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CoolShoes - Abbadabba's

Atlanta’s Premier Source for Innovative Comfort Footwear

  • 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 they are, we love ‘em! We know you will, too. But don’t just take our word for are some reviews others have written:

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

  • Abbadabba’s Loves: Spring Festival Season

    If it’s spring in Atlanta, it means one of two things: pollen and fun festivals.  All the talk and wheezing is about the pollen, so let’s get to the fun part...spring festivals! By now, you’ve survived the rainy winter, Easter, and hopefully a great Spring Break. Now, we’d like to highlight some of the fun festivals around town of which we’re big fans, so you can enjoy the rest of our beautiful spring...with the allergy pills in tow, of course!

    Sandy Springs Artsapalooza 4/18 - 4/19


    From the organizers who bring us public art markets (like Festival on Ponce and others) throughout the city and are working to make Atlanta such a vibrant, colorful, and FUN place to live - the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces - this two-day event brings artists into the streets of Sandy Springs for one weekend each April. Just north of our Buckhead store, and just southeast of our East Cobb store, you’ll find a fantastic assortment of local artists, musicians, and a children’s play area.  Guaranteed fun for the whole family!

    Sweetwater 420 Fest 4/17- 4/19

    maxresdefaultAn oldie but bigger and better than ever! This year’s festival, which will probably top 30,000 attendees is being held in Centennial Park. What started off as a small neighborhood festival to celebrate Earth Day, has grown to a successful 3-day party, complete with local craft brew, national musicians - somebody named “Snoop Dogg” ring a bell? - and if you’re truly adventurous and well-hydrated from the night before, a 5K Race on Saturday, 4/18. (a USATF and Peachtree Road Race qualifier race, no less)

    Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes 4/24/-4/26

    Held every year on the last weekend in April and dubbed “Atlanta’s Best Street Festival” (but can you choose?), the Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes has been around longer than Abbadabba’s! This year’s festival marks its 44th anniversary. Our Little 5 Points store knows this festival well, and knows that you’ll be on your feet all day, enjoying the weather, the great food and drink, and the gorgeous, Victorian homes of the Inman Park neighborhood.  It’s a great day for Atlanta history and culture...just be sure to wear some supportive walking shoes!

    Shaky Knees Music Festival 5 /8 - 5/10

    Each year this top-tier indie and alternative rock festival keeps growing! It’s only 3 years old, but the line-up of both national and local acts is so strong, that it draws crowds from around the entire Southeastern US. Last year’s festival drew more than large crowds, but also some rainy weather, so watch the forecasts and plan your footwear accordingly! Rain boots, Chaco Flips were all pretty popular choices last year!

    Shaky Boots Music Festival 5/16 - 5/17

    shaky-bootsThis is the first year for the Shaky Boots Festival (brought to Atlanta by the same group that puts on Shaky Knees), and it’s also Atlanta’s first large-scale country-based music festival. Our Kennesaw store is excited about something so large happening “OTP,” as this festival should rock the socks off of Kennesaw State University’s Sports & Entertainment Park. Top-tier country stars, including Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, and Dwight Yoakam are sure to be huge draws, as are more regional and alt-country acts  (equally great!) acts such as Jason Isbell, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Cracker. Check out the full schedule here, and pick up your boots, Chaco or Keen sandals here, so your shakin’ is from the music and not from bad shoes.

    Whatever your pleasure - arts, brews, tunes - Atlanta has them all this spring, both “OTP” and “ITP”.  We’re here at Abbadabba’s to make your feet feel better as you venture out and about, taking it all in. After all, we’re where COMFORT meets COOL. So, stay comfortable, stay cool, stay hydrated (*wink*), and enjoy this spring!

  • Get Ready 4 Spring: A Healthy Pedicure

    Finally! Sandal season is upon us! Spring is the time when our toes get to come out from hiding from our UGG boots, rain boots, knee-socks and snuggly slippers. Are your toes ready to see the light of day?  If they’re anything like ours, then….probably not. Am I right?

    Kristen-Beach-PediSo, first order of business is a pedicure. But we’re not talking any old strip-mall nail shop pedicure...we’re talking about a healthy pedicure. Getting a pedicure is a time-honored way for women - and men! - to pamper one’s self and relax. But did you know that they are also good for your feet?  There are numerous health benefits associated with pedicures.  You just have to make sure you’re getting them done the right way. Otherwise, they may have the opposite effect.

