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

*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail program at www.dunhamsrewards.com

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
 
*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
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail or text message programs (or both). Sign Up Now

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
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail or text message programs (or both). Sign Up Now

Stepping Forward

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Warm weather marks a new season for runners, walkers, joggers and a many other sports enthusiasts … from baseball and tennis players to street hockey and skate boarders. An important part of your athletic regimen is the equipment you use, and a basic, very imporant item is your shoes. Appropriate, well-fitting shoes are not only important for comfort, they offer you great benefits.
 
• Arch support is important if you are taking part in a regular exercise routine. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that runners with flat feet ask a specialist for recommendations on running shoes.
 
• Midsole foot cushioning — cushion of the area between the ball and heel of the foot – can reduce stress placed on the heel, ankles and toes when running. This not only makes running more comfortable, it can help improve body mechanics and reduce or prevent knee, hip and back pain.
 
• Injury prevention – especially for specific types of injury caused by extensive running — is a vital benefit of proper footwear. Together, midsole cushioning and arch support can help prevent overuse injuries, such as tendonitis, stress fractures and joint pain — and protect against cuts and scrapes to the feet!
 
The American Council on Exercise has stated that using the right shoe can help you make greater gains in your athletic regimen. There are a lot of shoes out there, the first step in choosing the correct pair for you is understanding your foot type!
 
• If your shoes are most worn down on the inside, you have a low arch; your footprint shows almost the entire foot, and your feet roll distinctively inward. In this case, wear motion-control running shoes. They should have maximum supportive features as well as substantial cushioning in high strike areas of the heel and forefoot. These shoes are also excellent for the larger-framed runner. However, if the outside of your heel hits the ground first, and rolls inward slightly, consider stability shoes. Stability running shoes give extra support through the midsole and heel to help your feet work better. Select a shoe with a straight shape.
 
• If your shoes show uniform wear across the forefoot, your feet have a distinct curve along the inside of your foot, and your heel and toes are connected by a band that is slightly less than half the width of your foot, you have a normal arch. With a normal arch, the middle to slightly outward part of the heel strikes the ground first and the foot rolls slightly inward, absorbing shock more effectively. You should use stability running shoes with a semi-curved shape.
 
• If your shoes show more wear on the outer sides, you have a high arch. Your footprint shows a thin outer band between your heel and toe, the outside of the heel strikes the ground first and does not roll inward, staying on the outside causing the impact to be concentrated on a smaller area of the foot. Look for cushioned shoes with a curved shape to encourage foot movement, these shoes should be more concerned with midsole cushioning that support, and provide extra shock absorption to make up for the lack of pronation that comes with high arches.
 
Whether you’re just beginning a running program or are an old pro at it, enjoy the beautiful weather and step forward to a healthy, fit lifestyle!
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail or text message programs (or both). Sign Up Now

Football-Soccer Footwear Uppers and Midsoles

Mixing eye-catching design with devastating performance.

 
From superior materials to innovative design, discover the details of what goes into every upper and midsole of Nike soccer boots.
 

Nike Soccer Uppers

 
The main benefits the upper provides are protection, comfort and enhanced touch. The “touch” of the soccer boot refers to the ability of a player to feel the ball with their foot in order to control it when passing, dribbling or kicking.
 

Upper Materials

 

Natural Leathers

 
Full-grain and kangaroo leathers are soft, supple and offer excellent ball feel.
 

Synthetic Leathers

 
Synthetics offer great ball feel, don’t absorb water, maintain their shape, and are lightweight and more durable than leather.
 

Teijin Microfiber

 
This synthetic material conforms to the foot’s shape, providing supreme touch and optimal support.
 

Kanga-Lite

 
By wrapping snugly around the foot, this synthetic material helps provide great ball touch and mimics the feel of kangaroo leather without the weight.
 

Upper Design Features And Benefits

 

Asymmetrical Lacing

 
Laces are moved to the lateral side of the shoe to create a cleaner surface and bigger striking zone for better touch on the ball.
 

All Conditions Control (ACC)

 
Helps provide excellent ball control in wet or dry conditions.
 

Suede Heel Lining

 
The texture of the suede reduces heel slippage.
 

Nike Soccer Midsoles

 
Very few boots have midsoles. This is because most soccer players want to be close to the ground for better lateral stability. Nike soccer cleat midsoles provide cushioning for a players foot, but compared to running shoes, it’s minimal.
 

Midsole Materials and Design Features

 

Phylon and EVA

 
Offering optimal comfort and cushioning, these materials are most often found in IC (indoor) and TF (turf) styles as a 3/4- or full-length midsole that enhances cushioning and comfort on hard surfaces.
 

