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Resolution Check-In

Friday, January 23, 2015 7:41:00 AM America/Chicago

We here at ShoeBacca encourage each and every one of our employees, friends (that's you all), and family to Get Fit, Get Active. The majority of people jump on the New Year's Resolution bandwagon and start working toward a healthier lifestyle at the beginning of the year. A lot either fall off the bandwagon before February rolls around, or the cynics just don't bother. We're here to encourage you to keep trying! Now is the best time because of all the support offered in stores, from fitness clothes, to fitness-friendly foods, to fitness accessories. After all, we're only in the 4th week of the new year. That leaves 48 weeks left in 2015, and it only takes 40 weeks for a new person to be born.

Long story short? It's not too late to start a New Year's Resolution! Even if you started one and didn't follow through - don't worry! There's still plenty of time to get back on track. And if you're still working hard? Keep at and inspiring those around you! We'll be covering a couple of tips and tricks to help with making sure you following your fitness goals.

Running

Running is the easiest/hardest thing to do for your health. No gym membership or crazy expensive equipment required. All you need is an area to run around (like a local park or your neighborhood) and a good pair of running shoes! Last week, we covered the 3 different running styles, how they influence your gait, and what you can do to correct it. We recommend you check it out in case you missed it! A few weeks back, our weekly newsletter covered setting small attainable goals to keep you on track to help you feel accomplished. So while some people can just get up and run (and run and run!), it's easier for newbies to chase a goal - Like running a set distance or time and increasing it gradually? Or, since everyone basically owns a smart phone, why not follow a fitness app? We've mentioned it before but we completely endorse the C25K running app. The reviews and success stories are overwhelming! It guides you through an 8 week process of increasing your running distance and endurace (with 3 weekly exercises.) It's time based, VS. distance, so it's friendly to treadmill users too! Heck, you could even use it on an elliptical, technically. Why not try it out? It's completely free (ads) and you can uninstall it if it doesn't work for you.

Calisthenics

Everyone knows what Calisthenics are. Remember the Presidential Fitness Test in middle school? The boring part of gym class where you did pushups and arm circles before you played kickball? That's Calisthenics. The technical definition is a form of exercise involving repetitive movements/motions, utilizing primarily your own body weight with minimal use of additional apparati. So yeah. Crunches, push-ups, lunges, squats, etc. Calisthenics, like running, are great because they don't require any additional memberships or equipment - Not even shoes! Though we do recommend doing them on a soft surface, especially if you go barefoot. You can do calisthenics literally anywhere. At home, on vacation, in the privacy of your cubicle at work - as long as you have an area large enough to move in. Check out this great list of exercises you can do anywhere, compiled at Greatist.com.

Diet & Hydration

This is where the biggest divide occurs in terms of fitness. Most people ascertain that healthy eating (what you put in) will eventually lead to weight loss. However, the otherside of the arguement is that caloric restriction (how much you put in) is the true path to weight loss. The fact of the matter is that neither are mutually exclusive. Academic studies have proven that caloric deficits lead to immediate loss in weight (see the Twinkie diet study) - But this was a short-term study. Who knows what long term repercussions could emerge if the diet lasted longer than a few months? And it's not sustainable, either (really, who's going to eat just twinkies for the rest of their life?). Eating "healthy" food rampantly doesn't lead immediately to weight loss either because your body never gets a chance to get into the fat-burning cycle (because excess fat is where excess weight is located.) Jillian Michaels released an article explaining this aspect of weight loss.

Regardless of which side of the argument you take (caloric content vs. nutritional value), we recommend using a tracking app. Both MyFitnessPal and Lose It! are great assets to help keep track of both calories consumed and the nutrition of the food you've consumed! Not to mentioned they also track water intake! And NO ONE disagrees that hydration is important to fitness and weight loss.

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

What's That Running Style?

Friday, January 16, 2015 2:51:00 PM America/Chicago

Disclaimer: This blog was written with no intention to be an authoritative source of information. Nor was it intended to provide diagnosis to any physical or medical conditions. Seek out health providers and medical practitioners for expert advice in regards to the topics very briefly discussed in this article.

