Customer Service 888-446-1788 7am-5pm cst m-f
per page

First Day Of Spring!

Friday, March 20, 2015 7:23:00 AM America/Chicago

Equinox comes from the latin aequus, meaning equal, and nox, meaning night. The equinox marks the calendar year in which the day and night are of equal length. Pagans and various religious have either harvest or commemorative celebrations around this time. We here at Shoebacca also celebrate the Spring Equinox for one thing - the days just get longer from here!

With shortening days comes extended periods of daylight! And that means getting outside to Get Fit, Get Active. Spring is the best season to enjoy the great outdoors! No need to wear heavy, bulky winter clothes, trudging along through the snow in boots that collectively weight 10 lbs. No need to crank the AC as the sun has yet to achieve its full power. So any attempts to cook eggs on the sidewalk or pizza on your dashboard are not necessary.

So while the sun shines moderately and balmy breezes blow, why not enjoy the bounty of mother earth as she comes into her own?


Nothing is more enjoyable that taking a walk or bike ride through your local park! See all the fresh new flowers blossoming or enjoy the budding trees. Don't forget your allergy medicine, but especially don't forget a pair of leisurely canvas shoes! You don't need anything heavy-duty like an extra-padded pair of running sneakers. Something casual like a slip-on on or even a classic pair of Chuck Taylors (this month's Shoe of the Month) are all you need to stroll along.


Or maybe you're into all this March Mayhem that's going on. That's great! Spend your evenings indoors watching the games, but spend your days or weekends or other free time outside shooting some hoops. But how are you gonna bring your A-Game when you've got B-Shoes? Make sure your shoe game is on point with a new pair of Jordans. Or go old-school with a pair of Puma Suede Classics.


Okay so Parks & Recreation don't really float your boat. But boating does! Nothing like the bright morning light dancing on the crest of a wave as it breaks against the bow. Why not look your best while you feel your best! Stay safe with a pair of deep-tread loafers as you lounge on deck. Try a pair of of GBX Ayce on for size!

Whether you're riding the waves, relaxing all cool, or shooting some B-Ball outside of the school, do it all in style with a new pair of shoes. Most importantly, though, DO SOMETHING! Get Going. Go Outside. And Remember: Get Fit, Get Active.

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

Texas History Is ShoeBacca History

Saturday, March 7, 2015 8:30:00 PM America/Chicago

March is an important month to people for several reasons: NCAA March Madness begins, it's the first calendar month of spring, and Texas declared its independence over 150 years ago.

Texas was no stranger to sovereignty. Over the course of 300 years, this region passed four time between 3 different nations: Spain for over 150 years, France for a brief 5 years before its ownership was rescinded back to Spain for another century until civil unrest yielded the nation of Mexico in 1821.

Mexico, perhaps much inspired by her northern neighbor, made great strides away from the monarchy that once ruled and established a Federal Republic. In 1825, the young nation began to colonize the remote province of Coahuila y Tejas. After a decade of targeted federal regulations and settlement auto-militarizations, the Texas portion of the province began its revolt in what would become the move toward an independent nation.

Stephen F. Austin, the spearhead for colonization, originally wanted Texas to be recognized as an independent state from Coahuila. After a year in prison, he published a document outlining his stance. However, in a few short months, dissent escalated in Mexico and Austin was freed in July, only to recant his stance. War was Austin's battle cry, and independence his spoils.

Rebels rallied to his cry while Mexican President Santa Anna sized control from the states. The clouds of war that had been brewing finally burst forth the Revolution with The Battle of Gonzales. "Come and Take It" was the rebels' mantra, a phrase that still echoes from the annals of history. President Santa Anna, in a token of good faith, had given settlers in the northwestern area of Coahuila y Tejas a cannon in 1821 - as means of protection against the Comanche. However, in attempt to curb the onset of war, federal forces were sent to retrieve the weapon. "Come and Take It!" the rebel settlers cried and forced the Mexican military to retreat under a rain of bullets and cannon fire.

