How to Rock: Perf Booties into Fall

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Krystal Faircloth shares practical style tips as well as her favorite women’s fashion brands on her personal style blog, A Pinch of Lovely.

To me, August can be one of the trickiest months to dress for because it’s still technically summer, but retailers are introducing all of their new fall clothing – so what’s the compromise? My advice is to re-purpose pieces already in your closet for an easy seasonal update.

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Open-Toe Booties: Open-toe booties are one of the best transitional shoe styles. They look adorable with summer dresses right up until you need to pull out the jeans. Rockport’s Total Motion Perf Bootie combines comfort with on-trend details you’ll be seeing everywhere this season, and it comes in both khaki and black – both of which are perfect shades to transition into late summer/early fall outfits. Wear with both jeans and dresses for an effortlessly stylish silhouette.

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Distressed Denim: Distressed jeans will be back in a major way for fall – so many ways to wear them! They are the perfect answer for transitioning into pre-fall denim. You can wear them with camisoles and open shoulder tops now in warmer months. Or, pair them with sweaters and motorcycle jackets later in colder temperatures.

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Classic Tops: These are going to be essential pieces as you start transitioning into cardigans and light jackets. I have a tendency to attach to classic styles that are both universally flattering and versatile from year-to-year. Try a fitted button-up top with a feminine silhouette that will pair nicely with your Rockport booties.

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Paired with denim and a classic white top (as seen here), the Total Motion Perf Bootie adds detailed interest while complementing the casual vibes of the leather. Worn both now and later, the booties’ intricate perforations create a chic and polished element to your outfit. You won’t mind spending time on your feet in these booties, no matter the season!

Photos by Lainey Reed

How One Man Walked All of NYC in His Rockports

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William Helmreich, native New Yorker, writer and professor of sociology at the City College of New York, has walked almost every street in New York City. He’s the author of award winning “The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City” and “The Brooklyn Nobody Knows” – the first of five planned walking guides, one for each borough of New York City. We got the chance to catch up with him on the highs and lows of his journey and why Rockport is his shoe of choice.   

You walked more than 6,000 miles for your first book about exploring the city, The New York Nobody Knows. What inspired you to do this? When I was nine years old, my father and I played a game called “Last Stop.” We took a subway from the 103rd Street station on Manhattan’s Upper West Side to the last stop, switching to other subways as needed. When we ran out of last stops, we’d go to the second to last, third, fourth, etc. Exiting, we’d walk around the neighborhoods. In this way I learned about and developed an appreciation for this wonderful city. One discovery I made was when I saw people pulling fish out of the water in Throgs Neck, the Bronx. I had always thought they came from the fish store on 104th Street. Who knew! I was a city boy.

How long did the entire 6,000 mile journey take you? I covered 6,048 miles or 121,000 blocks in about four years. Thirty miles a week, 120 a month, 1,500 a year. Four times 1,500 and you’re there! That’s about how big the city is, according to the Sanitation Department. It’s equivalent to walking from New York City to Los Angeles and back as the crow flies and then another 971 miles to St. Louis.

We’re honored that your Rockports have been with you every step of the way. Why are they your favorite shoes? I love these shoes for several reasons. First, they’re the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. I’ve never even gotten a blister and that’s largely because they’re wide in the front and cushioned all around inside and out. Second, many of your styles are lightweight and make me feel as though I’m walking on air. The shoes attach to my feet as snugly as a glove on my hand. Third, the styles are very attractive and I’ve gotten many compliments about how cool they look. Fourth, they’re very durable shoes. I walked 816 miles on the hard concrete sidewalks of Brooklyn, using up just two pairs.

What is your favorite Rockport style to wear on your travels and why? My favorite is the Get Your Kicks Walking Shoe. It’s very light, very comfortable, and has great style.

Tell us about one of your favorite experiences while on the road… I can’t pick just one… The first is meeting Savas, a man who lives in a cave in Inwood Hill Park, Upper Manhattan. He’s not homeless. He’s not a panhandler. He just loves living in the outdoors and being in touch with nature. He’s 84 years old, in seemingly very good health, and this is his home.