We're halfway through the first month of the new year. Many of us have established our New Year's Resolutions - most of them are health or fitness related. Those of us have yet to settle on anything. Well... why not try running? It doesn't cost you any special monthly membership fees, and you can literally do it anywhere. However, like any other sport, you need to have the right equipment in order to succeed: proper running shoes.

You're in luck! As a matter of fact, Shoebacca carries a wide array of running shoes, in many different brands and styles. But where do you start? Which one do you choose? Thick sole? Thin sole? And what's the hullabaloo about this minimalism movement? Well it all boils down to one factor: You.

More specifically, the running shoes you need directly relate to your running style. You've got your Normies (Neutral Pronators), your Overs (Over Pronators), and your Supers (Under Pronators - Or supinators). Pronation just refers to how your foot hits the ground and distributes weight during your gait cycle (stepping from foot to foot.)

Normies

Image Courtesy of ASICS UK.

A good chunk of people, roughly 20% to 30% of runners, are Normies. Meaning the heal-to-toe roll of the foot doesn't rotate too far to the left or too far to the right. Weight is distributed evenly across the foot, and - as you're stepping/pushing off - most of the weight is supported across all 5 toes (with a good portion - about half - on the first and second toes.)

Overs

Image Courtesy of ASICS UK.

The more common irregularity in runners is Over Pronation. The natural rotation for pronation inclines to the inside of the foot, along the arch. Over pronating happens when your foot over-rotates inwardly and weight is no longer distributed evenly along the foot. Most of the weight is displaced along the inside portion of the foot and the first two to three toes shoulder the majority of the support.

Overs who do not correct this issue often experience pain with running because the work that should be handled by the feet and ankles is displaced to other parts of the body, like the knees, hips, and lower back. Other issues could also arise even when not running, like chronic pain in the aforementioned areas.

Supers

Image Courtesy of ASICS UK.

Under Pronating (Supinating) is just the opposite of Over Pronating. During the gait cycle, the outer half of the foot shoulders the majority of the weight, forcing the pinky and outer toes to support the body, with very little help from the Big Toe (who is still involved because balance.)

Since the natural pronation of the foot is to roll slightly towards the inner portion of the foot, Under Pronation is often associated with lack of ankle flexibility. Because of this, Supers can often correct the irregularity in their gait cycle through practice and stretching.

What's My Pronation?

The best way to find out what kind of pronator you are is by seeking advice from your medical or health professional, especially if you suspect something is seriously wrong or experience abnormal amounts of pain while running. However, if you're just curious and have time to kill, we suggest the Wet Feet Test. Check out this post from Running Shoes Guru on how to setup the test and then evaluate your results.

Recommendations

So you know your pronation. What do you do? Well, you buy the right equipment and be on your merry away to New Year's Resolution fulfillment. Usually an evaluation from a professional will also come with a recommendation (and orthotics in extreme cases), but we've got you covered if that's not the case.

Many different athletic shoe brands will cater to the different pronation styles, and many won't. We recommend ASICS though, as they have specific shoe collections tackling the different kind of Pronators.

Normies: Neutral pronators can get away with wearing any shoe, really. Avoid shoes that are specifically designed for severe over pronating or under pronating. Basically, the shoe world is your oyster! We recommend the Cumulus, Noosa Tri, Excel33, and Kinsei collections for Normies, as their support systems span from slight under pronating to slight over pronating.

Overs: Over pronators should seek out moderate to high arch support to help correct the inward inclination of their feet. We recommend the GT 1000, GT 2000, Super J33, and especially Kayano collections.

Supers: Under pronators should keep padding and arch support to a minimal. This keeps the shoe from pushing the foot outward, exacerbating the over pronation. Plus it allows more room within the shoe for your foot to self-correct. Try the Nimbus, Flux, Lyte33, or Sendai collections.