    First we’ll look at the benefits of getting a pedicure. Of course there are the obvious benefits of relaxation, and perhaps more importantly...not having your feet resemble Bilbo Baggins and his Hobbit feet.  But the benefits don’t stop there. The foot massage that accompanies most pedicures can help stimulate circulation in your feet and lower legs. The increased blood flow helps prevent clotting, and is good for the overall health of your feet. Removing calluses and excess dead skin can help prevent the formation of painful pressure points on your feet, caused by uneven weight distribution. Regular pedicures can also help prevent ingrown toenails, blisters, and blackened toenails (especially common among runners).

    Next, we want to stress that pedicures are not solely (pun not Babe-Ruth-Pediintended) for the ladies.  Many guys are getting in on the action. It’s not just for vanity reasons, either. (Although avoiding “Hobbit Feet” is as good a reason as any.) Many spas are now offering “Sports Manicures” for athletes who are notoriously hard on their feet. Athletes know how important foot health is to their overall well-being and performance, and pedicures can help. Hey dude, if Babe Ruth, Tim Tebow and David Beckham can do it, so can you!

    So now that you the health benefits of a pedicures, here’s a little primer of the do’s (COOL) and dont’s (NOT COOL) of getting a healthy pedicure:

    #Kristen-Birkenstock-Pedi1 ON THE NOT-COOL LIST: Never, ever, ever stick your feet in a jacuzzi tub. Do NOT be charmed by the allure of that bubbling cauldron of fungus and bacteria. I know it may feel good in the moment, but it certainly won’t a week later when you are fighting a fungal or bacterial infection on your feet.

    COOL: Your pedicurist uses a freshly cleaned and sterilized bowl or bath in which to soak your feet.

    NOT-COOL: You do not see a sterilizer for the pedicurist’s tools.

    COOL: Your pedicurist is using stainless steel tools that are sterilized before and after every use and client.

    NOT-COOL: Shaving your legs before a pedicure. Shaving leaves tiny cracks and micro-tears in your skin, in which bacteria can enter. That goes for you, too, guys. That is SO not cool.

    COOL: Pedicurists who cut or file toenails straight across in order to prevent ingrown toenail.

    NOT-COOL: Cutting cuticles. DO NOT CUT CUTICLES. STOP IT. JUST NO. Cuticles are there to protect your nails from microbes.  They are part of our body’s many natural defense mechanisms. It is perfectly fine for the pedicurist to apply natural oils to your cuticles and to push them down gently, but do not let them cut.  Your cuticles and the skin around your nails should never look red after a pedicure.

    And finally...COOL...a pedicurist who is more concerned by your foot health and comfort than how many feet come in and out of his/her door or what color polish you choose.

    Some Atlanta nail salons, we endorse and love:

    Wax-ATL/Buff Nail Care (Inman Park/O4W)

    10Ten Nail Bar (various locations)

  • Abbadabba's - Where Women Matter

    This Sunday, March 8th, marks the 107th International Women’s Day, a day to recognize and celebrate women across the world and their accomplishments.  It’s also a day to educate people about the struggles of inequality many women, both here and abroad, still face. In the United States, the celebration has been extended to the entire month of March and dubbed “Women’s History Month.”  Therefore, we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to reach out to our Coolshoes Community, and celebrate the fact that we have been a majority women-founded and operated business in Atlanta since the 1970s.

    janice-abernethyIn fact, the business was birthed four decades ago by one incredible woman, Janice “Abbadabba” Abernethy. Nearly forty years have gone by and the business - Abbadabba’s - has grown from a one-woman operation into a thriving company of 30+ employees, 4-store brick-and-mortar locations and an online store. It was Janice’s passion through the years that has kept Abbadabba’s going and growing.

    When asked about her tenure at Abbadabba’s, Janice replied “What an amazing and incredible ride it’s been! In the beginning I never envisioned anything other than doing it all myself, but as things grew I hired my first employee (a woman), and later enlisted the help of a bookkeeper (who also happened to be a woman). There was never meant to be an exclusion of men; it just seemed the business attracted women! Nurturing, fitting, following up, always trying to deliver on service and satisfaction….These are things women do so well.”

    Bill-and-janice-travel-3[We must mention that in 1986, however, Janice employed one very important man...her husband Bill Carmichael! In 1991 the couple incorporated the business, and its been owned 50/50 ever since.]

    But Janice isn’t the only woman of importance at Abbadabba’s.  With the exception of Bill, our CEO, our entire senior management team are women. This team of women works tirelessly and collaboratively to run the Abbadabba’s organization from finance to buying, e-commerce to store operations/human resources. All of the women in our senior management crew climbed the ranks from salespeople working with customers, to store management and then beyond. There’s no Glass Ceiling at Abbadabba’s.  We may be small, but the sky is our limit.