Blood flowed across the land in skirmish after skirmish as the war raged on. Texians gained land and support over the course of the next six months. President Santa Anna, a general first and politician second, rides for battle to turn the tides of war. On a Cold February afternoon, a day that started in celebration ended in siege as Santa Anna's forces fell upon a small Catholic Mission.

Nearly a week into the Siege of the Alamo, as standing commander of the garrison William B Travis rallied his mere 200 troops against an army of thousands, The Texas Declaration of Independence is signed. The Republic of Texas is born. David Burnet is interim Commander in Chief and Sam Houston as Commander General. Much gained, and much lost. The Alamo falls within a few days, and with her fall patriots William B Travis, David Crocket, and Jim Bowie.

Victory is on the horizon, but to whom she belongs is yet to be seen. Texas rebels and Mexican militants both had their wins and losses. Santa Anna assembles his war council to plan a final assault. Rebel forces, after receiving the Alamo's distress cry, flock to her aid. The force led by Colonel James Fannin, as they dispatch from Goliad, are ambushed and overwhelmed by General Urrea in the Battle of Coleto. Over 300 Texan rebels are captured, marched back to Goliad, and imprisoned. Nearly 400 prisoners of war are held at Fort Defiance.

In a cruel twist of fate, the Mexican government had enacted a law at the onset of war that "any foreigners taken in combat were to be treated as pirates and executed. As it so happens, the mass of POWs held were Anglo immigrants from the North. General Urrea had left Goliad in the command of Colonel Portilla. Urrea saw these rebels for what they were - as soldiers, men just like him, fighting for what they believed at the behest of their leaders. He wrote vehemently to President Santa Anna for clemency, who wrote back with equal fervor to comply with the law. Unable to stop Colonel Portilla from carrying out his duty, over 300 Texians were marched to their death on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836, better known as The Goliad Massacre.

Santa Anna, who had conquered first for Spain, then conquered Span itself to help bring Mexico to fruition, had dealt a great blow and sent Texas reeling. The Texas army drew forces east in an effort to amass them all at a central point. Sam Houston was mocked as a coward, urged to move west and meet the Mexicans in open battle. Santa Anna was not called the Napoleon of the West. Emboldened by the retreat, he pursued the Texan forces to San Jacinto River, setting the stage for what would be his Waterloo.

Small skirmishes took place for a few days between scouting parties as both armies probed for each others forces. Drunk on confidence, Santa Anna maintained very relax defenses around his encampment, disregarding the need for sentries and lookouts. On the dreamy afternoon of April 21, the tides of battle came crashing down on the Mexican forces in a flurry of gunfire and artillery shells.

"Remember The Alamo!" the rebels cried, storming hastily built fortifications constructed from packs and baggage. "Remember Goliad!" the shrieked, pouring over sleeping Mexican army like the tide reclaims the beach. Much like their siesta, the lives of Mexican Soldiers were cut short this day. Though outnumbered, the Sam Houston's bold gambit to lead an attack in broad daylight had paid off. Although Santa Anna far outnumbered the rebel forces, hubris and traditional ranked tactics cost him the war.

The Battle of San Jacinto was a landslide victory. Texas suffered only 9 casualties, while half of the Mexican forces were slaughtered and the rest taken captive, among them Santa Anna himself. The Battle was won. The War was ended. Texas was a sovereign nation all her own.

Posted in Employee Spotlight By Ro Luckey

Go Big or Go Home: April

Friday, February 27, 2015 9:25:00 AM America/Chicago

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.

Charlotte Sprint • April 11 • Concord, NC
Las Vegas Super • April 18 • Jean, NV
Tri-State New Jersey Beast • April 18 • Vernon, NJ




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!).

Premier Destination • April 19 • Mobile, AL
Premier Destination • April 26 • Austin, TX




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 in April, but look for us in San Diego in May/strong>




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.

April 25 • Atlanta, GA




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!

April 11 • Phoenix, AZ
April 11 • Mountain City, GA
April 25 • Lexington, MO




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.

