All posts by getcluedin

About getcluedin

Working mother of two and wife of one who loves living in Colorado and amidst parenting, manages to find some time to write, network, and get out in the State and City she loves!

Goldilocks and her three essential pairs of shoes

Shoe No. 1- the Combat Boot – Sage green ABU boots & other military shoes

On October 11, 2017, while doing a unit group run, I started having massive heel pain on the left side, and then later that night, could not even walk barefoot in my own home.  I was hobbling to help the kids get dinner, etc.  It was horrible.  Of course, true to military healthcare and TRICARE, I could not get in to see anyone until the next week, so I used essential oils and heat/cold to try to reduce pain, and Advil.  The following week, I was finally seen, and it was Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs – we would not find that out til a month later, after I saw a better provider and they requested an X-ray, and finally referred me to a podiatrist and physical therapy.  Seriously, military healthcare sucks!  In any case, I soldier on (pun intended).  My podiatrist and therapist took one look at my ABU boots and said, “woh, this is what you have been wearing for a year of your active duty?”   Yep!  Commence the medical profile while I searched for the best boot I could find to help me. Clearly, the two pairs I owned had no support.  So, I was put on a profile while my quest for the perfect, or at least somewhat comfortable boot, began.  I posted in a USAF Women Officer’s forum, and managed to get a pair of boots that fit, and were somewhat supportive of my arch and heel.  The ladies there offered many suggestions and brands of boot and I was able to try on most of them, in my quest for the perfect boot.

Tip: It’s not just footwear, make sure you do the stretches, and physical therapy recommended by your podiatrist or physical therapist.  There are a lot of stretches, rollers, iced water bottles, tennis/golf ball methods to employ, and they must be done daily to heal, in addition to wearing proper footwear.

Nike SFB Sage Green

You can only get such boots, mind you, via mail order.  I kid you not.  ABU boots are available from the following vendors online:  Nike, Tactical Gear, and US Patriot.  After 5-6 boots (back and forth via mail order), I tried Nike size 5.0 Next Gen 2, Size 5.0 Tactical Research MiniMil (not good for me), and a Belleville model, finally I found one that works, the original Nike SFB Sage Green, Size 5.5 for me, as it is all men’s sizing.  Yes, in 2018, all the boots are in men’s sizing, and you have to kinda figure it out.   I was so disappointed that the military clothing and sales at my base or at two other bases did not carry the size or the types of boots recommended by many of the women – lightweight boots like Tactical Research MiniMil, Nike Special Field Boots (SFB), or the Next Gen 2 Nikes, Bellevilles, etc.  Even if the brand was available (only Belleville was) at the store, because you have to get men’s sizing, they rarely had smaller sizes like 5.5 or 6.0 in Men’s sizing.  But, I have been happy, with the Nike SFB in a size 5.5 Men’s.  They run small, so the best tip I have is try on Nike supportive (high heel) running shoes.  Then, subtract 2 from that- that is your men’s size.  So I felt the best in a 7.5, and in the Nike SFBs, the best fit was 5.5. You want room, and these shoes are a bit wider, so they worked for me, but they won’t for everyone.

Dansko Ellie

Regarding low quarters (shoes with the service dress pants and such), and flats, the orthotic inserts can go in them if thin enough or low profile/dress orthotic, but I tried on a few loafers from Dansko that I liked, and were compliant with the dress and appearance regulations.  Dansko Ellie is nice and does not slip in the back.  They are not glossy but who cares? For me, it’s comfort and health over looks these days.  I used to wear Franco Sarto but the insole won’t work in those, and I’d rather be comfortable.  Pumps/flats or heels are tougher as all the ones from Vionic have ornamentation on them or an open toe.  Abeo is the same.  You have to search for options here and Skechers has a comfort brand (take your custom inserts with you when you try it on), but again, most places offer free shipping/free returns and exchanges, so take advantage.  It is time consuming and annoying, but it’s your feet.  You carry the weight of the world on them!

TIP:  Before shopping for any shoes, get an Orthotic- Custom for the boot/running shoe and a dress shoe insert.  

Before I shopped for the new boot, I wanted to make sure I had my custom orthotic.  I got that one within 2-3 weeks of the incident, which was great!  But they are thick and Tricare (as usual) only authorizes one, so I got a few more on my own.  You can get heat molded ones (custom made) for you at Road Runner Sports.  Another one is Aetrek, which is made by Red Wing Shoes, and you can go and get a custom fit there.  Abeo (sold at Walking Company) also makes an orthotic for the dress shoe, and they are so great at measuring you, checking your arches, etc, and making a custom recommendation.  I got everything I could, and if you are lucky to have, or a spouse who has a flex spending account, custom orthotics are covered for your pre-tax dollars.  So take advantage of all you can!

Shoe No. 2- Running/Walking shoes which could double as everyday shoes (PS- I also bought the same brand slippers for the home)

Hoka Clifton

While I was on a profile, I was also on a boot profile, so I could wear my walking shoes with the ABUs (the AF uniform).  I was wearing Hoka Clifton (also recommended by my podiatrist) What a nightmare, which took over 6 weeks to get into a proper combat boot for me.   I changed out my Hoka Clifton after about 40 days for the Hoka Bondi because I wanted an all black shoe.

