Blake Snow

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Tagged shoes

5 alternative hiking shoes that rock

courtesy photos

courtesy photos

If you prefer heavy, protective, and stiff hiking shoes, this story isn’t for you. Go ahead and Google “Keen Liberty Ridge.” They are the mother of all high-performance hiking boots. Seasoned guides swear by ‘em.

If, on the other hand, you’re looking for something lighter, more flexible, and less clunky, you’ve come to the right place. Having tested more than a dozen candidates, these are the best I could find: 5 alternative—if not low-profile—hiking shoes that rock.

Before listing the winners, remember: you can wear whatever you like while hiking. Said footwear doesn’t have to be gray or brown or chunky or even necessarily labeled for “hiking,” so long as you find them comfortable. Enough preaching. Onto the list.  Continue reading…

No turning back: How FiveFingers replaced cushioned running shoes

vibram fivefingers classic black

In 2009, I started running in the ugliest shoes ever. The first time I did it, my calves and feet ached in places they hadn’t before. The second time I did it, I knew I’d never run in cushioned shoes again.

With the exception to select frozen days of winter, in which I run in Nike Free 3.0s to stave off frost bite, I’ve run in Five Finger Classics (pictured) or KSOs ever since. Here’s why: Continue reading…

Could shoe makers sell more using regular color names?

adidas-goletto-2

See those three stripes? They’re called “diva,” not pink, according to Adidas. And the white you see is “running white,” as opposed to idle white. I know because that’s what the box on my kitchen counter says. (They’re not for me, mind you, but the little soccer player I father.)

Adidas isn’t the first shoe manufacturer to use confusing names. I’ve seen red called “fire” on Nikes and blue called “ice” on Reeboks.

The silliness makes me wonder: Could shoe manufacturers sell more shoes by using color names people understand? Granted, people don’t shop by shoe boxes; they shop by display. But I imagine some prospective buyers have crossed an unsuspecting color and decided to pass on it. I know for a fact that ambiguity always hurts your chances.

That said, is there any proof that unconventional (or idiotic) color naming boosts sales? I doubt it.

Either way, at least Adidas got the hueless color right when describing the above shoes. They call it “black.”

Facebook: I never looked like much of a football player

1993 blake football

Photographer had me pose like that because I was a running back. Or at least I tried to be.

Fun fact: Those Puma “soccer” cleats are actually hand-me-downs from my older brother—an understandable side effect of growing up with five siblings.

Photo taken in 1993, after numerous bouts of Bull in the Ring. Image courtesy Cathy Snow (Hi, Mom!)

Reebok Pump documentary is form over function awesome

Although gimmicky, Reebok Pump became such a phenomenon in the early ’90s, that even Nike released pressurized knock-offs for a while. That being the case, the above documentary of Pump technology is well worth 22 minutes of your time. Featuring the inventor of the shoe, Dee Brown, Michael Chang, and urban collectors.

See also: Classic commercials: Reebok Pump vs Nike Air

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I believe I can fly: Top 5 Nike Air Jordans

jumpman_logo__w_white_background

I’ve always admired Michael Jordan’s athleticism, style, and grace in the air. He was the greatest basketball player ever. And even though I only owned a single pair of his pricey Air Jordans (version IV, thanks Mom!), I’ve always like the form factor of his shoes, especially the earlier models. So stick your tongue out, poke your air pocket, and check out the top 5 Air Jordans all time: Continue reading…

Overheard at the Snow’s house: “You look like a five year-old”

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Is it possible to have an identity complex a year before turning 30? After changing my hair two weeks ago, I decided to wear high socks with shorts today (I need new pants, plus the weather is nice, okay?). Excited about my throw back to ’90s sock fashion, I asked Lindsey what she thought. “You look like a five year-old,” she proclaimed. Maybe so, but I’m tired of anklet socks. Besides, it’s kind of fun to be different, and who do I need to impress? (I’m married.)

Why Zappos Pays New Employees to Quit—And You Should Too

harvardbusiness.com — “Zappos sells shoes —lots of them—over the Internet. After a week or so of employment with the company, it’s time for what Zappos calls “The Offer.” “If you quit today, we will pay you for the amount of time you’ve worked, plus we will offer you a $1,000 bonus.” Zappos actually bribes its new employees to quit!”

It pays to be in it for the long haul…