April 04• Atlanta, GA April 04 • Baton Rouge, LA
April 11 • Oklahoma City, OK
April 11 • Tulsa, OK
April 11 • Kalamazoo, MI
April 11 • Copper Mountain, CO
April 11 • Miami, FL
April 18 • St. Louis, MO
April 18 • Columbia, MO
April 18 • Lafayette, LA
April 18 • Roanoke-Salem, VA
April 25 • Clemson, SC
April 25 • Philadelphia, PA
April 25 • Springfield, MO
April 26 • Binghamton, NY




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!

April 05 • Stockton, CA
April 11 • North Dallas, TX




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.

April 12 • North Myrtle Beach, SC
April 19 • Galveston, TX




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 in April but look out for 9 New Races across the globe in May!

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

The Shoebacca Awards 2014

Friday, February 20, 2015 8:52:00 AM America/Chicago

This weekend is the 87th Annual Academy Awards. Nominees for The Oscars were announced earlier this year and will be awarded on Sunday, February 22nd. Jumping in on the award show weekend, Shoebacca would like to present our Inaugural Shoe Oscars!

We'll be presenting you not only best in shoe, but also in brand and in each gender. On top of that, we'll also present best in category, totaling the 18 most honored shoes of 2014. Don't worry, though - We understand that just because a shoe won a category doesn't mean it'll also win your heart. That's why we'll be presenting runners-up as well.

Let's start with Categorial Honors:

First Up Is Athletic. The Honor of Best of Athletic Shoes goes to the Puma Sky Wedge GC. Puma took their classic sneaker style and gave it an elevated silhouette, hiding a wedge heel inside a textured leather body. Gold color and chevron patterning are sure to catch attention and turn heads. Perfect for the athletic woman who keeps her game on point both on and off the court.

Next is Oxford. The winner of this category is a very unique shoe, as Oxfords are typically shoes with closed lacing. Closed lacing means that once the shoe is fully laced, the tongue is hidden, closing the vamp (or the upper area of the shoe, not including the tongue.) The Honor of Best of Oxford Shoes goes to the Puma El Rey Lite, an Oxford made from linen that features an eyelet-less vamp. More closely related to Slip-ons, as the tongue is entirely missing, this shoe offers laceless stability through a stretch over-strap.

The Third Category we'll be awarding is Boots. The Honor of Best In Boots goes to a surprising upstart: DVS Westridge Hiking Boot. This hiking boot draws a lot of inspiration from DVS's specialty: Skate Culture. A thick rubber sole and rubber toe are typical of hiking boots, but the body offers thick padding and a wide tongue as seen in most skate shoes. A hybrid that can be used on and off the skateboard, regardless of the weather or terrain.

Fourth up is the Sandals. An appropriate category to explore as Summer will be here sooner than you think. The Honor of Best of Sandals goes to Sharon by G.H. Bass. G.H. Bass has been making shoes since the turn of the 20ths Century, known for making the world's first penny loafers. Each shoe produced is still bench crafted and hand switched, breaking the idiom that "They don't make 'em like they used to."

Following Sandals is a heavily-feminine category: Flats. In fact, we only have no Mens Flats, so it's safe to assume the winner is a Womens shoe. The Honor of Best in Flats goes to the Puma Kitara Toe Cap. The wisdom and experience of industry big-wig Puma shows that they understand what shoe lovers want: a good looking shoe that fits well. This flexible flat not only looks classy but is also super comfy!

Halfway through the categorial awards is Boat Shoes. Boat shoes are, in appearance, very similar to bot oxfords and loafers,but are typically characterized by a non-slip rubber sole and water-proof material - perfect for use on boats! The Honor of Best goes to Sebago Clovehitch. The body of this handsome shoe is created with a hybrid of wather-resistant leather for sturdiness and a Dri-Lex mesh to promote drying and water drainage.

