Posts Tagged ‘Alpro’

The State of Birkenstock

Happy Feet Plus - The Sate of Birkenstock

What’s going on with Birkenstock?

Some of you long-time Birkenstock wearers may be noticing that the sub-brands (Alpro, Birki’s, Footprints, Papillio, and Tatami) are going through some changes. Our web site is certainly being affected by what’s going on inside the company.

In an effort, I think, to be more relevant Birkenstock is pulling the strings tighter around the sub-brands. They appear to be looking to better define the sub-brands and eliminate overlap of styles, features, and/or fabrics. This will ultimately be great for customers and retailers, but for right now we’re all seeing styles and colors disappearing on a weekly basis.

A couple of things we know to be pretty certain (understanding that nothing is for sure until it happens). First, the Birkenstock brand itself is stable with good availability, new colors, and some new styles. Next, Papillio will become more of a fashion brand with colors and patterns compatible with the annually-featured Birkenstock colors and patterns. Third, we’ve seen the Birki’s spring catalog and if most of the styles and colors come to fruition, they’ll have lots of new things to show. Finally, Footprints and Tatami still seem to be up-in-the-air. If they know where the brands are headed, they’re not telling.

We keep close track of the inventory availability for all Birkenstock brands and update our site on a weekly basis. As new footwear becomes available, or is no longer available, we’ll make the appropriate updates. When major seasonal changes occur we’ll also send email notifications to existing customers.

In my opinion I think it’ll take another nine months for the changes at Birkenstock to settle down. Until then, if you see a shoe, sandal, or clog from Birkenstock, Alpro, Birki’s, Footprints, Papillio, and Tatami that you like – buy it. You never know how long product availability will last.

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Regards,

Dave

Tooting Our Own Horn? You Bet!

HFP Horn Tooting

Although we don’t often brag about the footwear that we offer sometimes it’s just got to come out, so here goes. “We sell great shoes!”

Of course we are going to say that, but maybe seeing what our customers have to say will carry more weight. These are real customers providing real feedback 30 days after having placed an order. This is just a sample of the positive feedback we receive daily. Thanks to all of our customers.

SHOE REVIEWED

CUSTOMER COMMENT

Birkenstock
Arizona

My son is very happy with his new Birks. They were a replacement for a pair he wore to the ground, so to speak. We originally ordered the wrong size but I was able to intercept the process with a representative on the phone and received the correct size in the mail in quick time. Thank you
Joan R., NY

Birkenstock
Arizona

I found the Happy Feet website easy to use. It has the best selection of Birkenstocks I found online with good prices. I got one pair for casual wear and one for dressier events. There is only one other type of shoe my podiatrist will let me wear with my plantar fasciitis.
Karen P., WA

Birki’s
Haiti

Been a “Birkie” since they were invented. Don’t wear anything else. I was thrilled to find the Happy Feet website.
danyell s., TN

Finn Comfort
Jamaica

My third pair of the Jamaica — each one fits like the previous one. Finn Comfort produces great shoes…consistent sizing and oh so comfortable!
Julie M., FL

Finn Comfort
Jamaica

My plantar fasciitis was acting up because my previous pair were too worn at the heels. Within a day of wearing the new ones, I felt much better.
Janet N., CA

Kenkoh
Soul

I felt all of the soreness on my feet start to fade.Once I broke into them I didn’t want to stop wearing them.I brought them to work with me a couple of times because I am a hairstylist and wore socks with them!I highly recommend it
Celeste S., MA

Kenkoh
Spirit

Just bought a pair today bc my feet were killing me. Put them on before leaving shirokiya and WOW within 5 minutes my feet starting feeling great. I do recomend only wearing them for a little while for 1st time use. Brittany Honolulu, HI

Mephisto
Hannel

I have owned these sandals for 3 years. The great arch and cork sole bed are the only thing that gave me relief from a nasty case of Plantar Fascitis. They mold to your foot and are well worth the price I paid. I will probably buy another pair unless Mephisto comes out with a new style with the same properties. They were a Godsend.

