Archive for April, 2010

Clean up those Birkenstocks

Keep Your Birkenstock's Clean

Do you love your Birkenstocks?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jane’s Picks – Birki’s Freeport Patent Birko-Flor Sandals

Birki’s has broken out the bright paint brush this spring. Yellow, Pink, Green, and Chocolate. All in Patent Birko-Flor.

Throughout their line you’ll see new colors, new styles, and new patterns. They even have a new Disney collection and a revitalized Vegan collection. The Freeports are both vegan and colorful, and 25% off. Enjoy!

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Who Loves Profi-Birkis and Super-Birkis?

Chefs Like Birki's

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jane’s Picks – Birkenstock Granada Soft Footbed

If you want your feet to be cool and comfortable, check out the Birkenstock Granada Soft Footbed Sandals in Twilight Blue or Habana Brown. Soft cushioned footbed, open and airy upper, super Birkenstock support, and two great colors. And they’re 25% off.

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Daily Foot Massage – Relieve stress, improve circulation, feel better

Stinky Sandals Stink

OK, everyone who’s heard of Kenkoh sandals raise your hand.

Probably not too many of y’all raised your hand. Next, for those of you who have a pair of Kenkohs, how many years have you been wearing them? I’d guess that there is a large number who have been wearing them for at least the last 15 to 25 years.

Happy Feet Plus has been the only U.S. distributor of the Kenkoh Health Sandals since 1985. Over the last 25 years the sandals have developed a very dedicated audience. Many of those long-time customers are wearing them because they have found relief from a wide variety of aches, pains or ailments.

While you may not see many people wearing the Kenkoh sandals walking the red carpet or in night club, those same folks may well be wearing them in the locker room or at home. Anyone who wants, or needs, to stimulate blood flow in their lower leg should wear Kenkohs. Anyone who wants, or needs, to reduce swelling in their lower limbs should wear Kenkohs. Anyone who wants, or needs, to stimulate nerve endings on the sole of the foot (and create positive effects on the body following Reflexology principles) should wear Kenkohs. Anyone who wants to feel warmer, feel lighter, or just generally feel better should wear Kenkohs. Does that sound like you?

You may have seen sandals made by major sporting goods companies that look similar, but there are significant differences. The “other guys” just have nubs of all one height on the footbeds. The Kenkoh Health Sandal has very pronounced medial and metatarsal arches. This means the footbed looks like a rolling hill with the big medial arch in the middle and the heel cup and the toe grip in the “valleys.” (Click here to see a big picture of the nodules.

The medial arch is what most people think of when they talk about the “arch of the foot.” Actually there are three major arches with the medial arch being the largest. The metatarsal arch is located right behind the “ball” of your foot. If you want to read more about the arches of the foot, click here.

If you don’t want to read more, then believe me that having good support is way better than having little or no support. When you combine the support features with the stimulating effect of the nodules you have a combination that is hard to beat.

At Happy Feet Plus we characterize the Kenkoh Health Sandal as the “Revitalize” component of our foot health philosophy. Along with Strengthen and Support, Revitalize describes how our footwear works to provide you with better health from the ground up.

If you’d like to read more about our foot health philosophy (we call it “SSR” for short), click here.

If you’d like to check out the Kenkoh Health Sandals, click here.

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Jane’s Picks – Alpro P250 Sandals

What looks like a Birkenstock Arizona, has a slip-resistant sole, the footbed of a Birki’s and is 25% off? If you guessed the ALPRO P250, you’re right! If you don’t recognize the ALPRO brand, click here to learn more. Want to know about the Birki’s/ALPRO footbed, click here. Want to buy one, click here.

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Stinky Footwear – There is a Fix

It may not be PC to talk about stinky shoes, but let’s face it – stinky shoes do happen.

Stinky Sandals Stink

Shoes stink because feet sweat. Well, not directly but that’s where it begins. Your feet sweat and make the insides of your shoes damp. Guess what likes damp dark places? Bacteria! And the bacteria likes to eat your dead cells and oils from your skin. Of course once the bacteria has feasted the next step is the creation of waste products. That’s what stinks.

If you are fortunate to wear footwear like Birkenstock which have removable footbeds you can kill the stink. First you need a large zipper-lock freezer bag (gallon size should do unless you have very large feet.) Remove the footbeds from your shoes or clogs and place them in the bag. If you have sandals, the entire sandal goes into the bag. Sprinkle in some baking soda and seal the bag tightly.

Place the tightly sealed bag in the freezer and wait 2-4 hours. During that time the cold temperatures will kill the bacteria and the baking soda will neutralize the bacterial waste products. While your footbeds are chilling out in the freezer, sprinkle some baking soda into your shoes or clogs. This will help remove odors from the inside of your shoes.

After the footwear is removed from the freezer use a shoe brush, or a brush with reasonably stiff bristles, and brush away the baking soda. Let the footwear, or footbeds, warm to room temperature. The odor should have been removed.

Now I’m not guaranteeing that your feet will smell sweet, but they should be way better. If you have other remedies, let me know so we can share.

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Jane’s Picks – Birkenstock Sydney Sandals

Imagine a pair of these shiny Birkenstock Sydney Sandals on your feet in the soothing summer sun. You’ll be the envy of the girls at the mall, on the beach, or just kicking around town. At just $59.99 each you can afford to get both and look twice as good.

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