PORON® Inserts

 
Inserts may be placed under high-pressure areas of the foot for an additional layer of low-to-the-ground cushioning.
 

Low-profile Sockliners

 
Help to reduce stud pressure for cushioning and comfort underfoot. Sockliners are commonly made from EVA foam that is either molded or die-cut.
 
-Soccer Mom
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Taking on the Great Outdoors

While some outdoor sports are relaxing, others are invigorating. Tramping through the woods, hunting wild game, paddling upstream — they’re all activities that not only entertain but get your heart rate up as well. Let’s take a look at some activities geared toward the more adventurous outdoor types among us, along with some tailor-made gift ideas. 
 
Dashing Through the Snow
 
Snowshoeing is America’s fastest growing winter sport. That’s not surprising, since this odd and ancient footgear, which can resemble an oversized tennis racket, is a great way to venture forth into places where others don’t dare tread. That means getting away from the crowd and enjoying nature at its most pristine.
 
Snowshoes are as old as recorded history itself, going back all the way to about 4000 B.C. or earlier, and first coming to this continent with Asian adventurers who crossed the Bering Strait and settled in Alaska — long before Europeans got the bug to travel.
 
So how difficult is snowshoeing? Can you walk? If the answer is yes, then you can snowshoe. At its most basic, the sport involves nothing more than putting one foot in front of the other with snowshoes on your feet. But in truth, efficient snowshoeing does require a technique that is somewhat different than walking in ordinary shoes. When walking in snowshoes, it’s best to lift each shoe a bit and slide the inner edge over the inner edge of the other shoe. If the shoes don’t overlap a bit when you stride, you’ll be forced to walk with a bowlegged gate that can be taxing.
 
While ancient snowshoes were made from wood and leather, most of today’s snowshoes are made with aluminum, plastic and various synthetic materials. But the idea is the same: the snowshoe gives walkers a big footprint, so they won’t quickly sink into the snow. Because snowshoes distribute body weight over a large area, even soft snow can provide adequate support for walking.
 
The health benefits of snowshoeing are multiple. First, it’s good aerobic exercise that can keep your heart rate up for an extended period of time. What’s more, it improves leg muscle tone, and if trekking poles are used, it can improve upper body fitness as well.
 
Bill LaPierre of Yukon Charlie’s, a major supplier of high quality snowshoe equipment, recommends using poles, since they can help you remain stable and upright on challenging terrain, while reducing the burden on your knees. Dunham’s carries a wide range of Yukon Charlie’s snowshoe gear.
 
Snowshoes are available in a variety of lengths and widths. The larger snowshoes are for bigger people and more difficult conditions. Children’s sizes are also available. In addition to various sizes, snowshoes come in a range of styles, each designed for a particular type of hiking. Aerobic or running snowshoes are small and light and are not meant for wilderness hiking. Recreational snowshoes are larger than the aerobic models, and are great for moderate walks. Mountaineering snowshoes are the largest. They usually have a long tail and are meant for long-distance trips and serious hill climbing.  A Dunham’s sales consultant can help you choose the size and type of snowshoe that’s right for you and every member of your family. 
 
Hoofing It
 
Most winter sports require some heavy-duty foot protection. And while some, such as skiing, call for purpose-built footwear, for many activities a pair of high-quality insulated boots can keep you warm and on the move. In fact, for those whose idea of great winter sport is a hike through the woods on a snowy day, boots and warm clothing are all the equipment that’s necessary. Of course a good boot is essential gear for hunters as well.
 
Winter hikes are an activity that the entire family can enjoy. Because only minimal gear is needed, it won’t break the bank. Hunting has also become more of a family activity in recent years, as parents strive to teach their offspring the value of self-sufficiency, while experiencing the joys of outdoor activity and skill development.
 
While a variety of boots that claim to be waterproof and insulated are available, not all are created equal. Nothing ruins a nice afternoon hike or a winter hunting trip faster than cold feet. Dunham’s carries several types of heavy-duty insulated boots that can keep your tootsies warm in the most severe conditions.
 
For men, the Rocky Jasper Trac Insulated Pac Boot is a superb choice. With a polar-trac outsole for great grip, a removable three-ply liner, 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation, and guaranteed waterproof construction, this boot is ready to take on old-man winter.
 
The Itasca Snowbird Boot is a popular choice for the ladies. This heavy-duty insulated boot is great for hunting and other winter activities. Dunham’s also carries boots for the kids. Ask your sales representative to help you find the winter footwear that’s right for your outdoor activities. 
 
