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Strut Your Shoes This Thanksgiving

Friday, November 21, 2014 8:51:00 AM 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 8:30:44 AM 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

Shoe-ffiti: The Mysterious Hanging Shoes

Friday, November 7, 2014 9:18:00 AM America/Chicago

Have you ever seen a pair of shoes thrown over a telephone wire or power line? Did you wonder where they came from and why they are there?

These are exactly the questions that Closer Productions aimed to answer when making the short documentary The Mystery of Flying Kicks. Closer Productions is a collective of filmmakers based in Adelaide, South Australia. They asked for submissions from around the world using an on-line call out and a phone message bank. The donated photographs, phoned-in theories, video, vlogs, and animation culminate to make this 15 minutes of terrific documentary.

And the theories they received are abounding.

Some shoes are tossed as memorials to those who lost their lives. This is the theory that I heard the first time I saw a pair of chucks tossed over a line.

Some shoes are to mark territories whether it is Spanish Mafiosi warning authorities to stay out of their streets and neighborhoods, or delineating gang borders. Some shoes are tossed as a notification of drug dealer’s locations.

Some are tossed out of bullying or as pranks.

In the movie Big Fish (2003), Edward Bloom finds himself in a mythical town Spectre. The inhabitants’ shoes are hanging from a telephone wire. A girl named Jenny Hill steals Edward’s shoes and adds them to the wire. Without one’s shoes, one can’t travel, right? Might as well settle down and stay forever.

Shoes have been tossed to celebrate changes in life such as lost virginity, upcoming marriage, change of job, or a graduation.

Military boots have been tossed to show a member shipping out or leaving the service. In Wag the Dog (1997) they shoe trees, power lines, lamp posts, as an allegedly spontaneous cultural manifestation in tribute to Sgt. William Schumann nicknamed Old Shoe.

Some are tossed for fun or self-expression. Skewville, twin brother street artists, have been tossing wooden “dogs” since 1999. The project has been dubbed “When Dogs Fly” and has consisted of 50+ versions. Each pair of “dogs” is an image of a shoe silkscreened onto wood then cut out and laced together. The brothers have been tossing shoes on wires wherever they go from Hollywood to NYC, London to Berlin. To find out more about these artists visit Skewville.org.

Lines and wires are not the only places you can find these mysterious abandoned footwear. You can find a list of trees that have had shoes tossed, tied, and generally attached to them here.

Road trip anyone?

Posted in Employee Spotlight By Sarah Barnes

Team SHOEBACCA: 2014 MS 150

Friday, October 31, 2014 9:02:00 AM America/Chicago

Team SHOEBACCA.com finished up their 150 Bay-To-Bay Bike Ride for the National MS Society last week. We wanted to get some first-hand accounts of the ride, but Team SHOEBACCA just loves riding so much, they wouldn't get off their bikes! So while they were out rolling away for whichever charity fundraiser of the week, we went ahead and wrote up a brief summary of the event.

Team Shoebacca is a volunteer based cycling team that rides for charities under the name Shoebacca. So, naturally, they ride the Bike MS Bay-to-Bay Tour. Did we mention they're based in Southern California? So their 150 miles are from Irvine to San Diego. That's the same as riding from Philadelphia to Washington DC.

Through it's 5 year history, every Team SHOEBACCA ride has been meaningful, however this ride had something special – Cierra. Cierra's mom Carmen is a long time friend of Team SHOEBACCA as well as MS Sufferer. Carmen has supported their races for some time now – walking on her own or with assistance across the finish line with the team. It has been a long-time tradition for Team SHOEBACCA to stop short of the finish, dismount, and walk behind her as a show of respect, as well as a nod to the 250,000 nationwide who suffer along with her.

“It was not meant to pull on heart-strings," Team Lead Dee Folse said, "but was meant as a reminder of why we ride. It's not about the bike ride. It's about those suffering from MS."

This year Cierra joined Team SHOEBACCA to support her mother as well as the National MS Foundation. Not only was it her first time riding, she was also a top fundraiser for the team! Together she and Team SHOEBACCA raised over $23,000! Since Team SHOEBACCA's inception, they've raised over $500,000 for local and nation charities. (Let me remind you they've only been a team for 5 years – That's over $200 a day!)

