Fashion Friday: Commuter Shoes

I still consider myself a fair weather exerciser, so the main component of my active lifestyle is walking around the city (including to and from work). Unfortunately, although many of my dress shoes are quite comfortable, they just can’t take five miles a day on the Boston sidewalks. Thus, I’ve finally resorted to wearing commuter shoes. This puts less wear and tear on my fancy footwear. Plus, I’m motivated to get more steps in, since tennies are so darn walkable!

Commuter Shoes

L to R: Caradona, Memorandum, Hello Fashion, Atlantic-Pacific (for more sneaker styling, see here)

New Balance for J CrewLuckily, sneakers don’t have to scream goofy American tourist. In fact, when done right (see photos above) they can actually look quite chic. My trusty mint green Keds are filthy beyond repair (note to self: Scotchguard the next pair), so I splurged this red pair of New Balance kicks from J. Crew to achieve that urban-chic/woman-on-the-go look captured in the photos above.

If you’re in the market for new commuter shoes, check out a dozen of my favorites below. They’re perfect for springtime strolls!

Best Commuter Shoes

1. Keds (sale $24.95)

2. Bergdorf Goodman ($195)

3. Anthropologie (sale $69.95)

4. Finish Line ($69.98)

5. Keds (sale $34.95)

6. Anthropologie ($109.95)

7. Keds (sale $24.95)

8. Bergdorf Goodman ($195)

9. Keds ($50)

10. Keds ($50)

11. Zappos ($50)

12. Finish Line ($79.99)

Which pair is your favorite?

– Kelly

P.S. I love my Toms, but they’re just not a practical option for walking around the city, as I tend to bust through the heel after less than ten wears.

Fitbit Fun

The Blue ZonesIn The Blue Zones, author Dan Buettner investigates the cultures that live the longest, from Sardinia, Italy, to Okinawa, Japan. One key ingredient is daily movement.

“Longevity all-stars don’t run marathons or compete in triathlons; they don’t transform themselves into weekend warriors on Saturday morning. Instead, they engage in regular, low-intensity physical activity, often as part of a daily work routine.” – Dan Buettner

One of my favorite low-intensity physical activities is walking. So it’s no surprise that one of the biggest hits in my family this Christmas was a Fitbit. (One for me, one for dad, and one for my 18-year old brother, Jack. In other words, the non-marathon runners of the Toups clan.)

Not only does the Fitbit track steps like a pedometer, but the Fitbit app allows us monitor each others progress, message and cheer (or taunt) each other on, and challenge each other to various step competitions. (There is also a sleep tracker and a food plan feature, which I am only just beginning to explore.)

Fitbit Fun

Getting my steps in, rain or snow (or both!)

The preset goal on the Fitbit is 10,000 steps per day, which is roughly five miles (this step goal is adjustable in the settings of the app). According to Buettner, “walking five miles a day or more provides the type of low-intensity exercise that yields all the cardiovascular benefits you might expect, but it also has a positive effect on muscles and bones–without the joint-pounding damage caused by running marathons or triathlons.”

Once you make a habit of taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to the park instead of driving, and running errands on foot whenever possible, 10,000 steps a day becomes much more attainable.  Robert Kane’s quote in The Blue Zones drives this point home.  “Rather than exercising for the sake of exercising, try to make changes to your lifestyle… chances are that you will sustain that behavior for a much longer time. And the name of the game here is sustaining.”

Fitbit Fun

Scenes from my Back Bay commute

Thankfully, I live and work in Boston, so my weekday routine has a lot more walking built in (1.5 miles to work each way) than that of the average suburban office worker. However, my weekends tend to be a bit lazier. It’s been fun trying to build in some extra steps into my regular routine with the Fitbit, especially when I can see that my dad and brother are edging ahead of me. What’s your trick to getting more steps in?

(Psst… Note to the fashion-savvy: Tory Burch makes gorgeous hinged bracelets that can fit the Fitbit flex tracker.)

– Kelly