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

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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It Must Be The Shoes

Beginning baseball player or all-star, without the traction advantage of cleats, it’s no go.
 
The runner on first base steps toward second, then stops and studies the pitcher, looking for a clue that might reveal whether his next move will be a throw to first or a pitch to the plate. The pitcher goes into his stretch, looks over his shoulder and returns the stare, gauging the base runner’s lead and calculating whether he’s likely to break for second on the pitch. The runner takes one step back toward first. Confident that he has the runner leaning toward first, the pitcher delivers to the plate. But by the time he releases the ball, the runner has shifted his weight, and he digs in with his cleat, pushing off toward second with all the power his leg can generate.
 
Without baseball cleats, that runner would be spinning his wheels, slipping and sliding in the dirt, but the grip of the shoe allows him to apply as much force as he can muster. While cleats are essential equipment for the base runner, they’re also necessary for defensive players, who must react quickly to a batted ball and move into position. Similarly, that pitcher has to have firm footing on the pitching rubber and mound in order to deliver the ball with maximum velocity and accuracy.
 
A Historical Footnote
 
Baseball cleats are an important part of a player’s equipment, and they have been since a ballplayer named Paul Butler first attached spikes to his leather shoes more than 150 years ago. Today, players can choose from a wide range of baseball cleats, including types designed for different conditions and playing surfaces. And while cleats may resemble street shoes, there’s a lot of science involved in their construction. Wedges are frequently used within the shoe to provide cushioning in some areas without adding excessive weight. The wedges can also serve to keep the front of the foot low to the ground, an advantage when running. Soft pads are located within the shoe to minimize pressure, and cushioning is used in midsole areas to reduce the discomfort that results from hours of standing and running. Tongue flaps keep the tongue in place while keeping dirt out, and zippered shrouds lock laces in place.
 
The cleats on the underside of the shoe are usually made of metal, solid rubber or molded thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Metal cleats are durable and can dig into hard dirt. Non-metal cleats reduce the risk of injury to opposing players and can make for a more comfortable shoe. But since rubber and TPU cleats don’t provide as much grip, more metal cleats are used. Maximum height for all types is ½-inch. Generally, players who have reached high-school level or above use metal cleats when conditions warrant, while more junior ballplayers use a non-metal type. Some shoes are made with removable cleats, so both metal and non-metal cleats can be used interchangeably and worn cleats can be replaced.
 
The position of  the cleats can affect the way the shoes — and the athlete — perform. Nike, for example, has moved the toe cleat under the big toe to improve traction, while the secondary cleats in the forefoot area are engineered to improve lateral movement.
 
Sizing Up the Shoe
 
It’s not all about traction and cleat design, the support the shoe provides and its durability are also important. Baseball cleats are available in both low-top and ¾-height shoe configurations. The low-tops offers great flexibility and are favored by speedy baserunners, while he ¾-height shoes provide more ankle support and are less likely to fall off. In terms of materials, synthetic outers can reduce weight, while leather is tough and durable. Many shoes are made from a combination of materials. Under Armour, a major supplier of baseball cleats, uses a combination of leather and a synthetic material called nubuck in many of their shoes. Nike baseball cleats use a rubber compound called Diamond Guard in the toe area to enhance durability.
 
Special Applications
 
Most manufacturers offer shoes designed specifically for softball and for children. Because softball involves motions that differ from those of baseball, particularly for pitchers, shoes are engineered specifically for that game. Kids, on the other hand, grow fast, and some baseball cleats are designed to accommodate growth with removable spacers in the heel area.
 
Dunham’s carries a wide range of baseball cleats for boys, girls and adults. Among the most popular are the Nike Keystone and Under Armour’s Leadoff IV. A Dunham’s sales consultant can help you choose the cleats that are best for you or your aspiring athlete.
 
-Home Run Hitter
 
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Walk a Mile in “Your” Shoes

Whether geared toward a specific sport or a certain type of exercise, sneakers have always been designed to enhance the wearer’s workout. However, new innovations in footwear have led to the creation of another exercise-improving shoe: a sneaker aimed at toning wearers’ muscles in the legs and buttocks while they work out.

Less Stable, More Muscle

These shape-changing shoes are formulated to enhance definition in the wearer’s legs and buttocks by creating an unstable surface to work out on. When the body is unstable, it is harder to stay balanced, which forces the muscles to work harder. This results in a tougher and more effective workout. It can even create a workout out of a basic walk.

Easy Toning

Reebok’s new line for women, EasyTone, is one example of this innovative design. To create the necessary level of instability, EasyTone uses moving air technology called balance pods, which are situated underneath the heel and forefoot of the shoe and result in a sensation similar to walking on sand.

Reebok  says EasyTone was designed for busy women. “For women, it’s all about getting more from their workout. Even if they can’t get to the gym, they’re still getting their exercise during their everyday errands by just walking around in EasyTone shoes.”

So popular is the women’s line, Reebok has developed a men’s EasyTone collection that is set to hit stores this spring. Also in stores is the RunTone, a shape-enhancing shoe designed for runners.

Tighter Muscles and Better Posture

Sketchers’ Shape-Ups, another muscle-toning shoe, not only help increase muscle definition, but can improve blood circulation, tighten abdominal muscles and reduce knee joint pressure.

Shape-Ups are designed with a wedge insert placed underneath the heel of the shoe. They also provide a rolling bottom that works to adjust wearers’ walks.

Exercise With Caution

While they are easily wearable throughout the day, most shape-enhancing shoes are not recommended for all forms of activity. Being off-balance can cause injuries (i.e., twisted or sprained ankles) when participating in action sports such as basketball or soccer. Thus, most shape-enhancing shoes are best utilized for lateral movement.

Easy and Effective

These new muscle-toning gym shoes won’t do all the work for you, but they will make it easier to get stronger, more defined muscles faster, with nearly the same amount of effort you would put into an average workout.

-Fitness Fanatic

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