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CoolShoes - Abbadabba's

Atlanta’s Premier Source for Innovative Comfort Footwear

  • First Time Dr. Martens!

    JessicaM-Docs_3_edLike a lot of folks born and raised in the ATL, Abbadabba’s has been on my radar for most of my life. In middle school, rumors of the coolest shoe store situated in one of the edgiest neighborhoods started flying around. By the time I got to high school, those whisperings had escalated to full blown shouts as tales of Converse, Vans, Birkenstock, and the most coveted shoe of all, Dr. Martens, all available under one roof, reached fever pitch. Kids skipped school to check out the neighborhood, and to come back with prized purchases (hidden from parents, natch) to be shown off the next day to much fanfare. “So and so got Docs” would fly through the ranks, and all us jealous kids would crane our necks to get a peek at the coolest shoes in school. See, it was more than just a boot or a brand. Back in the late 80’s and 90’s, if you saw someone else in a pair chances were you guys stood on common ground. Wearing Docs transmits a lot of info about the person wearing them without a word being spoken- artistic, music lover, socially conscious, a little (or a lot) rebellious. I HAD to have a pair! I think it took over a year of bargaining with my mom to convince her that I desperately needed these boots. I can still hear the arguments- “Think of the money you’ll save because you’ll NEVER have to buy me another pair of shoes. These will last forever! I can wear them everywhere!” And her response- “Those are so ugly and heavy looking. At least you’ll build up some leg muscle.” And with that I knew victory, and a pair of Dr. Martens, was mine!

    We made the trek to Little 5 Points from our tiny suburban apartment and my mom, a long-time resident of Atlanta, pointed out the places she used to live around the neighborhood. I had never known she used to live in Little 5, so this gave me a new perspective on her and the life she had before she had me. Mom was, well, cool! We parked and  walked around, stopping to look in Crystal Blue, and laughing at a restaurant called Eat Your Vegetables, housed in a place that would, ironically, later become the Vortex, famous for its burgers and take no nonsense attitude. Directly across the street from the laid back eatery was Abbadabba’s. Boom! Back then it was quite a bit smaller than the store is today. The whole neighborhood smelled like patchouli and Nag Champa, the classic incense, and Abbadabba’s was no exception. I wish I could say that I remember more about the interior. 25 years between now and then renders details a little hazy, but I do remember the walls being lined with all types of shoes I had never seen before- crazy disco platforms, knee high boots, sneakers of every kind. I had always been in a hurry to grow up before, but seeing all the crazy styles made me long for the day when I could wear whatever I wanted, starting with all these amazing shoes!

    JessicaM-Docs_1_ed_blkBut I was a girl on a mission- 8 eye Dr. Martens in classic black. Found them! The minute I put them on and looked at myself in the mirror I finally saw the person I always felt like on the inside. Fast forward 20 some odd years later and I’m working in our Little 5 Points store and this girl comes in, and she’s about 15 or 16 and her Mom is trailing her, cooing over all the array of shoes, talking about what was in style when she was younger. I walk over and ask them how they’re doing and ask if they have something particular in mind. Mom looks at the daughter, who looks back as if to say, “Are you sure?” In that moment I know why they’re here. The daughter walks over to the table full of Dr. Martens in colors and styles I could never have dreamed of, picks up the classic 8* boot in black and says “I want my first pair of Docs.”

  • Before You Store: Sandal Care

    Chaco-Shoes-in-a-boat-at-Abbadabbas-cool-shoesSummer may be gone, but we had such a blast that we aren’t bummed at all! We worked smart and played hard, and squeezed every ounce of awesome out of each summery day, and hope you did, too. From hiking in the mountains to shooting the ‘Hooch, we really put our Chaco, Keen, and various favorite sandals through their paces this year- one of us even thought that taking her Birkenstock Gizeh sandals for a wet, sandy bicycle ride on the beach was a great idea. (It’s not.) Luckily, Birkenstock is built to last and are generally repairable so a little minor cork work and a new footbed and voila, good as new. If you loved your Birks a little hard this year, or the past 10 years, it may be time to bring them by and have one of our knowledgeable associates take a look and evaluate to see if they need a little TLC. The most common repair is minor cork work and a resole, and it usually takes approximately 2 weeks. FYI, the soft footbed style sandals cannot be replaced. While we don’t actually do the repairs ourselves, we have been working with the same local, trusted repairman for over 15 years. Trust us when we say you’d rather wait those few weeks now, as opposed to spring when most folks think about bringing their sandals back out. Take care of them now, and they’ll be ready when you are!

    We know you guys love Chaco- what’s not to love in this sturdy, anatomically correct sandal that’s both tough as nails and provides the must-have accessory of every summer- Chaco tan lines! And with the ReChaco program offered through the company you can love your favorite pair for years to come, and keep a pair of footwear out of the landfills. Their website offers a comprehensive list of services and prices, from rewebbing to replacing buckles, and everything in between. Before tossing your sandals, check to see if yours can be given a second (or third, or fourth. . .) life. As they say, “Adventures come and go, but your Chacos stay on your feet.”

    Pegnguin-Spray-Ultra-Dry-Fabric-Protector-Abbadabbas-Cool-shoes-2Sometimes the only thing your sandals need is a good cleaning and refreshing. Before putting them away for the winter, give them a good wash with appropriate cleaner. Birkenstock makes a great Shoe Care Kit for leather, suede and nubuck. Also, check to make sure that the cork isn’t drying up and coming off- when the cork has lost its sheen is a good indicator that this is happening. If it is, a light coating of Cork Sealer, available in store and online at will condition and protect the cork from the elements. For Chaco, Keen and Merrell we recommend a gentle water-based soap like Nikwax Sandal Wash which cleans, refreshes and remove odors from sandals, footbeds and insoles. Air dry away from heat, and your sandals are fresh and ready to go next year!

  • How to Adjust Your Chaco Straps

    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

    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 for more buy local blogs.

  • Choosing the Best Travel Shoes, Part 2: For Him

    “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.


    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.


    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.


    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!

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