Papillio
Tabora

These are the best shoes I have ever owned I bought my first paid seven years ago and I’m just needing to buy another pair. I wear them with everthing pants, shorts, even dresses. these are soooo comfy.

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Regards,

Dave

Jane’s Picks – Alpro P250

The Birko-Flor upper looks like a Birkenstock Arizona, the cork footbed is made by Birkenstock AND it has a slip-resistant sole. What a great combination. The Alpro P250 is a wonderful hybrid of a classic sandal. Buy one this week and save 25%.

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Get the Right Size

Get the Right Size

If you’re getting ready to purchase your first pair of Birkenstock footwear you might find the following information useful.

First off, there are footbed differences between Birkenstock, Birki’s, Alpro, Footprints, Papillio, and Tatami. You can read more about the differences in the way the footbeds fit by going to a previous blog entry Footbed Differences.

As far as sizing goes, all Birkenstock brand family are pretty similar. Click Here to go to the Happy feet Plus Sizing Chart. The length fit for all Birkenstock brand family sandals and clogs conform to the Size Chart. If you’re looking to buy a Footprints shoe, you probably ought to go one size bigger.

Much of the Birkenstock brand family footwear is available in Narrow and Regular widths. The chart below identifies how you can tell the difference in the marking for narrow and regular width footwear. (Some styles come in a medium width. The footprint icon for medium width is solid in the forefoot and open in the heel.)

Birkenstock Width Information

Once you’ve identified your size, ordered your footwear from Happy Feet Plus (of course) and open the box, how do you determine if it is a correct size?

Well, Birkenstock has developed a pretty thorough set of instructions for ensuring that you have a perfect fit.

Birkenstock Fitting Information

    When you first receive your Birkenstock footwear

  1. Remove the shoes from the box and gently flex them with your hands or on the floor. Birkenstocks often feel a bit stiff at first and this will help soften them and make them feel comfy sooner.
  2. Unbuckle ALL of the straps and place your feet in the shoes. Make sure your heels are ALL the way back in the heel cup of the shoes. The contours of the footbed should correspond to your own arch and the toe bar should fit comfortably beneath your toes, where your toes meet your foot.
  3. Before you stand up, look to see if there is adequate space for your feet (approx. ¼” for toes and heels, and 1/8” on the sides of your feet). You’ll want a little extra room because your feet will expand when you stand and walk.
  4. Buckle the straps starting at your toes and working up. The straps should be a bit snug but not tight. The support will come from the footbed, not from tightly buckled straps. It’s just right if you can wiggle one finger between the strap and your foot.
  5. Now take a walk around the house and see how they feel. They might feel a bit stiff. That’s normal. As soon as you start wearing them a bit they will start to soften and shape to your foot.
  6. Once you feel comfortable with them around the house then go ahead and start wearing them outside. Make sure to get used to them slowly though. Allow your feet and your body to gradually get used to the new support, the straps and the buckles. We recommend a few hours for the first 5 or 6 wearings. After that you may never want to take them off.

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Regards,

Dave

Cork – What’s It All About?

What is Cork?

Corkboards, cork bottle stoppers, cork footbeds.
We’re all familiar with these items, but what do we really know about cork?

I haven’t seen a corkboard in years. Cork stoppers in wine bottles are giving way to twist-tops and artifical stoppers. But Birkenstock cork footbeds are still the same as they always have been. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Cork is a renewable resource, so harvesting cork doesn’t destroy forests. Better than that, Birkenstock uses by-products of the wine industry. I guess that makes using cork a good thing. But where does cork come from?

The Cork Oak is a medium-sized, evergreen oak tree and is native to southwest Europe and northwest Africa. The tree has a thick, insulating bark that may have been the Cork Oak’s evolutionary answer to forest fires. The tree forms a thick, rugged bark which can develop to a considerable thickness and can be harvested every 9 to 12 years to produce cork. The harvesting of cork does not harm the tree, in fact, no trees are cut down during the harvesting process. Only the bark is extracted, and a new layer of cork regrows, making it a renewable resource.

Today every part of the cork harvest is put to use. Leftovers from the bottle cork stamping process are ground down in various sizes and then sorted by quality. Birkenstock ground cork comes from the first quality by-products of the wine industry. The cork-latex mixture (the main component of the Birkenstock footbed) is made in small batches to minimize any waste. Any excess is recycled.

