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The Fresh Air Fund logo

avatarI have done blogs on running shoes in the past, so I think this may be why The Fresh Air Fund decided to contact me about the New York City Half-Marathon for their charity being held August 16th. But even if I was a totally random pick, I’m glad I know now because it’s a great cause!

The Fresh Air Fund, a non-profit agency since 1877 (!!), organizes free Summer vacations for disadvantaged New York children, 6 to 18 years old. Ok, pause there. What did you do on your Summer vacations when you were in school? (mine were filled with beaches, pools, crafts, disneyland and uninterrupted hours with books). Imagine what it would have been like if you couldn’t have done any of that fun stuff. It seriously makes me a little teary thinking about what a gift this must be for so many kids.

The other awesome detail is that all the kids don’t go to the same place; The Fresh Air Fund lets kids stay with volunteer host families in 13 US states and in Canada. They also have 5 Fresh Air camps in upstate NY too – which is good because not every kid is adventurous enough to live with strangers for 2 weeks.

Last year’s Half-Marathon raised more than $125,000 which went directly to The Fresh Air Fund’s free programs for NYC children and, of course, they hope to earn even more this year. Grab your running shoes and register here, or, if you lean more towards stilettos than sneakers, you can sponsor a runner instead by also using that link!

You can learn more about The Fresh Air Fund and even sign up to volunteer, by visiting their website: http://www.FreshAir.org

Pearl Izumi Peak XC Adidas ZX8000 Running Shoes

for vicarious running through sponsorship :)

for vicarious running through sponsorship

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nyshoespyI just stumbled across this, it’s not a New York event, it’s actually to benefit the MUSC Children’s Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina, but it’s such a great idea, I had to post it. It’s called the Stiletto Stampede.

The Stampede is a 100 yard dash but all participants must wear heels at least 3 inches tall (and they have to still be attached to your feet by the end of the race). And the winner gets a $10,000 prize!! It’s composed of $5,000 cash, a $5,000 gift certificate to Gwynn’s, a designer department store, and a year of free pedicures from Stella Nova. Wow. Start training, the run is March 21st! There is also a $1,000 prize for best costume presented by Charleston Magazine (I hope they post the winner’s picture online).

I hope someone decides to set something like this up in New York, I bet it would be huge. I think we’d have to make the minimum heel height at least 4 inches for New Yorkers though, since you know some of these girls live in their 3 inch heels¬† ūüėČ

stiletto stampede t shirt logo

GothamCityOnline.com

avatarUPDATE 10/28 : Check out the exclusive coupon code I got for you (below) to save 10% on your first order!

My first online destination in the Shoe Store Spotlight is Gotham City Online (thanks to PollDaddy in my previous blog). Not only does¬†Gotham City Online (GCO)¬†have fantastic prices on designer styles (they actually claim the lowest guaranteed) and free shipping, they also raise money for charity (nice!). I dig this store too because you never know what you’re going to find.¬†GCO says they list new items every day and I’ve seen shoes from luxury brands like Chanel, Viktor & Rolf, and Marc Jacobs almost equally as often as shoes from fashion brands like Steve Madden, Kenneth Cole (Reaction, Tribeca, Unlisted), Nine West and Via Spiga.

Here’s another¬†cool thing about this online store (and a true story): One day¬†a random girl (ahem) tried on a pair of shoes at a store but decided to be “good” and not get them. After she left the store, she (of course) immediately regretted it and every outfit she wanted to wear to work that week would have been perfect if only she had just gotten those amazing shoes. Finally (after deciding, for justification purposes, to swap Starbucks for cereal at home for a while), she decided to go back to the store that weekend (realizing death to be the most likely outcome if she didn’t get them into her closet soon) but they were SOLD OUT!!¬†And¬†they were sold out in every other store she frantically checked. Now, she might have been be able to stave off her panic attack if she had know about this website a little earlier because… (happy ending alert) she found the shoes about a month later at GothamCityOnline.com!

Gotham City Online¬†gets those last pairs of shoes from stores¬†in NYC when they are making room for new merchandise, so hard-to-find styles are always popping up there even after brick & mortar stores (yes, real term. yuck.) have stopped carrying them (and when summer sandals are being sold in stores in Decemeber,¬†that’s kind of great).¬†Plus GCO still gives you¬†the sale price!!

This website doesn’t give out coupons super often, but I am trying to finagle a coupon code out of them for you & all my readers so I’ll post it here¬†(SUCCESS! New Customers Can Use Coupon Code: SPYTEN for an¬†Extra 10% Off Any Order!!) as soon as I’m successful.

There’s your online shoe store lesson for the week, class will be in session again soon!

avatarPerhaps you’re aware already that Carlos Santana lent his name to a line of pretty rockin’ women’s shoes. What you may not know is that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their shoes is¬†donated to the Milagro Foundation (milagro is spanish for miracle) which was founded in part by the guitar legend himself. Milagro has been providing grants since 1998 to organizations around the world who work with at-risk, underrepresented and disadvantaged children in the arts, education and health. Not a bad excuse to buy some shoes!

I love the mirrored heel on the black sandals below and the asymmetrical rhinestone swoosh down the front (I admit I bought myself a pair in the champagne color… but it was for charity!!). And the dark teal platforms are trendy-tastic with a sexy snake embossed trim (skins are in for spring, but save the endangered slithery guys and go faux! Random FYI- If you’re in California it’s actually illegal to have python anything shipped to you). I love these shoes in the black and gray color too, but I really had to post the blue picture to give you a good example of the brand as a whole; bold, unexpected color is key to the Carlos Santana style.¬†Last, have you ever seen anything like these¬†metallic red wedges?¬†I am completely digging the¬†half d’orsay sides.

Carlos Santana Idol Carlos Santana Launch Carlos Santana Brash Rosso

Another key player for good causes is Kenneth Cole. He uses advertising for his huge brand of clothing, shoes, handbags, etc., as an opportunity to say something useful and important, not¬†solely for sales (although it works on me).¬†In his book, Footnotes (a portion of the sales of which also go to benefit AIDS research) he says,¬†“Advertising, I believe, is an opportunity to introduce your point of view… With humor I try to fuse, for example, global concerns with fashion realities, without trivializing either, and without being confrontational.” In addition to AIDS research, they also support groups like: Help USA, The Sundance Institute, Rock The Vote and Riverkeeper (determined to protect the Hudson River and watershed of NYC!).

With a resume like that, you know you can feel good about purchasing Kenneth Cole shoes (doesn’t hurt that they also feel good on your feet!).¬†My picks are these strappy leather boheme wooden heels (imagine with a long, billowy dress), a pair of lime green, snake embossed pumps (with anything! – ok, how about with some of those light colored wide leg jeans?) and I could not resist putting this last pair of black ankle-wrap sandals in for some serious I-wanna-dress-like-the-Olsens gladiator love. Just try not to wear them to Easter dinner with your family – grandma might faint ( love you g-mom).

Kenneth Cole Plat It Off Kenneth Cole Round Up Kenneth Cole Twisted

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