Out and About in Aurora



Meet the Neighbors - Petrune

At the Aurora Shoe Company, we passionately support small business and handmade and local goods. As a visitor of our blog, we thought that you might feel the same way. In our Meet the Neighbors series we're featuring businesses and people who reflect our own values and whom we feel lucky to call neighbors and friends.

It's hard to know where to even begin with Petrune.  Their store front on the Ithaca Commons is an eclectic mix of vintage and vintage inspired clothing from every decade.  They carry all things fashionable, from hundred-year-old evening wear to neon shades from the 1980s.  Walking into their shop is such a visual treat.  Garments and accessories are grouped by style and color with well curated vignettes all around the store.  The first floor is dedicated primarily to women's fashion, but there is a solid selection of mens wear on the second floor along with a growing collection of vinyl. 

I stopped by Petrune a couple of weeks ago and had so much fun working with their friendly and stylish staff.   Local folks should stop in and peruse the racks, but long distance friends can find plenty of Petrune goodness at their ever changing Etsy shop

After taking a few minutes to photograph the space, I spent some time with models, Angelina and Eleanor to capture a few looks that the Petrune staff pulled together for our shoot.  I like the way that these outfits and our shoes came together and really dig the funky vintage meets classic handmades vibe.

Not content to keep things reasonable, Eleanor and I ventured out onto a rooftop and accidentally found ourselves locked out for a few minutes.  The weather was bearable in jeans and a sweater, but poor Elanor was ridiculously under dressed. 

Can't you just feel the energy in these photos?  She is such a good sport!

I love Petrune and all that they have to offer.  As if the vintage, vintage inspired, and handmades already in the shop weren't enough, I'm thrilled to see that they're coming out with their own gorgeous new line of vintage inspired clothing under the Petrunia label.  You can follow Petrune on Facebook for updates and promotions.  With so many unique items, it's also a great way to see what's new.

Thanks, Ladies, for a fun day and some great photos.  I'll be sure to stop in the next time I'm on the Commons!


Foot Health and Orthotics

 We get a lot of questions from potential customers about the use of custom orthotics with our shoes.  Dave shared this response with someone the other day and because of the frequency of the question, I thought it was worth repeating here. 

 Do you recommend using custom orthotics with your shoes?

Dave's answer  
The question about Orthotics is a tricky one, but I will do my best to answer.  The short answer is: no, we do not recommend adding any orthopedic devices to our shoes.  The long answer begins with, "It depends...".

Our shoes are designed to mimic barefoot walking, which is ultimately the healthiest choice for your feet. In order to understand what an orthopedic device is intended to do, it is helpful to understand a little about footwear design.

Soldier's Goodbye circa 1940 via flickr

There are two basic schools of thought on arch support & foot health.

1) The traditional shoe industry approach is to build a shoe with a stiff bottom sole, that does not allow your foot to flex, and then add an arch support or in some cases a custom orthopedic device to support your arch. In this method your arch is not just supported, your whole foot is held in one position as if it were in a cast. It is important to find the correct arch support height and shape for your foot to find comfort in this style of shoe. Birkenstock, Clarks, & Dansko offer many products that are examples of this type of construction.

*The problem with this type of shoe is related to the so-called “benefit”. Since your foot is held stiff, it weakens. You will start to find that nothing else feels comfortable anymore without the same level of support. You may find that you have to continue adding more support, or buy expensive orthopedic inserts to feel comfortable. This is a good business model for Birkenstock, Clarks, & Dansko because it keeps their customers coming back. But, it is not healthy for your feet.

2) The more progressive view of foot health is to build a shoe that mimics barefoot walking. Walking barefoot allows your feet to flex at your arches & grip at your toes. This motion helps to strengthen your feet & keeps them healthy. In order to achieve this benefit a shoe must be built with a flexible sole, little or no lift in the heel, a wider toe box, and a relatively flat insole. This is the approach that we take to making our footwear. Healthy feet means better body alignment, and less back problems as well. You will find that most chiropractors, and whole body health practitioners ascribe to this philosophy of footwear construction.

*The only potential downfall with the progressive approach to shoe construction is if you have been wearing the other style of footwear for so many years that your feet are too week to support barefoot walking. If your feet get sore walking barefoot on the beach, then they might find some slight discomfort when you start wearing our shoes. If this is the case, we still recommend switching to the more progressive style, but easing your way into them. You can wear a flexible soled shoe for a couple hours at a time, and then work your way up to wearing them more and more as your feet re-gain their strength. Once you switch your feet will be happy they did!

If you are still reading after this lengthy explanation, then I will tell you that we do have a few customers who do wear custom orthotics in our shoes and are happy with the results.

photo via Erin Wallace

Do you pair your Aurora Shoes with orthotics?  Or do you go without like we do?  

What works best for you?

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