BLOG TAKEOVER: BEACH YOGA GIRL SURRENDERS TO THE OUTDOORS

Beach Yoga Girl Kerri poses in the Skechers Burst – Very Daring sneaker. Photos by Agathe Padovani.

I love yoga outdoors.  I think there is something magical about being outside in the fresh air practicing yoga in the elements. Now that the weather is getting cooler, it’s the perfect time to be outside. Besides practicing at my home studio or at the beach, I also like to practice at my favorite park at Lake Okeeheelee here in South Florida.

Getting outside in the elements made a huge difference for me in my practice.  For years, I practiced in a classroom setting, staring at those giant mirrors. The problem wasn’t the mirror; it was that I was focusing mainly on what I looked like and if I can be candid… really it was about how my hair and outfit was looking.  That may seem shallow, but I found it really hard to concentrate while staring at myself.

I also obsessed on my form – trying to look perfect in the mirror, all while trying to be “zen.” What is so funny to me now in retrospect, is that there really wasn’t anything zen about it.

Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t think practicing indoors is bad.  In fact, it’s quite practical and it is what most of us do; however, when I began to practice outside, I was able to let go of what I looked like and really feel the practice of yoga.  There was no mirror to tell me if I was doing it right or wrong, and I had no idea if I looked good or bad.  I simply surrendered to the practice and learned to feel the postures, feel my breath and feel the world around me.  It was an eye-opening and rewarding experience for me.
1o8a4979miaThere are some additional benefits to practicing outside that I didn’t recognize until I did it. I found that my practice on different surfaces really challenged my balance.  I couldn’t do postures like Tree Pose or Warrior 2 that were once easy for me inside on a hard floor, and postures that were usually harder for me like Pigeon Pose or Frog pose now seemed easy-breezy.

I also noticed how easily I would get annoyed at the elements.  If the wind was too strong, I’d fall over or if sand got on my towel, I’d spend countless minutes brushing it off. I mean, wasn’t I supposed to surrender to the practice?  Why was it so hard for me to just embrace it? It really got me thinking about how important it is to change up our surroundings in order to learn a valuable life lesson: the art of surrender.

1o8a4964miaPracticing outdoors definitely took me a while to get used to – but over time, I began to love it.  I learned to let go of what people thought about me and whether I was “doing it perfectly.” What was happening on the outside, whether it be wind, rain, uneven surfaces, temperature (or yes, the occasional bug) did not matter.  What mattered was how I responded to those things. I believe that learning to respond in peace is the lesson of yoga and the secret to living a more peaceful life.

I live near a big lake, and often take my boys and dogs for walks there.  It’s so nice to be able to just stop next to the lake and practice. Skechers makes these amazing new flexible sneakers. They have the perfect amount of flex to perform yoga outdoors.  They also easily slip on and off for poses that may require bare feet.

I encourage you to find time to practice somewhere outdoors that inspires you to let go and surrender. No matter what your experience level, I believe that surrendering your yoga to the outdoors will have a profound effect on your practice and your life.

Beach Yoga Girl Kerri Verna has taught Yoga for 14 years. A 200-hour RYT and personal trainer, she is SUP Yoga-certified with Stoked Yogi and has over seven fitness certifications including Pilates, Kickboxing and Tai Chi. She enjoys sharing her love for Yoga and photography on social media. Join her one million-plus followers at Instagram, on Facebook and at BeachYogaGirl online.

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HOWIE LONG GETS COMFORTABLE IN WIDE FIT

As fans everywhere get excited for the 2016 pro football season kickoff on Thursday night, we’re thrilled to launch our newest campaign with a legend from the sport both on the field and in the studio. That’s right…Pro Football Hall of Famer and sports commentator Howie Long has joined Team Skechers!

Howie’s pro football career spanned 12 seasons as defensive end in Oakland and Los Angeles with a championship win plus recognition on eight Pro Bowl teams and the 1980’s All-Decade team. After retiring, he joined the FOX NFL Sunday team at its debut in 1994 and has been a familiar face to millions ever since.

On location for his new Skechers Wide Fit commercial, Howie sat down with us in the airplane fuselage set and told us: “I’m excited to be joining the SKECHERS team and following in the footsteps of so many amazing athletes and stars who have appeared on their roster. From the field to the studio, I’ve spent a lifetime of Sundays on my feet, so it feels great to add some Skechers comfort to my wardrobe.” And check out this behind the scenes video for more from Howie at the shoot.