Cierra will continue to ride the Bike MS Bay-to-Bay as a Team SHOEBACCA member, not only to raise money for MS sufferers like her mother, but also for other charitable needs.

The National MS Society bike ride was adopted in 1985 after a father (Minnesota Chapter Executive Director) and son duo rode 150 miles to see how long it would take them. Two days, to be exact – one of the many timelines for today's fundraising rides. The MS 150 fundraiser is now available in every state across the US, with some states having multiple opportunities. Find your nearest chapter today and whether you're riding or racing, don't forget to get new shoes.

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

That's The Spirit! Pumpkin Carving With SHOEBACCA

Friday, October 24, 2014 10:00:00 AM America/Chicago

Halloween is one week out and - if you remember from last week - we here at SHOEBACCA are EXCITED! Halloween is a company favorite around here so naturally we had to carve pumpkins!

The marketing & tech departments got together and carved three pumpkins total. Sure, this is no big deal since nearly 170 Million Americans celebrate Halloween - so why share our pumpkin carving endeavors? To show that SHOEBACCA has an awesome company culture? To make us seem relatable by practicing American Halloween traditions? Because pumpkin carving is downright FUN?!

Well, all of those are true, but herein lies the rub: WE had a newbie in our midst!

Meet Shawn. He's our Senior IT Administrator. He also moved here from Belize when he was a teen. Now well into his 20s, we as his comrades in Life and at SHOEBACCA get the wonder of reliving our childhoods through him.

So we carved some pumpkins. Sarah and I helped out as well, acting as wisened guides from our 20+ years of carving experience. (You SHOULD remember us from Last Week's Blog: Night Of The Living Keds).

Needless to say, fun times were had by all! Check out the photos - and pumpkins! - below.

Posted in Employee Spotlight By Ro Luckey

Night Of The Living Keds - Behind The Scenes

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 2:30:00 PM America/Chicago

Here at ShoeBacca.com, Halloween is a HUGE Holiday. In fact, it's a company favorite. I mean, what's not to like? There's free candy. You can dress up however you want. Even mild co-worker harassment is accepted! (Cube-orhood trick-or-treating, anyone?)

The SHOEBACCA.com Cube-orhood, all decked out.

That being said, we try to incorporate the season's sense of fun and mischief into our company brand and culture - Hence the Night of the Living Keds.

Keds are a comfy, versatile shoe that can you can easily dress up or down. Because of that versatility, they can be blended into any outfit - Costumes included!

Sure -- Frankenstein's monster didn't wear a pair of Champion Slip-ons, but if you went to the trouble of body-paint and latex-applied neck bolts, then people are going to be forgiving for your shoe-fashion faux pas (or they should be - Warning: Your lax choice of shoes may be greeted with pitchforks and fire.)

We obviously had to make tribute to the cult-classic Night of the Living Dead with the help of our friends over at Zombicide. Zomibicide is a tabletop, zombie-survival board game for 1-6 players. The base game alone starts with 71 miniatures (as seen in the shoot)! The main photo was featured on our Social Media outlets, but check out the rest of our pics below (staff cameos included!)

Posted in Employee Spotlight By Ro Luckey

New Boots

Friday, October 10, 2014 10:34:00 AM America/Chicago

Everyone has their favorite hobby. Mine’s paintball. You might remember this one from earlier this year.

This is me, wandering the woods during a scenario game. Full day events with hundreds of people hunting through the woods.
I believe that your shoes are one of the most important parts of playing paintball. When you are in the woods full of sinkholes, fallen branches, and other ankle bending nightmares, you really need to have the right shoes. My old boots had started to come apart, so it was time for something new, and this was my first game with my new Belleville Khybers.

I broke em in over the week at work, and then took em out last weekend for a 400 man game at DFW Adventure Park. A great paintball field with some nice deep woods full of brush to hunt people in.

The main difference of these Belleville’s I personally really loved was that instead of simply having hooks on the upper two or three lace points, they were actually full eyes, which means when I did have to retie my shoes out in the middle, it was a quick affair and it didn’t hamper me too much on the run.

