by Nick Anis
Being an active travel and technology writer I tend to do quite a bit of walking in cities, national parks and exotic places, or up and down the isles at crowded trade shows. I'm always on the lookout for comfortable shoes, but to be honest with you the closest I have come is to discover Florsheim's Penny Loafers. These shoes retail for
$50 to $100, wear well, and are reasonably comfortable. There is nothing like an all leather shoe for comfort, durability, and tasteful good styling. The only problem is penny loafers aren't really suited for trekking in the mountains, desert, and beach, which are some of the places I tend to romp with a certain amount of regularity.
This quest for shoes, began the other day I was doing a restaurant review at a classic upscale restaurant in Beverly Hills California. Upon looking down at my penny loafers I noticed they were so dusty I was creating a crowd of dust as I walked. And to make matters worse I had worn portions of the heals and soles all the way down my socks.
On my way back to suburbia in my Yuppiemobile (minivan) listening to some soft rock
I stopped at the Mall in search of some new penny loafers. While there, I noticed an elaborate in-store display for some exciting new Comfortech Biomagnetic shoes from my favorite shoemaker, Florsheim. They satisfied two of my big requirements: they're leather, and they are suitable for dress or casual. But I was quite skeptical about their claim of being "comfortable" because I have a several pairs of "comfortable" shoes that are in the closest because they too heavy, too clunky, and worse of all, they make my feet HURT.
When my turn came I asked the sales clerk for two pair of traditional penny loafers. But as it turns out, the store was sold out of my regular size. In critical needs of
shoes, I tried out a larger size and width, which it turns out fit me just as well. So I got a pair and walked out of the store. But, while walking through the mall, past the hokey organ player, and all the trendy but corny shops, on my way to the parking lot, I was thinking, humm, maybe I should have at least tried them on.
You see, in a few weeks I am off to travel writing assignments in New York City for 3 or 4 days and then to Morocco trip that will take me through the country and into the Sahara desert on a rugged, exotic, and exciting journey and I need some comfortable dress and casual footwear.
Okay, okay, I'll at least try them on, I thought to myself. I went back inside and when he came over I said, "Excuse me, how much are the Comfortech Shoes?" Hearing the clerk's response I said, "$140 a pair, WOW! You have to be kidding!" But, I tried them on, and after looking them over, and actually wearing them, I decided that $140 is really not that much. I
bought two paris, and I think after learning about these shoes, and trying them yourself, on you may too.
In their Spring 2000 line Florsheim released a new leather dress and casual shoe, Comfortech that uses their new-patented Magneforce system. Magneforce shoes have comfortable cushion inserts that are removable and washable. They have a flexible magnetic insole that Florsheim says "generates a deep-penetrating magnetic field which increase circulation; reduces foot, leg, and back fatigue; provides natural pain relief, and improved energy level." They also have an abrasion and slip-resistant dual-density polyurethane and rubber outsole. What I can tell you from wearing them is that they relatively light, give you great support, and yet are very comfortable. In fact, for a moment I thought I had forgotten to lace them.
Florsheim offers two Magneforce Comfortech shoe designs. The Cambridge has a four eyelet hand-laced front blucher and is offered in Black Laguna, Brown Laguna, Light Taupe Burley, and Red Brown Burley. The Camden has a five eyelet Ghillie Front Bal and comes in Black Laguna, Brown Burley, and Light Taupe Birley. All seven styles are offered in sizes from 6 to 15 in both men's and ladies and have full-grain leather or nubuck uppers, providing a high quality, and comfortable fit. My advice is try on a pair today, and ... if the shoe fits, wear it!
# # #
Nick Anis is a food, wine, and travel
and technology writer with over 24 books in print published by
McGraw-Hill, Random House, Bantam, Ziff-Davis, Tab, and others. Nick's
articles have appeared in The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, West Coast
Media, The Family Publications Group, The Weekly News, and Travel-Watch.
His beats include food, travel, snow and waters sports, entertainment,
family recreation, consumer electronics, home improvement, and automotive.
He is responsible for the Restaurant Row Ethnic Dining Guide, co-published
by the Long Beach Press Telegram. Nick is an
accomplished downhill skier, PADI certified SCUBA diver, and when he's not
sitting on his butt goofing off, enjoys a variety of active recreation
including tennis, riding motorcycles, ATVs, wave runners, snow machines,
horses, skeet and trap shooting he's also taken a stab at riding camels,
donkeys, elephants, ostriches, lamas, dolphins, Reindeer, bulls,
mechanical bulls, and buffalo. Nick is a member (A
Secretary/Treasurer) of the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers
Association (IFWTWA), a member of the North American Snow Sports
Journalist Association (NASJA), Computer Press Association, The Writer's
Guild, and listed in Books in Print, Media Map, and Press Access.
You can reach Nick at Editor@Travel-Watch.com.