7 Tips to Make Your Shoes Last Longer

Happy Fall Everyone! I’ve received a few questions from people on ways in which they can make their shoes last longer, so today I wanted to share a few tips and ideas on what has worked for me in my ExoSym journey.

  1. Think PURPOSE. The key here is to think of your shoes in terms of what you will use them for. For example: exercise, work, special occasions / a night out. I highly recommend designating a pair of shoes for your workouts and one for work. If you work in a business casual environment, you may be able to get away with using your work shoes for nice events as well, but if you wear industrial shoes for work, consider having a separate pair for special occasions. Labeling shoes for different purposes will increase the lifespan of your shoes. #youcanthankmelater 🙂
  2. Think ROTATION. For my workout shoes, I find it’s helpful to have two pairs to rotate between. I am very active so rotating my shoes helps to keep them from breaking down so quickly. If you have a couple pairs of shoes that are the exact same color and model, take a Sharpie pen and place a small dot on the back of one of the pairs of shoes – this will help you to remember which pair was older when it comes time to cycle those out. And then when one pair looks like they’ve seen their last day, cycle those out and bring in a new pair to rotate. (Trust me, they start looking the same after a while so it helps to remember which ones were older!) Sometimes what I’ll do is rotate my “dress tennis shoes” to become my workout shoes and then my new shoes will become my dress shoes. This works for me since I mainly wear the Brooks Glycerin model for all occasions — so just something to think about!
  3. Think MATERIAL & FIT. Look for shoes that have reinforcement materials on the sides (aka not just mesh. The ExoSym likes to eat mesh 🙂). When trying on shoes, if you slip your device in and it looks like the ExoSym is going to poke out the sides of the shoe with you just standing there, this is not a good start. Ideally, your device should fit comfortably in the shoe without it looking like it’s going to burst through the sides any second. You also want to make sure that the heel depth is deep enough so that your device doesn’t pop out of the back of the heel with you walking. Pick a good shoe from the beginning and it will save you from having to buy shoes so often.
  4. Think REINFORCEMENT. When I first got the ExoSym, I used to duct tape the insides of my shoes for extra strength against the device, but that was before I considered the above tips. Now, with purpose, rotation and an eye on the material and fit, I don’t have to spend as much time reinforcing my shoes. Now, for my workout shoes, I definitely still reinforce those. I think anytime where you are going to be putting a high load /stress on the shoe (i.e. running a lot, jumping, etc), reinforcement will help your shoes live longer. I’ve found that gluing a very thin piece of leather on the insides of the shoe and the sole (where the sweet spot is when you land on foot strike) really helps – as does the duct tape if that’s easier for you.
  5. Think CARE. Take care of your shoes. ♥ Clean them up after a muddy run, dry them out after walking through the rain, let them breathe after a hard workout. Take care of your shoes and they will last longer. #showsomelove
  6. Think OPTIONS. If you plan to do some hiking or just enjoy the outdoors, I recommend purchasing a pair of hiking boots. Think about it this way, if you wear your workout shoes hiking Saturday-Sunday and then wear them during the week for your workouts, overtime, they are going to break down much faster than if you had given them a rest and used your hiking boots over the weekend. Same goes for weather. If you live in a cold climate, think about getting some shoes that will work with the snow so that you’re not wearing the same shoes for everything.
  7. Think COLOR. Remember, darker colored shoes will show less dirt & wear. In addition to the material and fit, don’t forget to think about the colors when you’re purchasing shoes.

On the surface these tips may seem simple, but I know for me when I first got the device, I wore the same shoes everywhere until they broke down and it wasn’t until I gave it some more thought that I realized what a difference the above tips make. So next time you’re in the market for new shoes, just remember, purpose, rotation, material & fit, reinforcement, care, options, and color. But be easy with yourself, it may take a little trial and error! These ideas didn’t come to me overnight. ♥

Have a great weekend!

#beYOU #beAMAZING #ExoSymplyAmazing

dream big. sparkle more. shine bright.

