• The Birth of a Comfort Generation

    By Diana on Friday, September 12, 2014

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    Way back in 1990, when mood rings, baggy shorts and hair scrunchies dominated fashion trends, husband and wife team Mandy Cabot and Peter Kjellerup revolutionized the comfort footwear industry. How, you may ask?

    Well, it all started with the discovery of “the perfect barn shoe”—a comfortable, supportive clog found in a tiny store in Europe. At the time, Mandy and Peter were horse trainers in Southeastern Pennsylvania, and knew these simple clogs would change the lives of everyone who might wear them.  So they packed their suitcases with pairs to share with friends. When their friends tried them on, they told their friends. And just like that, the couple launched a comfort generation.

    From the introduction of our Professional clog to the present day, Mandy and Peter have diligently worked to achieve quality craftsmanship and attention to detail. Thoughtful engineering, highest-quality materials and rigorous testing enable every shoe we sell—including sneakers, boots, heels, flats and clogs—to deliver all-day comfort and support. This combination of materials and construction, or the Dansko DNA, as we call it, promotes good foot, leg and back health. What started with the Professional clog now benefits every Dansko style.  

    Below, we shine our magnifying glass on the original Professional clog by sharing ten keys steps in the design, construction and delivery process. Sit back, relax, and learn more about our iconic silhouette!

    • The Birth of a Comfort Generation -

      1. Putting the Pieces Together. At this step, all components of the shoe are combined with the Last to ensure that fit, function, and style all align with the creative vision. A prototype shoe is built around the selected Last. Each element is inspected by hand to evaluate quality and performance, both individually and when combined into the shoe.

      2. The Perfect Fit. Detailed measurements are taken and prototypes are fitted on the Last and on our Test Team (in-house Cinderellas!). The goal is to ensure that the shoe fits comfortably. If needed, the Last and shoe prototypes are adjusted. Materials, construction and fit are all finalized by testing a wide range of sizes (and types of feet) before production begins.​

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      3. Upper Material Selection. Our design team reviews thousands of fabric and leather swatches from all over the world each season, choosing only those materials that meet Dansko's high standards. The upper material is tested multiple times throughout the development cycle to ensure the finished product meets our high quality standards. Our Material Technicians take great care to ensure that the materials perform at their best - our full grain leathers are rich and luxurious, our patents bold and vibrant, our fabrics stunning, and our suedes silky to the touch.

      4. Pattern Cutting. With the upper materials chosen, it's time to start cutting. Our Material Technicians carefully place the patterns in such a way to ensure that the natural beauty of the upper materials is preserved and that waste is minimized. They also take care to cut the material so the grain of the leather is aligned with the design to ensure the natural wear and give of the material is preserved. Before an upper is attached to the outsole, it is inspected for material quality and workmanship.
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      5. Pre-Production Testing. We test shoe components, prototypes and pre-production pairs throughout the development cycle. Many tests are performed at independent laboratories, as well as our own laboratory, to ensure that our shoes perform the way we expect. Our laboratory, at our Pennsylvania HQ, has been certified by SATRA, the international organization that sets testing standards for the footwear industry. Dansko's lab performs a wide range of tests, including abrasion resistance, durability when flexing, and tensile strength.

      6. Stapled Construction. Our Stapled Collection launched Dansko! Each clog is carefully stapled by hand to attach the upper with the outsole, delivering maximum performance and durability.
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      7. Baked to Perfection. Once the shoes are constructed, they are heated to 'set' the upper materials. Creams, waxes and finishes are applied to enhance the handcrafted beauty of every pair.

      8. Testing, Testing, Testing. All Dansko shoes go through an extended fit and wear test process. Our Fitting Experts evaluate every Dansko style and size, working with our Test Team to conduct evaluations such as the 30-day "Walk & Wear" marathon...boots in August anyone?
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      9. Final Inspection. The final step is a detailed inspection for quality, aesthetics and craftsmanship. Only those shoes that pass all the rigorous inspections are approved to proudly wear the Dansko brand. These pairs are then placed into Dansko shoeboxes to begin the journey to your local retailer and, eventually, your closet.

      10. And Out the Door! More than 2,800 independent, national and online retail partners proudly carry Dansko footwear and would love to introduce you to your new favorite pair!