Next up is Slippers. An understated category that almost everyone can appreciate and enjoy. The Honor of Best of Slippers is L.B. Evans Aristocrat Scuff. The classic slipper style has found no better poster child. A solid, cushioned sole with a front-half cover, all wrapped in a soft leather.

Clogs & Mules follow slippers. Both are typically characterized by the full front-foot cover, though mules tend to have a distinct, separate heel versus the wedged or connected of a clog. The Honor of Best Of Clogs & Mules goes to the Puma Leap Slip-on. A casual men's slip on that has massaging circles carved from the inner sole, perfect for relaxng after strenuous activities, like a long day at work or an intense game.

Loafers & Slip-Ons is the next category to award. The Honor of Best of Loafers & Slip-Ons is Puma Ansbach Slip-On. The rubber sole provides a decent amount of tracking and protects against moisture to a certain amount. A simple and versatile canvas shoe that you can dress up or dress down and stay comfortable the whole time.

Last but not Least is Best of Heels & Pumps. The Honor goes to the Puma Sky Wedge Original. Much like the Puma Sky Wedge GC, but more dressed down. Lacking the show-stopping chevron and gold pleather, this hidden-heal-and-sneaker hybrid is on the cutting edge of fashion, but still sports the iconic wave emblem - FormStripe - that most Puma shoes feature.

We've covered the best of each category, regardless of gender. Now let's take a look at what men and women preferred in 2014.

Starting with our gents, we have our Best Men's Shoe - Puma Ferrari Drift Cat 5. Line any Puma, the FormStripe is present in a striking black, cutting the yellow body in two. Towards the toe, the iconic Puma logo is present, while the Ferrari shielf is embossed toward the heel.

Next is our Best Supporting Men's Shoe (read second best men's shoe) - DVS Yodeler. There's no singing required to enjoy this leather hiking boot - but feel free to belt your heart out from atop some misty mountain cold. Regardless of what you do or where you'll go, you'll do it in style with this boot.

Let's not forget our leading ladies, though! The Best Women's Shoe for 2014 is the Puma Faas 500. A comfortable training sneaker with neutral pronation support. With a white body, clear overlay FormStrip, and splashes of bright color on the thick sole, it's no surprise this was the best seller! Classy, tasteful, but still fun and playful!

The Best Supporting Women's Shoe is the Reebok Premier Road Supreme. With a darker body of silver and grey materials accented singularly by hues of violent, this running shoe feels like a more serious training sneaker than the Puma Faas 500. It's strengthened arch and inner-foot support are great for any pronator out there.

It seems that regardless of gender or age that Puma is a fan favorite! After sweeping first among men and women, the Best Kid's Shoe for 2014 was the Puma Tune Cat NBK. It's an easy-on, easy-off shoe for kids of all ages - no shoe-tying required with the cross-velcro straps. This shoe is light-weight with a neutral gray-scheme body and accents of red.

Best Supporting Kid's Shoe is the Timberland Mad River 2-Strap. A cute little velcro-strap sandal for toddlers, it comes in 4 colors and a wide variety of sizes to fit either your little man or you little lady - or body!

As Evident from it's landslide popularity - sweeping 5 of 10 categories and winning Best in Mens, Womens, and Kids - it comes as no suprise to anyone that the Best Selling Brand of 2014 is Puma. Puma, sister company to adidas, is an old brand that dates back to the end of World War 2. It ranked as the 4th most popular shoe brand globally in 2012, following Reebok, Adidas, and Nike. We guarantee that someone you know owns at least one pair of Pumas, and we feel that you should too! With a selection of over 800 shoes, we know we've got a Puma for you!

Best Supporting Brand of 2014 is DVS. DVS Shoes is a young shoe company that deals predominantly with Skateboarding. Founded in 1995 by a group of 4 guy in Califnornia, a lot of the company's direction focused around skatebaording and other popular related sports, like Motocross and Snowboarding. After a little financial trouble in 2012, the company went through a rebirth, expanding its sponsorships and coming under new ownership. DVS has not lost sight of its target audience and still remains popular within skate culture.