Hoka One One Bondi 5 Women’s Black

Hoka Bondi is a substantial shoe, but the heel and arch support are unsurpassed!  I cannot say enough great things about the Hoka shoe brand along with Road Runner Sports – the customer service is amazing!  They test your feet, and help you understand what type of shoe you need, and if you tell them of your condition, they will help you get the right shoe.

Hoka One One Ora Recovery Slide

I also got the Hoka recovery slippers (women’s size 7) for around the house.  They are waterproof, and so great with support for walking around the house.  I am still shopping for a house slipper but Abeo has a great sale right now on these, so worth checking out too.  I get Abeo shoes at the Walking Company.  Their return policy is great, unless it is final clearance sale.

Shoe No. 3- dress shoes, boots, shoes to wear off duty hours (i.e. my Cinderella shoes)

Once the boots were set, and my running/walking shoes were all set, I ventured out and did a lot of research to get proper dress shoes.  You see, I plan to return to my old job and I like to dress nice in my civilian job, so it’s time to start getting some nice shoes.  If you think your payless shoes are great, think again – get better arch and heel support if you can.  Your later years feet will thank you.  I now know what to look for in a shoe, and how to buy good, supportive shoes that also look great thanks to my PT and podiatrist. There are a lot of options out there, but I did a lot of research into good sandals (for summer/casual wear), boots, loafters, dress shoes (I generally like one brown, one black which I can wear with the uniform), and ankle boots versus longer boots to wear with leggings.

First, we have all heard of vionic.  Frankly, I never heard of them before this whole ordeal but it’s a thing.  They make some great shoes which have heel/arch support and are recommended by doctors, made by a doctor.  Some of their styles are, well, let’s say, for older folks, so you’ll have to look elsewhere if you like fashion.  Enter Dansko.  Good shoes and carried by many places- Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Walking Company, Dardano’s, etc.  Great shoe, but you have to try them on as some of the loafers slip in the back and I dislike that a lot.   Finally, I learned of a new company and their shoes are AMMMMMAYZING!  Abeo shoes are sold at the Walking Company, or on line and they are even more comfortable than Vionic or Dansko.  I highly recommend them.  Now, all of these are not cheap. They are high-end, definitely not your BOGO Payless type of shoe, so look for sales.  We all know the best time for sales – Black Friday, Cyber Monday, New Year (Jan 1, Dillard’s go nuts with sales- get on line and get your shoes then), and be ready to send them back and do the returns/exchanges, because what you get online won’t always work in real life. 🙂  Also, take your orthotics along whenever you hit the stores so you can try those shoes out with the orthotics.

Most companies like Road Runner Sports and Vionic let you wear the shoes out for 30 days (Vionic) or Road Runner Sports (90 days!!!) Yes, 90 days… so use all that time and wear them and see what you think.  So many great options for us with foot issues caused by horrible combat boots or other things, so get out there and research away, and get to know your UPS drop off location folks, as you will become fast friends.  Will you feel like a giant #firstworld goldilocks?  Yes, but who cares?  It’s better and cheaper than surgery or a permanent disability, right?   Here are some of the shoes I did keep, and hope to wear now that I have decided on them.  I am still waiting for another shipment, but we will see how that one goes.

Here is a picture of what the house looks like frequently as I get the shoes that fit just right… what an adventure, an expensive one at that, but I do feel like Cinderella when the shoes fit great, look great, and make me feel good too!

If you have questions, you can write me, but I am not a doctor, I only wear scrubs at night in place of PJs, but happy to give you advice.  In the end, you have to find the right fit for you and your foot.  Good luck and feel better soon!

Share

2017 Year in Review

Well, 2017 is now a distant memory, and generally odd years are great for Get Clued In and her family, but 2017 didn’t really live up to the hype of usual odd years for us.

2016 ended with my mom passing away from a battle with cancer, which was up til now, the worst thing we have experienced and coped with as a family.  Then, a few weeks later, in January of 2017, a day before the inauguration of 45 (I won’t even go there with how I feel about this), my husband lost his job after 19.5 years in the same industry/same position.  This, along with the political landscape of what was to be 2017, brought a lot of adjustments to our household.  My husband now works in a job which takes him away from home more than 50% of the time, and with my new role, commute, and lack of flexibility, we found ourselves in a tough place in 2017.  The one person I knew I could rely to be there for me when I needed help in this like this was no longer on this earth, and grappling with that whilst making huge life adjustments was not easy last year.

2017 was also bittersweet as I had the joy and honor to receive a promotion in the military I have served for more than 19 years now.  That was great, but I was so sad that I couldn’t share the joy and news with my mom, and that she couldn’t physically be at the ceremony.  She would have loved it so much!   2017 was a year of new adjustments for us, and while I made rank and my husband got a new job pretty quickly (all blessings), it all seemed so pointless without my mom to share it with.