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

Go Big or Go Home: February

Friday, January 9, 2015 2:40:00 PM America/Chicago

Hey everyone! Last month, we did an intro post on a series of blogs that we'll be doing through 2015. It gave a preview for some of the major franchised 5ks, marathons, and obstacle courses coming up this year. If you want a refresher, check out the blog here. Anyway, towards the beginning of each month, we'll be posting a preview post of all the events - and locations - coming up during the following month!

In our soft launch, we included The Spartan Race and The Biggest Loser RunWalk. In addition to those, we'll also be covering: The WipeOut Run, The DirtyGirl 5k Mud Run, The Warrior Dash, The Color Run, The Color FunFest, DIVAS Half Marathon & 5K Series, and the Tough Mudder races on a regular basis. Each Post will include a brief paragraph on the race as well as location & pricing. Be sure to follow social media for other important dates, like early-bird registration cut offs!

The Spartan Race

"Spartan Race was created with a simple, yet important, mission in mind. That mission is to get people back to their primal roots. To do what they were designed to do: run, jump, climb and sweat." Taken straight from the Spartan Race website. The race itself was founded in 2010 and is now present in over 10 countries. Most Spartans are available in 3 different segments: the Sprint (3+mi, 15+ obstacles), the Super (8+mi, 20+ obstacles), and the Beast (12+mi, 25+ obstacles). There are even races available for children! It all depends on the location.

Arizona Sprint • Feb 07 • Fort McDowell, AZ
Tampa Sprint (Stadium) • Feb 14 • Tampa, FL




The Biggest Loser RunWalk

"The Biggest Loser RunWalk is a non-intimidating race series designed to challenge America to get fit." Much like the Spartan, the Biggest Loser RunWalk is compromised of 3 different series: the Six Flags series, the Premier Destination series, and the Off-road Challenges. The Premier Destination series is their featured half marathon & 5k races. The Six Flags series is.. well, basically their Premier Destination series hosted at Six Flags amsusement parks. And the Off-Road Challenges are just set on trail runs with obstacle courses (and hosted at Spartan Race locations!).

Off-road Challenge • Feb 07 • Fort McDowell, AZ




The WipeOut Run

Inspired by the hit TV Show, the WipeOut Run was design to be a fun yet engaging (NOT BRUTAL) 5k experience, encouraging people to enjoy the challenge of physical activity. Run the 3.1 mile course yourself, taking on the 12 obstacles alone, or race your team mates to the finish line for an added layer of challenge.

Nothing for February, but watchout for Texas in March!




The DirtyGirl 5k MudRun

The DirtyGirl 5k MudRun was created to encourage women to embrace athleticism and the outdoors. As such, it was the first of now only a handful of national races exclusively for women. While obesity is just as likely to occur in men as it is in women (36% of adults are considered obese), women are twice as likely as men to be considered extremely obese.

Nothing for Febuary, but watch out for Sacramento in March!




The Warrior Dash

Warrior Dash is one of the largest international races at only 6 years young, located on 4 continents across the world. The able few who are can conquer this grueling course are rewarded with Tshirt, Warrior Helmet & Medal, and revelries to celebrate their accomplishment!

Nothing for February, but watch out for Caifornia & Texas in March!




The Color Run

The Color Run is a newly-created 5k event, forming only in 2012! It was founded to encourage novices to join the running community, and serves as a fun introductory event! The shower of color was inspired by Holi, an ancient Hindu Festival of love.

New Orleans • Feb 14 Las Vegas • Feb 28




The Color FunFest

The Color FunFest is more or less the Color Run but run by a different company, although the Color FunFest puts more emphasis on the availability of evening running. Like with any great idea, multiples will popup! Choices are great, though, as that makes variety and availability much more widespread. While the Color Run may not be present in a certain city, The Color FunFest (or any other comparable color 5k) will most certainly be there!

