Water Sport Wear: 4 Things to Ask


As the weather gets warmer, a great place to cool off or get in some exercise is the closest body of water. Water Sports like surfing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, SUPing and sailing are great exercise–and a lot of fun! Does what you’re wearing make the cut? Go through this checklist:

1.Will it keep you cool or warm?

Temperatures on the water can change quickly. It is best to dress in light layers of synthetic materials like nylon and neoprene.  Bathing suits are great for hot weather, but if the water is cooler than 70 degrees Fahrenheit and you run the risk of falling in, you may want to consider a wetsuit or drysuit. A windbreaker or rain jacket are great to have in case the weather changes. In Spring and Fall, you may want to consider other forms of a wetsuit:Spring Suit: Short sleeves, comes just above the knee.

Long John: Sleeveless wetsuit

Short John: Sleeveless with shorts

Rash Guard: Neoprene tops

2. Will it stay on?

Very active sports require secure clothing. Look for board shorts with secure-fitting drawstrings–bonus points for surfing if the drawstring is on the side and you don’t have to lay on it while paddling out. Women should also look for cross-back or t-strap bathing suits that work like a sports bra and stay on securely. Tankinis and One-piece swim suits are more secure than traditional bikini tops. Women’s bottoms may also have rubber lining to keep them in place. Don’t do Water Sports with a pair of sunglasses you’re not okay with losing, and keep them on a lanyard for extra security.

3. Is it functional?

Water Sport wear should be fitted enough to stay secure while still allowing you a wide range of motion. Rash guards, wetsuits and dry suits will protect you from winds and friction. Waterproof, water resistant, and quick-dry materials are a plus. Women should bring hair elastics, as it can get very windy on the water!

4. Are you protected?

Some rash guards and bathing suits have UV-blocking UPF qualities to protect you from the sun’s rays. Be sure to use SPF on your skin, wear a hat and protect your eyes with sunglasses. Polarized, orange-tinted glasses are best for countering the glare off of the water. Protect your hands from paddles, sailing lines, and more with gloves–either find some specially used for sailing, or get more use out of your weightlifting/bicycling gloves.

Don’t forget your life-vest! A PFD(personal flotation device) is required for each person for both sailing and SUPing. Waterskiiers and wakeboarders should also wear life-jackets.


Your footwear counts, too! Many watersports are done barefoot but you may want to consider protective footwear in cold, rocky or unknown waters, as well as during more active sports. If you’ll be on a boat or Stand-Up Paddleboard, make sure that the soles of your shoes are slip-resistant, strong-gripping and non-marking. Shoes that have drainage are also ideal. Some of our favorites are Chaco sandals, Vibram FiveFingers, Sperry Top-Siders, and Sebago Shoes.  For more about shoes you can set sail in, see last week’s blog.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sperry Top-Sider Giveaway!


We’re giving away a pair of Sperry Top-Sider Bluefish 2-Eye boat shoes on Instagram!

This popular women’s boat shoe features genuine handsewn construction, nonmarking rubber outsole with wave-siping for great traction on wet or dry surfaces, and water-resistant leather. Great for a day by or on the water!

How To Enter:



Head on over to TheShoeMart.com and check out the different colorways for the Sperry Top-Sider Bluefish. Let us know which colorway you like best!
We will gather up all the entries and randomly select a winner!


2. Repost the official Giveaway photo (you can find it here!) on Instagram. Be sure to use @theshoemart and #TSMSperryGiveaway in the description! This will get you one entry into the contest.


3. Better your chances of winning by posting your own picture of you wearing your Sperrys and tagging @theshoemart and #TSMSperryGiveaway. This will earn you an additional entry into the contest!


1. One winner will receive a pair of Women’s Sperry Top-Sider Bluefish shoes in the size and color of their choice. When contest is complete, the winner will receive a single-use coupon for their prize, which must be ordered through our website. Availability of sizes and colorways is limited to items in stock at the time that the winner completes the order.

2. Contest Limited to US Residents only. 3. By entering your own photo into the giveaway, you agree to allow The Shoe Mart to use the photo for marketing and promotional materials.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Shoes to Set Sail in!