The multi-cam pattern which fit the rest of my gear, along with the breathability these things had mean that they stayed looking great and kept my feet feeling great too. It was a long weekend, but I didn’t end up with a single blister which is always nice.

I don’t get new boots often, so it’s always something I try to be careful in my pick. I have to say so far i’m pretty happy. A year from now I’ll let you know how the durability is.

Posted in Employee Spotlight By Fafnir Crow

Shoebacca goes to the Texas State Fair

Friday, October 3, 2014 5:24:34 PM America/Chicago



Earlier this week we snuck out a hair early (Don’t tell the boss!) and went to the Texas State Fair. I would try and explain what it is for those who may never have been to one, but I wouldn’t even know where to start. An amazing three weeks of carnival rides, livestock shows (including ostrich races) more fried food than you can shake a stick at (Don’t shake it too hard, what do you think they handed you the food on?) and arts and crafts from all over Texas.



Some people think bumper cars are for kids, but here at Shoebacca, we think that’s just silly! We spent lots of time doing our best to get whiplash in between shooting basketballs, baseball tosses, and bb gun shoots. The midway can be a dangerous place, at least for your wallet.

I don’t know how many miles we walked that day, or even contemplate how much fried food we ate. But all in all its always great to get out out of the office, into the fresh air, and enjoy some time with your co-workers!
Posted in Employee Spotlight By Shawn Jones

90 Days till Christmas

Friday, September 26, 2014 9:00:00 AM America/Chicago

90 Days Till Christmas!! Anyone who knows me knows I actually start counting down the days in June! Now that it is truly right around the corner, I am beyond thrilled.

Credit: http://www.rachelleb.com/2003/12/05/macys-christmas-windows/

I know for some talk of Christmas reminds them of money and the spending thereof but for me its more about feelings. Christmas for me is not just about the giving and receiving of presents, which is also awesome don’t get me wrong. but personally I'm reminded of the memories I shared with my family: Tree trimming with my mom, who was in my opinion the greatest Christmas decorator, happy christmas songs on the radio, The Christmas Story in the window of Marshall Fields (Now Macy's) on State st. in my sweet home of Chicago, hot chocolate in my PJ's, warm feelings of love, family, and togetherness, and just all around good cheer that I felt was happening all over the world at the same time.

Credit: http://shebicycles.com/

I only wish it came twice a year but since it doesn’t I'm gonna milk it for all its worth and hope it lasts till it comes back around again! And Yes I'm that person with the Tree still up in February.
Have I mentioned I really love Christmas!
Posted in Employee Spotlight By Jessica Jones

D-day Paintball - My Active

Friday, September 19, 2014 6:04:00 AM America/Chicago

What’s better than paintball? The worlds largest paintball game. Everyone has something they do to try and stay fit. For me, its paintball. Credit: DFW Adventure Park

Sitting in front of the computer all week makes me itch to get moving on my weekends. Most weekends you’ll find me at my local paintball park trying my best to get them before they get me. No one can argue its not exercise when the adrenaline gets pumping and you never know whats around that next corner.
But throughout the year, even better than rec ball, there are scenario events. Events where you spend 8+ hours on the field playing without downtime. Some you may only get 100 guys or so, but once a year, down south the largest game we get to go to is D-day Oklahoma.

Credit: http://rangers.apservices.org

Better than 2000 people gather over 1200 acres to duke it out over miniature sections of ‘Normandy’ with the Colleville church and Pegasus Bridge being major points of contention. The hills of Northeast Oklahoma leave your legs exhausted and wishing to just give up, even an hour or two into the day.
While a few players still wear cleats, hiking boots or combat boots are the order of the day. With grass up to your shoulder in some places, and enough poison ivy and ticks to make a dog blink, you really don’t want to leave a inch of skin uncovered.
D-day is unique in that in actually runs a full week, and so its where I spend some of my vacation time, away from the grind and out where fresh air rules supreme. Everyone has to find their active. And this is certainly one of mine!
Posted in Employee Spotlight By Fafnir Crow
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