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CoolShoes - Abbadabba's

Atlanta’s Premier Source for Innovative Comfort Footwear

  • Fall 2015 Trends We Love

    Despite the current temps outside, fall really is upon us. Kids have returned from camp and are going back to school, and we’re longing for “pumpkin-spice whatever!,” leaf-peeping in the North Georgia mountains and the cooler days ahead. So while we’ve got you dreaming about fall, we’ll share some shoe trends we’re loving for the months ahead.

    First up, we have to mention Birkenstock, one of Abbadabba’s original brands. Whether you’re a long-time fan of the comfort the brand provides, or you bought your first pair of Birkenstocks this spring because of their cool-quotient and then fell in love, we’ve got the styles and tricks to carry that love into the fall and winter. White-shoes-colorful-socks-abbadabbas-birkenstocksYou can always go the “socks + sandals” route (here’s some tips on how to do that and not look awkward).

    We even carry tons of fun, funky, and cozy socks in our stores to choose from!

    Fringe is also popping up everywhere this fall - from purses to shoes and boots. Building off the “boho-chic” looks of this spring, this fall is leaning more “Western-bohemian” with fringe, patchwork, and rich, earthy colors.

    We admit it...we're also “boot-aholics” when fall rolls around. The shipments of classic boot styles for men and women from Frye, Red Wing, and Wolverine are already starting to roll out to the stores, as well as super-comfy styles by Blundstone, Dansko and many more.

    abbadabbas-olukai-womens-keaweBut for women in 2015, the Ankle Boot reigns supreme. Other carryover trends from the current season are: wedges, menswear-looks for women, and athletic styles* for men and women. (*aka “ath-leisure”...aka #WIWT or Adam-vansWhat I Wore Today...and everyday”) minnetonkanew-balance-stealth-990Some of our staff’s and customer favorites are Saucony, New Balance and Vans.

    Even though summer is coming to a close, that doesn’t mean  your coolshoes options have run out. There are lots of styles that will keep your style on point AND stay comfortable. We can’t wait for you to: ”fall” in love with them, too.

  • Abbadabba's Supporting Small Businesses via Kiva Microfiance Loans

    Anyone who has ever tried to start a business understands the truth of the adage: “it takes money to make money.” Even in the relatively wealthy United States, obtaining loans to fund a small business can be difficult. Imagine trying to start a business in a poor third-world nation where there are no options to obtain such a loan. How do people who are willing to work hard and scrape together a new business get the funds to get started, or to expand the business they have already begun?

    The answer, for thousands of small business owners all over the globe, is Kiva.

    Kiva envisions “a world where all people - even in the most remote areas of the globe - hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.” By connecting investors - people like you and me - with business owners who need capital to thrive, Kiva “helps people in need create better lives for themselves and their families.” Your $25 loan combines with other Kiva lenders to provide the capital, and Kiva vets the borrowers so you can be confident making the loan. (Kiva’s 98.7% repayment rate speaks for itself.)

    When I discovered Kiva, and read about the wide variety of entrepreneurs supported through Kiva, I took note of the number of borrowers who were in, or wanted to be in, the shoe business. I reflected back upon the many years Janice and I worked to slowly build the capital to operate Abbadabba’s, and how we were blessed with the opportunities we needed to succeed.  I wondered if Kiva could be a way for Abbadabba’s to help other shoe businesses grow and succeed in diverse parts of the world. I discovered… it can.

    We started the CoolshoesAtlanta Kiva Lending Team in November, 2011, with the goal of “helping shoe businesses take their next step.” Since then, our team has grown to 16 members (including a lady in Sydney, Australia!) and as a team, we have made over 150  loans! We continue to re-invest as loans are paid back, so the capital we gathered continues to help again, and again. Who are the borrowers we help? Here are ten examples, and they are typical of the diversity of our loan recipients:

    Kiva borrowers - 5c Kiva borrowers 5c

    If this looks like our borrowers are from all corners of the world… they are! Just take a look at the global impact of our loans, as illustrated in a pie chart of our loans, by country:

    kiva pie 2015-06

    As you can see, our CoolshoesAtlanta loans have impacted borrowers in over 50  countries, and we continue to expand. To see the countries we’ve served more clearly, Kiva provides this map of our team’s loan recipients:

    kiva world map countries served

    The participants in our CoolshoesAtlanta Kiva lending team are proud of what we have been able to do through Kiva to help “sister” shoe businesses all over the world. We plan to keep on re-lending, and expanding, our team’s reach. Our business has been blessed with so much opportunity… and we are delighted to be able to pass some of that on to others.