And without further ado, we have come to our two final awards: Second Best in Show and Best in Show - or should I say, Best in Shoe? The Second Best Selling Shoe of 2014 is the DVS Tracker Heir. A dark bodied skate shoe with a lot of sole and even more attitude.

Now for the Best in Shoe of 2014 is... *drum roll* DVS Havoc! While this shoe comes in two color varieties, the most popular color schema was the split body black and white skate shoe. The black half of the shoe features both plain and textured leather, the white half sports the Classic American Double Pinstripe as seen on baseball jerseys.

Thank you for attending our first ever Shoebacca Awards. We hope you've enjoyed yourselves and will continue to find your solemates with us here at Shoebacca. Have a wonderful 2015 and don't forget to tune into The Oscars this Sunday!

Posted in Shoes Through the Ages By Ro Luckey

History of the Western Boot

Friday, February 13, 2015 3:13:00 PM America/Chicago

The boot has a long history reaching back to the dawn of the Common Era. Sandals and rudimentary shoes, along with greaves, were often worn into battle. It only makes sense to integrate them into a single piece of footwear - the ancestor to our modern boot. Fast forward about 16 centuries and we see the predecessor to the modern boot we know and love. English Cavaliers (horse-mounted soldiers) wore a riding boot with high shafts, pointed toes, and heels. Footwear of this nature spread across Europe as they were popular among mounted cavalrymen.

These early iterations of the modern boot had a fairly high heel that measured in at 2 inches, on average. A high heel was often associated with nobility, as the boot made its way into civilian life. Fashion heels began to take over and steadily increased in height - some reached over 3 inches! The late 1700s reimagined the boot, thanks to Arthur Wellsley. The First Duke of Wellington's claim to fame was his defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. This jettisoned not just him, but also his boots, into widespread popularity. Wellsley's boot, The Wellington Boot, is a pinpoint predecessor to the modern Western boot: The shafts were shortened to calf height (vs. the Cavalier's thigh-highs) as were the heels, and their construction mirrors the modern western boot - 4 pieces consisting of the vamp (top foot cover), the counter (heel cover), and front & back tops (shaft).

A few short centuries later, there was an increased exodus to the New World - not just of people, but also lifestyle and clothing. The boot of the old world crossed an ocean and began its journey into the modern era. Heeled boots remained a staple to American militia and military from the Revolution into the Civil War. The reunited nation saw a mass movement of its own. The population moved westward, with many active duty veterans serving their country as Frontiermen. Unfortunately, though, the military-grade boots they brought with them were no match for the unbridled intensity of the West: flurries by night, beating sun by day, cyclones here and gone in the blink of an eye.

As people continued to move westward, and boots continued to fall apart, the demand for a better boot grew. Shoemakers and cobblers flourished. Working with the existing Wellington, they began to develop a variety of boot styles. From shaft heights, to sole shapes, to materials used, until the Western boot as we know it began to emerge. In fact, some craftsmen went back to the shoe and introduced laces to the evolving boot (though this is an offshoot of the western boot itself).

The military, never one to be left behind by innovation, also updated their standard-issue boot. Much of the look and style remained the same, however the shaft pieces (front and back) were combined into a single canvas-like piece that was joined in a seam along the back of the leg. The "three-piece boot" (Hollywood- or Tejas-style boot) became popular amongst civilians and soldiers at the dawn of the 20th century and maintained popularity past the First World War.

With the advent of cinema and film, the romanticized cowboy was born, and demand for the Western boot grew still, thanks to movie-greats like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Boots maintained their utility but also became fashion pieces, with intricate designs becoming easily applied thanks to the large, single shaft-piece. Industrialization also pushed the boot into becoming a household item. Mass production, as well as access to new materials like rubber and synthetic leathers, made boots readily available to all walks of life, from white collar to blue collar.

