Back To School

As the calendar flips to August, a parent’s three favorite words can finally be spoken: Back-to-school! That’s right, moms and dads, it’s time to stock back up for the kids’ return to the classroom in a few short weeks. The selection can be a little overwhelming, though. Aside from the normal stuff like pens, pencils and a crispy new calculator, the bigger stuff – like shoes, clothes and backpacks – are often in need of replacing prior to the new school year.

Available at Dunham’s, the Adidas Prime IV and Excel IV are great options and come loaded with features to keep everything organized while looking great as well. With the Prime IV, students will be able to utilize five zippered pockets and an internal laptop sleeve. Also, parents will love the lifetime warranty. The Excel IV also comes with the same warranty as well as a few other bells and whistles.

“This pack has tons of great storage and features to keep you organized all year long,” explains Carrie Najera of Agron Backpacks.   “[It has] four outside zippered pockets, internal zippered organization pockets and soft lined 15.4-inch computer and tablet pockets in addition to LoadSpring shoulder straps for added comfort.”

Once the backpack is taken care of, parents can move onto shoes. And with the amount of time kids spend on their feet, be it walking to the bus stop or running around in gym class, footwear isn’t something to be overlooked. Thankfully, there are plenty of options and tools available to help make the choice easier, including a tool from ASICS to check your child’s foot pronation.

With the variety of ASICS found at Dunham’s, the features are endless. You’ll find their trail running, performance running, casual, volleyball and wrestling shoes to suit almost any need. And with rearfoot GEL cushioning, removable sock liners and AHAR High Abrasion Outsoles, kids will get both comfort and durability.

Another brand with an unbeatable reputation for quality, stylish footwear is New Balance. New to the catalog is the Fresh Foam line, which is a great mix of aesthetics and comfort. And what kid won’t love that?

“The smooth tuned cushioning of Fresh Foam has merged with sleek street styling to deliver a functional yet versatile trainer for the runner seeking comfort and all-day wear-ability,” explains Joel Koviak of New Balance.

While it can seem a little overwhelming when trying to find the right backpack or footwear for your child’s new school year, keep in mind some of the great quality and value that can be found in Adidas backpacks, ASICS and New Balance. With the selection and available features for back-to-school products, parents will undoubtedly make a great decision for their kids at Dunham’s.

-Fitness Fanatic

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Use the “Wet Test” to Determine What Kind of Feet You Have

1. Get your foot wet.
 
2. Then step on a surface, such as a sidewalk or a piece of dark construction paper, which will show an imprint of your foot.
 
3. The characteristics of the imprint will determine your foot type:
 
• Flat Footed/Pronated — Your feet are pronated if a complete impression of your foot can be seen.
• High-Arched Footed/Supinated — Your feet are supinated if there is a large open area on the imprint where the arch of your foot didn’t touch the ground.
• Neutral/Ideal — Your feet are neutral/ideal if a moderate space is visible in the arch area.
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
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Keep Your Feet Happy, Every Day

What feels better than stepping outside into the spring air after a long, cold winter stuck inside your house? If you have tired, achy feet, staying on the couch might feel a lot better. But with advances in comfortable footwear, that walk in the park can feel a lot more like, well, a walk in the park!
 
Think about everything your feet do for you every day. We all know that we should get more physical activity and stand more throughout the day rather than sitting at a desk. But if you suffer from foot pain or an injury, some things can become difficult or nearly impossible to do. Who can think about exercise when it hurts just to get out of bed? And people who have to stand on their feet for their jobs are even more at risk for painful and debilitating foot issues.
 
One common foot problem is plantar fasciitis, which comes with pain in the heel. This can be caused by walking in or standing in shoes with thin soles, according to WebMD www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/understanding-plantar-fasciitis-basics. And heels or flip flops can also cause issues, including blisters, bunions and calluses. Even going barefoot can be dangerous for your feet, particularly if you suffer from diabetes.
 