    If you are interested in “microfinance” I urge you to consider investing $25 in Kiva to experience the feeling of helping somebody in this very special way. Please feel free to join our lending team, if you wish, and help us further along with our mission at Kiva. Whoever you loan to, you will find great satisfaction knowing that your loan has made a tangible, lasting impact on the lives of the recipient and that community.

    - Bill

  • The Best Shoes to Bring to Camp

    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?

    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.

    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-Shoes-Chaco-Sandals1Chaco 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 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.

    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.

    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!

  • Abbadabba’s Gives Back: PEDS Atlanta Partnership 2015

    “SLOW DOWN ATLANTA: Kill Speed. Save Lives”

    While Atlanta hasn’t known in the past for being a very “walkable” city  - words like "suburbs,” “traffic,” and “urban sprawl” usually come to people’s minds - some organizations are working tirelessly to make it MORE walkable, like PEDS Atlanta.  PEDS mission is to work with local partners to make the streets and sidewalks safer and more functional for pedestrians across Atlanta, and to work to shatter some of these impressions of Atlanta. And it’s working!

    PEDs-Abbadabbas-Janice-edited-2Abbadabba’s has always had a strong connection to the communities around each of our stores - even the ones out in the ‘burbs’, or OTP as Atlantans like to call them - and, of course, has always been committed to walking, both for health and transportation. Because of our similar goals, we found PEDS Atlanta to be a perfect local partner with which we can work together today to achieve our combined goal of a “more walkable tomorrow.”

    Two years ago we worked with PEDS on a “SLOW DOWN” yard sign campaign that was hugely popular.  You still might see some of the signs around town, especially in high-traffic surface/neighborhood streets and around some intown schools.  Because of the popularity of the campaign, and our commitment to the issue, we decided to “double-down” and boost our support for 2015.

    We are excited to announce that this year’s “SLOW DOWN: Kill Speed. Save Lives.” initiative will have twice the impact of the previous campaign, as we have doubled the amount of signs available FOR FREE to anyone who wants to send a message to drivers to take it easy on the gas, and save more lives.

    We encourage you to visit PEDS’ website for research showing what a difference just 10 mph in can make when it comes to the risk of vehicle versus pedestrian risk.  We also recommend checking out the other year-long initiatives the PEDS sponsors, like crosswalk education, working with city and regional governments on speed enforcement, and sidewalk improvements.  All great stuff!

    To pick up your FREE “SLOW DOWN” yard sign, you can stop by any Abbadabba’s location now until we run out for your yard.  We encourage individual pickup, neighborhood association bulk pickups, whatever! Anything that helps us get the message out, is good for us. [Please note: We cannot ship these signs. They are for in-store and event pickup only.]

    sign placement 400w

    Other Sources: http://www.ajc.com/news/business/most-walkable-city-atlanta-cracks-top-ten/ngMty/

    http://time.com/money/2887232/the-futures-most-walkable-cities-prepare-to-be-surprised/

  • What Makes the KEEN UNEEK unique?

    At Abbadabba’s we carry a variety of options for “water shoes” - everything from traditional KEEN Newport H2 sandals for the whole family, to Adidas Climacool Boat Shoes, to Chaco and Vibram Five Fingers! In accordance with our mission of being Atlanta’s Premier Source for INNOVATIVE and Comfort footwear, we are excited to be one of the first local retailers to help introduce the KEEN UNEEK product to Atlanta.

    What makes the UNEEK sandals “unique,” you ask?

    Keen-Womens-Uneek-Gargoyle-Bright-ChartreuseWe’re so glad you asked! The UNEEK line is a truly “minimalist” shoe. In fact, it cuts out all the extra fluff, “doo-hickeys,” high-tech features, and settle in on a simple design…two nylon cords and a reliable sole. With the adjustable cord design the shoe can be literally customized to fit your foot.

    The polyurethane sole has siping (What is siping? Think of the slits on rubber tires and how they are made to improve traction.) that allows these sandals to take you from the trails, to the boat, and even wet rocks and water. They offer true multi-surface design. Water drains easily from the corded-design, meaning your feet will dry much faster than more neoprene-enclosed water shoes. The UNEEK design is durable and comfortable enough to take you from each surface to the next without having to change footwear mid-adventure.

    If you want to learn more about the UNEEK line, we encourage you to come try them on! We promise, you’ve never seen anything like them. In the meantime, you can also watch this nifty video provided to us by our partners at KEEN.

    As weird…um, we mean UNEEK...as they are, we love ‘em! We know you will, too. But don’t just take our word for it...here are some reviews others have written:

    http://www.mensjournal.com/gear/outdoor/a-better-sandal-for-watersports-20140806

    http://gearjunkie.com/keen-uneek-sandal

    As always, your best bet is to stop in our stores, try them on and see/feel for yourself.

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