But, as fashion fades, so does the popularity of certain styles. Wide-spread popularity of the Western Boot tapered off mid-20th century, coinciding with the introducing of the sneaker. Boots remained popular with industry workers, but the Western boot itself didn't see a resurgence of popularity until the start of the 2000s. The modern Western boot has stood the test of time, not only in its history, but also in its century-old construction.

For More information, we recommend this article as well as the Wikipedia article.

For a pair of your own, we recommend our selection of high-quality Western Boots.

Posted in Shoes Through the Ages By Ro Luckey

Go Big or Go Home: March

Friday, February 6, 2015 9:25:00 PM America/Chicago

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.

Spartan Cruise Bahamas • March 06 • Miami, FL
Atlanta Spring • March 07 • Conyers, GA
Hawaii Aloha Stadium Spring • March 15 • Aiea, HI




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!).

Premier Destination • March 07 • Miami, FL
Off-Road Challenge • March 7&8 • Atlanta, GA




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.

March 21 • Dallas, TX
March 28 • Houston, TX




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.

March 28 • Sacramento, CA




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!

March 21 • Austin, TX
March 21 • Corona, CA




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.

March 21 • Winston-Salem, NC
March 28 • Dallas, TX
March 28 • Lubbock, TX
March 28 • Columbia, SC




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!

March 14 • Phoenix, AZ
March 28 • San Bernardino, CA




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.

Nothing for March, but watch out for Texas & South Carolina in April!




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.

March 07 • Milton, FL
March 14&15 • Mesa, AZ
March 28&29 • San Bernardino, SC

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

Barefoot Running - A Leg Up On Standard Running?

Friday, January 30, 2015 3:27:00 PM America/Chicago

So what's the deal with Barefoot running? Well, barefoot running - also known as minimalist or natural running - is a modern movement amongst long-distance runners that believes running without shoes is the healthiest way to run. They also believe shoes with the minimal amount of material is also acceptable. Basically running without the aid of gait-correcting shoes.

Remember the post a couple weeks back about running styles and how certain shoes offer specialized support to correct deviations in pronation? Yeah. We're not at the opposite end of the spectrum.

This modern movement in Barefoot running really hit its stride in 2010 when Harvard released a study on the impact of heel-strike vs fore-foot strike on running. It showed that, while heel-striking isn't necessarily harmful on a runner's body, fore-front striking reduced impact stress on runners while also maintaining more kinetic energy in recoil. Basically, because the body doesn't hit the ground as hard with a fore-foot strike, running takes less energy when moving through the gait cycle.

While that is a large argument in favor of barefoot running, it isn't the only one. Supporters of the movement also cite that until the advent of the modern-sneaker (circa 1970s), humanity had been doing great with little to no shoe support while running! Even the early versions of the sneaker leaned towards barefoot running. They had unpadded upper-body coverings with thinner soles.

Proponents of barefoot running also point to several pockets of people across the globe, particularly the Tarahumara people of Mexico. Running is a way of life to them. Tribes are dotted across the Sierra Madre Occidental (a rocky mountain range in Mexico) where the primary form of communication between them is still running a messenger. A one-way trip can take up to two days - without stopping - and covers up to 200 miles!

With all this supportive evidence - and the added hype of the Vibram Five-Fingers shoes - many people have abandoned their conventional running style to embrace barefoot running. This, however, has resulted in more harm than good. Several lawsuits have been filed against the Vibram company because of falsified claims - that the shoe itself would result in stronger muscles and less injury.

It makes sense, however, that if a person abandons a method they have used their whole life cold turkey, then injury is likely to occur. So while a shoe may influence how your foot hits the ground, or how you flow through the gait cycle, it takes timing and training to do it properly and do it well. Like with the running style blog, we encourage that you seek out professional advice before making any sudden lifestyle changes.

While there are merits and disadvantages to both barefoot and conventional running, it all depends on the individual runner. Barefoot running follows the notion that most people pronate neutrally and do not need corrective shoes for running. So if you fall into the categories of over- or under-pronating, it's generally agreed that you should first correct your gait with supportive shoes before moving from conventional, padded sneakers to barefoot running.

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

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
per page