Wearing comfortable shoes that fit properly are a big part of keeping your feet in good health. Shoes that offer stability and cushion can help you dodge many of the foot ailments that can come from everyday life. And they can be fashionable and affordable, too! Shoes that offer cushioning right in the sole can help you avoid the potential cost of inserts to absorb shock.
 
adidas offers its Cloudfoam technology to keep your feet happy every day. Cloudfoam is made with a material designed to absorb shock and can provide a high level of comfort compared to other shoes.
 
Stu Utley from adidas says that any customer looking for comfortable, trendy shoes for an affordable price will benefit from adidas’ Neo line of shoes featuring Cloudfoam.
 
“Our shoes with Cloudfoam are great for everyday wear,” Utley says. “They are built to provide you with stylish comfort.”
 
And the whole family can get the benefits of adidas Cloudfoam technology. The Neo model comes in women’s, men’s and kids’ designs.
 
Skechers also has options for those who want to pamper their feet and stay stylish. You can get Skechers models with memory foam for men, women and children. That includes their D’Lites brand for men and women.
 
“Skechers memory foam offers additional cushioning with a slight rebound to reduce foot fatigue,” says Doug Kelley of Skechers. He called the Skechers shoes with memory foam “an athleisure product for every day.”
 
These cushioned options from Skechers and Adidas are best for light, everyday activities. They are great options for running errands, strolling through your neighborhood or walking your dog.
 
Remember those fitness resolutions you vowed to keep back in January? Keep your feet in good health so you can go out and make them happen! Try shoes with cushioning this spring.
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail program at www.dunhamsrewards.com

Crossing over: Running vs. Cross-training Footwear

With so many different exercise options available for those looking to stay in shape, the choices of what footwear to purchase is equally expansive. Luckily for customers, however, they can be broken down into two main categories: running shoes and cross-trainers.
 
But which is better? The answer to that question, simply, is another question: What are you using them for? With varying weights, support areas and treads, the differences between running and cross-training shoes make it easy to find the perfect shoe.
 
One brand to consider is one you’ve likely heard about before. Under Armour originally made its name in compression gear, has created some breakthroughs in the world of footwear. Their new running models, the UA SpeedForm ® Apollo 2, UA Micro G ® Speed Swift and UA Micro G ® Assert 6, use innovative technology to combine weight, comfort and support into a revolutionary experience.
 
Lighter and sleeker than traditional foams, UA Micro G cushioning delivers ultra-responsive, low-to-the-ground performance for better, natural stability and comfort. SpeedForm Apollo 2 features a supported and smooth upper with ultrasonic welded seaming for next-to-skin support. A TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) heel counter locks in your foot for superior comfort.”
 
While Under Armour running shoes offer a wide range of innovations, the same can be said for Under Armour’s cross-trainers. Cross-trainers are built a little differently to maximize not only running, but side-to-side and jumping movements.
 
The Under Armour Strive V has the UA Micro G cushioning system, which is a mainstay in the running shoes. But what differentiates this model from its running counterparts are the details. The shoes feature a wider base for lateral stability, and multi-surface traction pods on the outsole for different ‘training’ scenarios both indoors and outdoors. They also have stitched-down leather overlays to help lock the foot into place, as well as for extra durability.”
 
Whether you’re signing up for the next big marathon event, going for a jog outside or enjoying a HIIT workout at your local gym, the running and cross-training footwear options by Under Armour at Dunham’s will have you covered. With so many technological advances like UA Micro G cushioning to lighter and sleeker designs, your next run or training workout will be as explosive as you can make it.
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
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Somewhere Beyond Mere Footwear

A great pair of boots can be the best friend your feet ever had.
 
It was more than 135 years ago that Herman Joseph Justin moved to Texas and began crafting boots. Soon he was supplying rugged Justin boots for the men building railroads and herding cattle.
 
Over the years that have passed since H. J. founded the company, Justin Boots have become an iconic part of western culture. Today the company produces a variety of stylish and rugged footwear for men and women who work hard and play hard.
 
“At Justin Original Workboots, we are proud of our heritage,” said Josh Lizotte, divisional manager. “Since 1879, Justin has been dedicated to creating quality boots that are as functional and durable as they are stylish. Keeping up with industry trends and regulations, Justin Original Workboots takes pride in developing boots with the newest technology to support the comfort and safety needs of our customers.”
 