What makes a great sailing shoe? Ideally, you’ll want something comfortable, protective, and slip-resistant to keep you in place on deck. While some prefer to relax barefoot or in sandals, more involved sailors will want something that protects their toes from the many dangers on and off-ship.

You will want some water-resistance. Some boat shoes are designed with drainage systems. At the very least you will want a shoe that dries out quickly!

You’ll need something that stays securely on your foot. Keep in mind that Velcro closure systems become less effective when wet. You also may want to avoid shoes that leave long and dangling laces.

You will want to make sure that your shoes don’t leave scuff marks on a white boat deck. Many boat shoes come with white soles, and others are advertised to be non-marking.

We suggest the tried and true first. If aesthetics are your primary focus, check out the fashion-forward shoes. If you want something new, scroll to the bottom. Consider which of these factors are most important to you (it may be all of them!) and then check out our favorite sailing shoes below:

The Classics:


Sperry Top-Sider Sea Racer

Offers the ultimate in grip with Sperry Top-Deck 360™ grip,   Adaptive Wave Siping™ and Hydro-Grip™ rubber outsole.


Sperry Top-Sider A/O

The Authentic Original boat shoe from Sperry Top-Sider is a reliable classic that comes in many modern designs.


Sebago Docksides

This Handsewn Boat Shoe comes with non-corrosive brass eyelets and functional rawhide laces. Available in a variety of upper materials including Full Grain, Nubuck, and Waxy Pull-Up leather. Genuine moccasin construction creates a snug fit that feels custom to your foot.


Sebago Spinnaker

Classic style with the comfort of Genuine moccasin construction and Non-Marking, Slip-Resistant boat sole.

Fashion Forward:


Sperry Top-Sider Angelfish

Popular for its sleek shape and variety of prints and patterns, Angelfish offers a glitzy twist on a classic.


Minnetonka Boat Moc

Comfort and style of a moccasin in the form of a boat shoe. Comes in a range of colors from Aqua and Fuchsia to Off White and Chocolate.


Timberland Boat Shoes

Environmentally-friendly and aesthetically pleasing with Timberland durability.


Mephisto Boating

Mephisto is famous world-wide for shoes that minimize shock for all day comfort. Superior craftsmanship means that you won’t have to worry about tired feet.


Sebago Men’s Schooner

Classic, polished look and plenty of comfort. Advanced non-marking rubber slip-resistant soles.

You May Not Have Thought Of:



The Chaco Unaweep sole offers great traction and comes with a variety of strap designs so you’re bound to find something comfortable. These are great for those that like to sail barefoot but need a little extra grip or something to protect the bottoms of their feet. Also suitable for hiking.


Vibram FiveFingers Flow

The flow is great for moving from the boat straight into the water or for water sports.  The TC-1 rubber sole is razor-siped for great slip resistance on deck.


Keen Newport

The Newport offers all the comfort of a sandal with the protection of a sneaker. Non-marking, gripping soles and cord-closure system make this an easy winner.


New Balance Minimus Water Shoes

Also great for water sports, this shoe offers bungee closure system, non-marking outsoles, lightweight protection, and a drainage system.

What do you sail in?

Posted in Boat Shoes, Sperry Shoes | Leave a comment

Lucchese Guide

Lucchese Boots are famous for their amazing, original fit. However, original doesn’t mean boring! Lucchese Cowboy Boots are available with many different toe and heel styles–so many that it can get confusing! We’ll break it down for you. * Pictures are above their descriptions!

Toe Styles:


0 Toe – The extra-narrow version of the Classic Cowboy Toe.


1 Toe – Also called the S Toe, or French Cut Toe.



2 Toe – Also referred to as the J Toe, the classic cowboy boot design. This is the most popular boot, ready to be slipped right into stirrups.




5 Toe – Snip Toe.



5S / S5 Toe – Upturned Snip Toe.



6 Toe – Also referred to as the Roper Toe or R Toe. A very popular style. Semi-round Cowboy toe.



7 Toe – Square Toe with a slight undercut.



C Toe – Semi-round toe. A functional cowboy boot style for formal occasions.



H Toe – Also 10 Toe. Full Rounded Toe.