Stockton • Feb 17 • $20.15 until Jan 11
San Diego • Feb 21 • $20.15 until Jan 11
Sacramento • Feb 28 • $20.15 until Jan 11




DIVAS Half Marathon & 5K Series

Another Girls' Club 5k run! This time without the mud. The DIVAS Half Marathon & 5k series offers something for newbies and veterans alike - all from the comfort of a nicely paved race course.

Temecula • Feb 28 • SOLD OUT - Keep a lookout for April Races!




Tough Mudder

The Tough Mudder is by no means a novice event - though that doesn't mean you cannot try! It is roughly 3 times the length of a 5k, coming it at about 18-20km (10-12mi), and it doesn't stop there. The whole course is littered with obstacles specifically designed to play into basic human fears (fire, deep water, electricity, and heights.) Not for the faint of heart, or the financially challenged! Tickets start around the $100 mark.

Nothing for February, but watch out for Arizona, Californa, & Florida in March!

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

Season's Greatings

Thursday, December 25, 2014 4:30:00 PM America/Chicago

Posted in Employee Spotlight By Team Shoebacca

'Twas The Shoe Before Christmas

Friday, December 19, 2014 3:25:00 PM America/Chicago

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a sneaker was squeaking, not a thing like a mouse;


The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes for some Nikes that would soon be there;


The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Pumas dashed through their heads;


With Ma in her slippers and I in my cap
We’d just settling down for our long winter’s nap,


When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I threw on my shoes to see what was the matter.


Away to the window I bound at a dash
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash


The moon on the sole of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to lining below,


When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight kinds of footwear,


With a baller old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.


More rapid than sandals, his footgear they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:


Now ASICS, now Gravis, now Woolrich, and Eastland!
On Converse, on K-Swiss, on Skechers, and Justin!


To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now sprint away! rush away! bound away all!


So up to the house-top the footgear did spring
With the sleigh full of Shoes and St. Nicholas too.


As I pulled back inside, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.


He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his boot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;


A bundle of Shoes he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a cobbler just opening his pack.


His Oakleys -- how they twinkled! his Dickies how merry!
His Klogs were like roses, his Keds colored cherry!


His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;


He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.


A wink of his eye and a tilt of his head,
Put me right at ease - I had nothing to dread!


He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,


And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;


He sprang to his sleigh, to his kicks gave a whistle,
Away they all scattered like the down of a thistle.


Then I heard him cry out, as away they all flew,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good shoe.”

Posted in Employee Spotlight By Sarah Barnes

Go Big or Go Home: 2015 Athletics

Friday, December 12, 2014 2:57:00 PM America/Chicago

Christmas is Here. Thanksgiving is over. Halloween is long gone. Most of the major stumbling blocks (AKA Holiday Meals & Treats) have passed or will pass soon. This is the time of year people rediscover their resolve and once again commit to a health goal. Others are still committed and continue to work towards that goal.

It's a lot easier to succeed when your goal is tangible. And by that I mean Set a Number of pounds to lose instead of just trying to Lose Weight. Or maybe commit to exercising 3 days a week instead of just exercising more. So while you're trying to determine what you want to do in 2015, why not also consider running a race as your end goal?

Most of the major races have already released their 2015 schedules!


So you're one of those over-achievers who has already been working hard and hitting their goals. Great! If that's the case, why not pit yourself against one of the hardest obstacle courses to hit American Shores? America Ninja Warrior is accepting applicants through January 11 for their 7th season. Apply Here


Maybe you want something steeped a little more in American tradition. Not a problem. The Spartan Race is just 5 years young, having been founded in 2010 in Vermont. It's butt-kicking blend of obstacle courses and racing. Whether you're a tenured runner, or new to the obstacle scene, Spartan has challenges ranging from 3 to over 12 miles of brutal fun. Is fun the right word? Either way, brutal definitely describes it. Check out upcoming events here.


Okay so you're a veteran athlete. Running and sports and whatnot have been part of a good chunk of your life. King Leonidas would humbly bow to your display of anatomic, athletic perfection. That's all fine and dandy, but platitudes account only for so much! Put your money where your muscle is: Compete this year in the Ironman Triathalon. Competitions start as soon as Jan 11 internationally, but the first US event isn't until March 28. Check out the full calendar.