Second is the Gingerbread House: This gorgeous, one of a kind home is a “Hansel & Gretel style gingerbread house” built in 1916. It’s located at 8200 Narrows Avenue, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. It has a thatch-like roof, stained-glass windows, solid stone and can be purchased for 11 million dollars. Former Mafia chieftain, Carlo Gambino lived across the street at one time. You can read more about this and Brooklyn’s 43 other neighborhoods in my recently published, The Brooklyn Nobody Knows: An Urban Walking Guide.

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Third, in front of 1430 E. 70th Street in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn is a most amazing sight. It’s a cherry tree filled with 1,140 stuffed animals and other toys. Some neighbors like it, others are apathetic about it, and still others hate it. But all of them agree it must be seen to be believed.photo (6)

Also in Brooklyn, there’s a real gem of a mural on Coney Island Avenue near Avenue R. It depicts the stages of human communication through all of history, as told by Verizon.photo (5)

You’re writing books about each of the five boroughs. Do you have a favorite? I like them all. Every borough is fascinating. But sometimes you have to work harder at it. Manhattan has probably the greatest number of interesting aspects, but Queens also has many. How about a museum in the Bellerose section dedicated totally to the artworks of the mentally ill whose work is often tremendously creative? How about standing in front of NYC’s tallest tree in Douglaston, Queens? It’s a tulip poplar, 133.8 feet high and estimated to be about 450 years old.

What changes have you witnessed in the city over the years? People are much more likely to talk to strangers than they were in the past. In part, it’s because there is far less crime today. Also, kids don’t play in the street much anymore and I think technology–video games, cell phones, and the like– plays an important role in that. The city’s population has become much more diverse due to immigration, Also, the economic revival of the city and the service sector expansion has made it into a magnet, attracting hundreds of thousands of young Americans from all over the country.

What do you hope readers walk away with after reading your books? An understanding of how fascinating this city is and an appreciation of how important walking is for capturing its inner soul. Walking forces one to slow down and take it all in. Driving and bicycling is too fast. I can’t tell you how much I would have missed if I hadn’t walked it. And, as any physician will tell you, walking is also terrific exercise and doing so in a city is far more interesting than walking on a treadmill.

Aside from writing, what are some of your other passions? Playing tennis and basketball, walking and hiking, traveling, reading and being with my family.

We have to ask: You love your Get Your Kicks sneakers, but do you have your eye on any other Rockport styles for your next borough walk? The Power Pace is reportedly very comfortable, and I like the streamlined look. The Catalyst 3 has enough room for your toes, is high quality, and has a great appearance. The Redemption Road is also intriguing because it has good shock absorption and looks really neat. Many people judge others by what they wear and all of these shoes I would want to be seen.

We can’t wait to see where Bill’s Rockports take him next. We’re hoping it’s Boston. 

How to Keep Your Feet Happy & Healthy This Summer

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Your feet carry you through life’s adventures, so you owe it to them to ensure they’re in the best shape. To help you accomplish this, we’ve asked our Rockport team of experts – our footwear designers and engineers – to answer some of your most burning foot care questions, with an emphasis on warmer weather woes. Happy feet = happy life!

feel most confident when wearing heels to work, but the balls of my feet hurt by lunchtime.

You may have not used one since grade school, but it’s important to have your feet measured properly on a Brannock Device, not only to confirm the length of your foot, but also to identify your ball reach. Very often, people wear shoes that fit them in length, but not in ball reach or ball girth. It’s most important to have the widest part of one’s foot fit the widest part of their shoe. If your ball joint is not appropriately aligned in the shoe, you will experience pain in the ball joint, cramped toes, and sore feet. The correct fit is absolutely essential (did you know we offer the majority of our shoes in multiple widths, including some in extra-narrow all the way to extra-extra-wide?). Visit your local shoe store to be properly fit if you haven’t already.