The Skechers Wide Fit collection is like a first class upgrade for your feet so it’s easy to understand why Howie Long finds them to be the perfect comfort footwear even when he’s wearing suits on set every Sunday.  Take a look at Howie’s final commercials below and be on the lookout for another football legend returning to Team Skechers very soon!

SUGAR RAY LEONARD RETURNS!

Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard is back in the ring in an all new commercial for the super comfortable Skechers with Air-Cooled Memory Foam footwear collection. Filmed on location near downtown Los Angeles, the shoot happened to be right around our favorite boxer’s birthday and of course we had to celebrate. Can you believe he has reached the ripe young milestone age of 60?

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Age means nothing to the star athlete who proved that he’s in far better shape than most people half his age—and certainly everyone else on set that day! Go behind the scenes with Sugar Ray as he explains how much he and his entire family love the comfort of the new collection. Plus, get word from the man himself on why he returned to boxing after originally retiring at 25 and his current focus in life.

As he explained to us, “I’ve been blessed in more ways than one and if I made an impact in the ring, I want to make an even bigger impact outside the ring by helping others!” These days Sugar Ray is making a difference through his Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation by raising awareness and funding research for pediatric type 1 & 2 diabetes plus promoting active lifestyles for kids. He has also appeared at the annual Skechers Pier-to-Pier Friendship Walk benefiting children with special needs and education.

We’re fortunate to have this motivated, fun and inspirational legend back in our corner on a new campaign. Check out Sugar Ray’s complete commercial for the Skechers with Air-Cooled Memory Foam below.  Watch and see why a man who understands the importance of footwork things Skechers is the undisputed champion of comfort. If you’re a fan, let us know your favorite Sugar Ray fight moment in the comments!

 

 

 

BLOG TAKEOVER: TRAVELING WITH THE MISS-HAPPENSTANCES

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Last year Jessica Maiuzzo of The Miss-Happenstances made a life-changing decision to quit her desk job and travel. We invited her to share how Skechers became a faithful companion on a few of her adventures. 

TRIP 1:  ITALY, ISRAEL and JORDAN

In Italy, my versatile dark gray Skechers Sport sneakers were my shoe of choice to dress up for wine bars, midnight strolls through the city, and happy hours along the water. They impressed me even more as I walked five to eight hours a day through the major cities of Italy, starting in the north and making my way south for the next three months. Happily, I didn’t get any blisters the entire time, and I LOVED the way the gel-infused memory foam insole made it feel like I was walking on pillows.

In Venice, I took a ride through the canals, and in Turin, one of my new local friends took me on a 7-hour bike ride through the entire city. Again the shoes stood up to the test. The very next day, we hiked the Alps that bordered Italy and France. Skechers helped me conquer the mountain and led me to some spectacular views! I learned to cook with locals in Sicily but spilled some sauce on the shoes! A quick wipe and the shoes were almost as good as new.

From Italy, I traveled to Israel where we swam in hot springs near the Sea of Galilee and marveled at the ancient city of Caesarea, where the Romans still left their influence centuries later. A new friend I met in Jerusalem encouraged me to cross into Jordan with him.  After traveling by foot, car and camel, we ended up at a remote bedouin village. I spent the night gazing up at a sky of stars that seemed to go on for eternity.

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My final destination was Petra—a lost city carved into the desert mountains, creating breathtaking temples, a treasury, and hundreds of dwellings. While tourists hired donkeys to ride through the four-mile city of sand, I felt fabulously tireless in my Skechers and decided to trek and climb the 850 steps! With my faithful foot companion, I was unstoppable!

TRIP 2:  GUATEMALA and SOUTH AMERICA

Just two short months later I packed my Skechers for another adventure with some friends to Guatemala where we hiked a couple of volcanoes, pushing one another to the top. These shoes were my saving grace through all kinds of terrain as I glided my way over lava rock that was steaming from the heat still rumbling under the surface.

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Traveling through airports with these shoes is easy. No shoelaces and slip-on shoes that hug my feet in just the right way made jumping from country to country a breeze. In Argentina, I walked comfortably for days in Buenos Aires and ate the best steak ever. And then in Chile, I layed by the turquoise waters reflected on the beauty before me. As I explored, I was greeted by purple mountains, weirdly gorgeous desert plants, and salt flats that made me think I must have somehow walked mistakenly to Mars. I hitchhiked north to the border and caught a bus into Peru.

