to let it breathe and dry out as well. Doing so will help keep your feet more comfortable, and –trust us on this one – your luggage smelling fresher on the way home.

Happy feet and happy trails to you!

Travel Shoes – A Two-Part Series – Part 1 | 5/25/2014

“I need shoes for travel”

This is a common request we hear from our customers, and we have some suggestions to make your travel time easier, more comfortable, and most importantly – more fun! There are a lot of shoe marketers out there making claims about how their shoes are “great for travel,” and there are (unfortunately) a lot of travelers in the world who may make it seem like white sneakers and tube socks are your best bet for travel…but we’re here to help steer you in a better, more focused direction based on your needs, both form (or fashion) and functionality.

TravelShoes-womens-casual-walking-travel-shoesChoosing the Best Travel Shoes, part 1: For Her

The first thing you must consider is the number of shoes you can take due to luggage restrictions. For women, three is the magic number. We like to break these into three categories:

Casual, Walking Shoes

For the majority of your trip you’ll want a supportive, lightweight, good quality pair of shoes for walking. The best option is a pair in a color that will go with a variety of outfits.

Some popular warm-weather choices include the perennial favorite Mephisto Helen thong, one of the Keen Maryjane styles, or the very popular Naot Kirei.

While we would not recommend TOMs as a “supportive” walking shoe, there are a lot of people who still love them for summer travel because they are lightweight and are easy to pack. We’re only including them here just to say “some people love them!” and “You can always add an insole to your Toms for more support.” [Note: we are only able to sell TOMs footwear and eyewear in-store only at this time.]

Dress Shoes: Sandals, Flats, Wedges

TravelShoe-Dressy-Shoes

Yes, you can be both stylish and comfortable, and we have lots of options for you. Make sure your second, more dressy option is travel-friendly: packable, versatile, and durable. Bernie Mev and FLY London (in-store only) offer wedge styles for women who want the look of heels but need more stability on uneven surfaces. Eric Michael and Clarks also offer some fashionable, yet comfortable wedges.

When traveling to warm-weather destinations, a dressy pair of sandals or flip-flips can work well with sundresses or breezy pants. The Birkenstock Gizeh, in its many colors, is a huge favorite this year, and it can double as your casual walking shoe. Just make sure you break them well in advance of your trip.

As any experienced traveler will tell you, ballet flats or slip-ons are a must when traveling by air. The easy-on and off at the TSA line, make slip-ons a no-brainer. The Vivo Barefoot Jing Jing in a neutral color could easily be your one go-to shoe for air travel.

TravelShoes-womens-activity-shoesActivity Shoe

Depending on your travel destination or your vacation focus, you may need activity-specific shoes. For example, if you will be doing a combination of hiking and walking a light-hiker like the Merrell Siren Sport is an excellent choice. If your travels take you near or in water, easy-drying Chaco sandals might be best. If you are attending a wedding and feel you need the height or look of heels, some of the dress wedge options above make great replacements.

It can’t bear repeating though: you will be much happier on your trip if you buy your shoes ahead of time and then take the steps (pun-intended) to properly break them in. You paid a lot of time and money for your trip, so make sure you don’t wreck it with the wrong footwear!

The Best Shoes to Bring to Camp | 5/14/2014

Every year around this time, we have plenty of parents coming into our stores with the same need: My child is going to summer camp soon and needs a good pair of shoes. What do you recommend?

Chaco Sandals make great Summer Camp Shoes

Our first question to the parents is usually “Does the camp have any rules against specific types of footwear?” While Crocs and flip flops are great at the pool and for other water activities, many summer camps ban these types of footwear because they don’t offer the proper protection and support for other activities such as hiking or outdoor play.

Sturdy Athletic Sandals

Most camps permit sandals but require them to be sturdy, athletic sandals that strap around the ankle. Our most popular options are Teva, Chaco, and Keen. Teva sandals like the Tirra ($49.95) are quick-drying and feature easy on and off velcro straps that kids can easily adjust.

Summer Camp Sandals - Keen

Chaco

Chaco is a perennial favorite among campers and camp counselors. Chaco sandals feature a solid Vibram sole and offer great support for growing feet. The straps are adjustable, and the sandals can easily be hosed off after a long day in the sun.  Just be prepared for Chaco tan!

Keen

Keen sandals such as the Newport H20 ($49.95 – $99.95) or the Kids Seacamp II CNX ($54.95) offer the quick-dry features of a Teva, and the support of a Chaco sandal, but they offer an added benefit of being closed-toe styles. If your child or teen is looking for a style that acts like a shoe but breathes like a sandal, Keen is the best way to go.

Adidas Boat ShoeShoes for Water Sports

For water-sports we also carry Adidas Boat Shoes ($54.95), which bridge the gap between sneakers and water shoes. This quick-drying outdoor shoe is light and snug for great agility. climacool® provides cooling ventilation over the entire foot, from mesh upper to drainage outsole. The non-marking rubber on the outsole grips wet, slick surfaces like boats, docks and pool areas.

Light-Hiking and Trail Shoes

For older kids attending camps with more intensive outdoor needs, we also offer light-hiking and trail shoes, as well as a large selection of hiking socks by Smartwool, Keen, and many more!

We strongly recommend that kids and teens alike wear their new camp shoes before the first day of camp to break them in as well as ensure a proper fit. No one wants to start off the first day of summer camp with blisters or defective footwear! We encourage parents not to wait until the last minute to purchase camp shoes for this very reason — we want to make this summer the most comfortable and fun for your kids as possible!

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