It's okay, Newbie. I too am decades from ever even considering those competitions! I'm lucky if I can exercise for several consecutive weeks. Anyway, there are plenty of introductory events to help get you on the way.


One of the biggest factors tipping this country towards a healthier lifestyle was the show The Biggest Loser. They now host a series of races called The Biggest Loser RunWalk. Just like its namesake, you can participate either by running or walking. The goal is to get Americans just like me (or you!) on their feet and active. They already have 10 races scheduled across the US - Get more details here.


You don't have to go namebrand either. Try something smaller, local, and maybe for a good cause! There's a YMCA in nearly every state. They're constantly sponsoring or hosting races, and proceeds feed directly back into the community or benefit some national charity! Find your local Y to see what's coming up in your area.

Go Big or Go Home. But big is subjective - what does it mean to you? Competing in the Ironman Competiton? Or getting off the couch and going for a jog? Doesn't Matter. Go Big or Go Home.

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

The History of Christmas Traditions

Friday, December 5, 2014 3:14:56 PM America/Chicago

During the past few weeks we here at Shoebacca have been talking about holiday traditions from pumpkin carving to turkey trots to fun family winter activities. Christmas is steeped in traditions possibly more than any other national holiday.

We put up lights and hang stockings by the fire. We make gingerbread houses and go caroling. Children write letters to Santa Claus and take pictures with him. But where do these activities come from? And what is Christmas like in other countries?

Here in the United States, Santa Claus is accompanied by elves and Mrs. Claus who work together to bring nice things to good children. Santa is not always accompanied by such nice companions in other parts of the world.

Krampus is the “Christmas Devil” in Alpine Folklore. He helps Santa punish bad children and takes them away to his lair for a good spanking (coal isn’t so bad anymore now is it?) The Yule Lads of Icelandic tradition come one by one each night (13 total) before Christmas and scare bad little children and generally cause mischief. In the French legend of Père Fouettard, St. Nicholas rescues 3 boys from a butcher who wanted to eat them. The butcher became Père Fouettard whose job it is to dispense punishment to bad children.

Many countries around the world, such as Russia, Ethiopia, and Egypt, don’t even celebrate Christmas in December! They celebrate at the beginning of the year on January 7th. The Orthodox Church follows the old Julian calendar.

A lot of our traditions actually come from celebrations associated with St. Nicholas' Day. Which is fitting because our modern day Santa Claus is based loosely on St. Nicholas and his concern for children and gift-giving tendencies.

A great example of a borrowed tradition is stockings. In Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, children leave their shoes by the chimney. The shoes are filled with carrots or hay for St. Nicholas' horse (because the original Saint presumably didn’t have flying reindeer) and the next day they find small presents in their shoes. This probably inspired our stockings hung by the chimney with care. In Brazil where Christmas is too hot to have a fire they hang socks out the window in hopes that Papai Noel will exchange it for a present. I now know what to do with my odd socks - the ones the dryer didn’t eat.

A traditional that seems to be pocketed in the US is the Christmas Pickle. It’s prevalent in certain nooks of the country, but doesn’t seem to be national! Anyway, a pickle-shaped ornament is hidden in the boughs of one’s Christmas tree. The person who finds the pickle will be destined to have good luck in the coming year! Others practice the tradition by giving the finder a prize. We always played on Christmas as part of the holiday revelries. Many people claimed this tradition came from Germany (which I always believed since my family is German), but it turns out it’s a purely American tradition!

Caroling is often referred to wassailing. We travel from door to door singing songs of joy sometimes getting hot chocolate or cider in return. But the original wassailing involved the less fortunate demanding food and drink from wealthier citizens in exchange for toasting their good health. A traditional carol that dates to the 1800s is A’soalin, illustrating the door-to-dor singing in exchange for food - this instance a soul cake. Listen to the cover by Peter, Paul, & Mary below. These proceeding would get rowdy and sometimes violent if the demands were denied.