K Toe – Also 12 Toe. Square toe with slightly rounded edges.



W Toe – Rounded Square toe.



X1 Toe


Heel Styles:




2 Heel – 1″ Straight.


3 Heel – Pitched Walking Heel, 1 & 3/8″



4 Heel – 1 & 1/2″ Cowboy Pitched Heel.



8 Heel – Fowler Pitched Heel, 1 & 1/8 ” .


F Heel – 1 & 1/8″ Fowler Heel, Straight.



R Heel – 1″ Straight Roper Heel.


9 Heel – 1″ Roper Heel, Slightly Pitched.

Lucchese Boots are available at TheShoeMart.com. If you need help with fit, feel free to contact our customer service department!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Post WOD Recovery


You work hard, and your feet work hard too. After intense exercice, you have to allow time for your body to recover. The sport of fitness involves repetitive impact and ground contact for your feet. Taking care of your feet and allowing them to recover after a WOD feels great–and can help to avoid injury. Here’s 3 ways to treat your feet:

1. Keep Them Clean and Dry – Your feet will certainly work up a sweat during your WOD, but warm, wet spaces are breeding grounds for harmful bacteria and fungus. Wash up as soon after your workout as possible, and slip your feet into a fresh, dry pair of socks. If your feet are very prone to sweating or overheating, you may find a foot deodorizer / antiperspirant helpful. Synthetic socks wick moisture away better than cotton, so select the right pair for both before and after exercising.

2. Stretch Them – Keep your feet strong and flexible by stretching them post-WOD. We have pinned some exercises for stronger feet on our Pinterest board, For The Minimalist. You should also be sure to put your feet up every once in a while to improve circulation.

Pamper Them – A pedicurist or proper at-home pedicure can keep the feet healthy. Trim your toenails straight across to avoid ingrown nails or painful impact. Soaking feet in epsom salt or ice water may help to reduce swelling and soothe aching muscles.

Most importantly, if you feel like you have a foot injury coming on, be sure to take care of it as soon as possible. Untreated injuries can lead to debilitation of the foot, hindering or halting your fitness progress. You can read more about common athletic injuries on last week’s blog.

Here are some of our favorite fitness shoes for working out and keeping in shape!

Posted in Athletic Shoes, CrossFit, CrossFit Open, Fitness, Inov8 Shoes, Lifestyle Sneakers, New Balance, New Balance Classics, Reebok, Reebok CrossFIt, Running Shoes, Saucony Shoes, Sneakers, Vibram Five Fingers, Workout | Leave a comment

Common Fitness-Related Foot Injuries

FootInjuries (3)

Foot and ankle injuries are fairly common among athletes, and the sport of fitness is no exception. While these injuries may be common among sports in which the feet are points of contact, it is possible to minimize your risk by being knowledgeable and practicing proper form.  You should always consult a health professional about sports-related injuries and follow doctor’s orders, as insufficient treatment can lead to re-injury or debilitation.

The following includes only some of the many foot and ankle injuries familiar to athletes:

Ankle Sprains – these can occur in any sport that involves running or rapid movement in multiple directions. If you suspect a sprained ankle, you should see a doctor to ensure that it is only a sprain and not a break or fracture.

Neuroma – A nerve condition that results in numbness and pain in the foot.  Movements that involve repetitive impact or irritation around the ball of the foot may lead to neuroma. 

Achilles Injury – This includes tendinitis, a condition in which the tendon that connects the heel bone to the muscles in the upper calf becomes inflamed. Repetitive activity can irritate the Achilles tendon to the point of inflammation and even tearing.

Stress Fractures – These tiny breaks in athletes bones are sometimes associated with beginning a new sport or exercise. They can also occur when the intensity of an exercise routine is increased or with repetitive running or jumping.

Toe Injuries – Hammertoe, Ingrown toenails, and “Turf Toe” can be brought on by explosive movements.


Stay tuned to #TSMTips on Twitter over the next week to learn some proactive ways to avoid foot and ankle injuries when working out.  Keep an eye out for our next blog as well to learn more about post-workout foot care!