Safe, Not Sorry
 
While most hunters think of gear in terms of what they’ll be taking out to the field, a good gun safe is a critical piece of equipment for every hunter.
 
Gun ownership carries with it a measure of responsibility. In the home, the only safe weapon is one that is stored in such a way that it can’t be accessed by an intruder or curious child. And the best way to ensure that your guns are secure is to lock them in a safe. Of course, a good safe has other uses as well, such as the storage of precious metals, jewelry, cash, and important documents.
 
A small safe is okay for cash and handguns, but for long-gun hunting weapons, a fairly large safe is necessary. However, many modern safes are designed to economize space by allowing for alternate rows of barrel up and barrel down storage.
 
Plan carefully before choosing a safe. Consider possible future needs as well as current requirements. Fire and water protection should also enter into your decision. ETL ratings are an assurance of fire protection, but waterproofing can be important as well, particularly if you live in a flood zone. Your Dunham’s representative can help you decide what kind of safe best meets your requirements.
 
Among Dunham’s most popular safes is the Stack-On Elite Gun Convertible Fire Safe. With storage for up to 24 long guns, the safe features reinforced steel doors and five large live-action locking bolts. An additional three solid-steel dead bolts secure the hinge side of the door. It’s a safe that will protect your weapons and provide peace of mind.
 
 Paddle the Day Away
 
Kayaking is a water sport the entire family can enjoy. Few outdoor sports offer as big a return in fun for as small an investment. And because kayaks are light and compact, they’re easy to store and transport.  
 
While kayaks are well suited to hunting and fishing, they’re now used primarily for recreational boating. And in comparison to other watercraft, kayaks are a bargain. For example, KL Industries eight- and ten-foot Water Quest Kayaks are very stable and come with padded seats and storage. And they’re available at Dunham’s.
 
Other very affordable choices are the Pelican Ultimate 100 and Escape 100 kayaks. These boats turn and track with the best of them, yet they’re stable and easy to paddle. Ask your Dunham’s sales representative to help you choose the kayak that’s best matched to your needs.
 
-Deer Abby
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Every Four Years

Every few people can claim to be the best in the world at what they do… and back it up with empirical evidence. Which is just one reason why the Olympics are so compelling. Run, jump, swim, lift weights — even ride horses — if you do it there is only way to be the best in the world. Win an Olympic Gold Medal.
 
More than 13,000 athletes will compete in the Olympics (Winter and Summer Games), representing more than 200 countries, virtually every government in the world. The modern Olympics have become nothing short of a world spectacle, continually drawing the world’s biggest television audiences. The games began in 1896, a re-birth of the ancient tradition that took place in various Greek city-states from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.
 
The modern games have developed into one of the world’s greatest spectacles, overcoming a couple of World Wars and a boycott or two. In July and August, the world will again focus its attention on the games of the 30th (modern) Olympiad in London from July 25 through August 12.
 
Run for Your Life
 
Running is perhaps the oldest competition known to man (other than boxing, perhaps). And its beauty is its simplicity. Start at point X… run to point Y… first person there wins. But running doesn’t have to be a competition. Drive down any roadway or park trail on a sunny day and you’ll see people running for the simple joy of running. It’s hard to think of an activity that is better for you physically. It will build endurance, improve your cardio-vascular system and strengthen you aerobically. Even if you’re a casual runner, or thinking about being a casual runner, good shoes are imperative. You can wear an old t-shirt and 20-year-old Bermuda shorts, but don’t scrimp on your shoes. Your feet will thank you for taking care of them.
 
Choices, Choices, Choices
 
Shopping for shoes is like shopping for a car — you have hundreds (thousands?) of brands and models to choose from. Where to start? Even if you’re not a real runner, running shoes may suit your lifestyle, anyway. “What we’ve seen over the last few years is that running shoes have taken the place of basketball shoes or cross-trainers as kind of a ‘be-all’ shoe for casual wear,” says Tom McLaughlan of Nike. “People like them because they are light, comfortable and provide a lot of support for your foot, no matter what you are doing.”
 
Light weight is a definite trend in running shoes. “Probably the biggest trend in running shoes over the past few years is that they have become lighter,” says Brian Laumeyer of Reebok. “Technology has let us use lighter materials, especially in the uppers, that provide just as much support, but with a lighter weight.” Shoe representatives agree that you can find very light shoes these days, and that light weight does not necessarily increase the price of the shoe.
 