Peru is a land of food you will never forget and landscape that changes you. Cusco was my home base for much of my stay and Lomo Saltado became a new favorite dish as I coveted the cooking skills of these wonderful people. From there I did a four-day trek through the jungle to get to Machu Picchu. My trusty gray shoes still propelled me forward even when I thought I couldn’t take another step. I met monkeys, stepped to the edge of cliffs, and picked carefully over rapids across broken-down swinging bridges. I biked down a 5,000-meter mountain at high speeds. And I zip-lined like Supergirl over the tops of the jungle trees.

It was Rainbow Mountain that took my heart though. At 5,400 meters high, it was like walking through water to get to the top. Yet my Skechers helped me to conquer it, and once again my trusty shoes led me to the summit. It was the most spectacular view I have ever seen – one of my top five places to see in the world. A mountain frozen as a rainbow on one side, a towering glacier mountain on the other, and beautiful landscape of all kinds in between. It was the perfect ending to this trip. I was ready to head home and tell everyone about the latest adventure and how Skechers was truly the best shoe ever!

BACK IN NEW YORK CITY

I am still wearing my Skechers daily through the streets of NYC. With all of the cultures represented here and the hours of walking we New Yorkers do, it is like traveling the world every time I step out of my front door. I’m still fulfilling my dreams as I continue to do the things I have put off. I am a writer by heart but I never had time to really follow that road or my passion for acting when I was sitting behind my desk.  Now, I have worn Skechers on many sets of prime time television shows. And, I continue to document stories about life, love, and transparency on my website. During my long shoots, it is my Skechers that I love to slip on for the journey home. And when I sit at the coffee shop to write, it is my Skechers that I always wear. Public transportation is not my style since I love the freedom that biking around the city affords, and again it is Skechers that lets me do it in style and comfort. I am in love – with travel, with NYC, and most certainly with Skechers!

Keep up with all of Jessica Maiuzzo’s adventures around the world and through life on her blog The Miss-Happenstances and follow @themisshappenstances on Instagram and Facebook.

Photographs from Trip 1 and Trip 2 by Jessica Maiuzzo. Photographs from New York City by Keri Tan. Find more of Keri’s work at keritanphotography.com and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

A PERFECT FIT: SIZE YOUR KIDS’ FEET

With back-to-school in full swing, we have a lot of parents visiting our stores to grab new shoes for their kids’ growing feet. Much of mom’s and dad’s attention focuses on what styles to buy for their little ones (More Skechers Memory Foam sneaks for boys and girls? Twinkle ToesS Lights or Skech-Air? Mega Blades and Game Kicks for fun? So many options!) but many parents overlook one of the most crucial elements of shoe shopping: the importance of properly sizing your kids’ feet. After all, running in shoes all day long is serious business!

If you want to get into the science of it all, our kids are actually born with cartilage in their feet, which doesn’t completely become bone until they’re around 16-18. A good fit tester will tell you that it’s not just where your toes are, but also the width of your foot, your heel shape, arch support and more. So where to start?

IMG_2427Skechers stores are one great option, where our associates can help parents find comfortable shoes for their kids. Believe it or not, sizing is a lot more fun than it used to be! We still have tools like the Brannock Device (you know, that old school metal contraption you’d stand on) but now our stores also offer a much more fun way to size kids’ soles.

Our colorful blue Skechers Kids mats have bright orange footprints that are fun for kids to jump on, and they measure their feet in seconds flat. A lot more kid-friendly, which makes for a much happier shopping experience.

IMG_2299But what happens if you’re at home and want to buy your kids’ shoes online in the comfort of your home? No fear, Skechers has found a way. Enter the Skechers Fit Guide: a quick and easy way to get your kids’ feet sized up right at home. All you need is a printer, ruler, scissors, some scotch tape and voila – your very own foot sizer!

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Some tips to keep in mind when you’re sizing:

– Measure kids’ soles while they’re standing.

– Make sure to measure both feet, and order the size that fits the longer foot.

– If your child is between sizes, always get the bigger one (remember, their feet grow fast!) or you can buy a shoe that’s up to a half size over your kid’s current foot size to give yourself a little more time before you have to head back to Skechers for the next pair.