In fact due to some extra rowdy wassailing the city of Boston actually banned Christmas celebrations from 1659 to 1681. Boston was able to ban Christmas festivities because Christmas was not a National Holiday until 1870, but only applied to federal employees in Washington DC. It wasn’t until a century later that it truly became a national Federal holiday.

Regardless of how you celebrate Christmas (or if you celebrate Christmas at all), this is the season to celebrate friends, family, and people of all creeds. Enjoy your holidays and explore their history. Discover new traditions and keep dear the ones you know. And remember - there’s no better excuse to buy a new pair of shoes.

Posted in Employee Spotlight By Ro Luckey

Get Out Of The House This Winter

Friday, November 28, 2014 3:33:00 PM America/Chicago

The holidays can leave us trapped indoors in a turkey coma. Family from out of town is staying with you and well everyone is getting a little stir-crazy. Don’t let the cold keep you from fun. There are plenty of things you and your family can to do to relieve cabin fever. Our recommendation is to get off the couch and as a family enjoy activities that you can only do in the winter.

If you and your family are adventurous, try learning something - like curling! Watching Winter Olympics I find myself thinking, “Hey that looks like fun” and, “I could do that.” I was flabbergasted to find out that there was a place near me I could go take curling classes. It is definitely on my list of things to do with family and friends this winter.

Feeling a little silly? Take the kiddos to an ice skating rink. While circling the rink start singing songs from ‘Frozen’ and see how many people join in.

Not so adventurous? If you are lucky enough to be in a place where it snows, why not have a snowman building contest among your family. The person who makes the best snowman gets the most marshmallows in their hot cocoa. Or first slice of pumpkin pie! Growing up in Texas sometimes the only place the snow would stick was the hood of your car. So my sister and I would improvise and build tiny snowmen (less than a foot high) on neighborhood cars.

If competitions aren’t your thing, why not find a hill and go sleddin? Sledding is something the entire family can enjoy. Keep warm though with layers and warm shoes with a good tread.

Maybe you just want to get out of the house, but not necessarily spend time outside. Understandable. For most places, winter is winter because… well… It’s Cold! So pack up the family and check out your local museum! Not only are they warm, but many are packed full of fun, interact-ve exhibits (read: education masked as games.)

Regardless of where you live and what your family is like, one thing remains the same: you don't have to stay cooped up with them! Get out there and go somewhere, or just get out there! Whatever you do, have fun and enjoy the holidays!

Posted in Employee Spotlight By Sarah Barnes

Strut Your Shoes This Thanksgiving

Friday, November 21, 2014 2:51:00 PM America/Chicago

Thanksgiving is filled with Family, Food, and Volunteering. We take the time to be thankful for what we have and share that with others. Here at Shoebacca we are thankful for our health. We have at least 2 employees participating in a “couch to 5k” program and many more who lead active lifestyles. We inspire others and ourselves to Get Fit & Get Active.

This year we want to take the time and encourage everyone to grab their favorite running shoes and participate in a Turkey Trot, a Gobble Wobble, or Thanksgiving Day Race. These walk/run events can be found ALL over the country. Whether it is a brand new race in your community or Cincinnati’s 105th Thanksgiving Day 10k (I mean wow, talk about a holiday tradition!), there is definitely an event near you.

Here in Texas we love to do things “bigger and better” which is probably why the Dallas Turkey Trot has been an 8 mile run since its inception. In 1984 a 3-mile Fun Run/Walk was added to accommodate the increased participation of individuals and families. The Fun Run then turned into a certified 5K in 2009. Proceeds support the YMCA and their community programs like LiveStrong, a small group program designed for adult cancer survivors.

Phoenix, Arizona’s Turkey Day Run is celebrating its 25th year. What fun quirk about this run is their themed aid stations. This year’s race will feature 1 pumpkin pie station and 1 cranberry aid station. Proceeds from this 5K go to Support our Troops – Operation Gratitude and Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Phoenix.