Active Americans know that a good pair of boots are your friend when days get long and the going gets tough. And if you’ve ever had a pair of boots that didn’t fit or leaked, you know that inferior footwear can be your worst enemy. With a Justin boot, you can be certain you’re buying the brand that sets a standard for both toughness and good looks.
 
Choose Your Justin Boot
 
Dunham’s carries several varieties of Justin Original Workboots. For example there’s the Men’s Rugged Tan Cowhide Stampede. An 11-inch tall, soft-toe waterproof boot in tan cowhide and 900 Denier Nylon, the Stampede can keep out the elements. With J-Flex Flexible Comfort System® insoles, it will work with you all day long. The outsole is of Stampede™ Rubber and EVA for durability and great traction.
 
Need toe protection? Check out Justin’s Men’s Rustic Barnwood Hybred® Waterproof Composition-Toe Workboot. The 11-inch tall boot keeps out the elements while protecting with a composition toe that exceeds ASTM safety standards. The J-Flex Flexible Comfort System® with Ortholite® Comfort Foam Insoles and a Dri-Lex® cover will keep you dry and comfortable from dawn to dusk.
 
Dunham’s customers tell us the Men’s Rugged Tan Cowhide Stampede Workboot is an excellent buy. This soft toe boot is built with a square toe and the J-Flex Flexible Comfort System® Insoles. Crafted of tan cowhide, the boot features the high-traction Stampede™ Rubber and EVA outsole.
 
Justin Boots were made for the men who built America. Since long before any of us walked this earth, they have been known for comfort, protection and durability. Made to stand up to the toughest jobs and the longest days, they’re the best boot for work and play.
 
-Your Friends at Dunham’s
 
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When the Shoe Fits, Run With It

There are an enormous number of choices in running shoes these days. Virtually every manufacturer offers a variety of styles, fits and prices — enough to overwhelm any buyer. The key is to analyze your own foot and then find the shoe that best suits your physique.

What Kind of Foot Do You Have?

For the purposes of running, feet can be divided into three categories:

Flat Footed/Pronated – The foot strikes on the outside of the heel and rolls inward, often leading to overuse injuries (60% of the population has this).

High-Arched Footed/Supinated – The foot is rigid, doesn’t roll inward and is not an effective shock absorber (30%).

Neutral – You land on the outside of the heel and roll inward slightly to absorb shock — the most biomechanically sound type of runner (only 10%).

Different Shoes for Different Feet

Once you’ve analyzed your feet you can choose the best pair of shoes.

If you are Flat Footed/Pronated:

• Look for a straight or semi-curved last for stability and maximum support for the inside of the foot (the last is the basic shape of the shoe and can be straight, semi-curved or curved).

• Look for features like a medial post (a stiff material on the inner side of the shoe) to help reduce overpronation or rolling in.

• Look for a dense, durable polyurethane midsole for moderate cushioning and greater stability.

• Look for a carbon rubber outsole for greater durability.

If you are High-Arched Footed/Supinated:

• Look for a semi-curved or curved last to encourage foot motion. You are not likely to need any additional medial support.

• Look for EVA cushioning, which will provide softer cushioning and lighter weight than polyurethane.

• Look for a softer, lighter outsole with greater flexibility.

• Some shoes combine heavier, more durable carbon rubber in the heel area with lightweight blown rubber in the forefoot to make the shoe more flexible.

If you are Neutral/Ideal:

• Look for a straight or semi-curved last.

• A medial post is good for motion control. A medial post is a stiff material on the inner side of the shoe to help reduce overpronation or rolling in.

• Look for a shoe with moderate cushioning, such as a 2-density midsole. The blend of EVA’s lightweight cushioning and polyurethane’s density and durability offers a nice mix of cushioning and stability.

• Look for a durable carbon rubber outsole or an outsole that combines carbon rubber with a lighter weight, softer blown rubber in the forefoot.