Social media and  blogging-wise, I did not feel that oomph or energy to blog or do much, as it was tougher in 2017 to balance work, life, and this hobby of writing.  So, 2017 was a year of MEH (if I may use the emoji) for Get Clued In, and I apologize to you, the reader, for my lack of scintillating posts.  The Emoji movie summed up my emotions for 2017 – hot, cold, sad, very sad, happy, excited, sad again, confused (about the political climate), scared (world events).  I could go on, but I think you know that this year’s “year in review” is slightly different than past years.  I hope I can share some great posts for 2018, and have time to write a little more.  Well, right after I figure out the new tax code.  Oy!   Happy New Year!

Share

LEAP – Free Screening this Saturday, Harkins Northfield #Denver

Leap! is coming to a theater near you soon, and you can be at the special, advanced free screening this Saturday, August 19, at 10:00 A.M. at the Harkins Northfield Theater.   Just click here and download your free screening tickets!

You can check out these links on facebook and twitter for more information on the movie, LEAP:

facebook.com/leapmovieofficial

twitter.com/LeapTheMovie

You can also watch the preview video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGC8-s1Eiqo

Here is a brief description of the movie: 11-year-old orphan, Félicie (Elle Fanning) has one dream – to go to Paris and become a dancer. Her best friend Victor (Nat Wolff), an imaginative but exhausting boy with a passion for creating, has a dream of his own – to become a famous inventor. In a leap of faith, Victor and Félicie leave their orphanage in pursuit of their passions. But – there’s a catch, Félicie must pretend to be the child of a wealthy family in order to gain admittance to the prestigious and competitive Opera Ballet School in Paris. And with no professional dance training, she quickly learns that talent alone is not enough to overcome the ruthless, conniving attitudes of her fellow classmates, led by the devious Camille Le Haut (Maddie Ziegler) and her wicked mother Régine (Kate McKinnon). Determined to succeed, Félicie finds her mentor in the tough and mysterious school custodian, Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen) who, along with Victor’s encouraging friendship, help her reach for the stars.

Don’t forget to download your free passes to Weinstein’s beautiful, touching advanced screening for THIS SATURDAY at Harkins Northfield, 10:00 A.M.  and come join Get Clued In! For this amazing movie for kids to be inspired, dream, imagine, and reach for the stars!  Come and Leap!

Required Disclaimer: My family was offered free tickets/reserved seating in exchange to promote the free screening of LEAP! The opinions expressed here are my own.

Share

LEGO #Brickfest Live – everything was awesome!

If you are a Lego(c) lover like my kids are, you simply must find the time to find Lego #Brickfest in a city near you.  We checked out Denver’s #BrickFest at the Merchandise Mart on Sunday, August 13, and the #brickfest was fun – like past years there were lots of activities and plenty of stations to use your imagination and build.  The girls and

I also enjoyed trivia, which was something new this year for us. They handed out a ton of prizes for answering LEGO trivia questions correctly.   The girls enjoyed building a giant mosaic, and being part of that – it was Darth Vader this year, and doing mosaics of their own to put up for the world to see.

Like previous years, the kids enjoyed building cars and racing them.  There was so much to do and see, and build with, one four-hour session did not seem like enough, but here’s to next year’s #Brickfest.  We will be there.  If you can, catch one in a city near you. The tour schedule is posted here. We had a lot of fun and it was not crowded at all on Sunday, the last session, so the lines were short, and the kids could do activities they loved multiple times.  Everything was just awesome!

 

Disclaimer: we were offered free tickets in exchange for promoting the Denver BrickFest Live by US Family Guide.  I advertised a $3 off coupon for them. All the opinions expressed here are my own.

Share

Groupon Coupons & Ebates- a better way to shop

Recently, because I do more on-line shopping, I have signed up to get notifications from sites like groupon, and ebates and use all the sites together.  I have found that if I am going to buy something anyway, if I check on-line sites like groupon and coupon sites, and use them in conjunction with Ebates, I get money back and discounts for things I am going to buy anyway.

But, I did not know that groupon had a coupon site to sites or stores where you are shopping anyway like Target, Walgreens, and so many other stores.  Even your cell phone carrier may have a coupon on groupon coupons.  I have promoted AT&T wireless before, and groupon has a coupon site for AT&T and other carriers as well!  Go here and you can search for your favorite stores on Groupon Coupons.

So, if you are going to shop for things anyway or buy new mobile devices, you might as well use groupon and groupon coupons.  I also double my benefits by making sure my laptop and phone has Ebates active (learn more and sign up here for Ebates), for all purchases I make at groupon, and the stores/sites that groupon provides coupons and deals for.  What a great way to save some money while shopping for the things you need.  Sign up for Groupon here and check out all of Groupon’s coupons and if you want to sign up for Ebates, use this link and we both get money back.

Disclaimer: I was compensated for posting about Groupon Coupons and providing this information.  I was not compensated by Ebates or other corporations for the information contained herein.  The opinions expressed her are my own and not attributed to Groupon, US Family Guide, or any other company.

Share