Posted in Fitness, Uncategorized, Wellbeing | Leave a comment

4 Common Mistakes When Choosing Workout Shoes

4 Mistakes

Exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle. However, wearing the wrong shoes can turn something positive into something negative. Shoes that are the wrong size or do not offer enough support can lead to pain and injury.

1. Choosing whatever is in the back of your closet.

When working out, it is important to choose shoes that are designed particularly for the activity at hand in order to avoid injury. Traditional running shoes support forward motion, but many fitness activities also require an amount of lateral stability that you won’t find in most running shoes.  Cross-trainers offer sufficient lateral stability and support for most fitness activities. Those who practice a specific sport 2 times or more per week should look for a sport-specific shoe. 

2. Wearing shoes past their prime.

Many people make the mistake of waiting until their athletic shoes look worn to replace them.  In reality, your shoes may wear out and lose support before they look visually beat up, causing annoying post-workout aches and pains.  Athletic shoes should be replaced once a year under normal use. Heavy users may find that they need to replace their shoes every 6 months. Running shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles.

3. Wearing casual shoes as workout shoes, and vice versa.

Casual shoes are not designed with the support needed in an athletic shoe and wearing them to work out may lead to injury. While some athletic shoes have become very popular as street style, the shoes you work out in should not be worn outside the gym. Wearing athletic shoes to do errands will cause them to break down faster, forcing you to replace them earlier in order to ensure you still have the proper support for exercising.

4. Choosing the wrong size or width shoe.

A shoe that doesn’t fit properly is worse than an old shoe without support. Poorly fitting shoes may lead to both aches and injuries.   Many people make the mistake of assuming that because they are a size 9 in one shoe, they are the same size in every shoe. Shoe sizes will vary from brand to brand, and even within one brand.  A Nike size 9 may not fit like a New Balance size 9. Companies that use different lasts for different models will also have sizing variation within one brand. Shoes should be the right width as well as the right length. A shoe that is too narrow or too wide can help cause foot problems ranging from numbness and pain to fungal infections. An expert should be able to tell you which shoe in which size will best fit your foot and your needs.

What should you look for?

Your best bet is always to consult with an expert. Our Norwalk, CT Store has a full-service staff to help you figure out the best shoes for your lifestyle or fitness plan. A specialist will work with you from the moment you walk in, determining both the right shoe and the right fit for you.

Our team has expert knowledge about the fit and function of our shoes.  If you are shopping online, check out our blog on how to find the right size and give our customer service team a call at (800) 850 – 7463 with any questions. They are around Monday thru Saturday from 9:30 AM to 6 PM EST, and you can always shoot them an e-mail at [email protected]!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Reebok CrossFit Games 2015 – The Open

 CrossFit (1)

Tonight, February 26th at 5pm PT, the first Open Workout will be announced in Canton, MA and pit four-time champion Rich Froning Jr. against 2014 silver medalist, Mat Fraser.

Beginning in 2007 as a new and exhaustive way to find the Fittest on Earth™ , the Reebok CrossFit Games test athletes’ ability to face the unknown and unknowable.  The Open is the first of three stages in the competition. Athletes from around the world compete by submitting their scores for each other the 5 workouts. They have from the Thursday announcement until the following Monday at 5pm PT to complete the workout and submit their scores.

Here is the standards video for 14.1, last year’s first Open Workout:

We at The Shoe Mart want to wish participating athletes the best of luck.  We’ve been involved with the Sport of Fitness and its community since 2008 and carry many products from Reebok CrossFit, the official Sponsor of The Games.  Give it everything you have, we’ll definitely be watching!

Remember, 5pm PT tonight!

3, 2, 1, Go!

Posted in Reebok, Sneakers, Weightlifing, Wellbeing, Women's Boots, Workout | Leave a comment

Picking The Right Shoe Size

Picking (2) When shopping online — or even in store — many people worry about whether or not they are buying the right size shoe for their foot.  While sizing may seem simple, many factors go into the fit of a shoe. Your shoe size can vary between manufacturers, and even between different styles of the same brand. At The Shoe Mart, we carry shoes ranging from sizes 5 to 20 and widths AAA-EEEEEE. What does this mean? Widths from 2A – 6E can be broken down like this :

Very Narrow Narrow Medium Wide Extra Wide
AAA, AA, A B, C D E, EE 3E, 4E, 5E, 6E

To determine size and width, you can be measured by a professional like the ones in our Norwalk Store or you can have a friend help you measure your foot at home using this printable. Recommended sizes are often based on a foot length measurement from a Brannock Device.