If the Shoe Fits…
 
Finding the proper fit for any shoe is important, but with running shoes it is an even bigger issue. You will be pounding your soles on pavement and wherever-else, so you need to not just protect and cushion your feet, but you have to have the right fit. So how do you know if the shoe fits? “I know it sounds like a cop-out, but the sales associate in the store is probably your best source of help in fitting the shoe to your foot,” says Mike Prock of Asics. “The associate can tell how much you pronate, and find the right shoe for your foot.”
 
Pronation has traditionally been a big deal in running shoes. The pronated foot is one in which the heel bone angles inward and the arch tends to collapse. It flattens the arch as the foot strikes the ground in order to absorb shock when the heel hits the ground, and to assist in balance during mid-stance. If habits develop, this action can lead to foot pain as well as any number of foot and leg-related ailments.
 
However, there’s some controversy over pronation in the shoe industry these days. “For years, the prevailing wisdom was that pronation had to be corrected by the shoe,” says Prock. “But now, a minority school says essentially ‘pronation — so what?’ That theory says that as long as the foot is protected against the elements and that there is support and cushioning, that’s what’s important.”
 
Of course, your running mileage is also a factor. “A marathoner obviously has different needs than someone who is wearing the shoe for casual use,” says Brian Laumeyer.
 
So You’ve Always Wanted to Dunk a Basketball
 
In time for the London Olympics, Nike is introducing a new basketball shoe called the Hyperdunk. You’re 5’7” and you’ve always wanted to dunk a basketball? Well, stepladders aside, this may not realize that dream for you, but Nike says it will definitely help your “verticality.” Nike says the new shoe is light, more supportive, durable and breathable, and is expressly designed “to meet the demands of elite basketball players worldwide.”
 
The upper of the Hyperdunk uses high-strength cables for support and stability. These responsive cables are loose when at rest and dynamic when in motion, tensing to help stabilize the foot. A synthetic heel clip enhances lockdown, as the engineered foam and mesh of the upper reduces weight while further increasing breathability, strength and durability. Simultaneously, the collar of the shoe wraps lower in the back and higher over the front, increasing flexibility and lateral stability in the heel and ankle.
 
If that all sounds complicated, it probably is. But then basketball players need all the help they can get. “Basketball is one of the most demanding activities anywhere for the human foot,” says Nike’s Tom McLaughlan. “Think of all the lateral movements and quick cuts a basketball player makes while running. This shoe will definitely help support the foot and lessen the chances of blisters that are so common for these players.”
 
Less Drag in the Water
 
For swimming, Speedo introduced its Fastskin line in time for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. It uses tiny triangular projections that point backward so water spirals off the swimmer’s body. It must work, because 83% of the medals and 13 of the 15 world records in Sydney were set by Speedo swimmers. Now, in time for the London Olympics, the company is introducing the Fastskin3 — a complete system that integrates the suit, cap and goggles.
 
Miniscule reductions in body drag are critical for a world-class swimmer, but Speedo spokeswoman Audra Silverman, says for the recreational swimmer, it’s not all about speed. “Increased comfort is what most people are going to notice about our products — either in the Fastskin or the Elite line, which is geared more for the casual swimmer.”
 
A Sport for Every Player
 
There are hundreds of sports in the Olympics — and hundreds of sports you can try to get yourself off that couch. Want a family sport? How about table tennis? Perfect for a basement, and you don’t need as much room as the Olympians who sometimes seem like they’re in the next room when they play. Don’t have a partner? Try the Joola Ipong Topspin Table Tennis Robot to give you practice time.
 
Of course, there’s regular tennis, too, and a beginner’s racquet is surprisingly affordable — ditto for a can of balls.
 
Football (not soccer, but football, as the rest of the world calls it), is also an Olympic sport, and while the Olympics may not have the cachet of the quadrennial World Cup, it will still get plenty of attention world-wide.  It’s another sport that won’t cost you a lot — $15 for an entry level ball, though you can pay up to $70 for ‘thermal-bonded seamless surface(s)’ and ‘valve counterweights to improve flight characteristics.’
 
Want to try something a bit more exotic? How about boxing? No, you don’t have to slug it out with a family member or your neighbor (unless you want to), because there is a lot of boxing paraphernalia to keep you in shape without getting your head bashed in. Boxing gloves, a heavy bag and punch mitts can all give you an excellent workout in the comfort of your basement.
 
The Olympics will once again attract the largest television audiences of the year. But it seems a waste to just sit on the couch and watch. Even if you’ll never win a medal, Get in the Game!
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

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

*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

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

*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.