Happy Friday everyone! Today I’d like to share a cute hiking boot option, a few outfit ideas and a little inspiration 🙂

Pictured below are the Women’s Ahnu Montara Hiking Boot from REI. Regular price: $160 (on sale for $110)

IDEO side size: Women’s 11
non-IDEO side size: Women’s 9

Pros: fits true to size, comfortable, is not a men’s shoe (yay!), stylish, light-weight, fairly wide toe box, non-bulky/boxy, breathable, waterproof, & easy to get the IDEO inside (use a shoe-horn).

Cons: REI doesn’t let you split sizes so I had to purchase the pair in both 9 and in 11 to make it work. Oh well, I think these will last a long time so I consider this a good purchase!


Here is another picture of how the Ahnu boots look on as well as a Spring dress photo in my grey NB MT1210’s.  Note: Though super cute, the black boots did not look good with the dress, so I think I will save the boots for jean outfits 🙂

Lastly, a little inspiration. Never forget that with God all things are possible. Never lose your faith or your spirit.
I hope everyone has a Happy Memorial Day weekend!  #dreambig #sparklemore #shinebright

Where to Buy Shoes.

*Updated August 2016

Below is a list of stores that may offer a discount to accommodate different sized shoes:

Nordstrom’s: If you have two different sized feet and are ordering online, you will order two pairs of shoes (one in each size, but they must be at least 1.5 sizes different). You will be charged for one pair and will be asked to send back the shoes that you do not need for credit. If you have the need for only one shoe, a whole pair will be sent to you, and you will be asked to return the unneeded shoe. You will be charged accordingly for only one shoe.
The phone number to call for this program is: (888) 282-6060.
Note: If you order in the store, they follow the same discount and will let you get one pair in different sizes, without extra cost. 

LL Bean: LL Bean allows people to order “split sizes”- the size difference can be anything from ½ size difference and any width difference, to a women’s size in one shoe and a men’s size in another shoe. They charge 1.5 times the price of one shoe (for example, if one pair is $60, you will be charged $90). LL Bean ships the two odd sizes to you with no need to return the odd shoes. Both shoes in different sizes must be in stock when the order is placed, because they need to compare the shoes to make sure the colors match before they ship the “split size”pair. Please ask to speak with the Product Support Team when you place the order by calling (800) 441-5713 (Surprisingly enough, it LL Bean sells NB and Brooks!)

South Sound Running: Tacoma, WA – Let the associate know you wear the IDEO (ExoSym) and they will sell you different sized shoes at no extra cost (Thank you Ryan!). These people are really nice and will ship the shoes out of state. (I live in Texas and this is my go to place!)

Brown’s Catalog: Offers a discount of 20% off each pair and send you the two different sizes that you need.

Brooks Retailer: If you like the Brooks brand, go here to find a retailer near you. Give the store a call and see if they participate in Brooks Mismatch Program to offer you a second pair at a discounted price.

Other Running Store Retailers: Remember, most stores are locally owned, so you may want to try giving one a call in your area and seeing what discount they can offer! You never know until you ask! Here are some examples, but also try searching “running shoe retailer” in your city and you may find other options around you.

REI: Mark your calendars for REI’s Garage Sales and Anniversary Sales. This is a good time to purchase two pairs of shoes at a discount so that they equal out to be the price of one pair. You may also consider becoming a member to receive promotional offers, stay in the know about sales and receive a dividend back on your purchases at the end of the year! REI also recently introduced a used gear site, check it out here: https://www.rei.com/used

Zappos: Offers free shipping and free returns – may be helpful if you wanted to try out a few pairs (I’d personally rather try them on in store to determine sizing and then call South Sound to see if they carry them, but if you live remote, this may be a good idea for you!)

KeenYou can go here, make an account and request a code for a discount.

My advice: Find a shoe that works for you and order it in a few different styles / colors so that (a) you feel like you have options and (b) you can rotate your shoes to make them last longer. For example, I really like the Brooks Glycerin and it works really well for me so I call and order it from South Sound Running in two or three different colors and then every year when a new version is released, more colors come out and I order more. Another thing to think about is every year when a new version of the shoe you like is released, the version before it goes on sale, so you can purchase it at a discount.