Once you have been measured and have a reference size, you must keep in mind that not every shoe will perfectly fit your Brannock measurement size. You may be an 8.5 in some shoes and a 9 in others. The way a shoe fits varies depending on the last (essentially a mold of a foot) that a manufacturer uses to form the shoe. Brands like Alden or Inov-8 have multiple lasts that will fit differently on the foot. You can learn more about the different kinds of Alden lasts on our YouTube Channel.

The best way to determine the right size of shoe for you is to try shoes on. Because your feet swell more as the day goes on, it is best to try shoes on at the end of the day. Wear socks that you would normally wear with the shoes. Always try shoes on inside on a carpeted area in order to allow for returns.  

How should they fit?

First of all, we think it’s important to mention that a shoe that doesn’t fit properly when you first try it on still won’t fit properly after it has been “broken in”.  Poorly fitting shoes can lead to pain or injury, so you should take care in selecting the right size.

There should be just enough room in the heel for you to slip your index finger in and out between your heel and the shoe. When walking uphill, your heel should not rise up and down in the shoe. If walking downhill, your toes should not hit the front of the toe-box. There should be plenty of wiggle room for your toes, and no pressure spots when walking. It is normal for one foot to be larger than the other (even by a full size!). You should always buy shoes that fit the larger foot. When purchasing a pair of shoes, you should also take pronation and the arches of your foot into consideration. Read last week’s blog for more info!

We would love to assist you in choosing the right size. You can reach customer service at (800) 85-7463 or by emailing [email protected]. You are also welcome to visit our Norwalk Store to be fitted or to ask questions!

Posted in Alden Lasts, Alden Shoes, Athletic Shoes, Boots, Business Shoes, Casual Shoes, Comfortable Shoes, Dress Shoes, Excess-Pronation, Frye, Inov8 Shoes, Men's Shoes, Women's Shoes | Leave a comment

Arch Support


What is Arch Support?

When people talk about supporting the arch of your foot, they are talking about the medial longitudinal arch that spans between the ball of your foot and your heel bone. The support in these two areas must also support weight in the open space between them.

If your arches are not properly supported, you may experience pain down the length of the foot and too much stress or weight on your feet may lead to injury.

Do You Need It?


Some people have low arches but do not have any problems.  Others have problems that are often related to overpronation.  If you have mild symptoms, purchasing arch supports may be an easier and cheaper solution, but those with moderate to severe symptoms should consult a professional.

In most mild cases, proper footwear can help.

What To Look For:

There are many forms of arch support, including insoles and custom orthodics.

Many athletic shoes are designed to reduce overpronation, the excessive inward rolling of the foot that is often caused by flat feet. Look for stability technologies for mild to moderate pronation, and motion-control technologies for severe over-pronation.

Some suggest that the best way to support your arch is to build up foot muscles slowly and wear shoes that allow your feet to sit naturally.  Zero-drop shoes with wide toe-boxes are often recommended for this purpose.

There are a lot of factors that go into relieving foot pain. You should discuss these options with a podiatrist or other medical professional to see which is the best option for you.

Another common cause of foot pain is wearing the wrong shoe size. Stay tuned next week for more on choosing the right shoe size!

Posted in Ahnu, Alan Payne, Alden Shoes, Athletic Shoes, Austen Heller, Business Shoes, Casual Shoes, Comfortable Shoes, CrossFit, Dress Shoes, Ecco Golf Shoes, Ecco Shoes, Excess-Pronation, Fitness, Healthy Living, Inov8 Shoes, Lifestyle Sneakers, Men's Shoes, New Balance, New Balance Classics, Orthaheel, Orthotics, Pendlay, Pronation, Reebok, Running Shoes, Sneakers, Uncategorized, Walking Shoes, Weightlifing, Wellbeing, Women's Boots, Women's Shoes, Work Boots, Work Shoes, Workout | Leave a comment