Tuesday, 29 April 2014

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Nike

Today I thought we'd take a quick look at arguably one of the most successful footwear brands ever established. Based on a very simple swoosh graphic, and plenty of creative and practical input, Nike has been at the front line of the shoe market since day one.

With such a long history full of achievement, I wanted to produce an easy to ready list of interesting facts about this brand and its curious success:

The Nike Waffle Sole was originally going to be called 'the nipple sole' by its inventor 'Bill Bowerman'

The commercial for Air Max was the first time a record from The Beatles had been used in any form of advertising.

 Nike shoes were first sold out of the boot of Phil Knight's car.

Phil Knight used his wife's waffle iron to create the first Nike shoes with better traction.

Nike Jordans are purposely always released on Saturdays so that kids don't skip school to get em.

Michael Jordan actually wanted to sign with Adidas in 1984, not Nike. He was an 'Adidas Nut', and told his agent that if the deal was even close he'd sign with them. Apparently it wasn't.

The Nike Air Max 95, designed by Sergio Lozano was based on the human body. The midsole represents the spine, the graduated panels represent the muscles, the lace lops are the ribs, and the mesh represents the skin.

New York's Department of Correction forbids prisoners in NYC jails to wear Nike Air or similar sneakers because razors and drugs can be stored in the hollowed-out sole of the air bubble.

The big shoe companies such as Nike and Adidas own viewing boxes at most large sporting events like the US. Open and NBA Finals. However, should you step into their box wearing the shoes of a competitor, you may be promptly asked to go barefoot.

May 27th 1990, a huge shipment of Nikes got lost at sea. In one of the strangest shipping accidents ever, 80,000 pairs of Nikes went missing in the Pacific Ocean en route to South Korea to the USA. Oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer has been recovering Nike shoes from the overboard shipment ever since.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Dog Walking at Easter

Easters been and gone and brought with it a real range of weather, we went from glorious sunshine to cold, windy and seriously wet, and then back to sun again in the space of 48 hours, we didn't know if we were coming or going clothing and footwear wise.

Bracken & Saffy Before the Mud Bath

This Easter I took the opportunity of a few days off to take my two dogs Saffy and Bracken (Italian Spinone) for some good walks over Salisbury Plains.  They had a whale of a time and got thoroughly covered in mud which my sofas were not to impressed with when we got home but then leather sofas are easy to clean so no biggy.

Crocs Beach Lines - Perfect for Summer
My problem was what to wear!?! Even on the most stunning of days the Plains tend to be quite windy so clothing wasn't a big issue, the usual jeans and my fabulous North Face coat (windproof, waterproof ....perfect) the problem was footwear.  For work last week with such lovely weather I made the most of it and wore my Crocs Beachline shoes I bought last year.  They have been fab gives you all the benefits of a shoe and slightly warmer than a sandal but gives that summery feel, and being based on a boat shoe  perfect with a pair of 3/4 length jeans.  Whilst they're a great shoe for wearing round town or at dog shows they're not so great for serious walking over Salisbury Plains, holes in the sides give great ventilation but also mean you get all sorts of prickles, twigs and stones in your shoes (I found this out last year. lol)

Now I know the easiest thing to wear would have been a pair of good walking boots, Brasher or Merrell or something similar but.....I just don't get on with walking boots, I don't know why but my feet and walking boots seriously fall out everytime I try, I possibly do need to persevere and properly break some in then it may be a different story.  Saturday although lovely did look like it may rain so out came the Kanyons...these are seriously my favourite boots I've ever owned, I've worn them pretty much all winter and love them so much that I have 2 pairs, the idea was one for best, and one for getting mucky etc walking the dogs, kinda hasn't worked like that and I put on the nearest pair in the morning regardless of whether they were my best or tatty ones, so now they are both worn and loved, and look it.
Kanyon Beech - My FAVES!!

The Kanyons did me well on Saturday, made from leather and suede they have a waterproof lining so no soggy feet when trudging through mud, puddles and muddy puddles and the tread gave me good grip.  Always useful in slippy mud.  They're also insulated so my legs and feet were protected from the cold wind.  The downside....they were COVERED in mud, from the knees down I was nearly as bad as the dogs by the time we got back to the car (which is now also covered in mud) so a quick scrape off on the nearest stone just to try and limit the mud in the car as I wasn't sensible enough to take a second pair of shoes to drive home in and off home we went.  Now came the really messy bit, me, 2 dogs, a yard and a hose, I'm sure you can imagine how it goes - hose them down, they shake, mud and water flys everywhere, repeat until dogs slightly resemble the colour they should be instead of brown, then wash down yard.  That is once you catch hold of them to get the hose on them of course.  Next up boots...even after a wash down from the dogs they were still pretty caked, thankfully mostly just the bottoms so I turned the hose on my boots, they are most definitely waterproof!  That got rid of the worst of it so I left them to dry out and gave the dogs a good rub down with a towel before they went in to collapse on the sofas then got myself a much needed cup of tea.  A couple of hours later it was back to the boots, now dry I brushed off the rest of mud then gave them as good coating of dubbin...I do try and keep them looking kind of new...ish :)

Sunday was definitely a write off for going up to the Plains, the weather was just to foul so we had a gentle walk round town, I think both my legs and Saffy and Bracken were glad of a gentle stroll after the shenanigans of the day before, and footwear...dead easy my Kanyons and with no mud no need to clean them (or the dogs) when we got home.