Birkenstock is still using both natural cork and natural latex in their footbeds as they have since the very beginning. It’s good to see something like this that has been working so well for so long. The cork-latex mixture is a wonderful combination that adapts to the individual wearer, molding to the feet over a short period of time. The cork-latex footbed feels good much like that old pair of jeans feels good.

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Regards,

Dave

Hammer Toes Ain’t Pretty

Hammer Toes Ain't Pretty

Summertime is coming and the last thing you want is to have bent up hammer toes sticking out of those cool new sandals from Happy Feet Plus. If you want your feet to look as great as those new sandals read on.

What if you have been wearing shoes that are too tight either in width or length? One outcome could be hammer toes. Sometimes hammer toes are an inherited (thanks mom and dad) or are the result of earlier trauma. But most often result from wearing ill-fitting shoes.

If you recognize early enough that you are developing hammer toes and you begin wearing properly fitting footwear (from Happy Feet Plus, of course) you can stop, or at least slow, the progression of the ailment. Early recognition and correction is important. If you continue to wear ill-fitting shoes not only will your feet turn ugly but you’ll most likely develop bunions, corns and calluses.

There is hope. Treatment begins when you decide to stop wearing those high heel pointy-toe shoes. Instead look for shoes that have a soft roomy toe box. Manufacturers such as Birkenstock, Finn Comfort, Birki’s, Alpro, Footprints, Tatami, Papillio produce a wide selection of footwear that will help alleviate hammer toes. Footwear from these manufacturers typically have wide toe boxes and exceptional arch support.

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Regards,

Dave

3 Arches of the Foot

As promised here’s some info about the three arches of your foot.

Most of this information is taken from content that can be found at happyfeet.com/3-arches.aspx.

The bones provide the framework around which the ligaments, tendons and muscles form the supporting structure of the foot.

Medial Arch

The largest longitudinal arch is the Medial Arch. It is located on the inside of the foot and is typically described as “Flat”, “Normal” or “High” (see last week’s blog for more information).

Lateral Arch

The Lateral Arch is the smaller of the two longitudinal arches and is found on the outside part of the sole.

Metatarsal Arch

The Metatarsal Arch is the primary transverse arch. This arch created by the Metatarsals is not as obvious as the large Medial Arch, but without support it too can cause painful injuries such as Metatarsalgia.

Footwear with good arch support, especially in the Medial and Metatarsal Arches, can help people suffering from Plantar Fasciitis or Metatarsalgia.

Wearing supportive footwear can also help prevent foot ailments. Finn Comfort and Birkenstock footbeds provide excellent Medial, Lateral and Metatarsal Arch support.

Supportive footwear like Birkenstock or Finn Comfort also have desired features like a wide toebox and a broad, stable sole which can help people suffering from Morton’s Neuroma, Hammer Toes, or Bunions.

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Regards,

Dave

Do You Know Your Arch Type?

What's Your Arch Type Do you know whether you have a high arch or flat feet?

Everyone knows that to get a proper fit you need footwear of the right length and width for your feet. That’s pretty much a “duh” statement. But did you know that it’s just as important to get footwear with the right arch support for your specific foot type? To get the proper support to align your body you need good arch support like you will find in footwear from Birkenstock, Birki’s, Alpro, Footprints, Tatami, Papillio, and Finn Comfort.

Here’s some guidance on determining your Arch Type.

The medial arch is the largest of the foot’s arches. It runs from the heel to the ball of the foot. This is the arch that is most commonly thought of when a discussion about foot arches comes up in conversation. (I know, it’s not your everyday table talk topic, but bear with me.)

There are three basic types of medial arches – Flat, Normal and High.

Three Arch Types

To identify your type of arch, perform the “wet test” as described below and compare your results with the images to the right.

Wet Test Procedure

  1. While seated remove shoes and socks and place construction paper or paper bag on the floor.
  2. Place either foot in water.
  3. While still seated, place your damp foot on the paper; exert pressure to simulate standing.
  4. Do not stand or walk while your feet are wet.
  5. Remove your foot from the paper and dry completely.
  6. Repeat the process with your other foot.
  7. Compare the image(s) on the paper to the ones on this page to determine your arch type.

