Looking for New Shoes? Don’t Sacrifice Fashion for the Sake of Comfort – Guest Post

With all the things going on in your life, whether running after a few hyper grandchildren, attending social events, shopping or gardening, it’s important to get around in comfortable, supportive shoes that won’t have you groaning by the end of the day.

While supportive and comfortable shoes are carried by many retailers, supportive, comfortable AND fashionable shoes are another story. If you’re looking for the benefits of an orthopedic shoe without looking like a nurse from the 1950’s, check out the following options. These manufacturers have their share of stylish shoes that also lend plenty of support.

Mephisto brand shoes are a great start. The Mobils series has a line of sandals with details like slight wedges, and tortoise and faux crocodile straps. These sandals are extremely comfortable and can be dressed up or down for the summer months! My personal favorite is Candy in Pewter.

Aravon is made by New Balance, which has a history of producing supportive athletic and walking shoes. Aravon really does a loafer right. You won’t experience pinching or tough material with these. I think the Maura in Red Brown is a really attractive heeled loafer. Just by looking at them, you would have no idea they’re ortho-friendly. They’re chic and professional enough for the office.

Clarks as a company, has been making very comfortable and supportive shoes since 1825. Most companies can’t say that. While I can’t recommend a heel to everyone, Clark’s Gallery Ink boots are great. The velvety boot features a removable Active Air footbed, buckle hardware and a sturdy stacked heel.

If you’re looking to add some comfortable boots to your closet, these should be your first pick.

Next time you go shoe shopping, follow these tips by the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society:

* Always shop at the end of the day; your feet tend to swell throughout the day.

* Look for a good fit; the shoe should be comfortable and shaped like your foot with more room in the toe area.

* The shoe should have a shock-absorbent sole. Shoes with a low wedge are best.

The material of the shoe should be breathable. Canvas and leather are good choices.

About The Author

Danielle spends the day on her feet and finds Mephisto brand shoes to be a perfect crossroad between style and support. See her musings on healthy, active and green living at eatbreatheblog.com

Things To Keep In Mind When Selecting Your Diamond

Are you in the market for a new diamond? Selecting and caring for a diamond can be a baffling task for the uninitiated, and no one wants to be embarrassed by walking into a jeweler not knowing what he or she’s looking for. Here are a few tips for selecting diamonds that will help you find that perfect stone. Note: bigger is not always better!

The first thing any potential buyer should be aware of are the 4 Cs: color, clarity, cut and carat weight.

Color is rated on a scale of D to J, D being “colorless” and J indicating a more yellow color. People will tell you that colorless diamonds are the way to go, but the fact is when two diamonds of varying color grades are held up next to each other, very few people are likely to be able to tell the difference.

Clarity is a measure of how “clear” the diamond is. A diamond that has very few imperfections, or inclusions, is valued at a higher price. Diamonds that include small chips, cloudiness or fissures within the stone reduce the appearance and value of the diamond.

Cut refers to the way a diamond reflects light off of the facets within itself to produce the brilliance that’s so captivating about diamonds. The better the cut, the more sparkle you get.

And finally, diamonds are not weighed by the pound or gram, but by the carat. The higher carat diamond you have, the more it weighs. Larger diamonds are generally rarer, so stones with a high carat weight typically fetch a higher price.

Once you’ve chosen a diamond, it’s important to keep it looking as good as the first day you brought it home. Cleaning should occur once or twice weekly and can be performed by soaking in an ammonia based solution. Stay away from chlorine and abrasives!

Make sure diamonds are kept in in a fabric-lined case and away from other jewels so they are not scratched. An annual visit to the jeweler is not a bad idea, as he or she can give your jewels a closer look and offer a more thorough cleaning.

Now that you’ve had a crash-course in diamond buying get out there and see what’s available! Current diamond trends include bracelets that magnify the jewel making it look extra-large and earthy tones that contrast with the inherent opulence of the diamond itself. But those looking for a more classic look can investigate the new styles of diamond studs on the market. It’s a very exciting time!

Danielle is a hippie at heart – a free spirit who strives to consider Mamma Earth in all decisions she makes, even when picking her jewelry and diamonds. Read her musings on eatbreatheblog.com