Hunter Original Tall Gloss - Purple
So now we're at Monday, weather was fab again so off to Plains we went.  However I learnt my lesson from Saturday, had a spare pair of shoes for driving home (good old DC trainers) and decided it was far to much effort to clean my boots and the dogs when we got home so opted for my lush purple Hunter Original Talls.  And off we went, wellies have their place but I think for me, for where I was walking and the tracks I was walking along they were probably not the best choice.  They were waterproof as you would expect but I found the wind chill bit through and my feet were much colder than on Saturday, also though they have good tread I did struggle a bit more to keep my grip through the slippier parts.  We all got covered in mud again but I had two very happy, tired dogs when we got back to the car, slipped my boots off and into my trainers (instantly warmer) and made our way home.  With the hosing down battle to come I swapped back over to my Hunters when we got home and after doing the dog hosing battle this was where my wellies really came into their own against my boots, hosed them down, lovely and clean job done, kettle on :)

Then we're back to work, can't believe how quickly the holidays go.  Weathers turned off again and it's drizzling and cool so out came my Kanyons.  So glad I cleaned them after Saturday :)


Friday, 18 April 2014

Mens Summer Shoes

The winter months are finally behind us, the sun is shining.  I love it, I went to a wedding down in St.Ives last weekend. It wasn’t perfect on the Saturday but on the Sunday we went for a walk along the coast.  I watched the football and I had fish and chips on the beach.  Shear bliss!

So what does this have to do with shoes, well it got me thinking about my summer shoes collection.  I have a couple of pairs but with this being my first summer working with a footwear company I feel obliged to add to this.  I think it’s a good excuse to go shopping anyway.  So here we go with my top 5 pairs of shoes to get you through the summer.  I’m sure I could survive on less but hey, who wants to struggle when you can have it all!  Maybe my wishlist looks a little dated or maybe you think it’s a little lame but I’m open to feedback.  I haven’t even checked them with the girlfriend yet so I’ll probably have a whole new list next week!

So, how did I come to this list?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  First of all I thought about what I have planned.  You see I love the beach, I love watersports, the odd walk in the hills and then it’s always nice to have something smart to wear on the town or out in the evening.  Generally I don’t go for the plain old white shoes, I like a little colour in my life and given the weather I’m starting to feel a whole lot brighter all round.  In addition I would like a bit of a tan to show off so I don’t really want boots as I’d rather be in shorts and I’m not sure shorts would work with boots.  Secondly, I’d rather have something light as opposed to dark to try and accentuate any little tan I might get.  As I write this I’m currently thinking about how vain this all sounds, and it is horribly vain.. it is a bit pathetic but then you may well have some kind of distorted logic to convince yourself one pair of shoes is better than another when there are so many to choose from.

So here we go with this in mind I’ve decided I will be looking to get a pair of sandals for the beach and ideally something a little smart so I can wear them to work as well.  Now for me, I can’t help but look no further than the classic Birkenstock.  They’re not for everyone but they are so comfortable!  They’re timeless, well made and Birkenstock have been operating since the 1700’s so they’re obviously doing something right.  Secondly I like to get out and about I like to go up the hills and I love exploring around the rocks at the beach so for shoe number 2 I’ve gone for the North Face Hedgehog IV GTX.  These are breathable, waterproof and offer excellent grip and protection perfect for a scrambling around the coast on a warm summers day.

For shoe number 3, I’m thinking I want something for a night on the town as I enjoy an evening meal and a nice glass of Rioja.  Relaxing on the continental coasts of Spain, sitting back listening to lapping waves and a sunset which caresses the horizon of the sea, I need something to go with a pair of chinos so for this im going to choose some leather Camper Oxford Mil shoes.  Then finally for the general day to day and leisure shoes what better than some summer blue vans clean, crisp simple and perfect without socks.  I’ve gone for the snorkel blue as much as anything because I love the name but the colour is perfect and then some of the Puma TX-3 just to finish it off.  Why, well I don’t really need them but I love them.  They’re bold, they’re bright they are perfect for the summer and they have that little hint of a classic retro design.  Let me know what you guys think and if the girls want more style tips to help out your boyfriends we’re always on hand. Otherwise, even if you think a little visit from Trinny and Susannah wouldn’t go a miss!  I still want to hear from you.

Still it a bank holiday weekend, chuck a shrimp on the barbie, have a drink, but most of all enjoy the weather.. It’s summer after all!