A good pair of running shoes should last 400-500 miles. Polyurethane mid-soles may not have the cushioning effect of EVA, but they tend to be more durable. The best way to tell if you need new shoes is to look at the soles. If they are worn or uneven, it’s time for a new pair.

Proper Technique

While you’ll probably never be a world-class marathoner, proper running technique will make you more efficient.

Hands – Don’t clench your fist — that tenses up your forearm and impedes proper shoulder motion. Don’t carry anything (like a water bottle, iPod) that can cause your torso to rotate.

Posture – Keep straight and erect, with head up and back straight.

Shoulders – Keep your shoulders back and shoulder blades pulled down toward your back pockets. Move arms from the shoulder to save energy.

Elbows – Swing at 90°, pulled close to body (if elbows flare out, arm action will be less efficient and upper body mechanics will suffer).

Don’t Bounce – Keep your stride as low to the ground as possible. Too much up-and-down movement wastes energy. Plus, the higher you lift yourself off the ground, the greater shock you must absorb and the faster your legs will fatigue.

Use the “Wet Test” to Determine What Kind of Feet You Have

1. Get your foot wet.

2. Then step on a surface, such as a sidewalk or a piece of dark construction paper, which will show an imprint of your foot.

3. The characteristics of the imprint will determine your foot type:

Flat Footed/Pronated — Your feet are pronated if a complete impression of your foot can be seen.

High-Arched Footed/Supinated — Your feet are supinated if there is a large open area on the imprint where the arch of your foot didn’t touch the ground.

Neutral/Ideal — Your feet are neutral/ideal if a moderate space is visible in the arch area.

The Basics of Stretching

Academic studies conflict on how effective stretching is to prevent injuries. However, there’s general agreement that stretching is more important after you run, to aid in muscle recovery. Stretching before exercise certainly won’t hurt, but what is most important is to warm up — take the first mile or two easy
to acclimate your body.

Some good post-running stretches:

Heel Drops – Stand on a curb with your front feet and drop your heels. Count to 5, lift again. Repeat 5-10 times. (Helps prevent Achilles tendinitis).

Calf Raises – Stand on the ground, lift your heels, count to 5, lift again. Repeat 5-10 times. (Helps prevent shin splints).

Calf Stretch – Stand against the wall, palms on the wall. Put one leg forward (bent) and one leg straight back, heel on the ground. Count to 10, alternate and repeat twice.

Quadriceps Stretch – Stand straight on one foot, bend the other leg backward with foot against backside. Hold foot, slowly count to 10. Alternate and repeat twice. (For balance, you may need to hold on to a pole or street light).

-Fitness Fanatic

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THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR COMFORT

A generation or two ago comfort wasn’t a big priority for boot manufacturers. Make them functional, make them durable and everybody’s happy. Then along came the baby boom generation with its higher expectations, and lo and behold, boots had to be comfortable, too. “Boot construction is a lot different than it was in the 1950s,” says B Rocky® Boots. “A lot of new technology has been able to satisfy higher expectations of customers.”

Ah yes, technology. New materials and new manufacturing methods have greatly improved bootware over the past decades. For example, advancements in rubber manufacturing have enhanced the quality and feel of boot soles. And new methods of molding have allowed better contouring of the sole and boot to the foot.

Rocky has a Mountain Stack model with a five-layer outsole and an air cushion foot bed to keep the foot dry and comfortable.  3M’s Thinsulate™ has become extremely popular with boot manufacturers, providing heat without bulky construction.  But there are other ways to keep your feet warm in boots. “Virtually any boot with a liner is going to be warmer,” says Itasca Boots. “It’s the principal of layering.”

Fit is even more important in boots than other clothing because the wrong boots can cause blisters. Itasca says to error on the side of more room, especially with insulated boots. “If the boot fits too tight, the insulation will be compacted, and that will reduce the R factor of the material.”

Itasca says that boots are like most products in that you get what you pay for — up to a point. “Sometimes you can pay a lot of money and not get any more than you get in a lower-priced boot.”

Read the labels, compare the products, and find the value. What a concept.

-Deer Abby

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