– Keep an eye out for the blue borders on our Fit Guide – if your kid’s feet overlap onto them, Skechers also offers select children’s styles in wide width sizes, which may be a more comfortable fit.

Once you get your kid’s shoes, there are additional ways you can make sure that they’re a great fit. Check where your child’s toes end, and make sure that there’s a half a thumbnail width from the end of the toes to the front of the shoes. A lesser known but equally important tip: see if the widest part of your kid’s feet is in the same place as the widest part of the new shoes. It’s important that shoes flex in the right place on your child’s feet, which can only happen if they fit properly and aren’t too big.

Ready to measure your kid’s soles at home? Let us know how it goes!

MUST-DO MONDAY: RELAX THE SUMMER AWAY

Must-Do Mondays don’t have to be Manic Mondays. We thought it was about time you had a meditative Monday – one where you take a breather! Relaxation is important: it’s a huge stress reducer that can lower your blood pressure and fatigue, reduce muscle tension, improve your focus and mood, and lots more. And there are many ways to take it easy – from deep breathing to yoga, tai chi, meditation and massages that nourish your mind, body and soul.

So treat yourself to some relaxing peace and quiet this Monday – it’s as much of a must-do as everything else you have planned on your to-do list.

What’s your favorite way to decompress? Share with us!

Featured image: the Skechers Sport – Flex Appeal 2.0 – Metal Madness sneaker (at select retail stores).

 

HEAD BACK TO SCHOOL

It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again… it seems like just yesterday we were celebrating the end of school, and now suddenly we’re prepping to head back!  At a time when we should be celebrating the end of summer, we often find ourselves racing around like mad to get everything ready for the kids’ big day. What do you do to prepare?  We asked MEGLEEWEST fashion blogger and mom of three Meghan Westbrook how she plans her attack, and she had a lot of great ideas on how to stay organized and relieve potential first day jitters.

Shopping: Supplies and Clothing

As soon as the supply lists come in the mail, I hit the store immediately.  A lot of things sell out quickly and I want to make sure I get all the items on their lists with plenty of time to spare.  I try to purchase extra where it seems reasonable. Often teachers will ask for additional supplies throughout the year as they run out, so I’m one step ahead of the game when these lists get sent home and my items are ready to go.  It’s also good to have extra pencils, glue, and markers at home for school projects.  I can’t tell you how many times I learned this the hard way doing last-minute projects in years past that I didn’t have glue for, or tape for that matter!

As far as clothing, I keep things to a minimal to start.  Let’s be honest – underwear and sock restocks are first on the list!  A fresh couple pairs of PJs as we slide into the chillier evenings of fall somehow makes everyone “sleep” better (strange but true!).  We go through everyone’s closet and drawers and pull out anything that doesn’t fit so 1. we are decluttered and 2. we know what we have to start.  I like to take those items to a consignment store and get a little cash back in my pocket to help with the new items we’re about to shop for (cha-ching!).

Generally, I look for a couple pair of jeans, pants (leggings for my daughter and something easy to pull on for my son, such as joggers), a couple new tees that aren’t too summery (great to layer under long sleeved items), a couple tops with longer sleeves, a hoodie, as well as a fall coat and new backpack, if needed.   The most important item on my list though is SHOES!  Everyone needs new shoes – especially kids with their fast-growing feet!!  My kids require a great pair of gym shoes and then I like something a little more casual in addition to those, to give them variety.  Gym shoes in my opinion are the number one playground necessity!  I want them to be comfortable as they are running around (like when my daughter chases the boys) and provide support while they are in gym class.  My son will be looking snazzy and cool in his Burst – In the Mix Skechers.  My daughter will be equally fun and fresh in her Burst – Ellipse pair.  These are great choices as they both provide Air-Cooling technology and Memory Foam.