You should also always wear shoes with an outsole that provides cushioning and shock absorption with compounds such as rubber or TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane, a durable synthetic material) and TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber, a natural rubber compound). When shopping online for shoes, look for these compounds listed in the shoe’s product details.

Our Total Motion 75mm V Sling or our Cobb Hill Taylor caged heel are heels that you forget are heels, and our Audrina Sling Boot features an on-trend block heel that gently slopes down to a cushioned forefoot.

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Pictured: Total Motion 75mm V Sling ($120) | Cobb Hill Taylor ($110) | Audrina Sling Boot ($130)

I want to wear sandals this summer but suffer from plantar fasciitis.

Dealing with plantar fasciitis is common in the summer, because people tend to wear flatter, less supportive footwear in warmer months. To avoid this painful ailment, wear a shoe or sandal that has an anatomic footbed with a molded heel seat, like the Cobb Hill Hollywood Cuff Sandal or the Cobb Hill Tropez High Vamp. For a flatter sandal, try the Cobb Hill REVsoothe T Strap. Wear a sole that is firm and offers significant stability and support since footwear that is too soft underfoot or compresses easily tends to make heel pain or plantar fasciitis worse over time.

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Pictured: Cobb Hill Hollywood Cuff Sandal ($110) | Cobb Hill Tropez High Vamp ($110) | Cobb Hill REVsoothe T Strap Sandal ($90)

My feet sweat a lot, but I can’t wear sandals to work.

Perspiring on a hot summer day is normal, sweaty feet included. Look for footwear that is leather lined or has a breathable, antimicrobial lining. Try to avoid shoes that are lined with a synthetic PU material, which will trap heat in the shoe and make your feet even hotter. The Cobb Hill Aubrey and Cobb Hill Angelina have an EVA footbed with a pigskin and textile footbed cover. Our truFLEX styles, for both men and women, offer leather socks with breathable linings.

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Pictured: Cobb Hill Angelina ($110) | Cobb Hill Aubrey ($100) | truFLEX Slip On ($130)

I walk to work and don’t want to have to change shoes when I get there.

Your feet should be the last thing on your mind as you commute each day. Look for shoes with outsoles that have rubber tread pads. Rubber will offer great traction while walking to work and is incredibly durable. For men, our DresSports Modern Collection has a PU sole with rubber forefoot and heel pads. For women, our Total Motion collection offers a host of commuter-friendly heels or flats. Total Motion offers stylish, sleek work silhouettes that are built with molded footbeds, padded upper linings, TPR soles and an outsole technology that aids your natural walking motion.

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Pictured: DresSports Modern Cap Toe ($150) | Total Motion Melora Captoe Pump ($120)

My lower back hurts when I wear dress shoes/heels.

Back-to-back meetings, alfresco cocktails, and more weddings than you can count are just a few occasions this summer where you’ll be donning dress shoes. Unfortunately, many people experience back pain after spending a day in dress shoes, so it’s important to make sure that you select footwear that offers underfoot cushioning and support. Women should spend the day in a heel height that they feel comfortable in and aim to change up their heel height throughout the week. Don’t spend all week in your highest heels! The Total Motion Collection offers a range of comfortable heels and heights, including a 75mm pump, a 50 mm kitten heel and a ballet flat.

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Pictured: Total Motion Pointed Toe Pump ($130) | Total Motion Kalila Pump ($120) | Total Motion Adelyn Ballet ($110)

Men should look for dress shoes that offer soles made out of shock-absorbing materials, such as rubber or EVA, which will dramatically improve impact at heel strike. Check out the Dressports 2 Lite or Total Motion Fusion to find an incredibly comfortable dress shoe that will allow men to look their best, while feeling comfortable all day long.

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Pictured: DresSports 2 Lite Apron Toe ($120) | Total Motion Fusion Wing Tip ($140)

Have a fall foot care question of your own? Ask away at [email protected], and your question might be answered in our next foot care feature.