The ORRC Turkey Trot in Portland, Oregon sounds super fun. The trot is hosted at a Zoo!!!!! I mean do I really need to give you any more incentive to check this one out?

Beau’s Buddies Turkey Trot for Tots, held in Greenville, North Carolina is a heartwarming 5K. It benefits Beau’s Buddies Cancer Fund and encourages participants to bring a toy to donate to the kids at the Children’s Hospital at Vidant Medical Center.

Maybe you’re not ready to run a 5k. That’s no problem. Start training now and in a year’s time, you can trot alongside the rest of the turkeys runners! A year is plenty of time to get up to speed. In fact, the C25K (Couch to 5k) app is a free app that promises to train you in 2 months (8 weeks). Or you can simply get up a hit the treadmill/trails. There are many ways to train, but most professionals agree that regardless of how you do it, the most important thing is a pair of good running shoes.

I could go on and on about all of the amazing Thanksgiving Day races around the US, about why each one is an event not to miss, but I won’t. These runs are a great activity for the whole family (some even let your dog trot along with you), many of them giving back to the community, making them good for the heart, body, and sole (wink wink).

Posted in Employee Spotlight By Sarah Barnes

Shoebacca Staff Christmas List

Friday, November 14, 2014 2:30:44 PM America/Chicago

Christmas time is fast approaching. Every store has begun to deck their aisles with decorations. Holiday music is taking over elevators and local radio stations. Family and friends gather round inevitably asking each other, "What do you want this Christmas season?" Here at Shoebacca we are asking the same questions!

As I make my list of what to get others, I realize I now have 4 nephews all in need of something awesome. My sister has made a request for fewer toys this year. As I have always been one for things that are both practical AND fun, this year I decided shoes would be ideal. What a great gift for growing boys, right? Plus not having to worry about one pair of killer kicks helps any parent's budget. These shoes should also reflect their personalities.

My oldest nephew is the leader of the pack and follows in his father's footsteps as much as possible. I think it is time for his first pair of Chucks, red ones, his favorite color of course.

Nephew number 2 is a little ladies man. He likes to wear vests and ties. Vans Classic Slip-Ons will provide comfort and style when he decides to "suit up."

Nephew number 3 is an indestructible bear who needs shoes that can handle anything. The adidas Adifaito should keep him running.

As for the youngest... well, he's not walking yet so maybe some nice warm socks.

Enough about me, let's get to the Staff! Our dapper gent Shawn is hoping for a pair of Nike Air Jordan 11 "Legend Blue". The shoe doesn't release until December 20th but he is looking forward to it. In Shawn's own words "Simply the hottest pair of Js releasing this year. It's a clean look and they haven't released this pair in YEARS."

Ro's Christmas wish is to be warm. Poor thing, she's cold most of the time in the office. In fact, she keeps an office blanket! So what should she do when it's cold outside? A pair of Shearling boots would be perfect to keep her tootsies warm on chilly days like these. Bearpaw offers a great selection of shearlings to choose from!

Our fearless leader Fafnir is wishing to up his ante in the style game. He is looking for a pair of dress shoes to class up his closet. He is thinking possibly a pair of Giorgio Brutini Downing - sleek lines and neutral colors to go with just about anything, and slip-ons to boot, for those days when you are in a rush but still want to go with style.

Mark's holidays are looking so bright, he wants sunglasses as to not be blinded by the gleam. Whilst perusing options his eye lands on Oakleys. The unisex Pitbull eyewear made with polycarbonate material would be a flawless fit for this fine fellow.

Of course the list would not be complete without knowing what I'd like for Christmas too. I love ballet flats. They are comfortable, practical, and stylish. I have been drooling over the Puma Zandy NM. The various textures and POP of color makes this simple style really stand out. Definitely fitting my practical and fun outlook.

With the use of Amazon wish lists and social media we may just get what we are hoping for. What are you looking forward to getting/giving this holiday season?

Posted in Employee Spotlight By Sarah Barnes
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