Haircuts

Haircut 2 - finalThis section is quite simple… your kids need haircuts!  I’m telling you.  Even if you cut their hair a few weeks ago, plan the back to school cuts 1-2 weeks before school starts.  Most often Picture Day happens in the first couple weeks, so what you think “looks good” now, will probably NOT look good in a couple more weeks, trust me.  I have mom-failed at this many times!  Make your appointments a month before school starts and set them for 1-2 weeks prior to the big day.  The earlier you call, the more appointment times you’ll have to choose from.  Don’t be left trying to fight the crowd or worse, wait until after school starts and fight your schedule and the kids’ new schedule!
My daughter and I hit the mall for her cut.  She has a hot pink streak in her hair that we get touched up every six months.  My boys, on the other hand, can head out with dad.  What a fun date day!  The girls can hit the mall and shop (win-win) while the boys can hit the barber and… well, do whatever it is that dudes do!  My guy will be heading out in style.  My hubby is sporting his Relaxed Fit – Palen – Nieto kicks with gel-infused memory foam.  My oldest is feeling as cool as daddy in his memory foam Outgo kicks!

 

Lunch Planning and Schedules

Why is lunch planning important?  Because I guarantee you your child does not eat the same thing today that he/she did last week.  OK, welcome to lunch planning.  I sit down with each child a week or so before school and talk about lunch items they had last year, things I have noticed them eating or not eating this summer, and go over expectations – both mine and theirs.  We brainstorm new lunch menus.  I want to make sure I am not heading to the grocery store buying items they won’t eat, but in fact getting items they have requested within reason.  If your kids buy hot lunch at school, you can turn this into dinner planning with the same concept.

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Additionally I like to go over their schedules as far as afterschool activities.  This way, everyone knows where they are going each evening if they do have an activity.  This also helps with dinner planning.  Lastly, I check the old containers and this is usually a good time to replenish the stock of sealed containers, purchase new water bottles and thermoses, as well new ice packs.  One last key item to bring this all together… a new lunchbox! Skechers even has their very own here.

Mornings are busy.  Keep things simple by finding something easy to throw on without taking the extra time to lace up while running out the door.  I’ll be sending my littlest off in his Lil Lad – Swagy soles.  My oldest will be confident in his Skechers Throwbax.  My daughter will be the talk of the bus stop in her Nebula – Prism Pop Skechers, and she wouldn’t have it any other way!  I’ll be keeping things easy and comfy in my air cooled, Flex Appeal 2.0 memory foam sneaks.

First Day Expectations

I like to get the kids back into a routine before the big day (or try to, anyway).  We hit Move-In Night at our school so they can meet their new teachers, find their lockers, and see their friends they’ve been missing all summer.  We review where other classrooms are and talk about the bus route if we have any changes for the new school year.  Taking a trip to the bus stop and reminding them to “BEHAVE – this is someone else’s driveway you’re standing in every morning” is always a plus!

Then there is that First Day outfit.  We choose our outfit a couple days before and get everything laid out and ready to go to make sure that first morning is a breeze, or close to it!  Do you take photos the first day?  We do.  I’ll admit they are usually lame with us all standing at the bus stop holding fingers in the air to show what grade everyone is in.  This year, I decided to get all Pinteresty and make signs.  OK, I bought signs, and I bought chalk.  Cute, simple, and reusable!  My little Princess will hopping her way to her classroom in her lighted Twinkle Toes – Shuffles – Sweetheart Sole.  My 4th grader’s stylin’ in those kicks he wore with dad earlier, Outgo.  And our little man’s just turning two, but he needs shoes to run around in as well – his Lil Lad – Swagy will allow him to do just that.

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Enjoy Summer!

This should be a no-brainer… ENJOY THE LAST DAYS OF SUMMER!  You know it flew by.  Take time in these weeks before school starts to enjoy your time as a family.  Get the ice cream you’ve been promising all summer.  Hit up the local Farmer’s Market.  Go see that movie they’ve been waiting to see.  Take one last road trip if you can.  Hit up the park and have a picnic.  Spend the time with your children before school starts.  Continue to make the memories and build on the bonds you have created.  My husband is doing it all in his Oldis – Stound Skechers (at select Skechers retail stores) – they go with everything and make chasing little ones around a breeze.  I like to be stylish, but I also like comfort and mobility.  The Jitter Bug sandals (at select Skechers retail stores) give me the best of both worlds!

We all have our lists, our To-Dos, our plans.  Yes, there are things that need to get done.  I encourage you to get those items checked off your list quickly and efficiently as soon as you can so you can truly embrace the last days of summer.  Because let’s face it… next summer is a long ways away!  XOXO

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Photo of Meghan WestbrookMeghan Westbrook is the blogger of the fashion, beauty and style site, MEGLEEWEST. Check out her tips and pics of the newest trends, home decor and more at Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

 

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