Friday, February 18, 2011

Earth Shoes - Back From the Past

Earth Shoes and Cobble at Lincoln MemorialImage by akseabird via FlickrBy Charlotte J Wilson

Earth shoes are a range of footwear that includes sandals, shoes, clogs and running shoes. These shoes are designed to give your legs and indeed your whole body a workout without going to the gym.

The original Earth shoes were designed in 1957 by Anne Kalso, a Danish yoga instructor who travelled to a monastery in Santos Brazil to further her studies. Whilst she was there she observed the superb posture of the Brazilian Indians with their heel prints in the sand which were lower than their toe prints. With the help of a Portuguese shoemaker, Kalso trialled her designs of the no-heel shoes, sometimes hiking more than 500 miles.

In 1968 Kalso opened a retail store in Copenhagen and began selling the "Kelso Minus Heel" shoe.

Americans Raymond and Eleanor Jacobs discovered the comfort of these shoes whilst holidaying in Europe in 1969 and negotiated with Kalso to market the shoe in the USA.

Earth Shoes were launched in the United States in April 1970 and the brand expanded through word of mouth. Impressed customers began to open more stores of their own throughout the country. So popular were the shoes that the company could not keep up with demand. By 1975 there were over 135 stores throughout the United States. In 1976-77 a legal battle ensued after store owners filed a lawsuit against the company regarding store locations and the lack of sufficient stock to keep up with demand. A legal battle ensued and the brand disappeared but did not die.

During the 1990's European footwear designer and manufacturer Michel Meynard was looking for an opportunity to launch his own brand and happened on a billboard with a model wearing Earth styled shoes. Over a four year period Meynard Designs Inc. secured all related rights to Earth brand from a variety of people formerly associated with Kalso Systemette Inc. and redeveloped and redefined Earth Brand for a more upscale market.

In 2001, after a quarter of a century Earth Brand footwear was reintroduced to the marketplace. In 2002 Earth Footwear was named "Brand of the Year" at the WSA show in Las Vegas. Later the same year Earth launched its first ever Earth Classic Collection in response to consumer demand.

The Earth shoes of the 1970s were somewhat limited and dowdy versions that were adored by the health- conscious but not so much by the style conscious.

Happily the modern version of Earth Shoes come in a much more stylish and colourful range so that customers can enjoy the comfort but still look great.

Each and every pair of Earth shoes features a 3.7 degree incline which helps you to strengthen your body with every step. This natural angle re-distributes body weight - strengthening, toning and engaging muscles throughout the body. The footwear features reinforced support through the arch to complement the 3.7 degree incline. This arch support maximises the effectiveness of the heel design to promote a very natural walking action. A form-fitting footbed with Biofoam cushioning inside all Earth footwear provides exceptional comfort. This material moulds to the shape of the foot, displacing and absorbing shock with each step.

The style, comfort and health benefits that come with wearing Earth Shoes will make you glad that they're back from the past.

Charlotte Wilson has been sharing her experiences with various fashion brands and retail stores such as online shoes retailer Sarenza UK, through article writing for over 10 years. To view a range of fashionable footwear including the latest Earth Shoes collection, visit the Sarenza website.

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1 comment:

  1. I actually owned a pair of Earth shoes in the 70's (I was from Australia - now living in the US). They took a little getting used to (like the Masseur sandals) but were very comfy. I don't think I'll be getting another pair - not at those prices unfortunately.