Written by Glen

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Where did shoes come from?

Today I thought we'd go back to the roots of footwear. Investigating exactly how far back in time shoes existed. Many historical references indicate footwear was present during the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Etruscan, Roman, Medieval, Renaissance eras.. many have solid evidence and artifacts to support these beliefs. Using common materials such as bark, leaves and grass, our ancestors would protect their feet by tieing these materials under foot with vines. In warm countries sandals would be made from woven palms and grass, whilst in cold countries heat insulating materials were used such as the skin of animals. Shoes really can be a fascinating subject when considering the status they conveyed in different periods. For example in ancient Greece and Rome footwear was seen as a sign of wealth.

To begin, we must go far back in time. We're talking 40,000 BC during the middle of the Palaeolithic age (the prehistoric era of mankind's history)  where the most primitive stone tools were used and hunting, fishing and gathering was in its prime. But hang on.. isn't this the time that Caveman were around? Yes it is. But dont illustrations of Caveman show them barefoot? Yes they do. Am I making this up? haha no. On the contrary, there is no solid proof that footwear was ever used by Caveman, except for a small significant discovery by a man named Erik Trinkaus.

Erik Trinkaus is an expert on human evolution, a modern Charles Darwin if you will. Born in 1948 he dedicated his life to studying biology, human diversity, and more specifically the evolution of the species HomoSapien (modern human being). With his PhD in anthropology, Erik studied at the Washington University in St.Louis and discovered something quite remarkable. Looking back to the Palaeolithic age being, it became apparent the size of the toe bones had began to shrink. Using extensive data about how shoes change the way people walk, Trinkaus concluded the smaller toe bones indicated mankind had started wearing shoes. His discovery was founded on a simple fact.

Bone size is not universal and is effected by numerous factors of a persons lifestyle.

Bones react to the stresses we put on them. When exercising your body, not only will your muscles increase in size, but so will your bones. For the most of history, humans have large toe bones. This is likely due to more walking, climbing and practical movement then we do today. Despite the oldest surviving shoe being 10,000 years old, this discovery indicates 40,000 years ago, the skeletons that were discovered still had strong, thick bones.. but there toes were smaller.

Having pieced together this fascinating information, Erik concluded the only thing that would take away stresses on the toes, and not the legs is shoes. So does this mean Cavemen are the founders of footwear? I truly don't know for sure, and I doubt anyone ever will. But its a curious thought that does make sense. What do you think?

Written by Keiran

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Buffalo Boots. Exclusive to mastershoe-myshu

Buffalo boots, remember them? A massive platform with a massive personality! They were undoubtedly one of the most memorable pieces of footwear of the 90’s. The original Buffalo wedges were first made famous when they shot to fame almost as quickly as the Spicegirls (the girlband) who wore them. Within months of them being worn in the pop video they could be seen propping up schoolgirls up and down the country.

They’re certainly a definite marmite shoe, you either love them or hate them but what you could never do is ignore them. Buffalo boots started the platform craze, they were bold, eccentric and now they’re back. Big time! Bigger, Braver and in even more exciting styles and colours than ever!

Now from a personal perspective just to put you in the picture here I’m a 30+ year old male and I’m probably not the most fashion conscious person in the world. I try to make an effort when I go out in the mornings and on the odd occasion I might even jazz up my outfit with a hat. So, I may not be the most suitable person to write this blog but on the flip side I do like people watching I believe I can appreciate style when I see it and I think it’s pretty empowering seeing someone walk the street in something out of the ordinary. For sure it looks a bit different, but if you have the confidence and it make you feel good why the heck not! This in my opinion is what the Buffalos do as well. They stand out, they make an impact. They’re a statement piece but you know what else they look fun, there crazy and there colourful. The new range comes in the traditional white and black but then they also have the hot pink trim, animal prints in both Leopard and Snake skin and last but certainly not least the Boutique Black Floral design which is also exclusive. Exclusive to us, that’s right you heard us right.. Exclusive to mastershoe myshu!

So what do I think of Buffalo boots? Personally I don’t really know… I’m certainly clutching for dear life on rhetorical fence but then I also have a little sister obsessed with them, bloggers who want them and a magazine who were desperate to put them in a fashion shoot. As a kid at school I still remember the kind of girls that made you go weak at the knees, strutting them down the playground, so maybe it’s just me being scared of something different and getting a little older and more decrypted than I would like to admit! Either way make your mind up for yourselves. Try some on, experiment, have a little fun! I certainly believe it’s good to dabble in something a little outside of your comfort zone every now and again. I even experimented with a red pair of jeans the other week to break out of the typical jeans and checked shirt combo, and it did feel good.

Whatever the case if you do give them a go you’ll feel like a urban Mary Poppin’s floating timelessly through the decades without a care in the world, and your head in the clouds (literally) but more importantly you’ll feel good and you’ll certainly get some attention with the new range of Buffalo Boots.