    “I can’t imagine Abbadabba’s without ‘Abbadabba’ [Janice] at the helm,” says Kristen Smith, Chief Financial Officer and 15.5 year employee of Abbadabba’s.  “I’ve learned so much about business, be it negotiating, merchandising or just attention to detail from Janice over the years. I would not be where I am today, either personally or professionally, if I hadn’t learned from one of the best.”

    We also have a very diverse staff, and an even more diverse market with women making up a majority of our customer base...many of whom act as the “Chief Buying Officers” of their own families. We’ve always made it our practice to pay our employees fairly, regardless of gender, race, religion or sexuality; and we’re committed to the same principles of fairness and equality in all of our dealings with our customers, our vendor partners, and all other entities with whom we engage. We value the needs of all of our Abbadabba’s “family” and provide benefits that help our extended family of employees and their families succeed, grow and thrive - from exceptional medical benefits, to a company-sponsored 401(k), to allowing for school schedules and paid sick days. It’s important to us to support our staff and view them all as individuals, rather than a cog in a machine or a number on a timecard.

    From Janice at the top all the way down to our newest employees on the sales floor, our company is filled with great female role models. Over the years, female employees have built upon their Abbadabba’s experience and moved on to high levels in other retail stores, to own their own businesses, to project management at renowned media, architecture and design firms, and more. We’re proud of their time spent working for our company, and we strive to continue supporting them as they move on to new ventures, as well. Women-owned businesses represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the economy. There are currently over 10 million women-owned businesses in the US, and we are proud to say we are one of them.

    To learn more please visit

    And to learn more about Abbadabba’s History, click here

  • Get Ready 4 Spring: Birkenstock Repairs

    While most of the country is still knee-deep into the dreary days of winter, we at Abbadabba’s are already thinking ahead to spring. The bulk of our shipments of sandals and flip-flops and all things spring are just a few weeks from coming in. And some things are already starting to trickle in, day by day...

    Birkenstock-Resole-AbbadabbasSo, what better time than now to take an assessment of your own spring and summer shoes, and see what needs a little makeover?  Did you know that you can actually repair your trusty, well-loved Birkenstock footwear to make them last longer?  Most Birkenstock sandals and clogs have an EPA sole that can be replaced when the edges or heels start to wear down.  The time frame for this wear-and-tear is unique to the individual owner. Some people are quite easy on their shoes, and their soles may last years.  Others are much harder on their feet or wear their shoes more often. These people will see greater or quicker wear. Some people experience pronation or supination that can cause uneven wear on the edges or heels of the soles.  All these problems can be repaired, if caught in time.

    Here’s where we can step in...We offer resoling options, using a local repair man in Atlanta.  He has done our repairs and customers’ repairs for many years, usually in a 2-4 week generally 2 weeks turnaround. There are also online outfits the can service our customers outside of the Atlanta-metro. One reputable outfit is Resole America.  (They also handle resoling for many of the other brands we carry, such as Wolverine, Naot, and more.)*

    Birkenstock-Cork-SealerThe cork footbeds can also be maintained and repaired.  We always recommend monitoring the exposed cork on the sides of your Birkenstock clogs and sandals to ensure that the cork is properly sealed.  When the shiny sealant on the exposed cork starts to wear off, revealing dull or dry cork, we recommend re-coating the exposed cork using Birkenstock Cork Sealer.  This is a must, if you want your Birkenstock sandals and clogs to live long, happy lives.

    One thing to remember though….

    Take care of your Birkenstocks and they can last as long as these - over 15 years! Take care of your Birkenstocks and they can last as long as these - over 15 years!

    Cool Rule #1: DO NOT APPLY CORK SEALER TO THE SUEDE FOOTBED. If you do so, you have essentially ruined your sandals, and we can’t help you after that. Apply ONLY to the exposed cork around the sides of the shoe. We know that may sound obvious to most of you, but believe us, you guys….we’ve seen it all over the last few decades!

    If you notice that your cork has been damaged, worn down, or is flaking away, it can usually be filled in. There are some situations the cork is too worn for an effective/lasting repair, and the only option is to replace the shoe.  However, if you maintain your cork and seal it using the Cork Sealer, you should get many many wears (years!) out of your shoes.

    Other repairs can include suede footbed liner replacement, replacement buckles and stitching, regluing  of straps, and more.  We encourage you to bring in any and all of your Birkenstock sandals lurking in your closets and waiting for spring, so we can evaluate them for any repair needs.  That way, you’ll be ready to go once those azaleas start blooming and the temps start to rise.

    Resole prices range from $42 - $55. Minor, miscellaneous repairs (cork work only, buckles, etc) range from $5 - $20.

    *Resole America is not affiliated with Abbadabba’s -, but many of our customers have used this outfit.  We make no satisfaction guarantees regarding Resole America’s work.

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