Now that you know your arch type how do you use that information to buy the right shoe, sandal or clog? Talk with your footwear professionals, such as your local Happy Feet Plus store or with our online footwear professionals via live chat at www.happyfeet.com or by calling 1-800-336-6657. Describe your arch type and any other foot issues and our footwear professionals can help identify brands and styles most appropriate for your needs.

Next time I’ll talk a bit more about the three arches of the foot. Stay tuned.

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Regards,

Dave

Clean up those Birkenstocks

Keep Your Birkenstock's Clean

Do you love your Birkenstocks?

What a silly question. Of course you do, don’t we all? Do you want your Birkenstocks to last forever? To be honest we’d love to sell you a new pair every month (or even more often) but being good stewards we’ll provide you with a few hints on how to prolong the life of your Birks.

You can wipe the cork footbed with a damp cloth to remove dirt, dust or grime. More important is to keep the cork water resistant. To do that we recommend applying Birkenstock Cork Life to the cork (and only the cork) once every couple of months, or whenever the cork starts to look dull. One little bottle of Cork Life lasts a long time and will keep water from being absorbed into the cork footbed. Wet cork will deteriorate very quickly.

The suede insoles can become pretty grungy, but you can keep them presentable. Every couple of months you can brush them with a medium bristle brush. You can also occasionally use a hose to rinse the insoles, them brush to remove ground in dirt. Prop them up outside so that they drain and dry completely. When dry, lightly brush the footbed to raise the nap of the suede. (Once the cork footbed are dry would be a good time to apply Cork Life to the cork footbed.)

The uppers also need to be cared for, but each material requires a little different kind of TLC. Leather should be cleaned and conditioned with a mild leather cleaner. Use a matching polish to renew scuff spots and restore the original luster.

Nubuck and suede can be protected from water and soil spots by applying a spray water repellent regularly. Brushing the uppers with a nubuck/suede brush will pull up dirt and dust and restore the nap. The use of a mild leather cleaner will remove stubborn stains. Use the nubuck/suede brush when dry to make them happy again.

Birko-Flor and Birkibuc are man-made materials and can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. You can try using soap and water or a mild leather cleaner to remove any stubborn stains.

EVA sandals or clogs are completely waterproof and washable. Wash them with mild soap and water and allow them to dry out of direct sunlight.

Remember the blog from April 7? If not, you might want to take a look and see how you can eliminate, or greatly reduce, the dreaded “stinky shoes”.

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Regards,
Dave

Who Loves Profi-Birkis and Super-Birkis?

Chefs Like Birki's

Folks in the medical and culinary professions love to wear Super-Birki and Profi-Birki clogs.

It’s easy to see why. Remove the footbeds and you can wash the shoes in water at temperatures up to 140°F. The Profi-Birki’s footbed, being constructed of EVA, is washable in water up to 86°F.

Recently the Profi-Birki with the Alpro-Foam soles received certified slip-resistant status. Just one more reason why kitchen staff love these clogs.

One issue that occasionally arises with both the Super-Birki or the Profi-Birki is the way they fit. Because they are constructed of polyurethane both clogs are designed to be generous. The generous fit allows for air flow around the foot. Since polyurethane is waterproof (which is great in a kitchen or operating room) is does not “breathe”. That’s the reason Birki’s designed them with the generous fit. A tight fit would encourage your feet to sweat which could lead to the growth of fungus and development of bad odor.

Unfortunately the generous fit can make the clog feel “sloppy”. One way to create a tighter fit with either the Super-Birki or Profi-Birki is to remove the footbed and insert a flat foam insole (like the inexpensive kind you can pick up at your local drug store). Place the Birki’s insole back in overtop of the foam insole. The clog will fit tighter, but you’ll still have enough “breathing room” to keep your feet healthy.

If you love the Super-Birki or Profi-Birki, you might want to check out the clogs by Alpro. They are also certified slip-resistant.

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Regards,
Dave