    ▼ Click to read more ▼
  • A Moment for Mindfulness: Tuning Into Your Taste Buds

    By Mindful Magazine on Thursday, September 11, 2014

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    ​Mindful eating is not directed by charts, tables, pyramids, or scales. It is not dictated by an expert. It is directed by your own inner experiences, moment by moment. Your experience is unique, making you the expert. In the process of learning to eat mindfully, we replace self-criticism with self-nurturing, anxiety with curiosity, and shame with respect for your own inner wisdom.

    In this post, I will discuss a crucial method for savoring all the tastes and smells of the delicious foods you eat—by practicing relaxed, patient, mindful eating.

    Mindfulness Is the Best Flavoring

    As I write this I am eating a lemon tart that a friend gave to me. After writing for a few hours I’m ready to reward myself with a tart. The first bite is delicious. Creamy, sweet-sour, melting. When I take the second bite, I think about what to write next. The flavor in my mouth decreases. I take another bite and get up to sharpen a pencil. As I walk, I notice I am chewing, but there is almost no lemon flavor in this third bite. I sit down, get to work, and wait a few minutes.

    Then I take a fourth bite, fully focused on the smells, tastes, and touch sensations in my mouth. Delicious, again! I discover, all over again (I’m a slow learner), that the only way to keep that “first bite” experience, to honor the gift my friend gave me, is to eat slowly, with long pauses between bites. If I do anything else while I’m eating—if I talk, walk, write, or even think—the flavor diminishes or disappears. The life is drained from my beautiful tart. I could be eating the cardboard box.

    Here’s the humorous part. I stopped tasting the lemon tart because I was thinking. About what? Mindful eating! Discovering that, I grin. To be a human being is both pitiful and funny.

    Why can’t I think, walk, and be aware of the taste of the tart at the same time? I can’t do all these at once because the mind has two distinct functions: thinking and awareness. When the thinking is turned up, the awareness is turned down. When the thinking function is going full throttle, we can eat an entire meal, an entire cake, an entire carton of ice cream, and not taste more than a bite or two. When we don’t taste, we can end up stuffed to the gills but feeling completely unsatisfied. This is because the mind and mouth weren’t present, weren’t tasting or enjoying, as we ate. The stomach became full but the mind and mouth were unfulfilled and continued calling for us to eat.

    If we don’t feel satisfied, we’ll begin to look around for something more or something different to eat. Everyone has had the experience of roaming the kitchen, opening cupboards and doors, looking vainly for something, anything, to satisfy. The only thing that will cure this, a fundamental kind of hunger, is to sit down and be, even for a few minutes, wholly present.

    If we eat and stay connected with our experience and with the people who grew and cooked the food, who served the food, and who eat alongside us, we will feel most satisfied, even with a meager meal. This is the gift of mindful eating, to restore our sense of satisfaction no matter what we are or are not eating.

    - Dr. Jan Chozen Bays

    Jan Chozen Bays is a pediatrician, mother, wife, and longtime meditation teacher. She is the author of Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food. (Shambhala Publications).

    Mindful will return in October with their next guest post. In the meantime, visit mindful.org for feature articles or to subscribe to the magazine in print or digital format.

    [Photo Credit: Dan Zen, license]

    ▼ Click to read more ▼
  • Staff Picks: Our Favorite Fall Styles

    By Christy on Friday, September 05, 2014

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    ​Time moves quickly, doesn’t it? Now at the tail end of summer, and preparing for fall, we cannot help but savor the nostalgia that autumn brings. In some parts of the country (like Pennsylvania!), the leaves display a brilliant palette of colors, warm apple cider appears on coffee shop menus, and brisk breezes fill the air. But at Dansko, fall symbolizes another transition: the unveiling of our latest footwear collections.

    For the past few weeks, we’ve been sharing new styles on Facebook and Twitter, like Sabrina from the Santa Fe Collection and Lulu from the Lyon Collection. We’re passionate about the fall line, so we thought we’d share our enthusiasm through the words of our staff.

    Which falls styles do we plan to wear this year? Find out below!
    • Staff Picks: Our Favorite Fall Styles -

      Heather, Customer Service

      “This fall, I will wear my favorite ‘go-to’ shoe: Olivia in Navy Polka Dot. And of course, I will wear this style EVERYWHERE. Olivia is not only the most comfortable pair of Dansko shoes I own, but also the most versatile, pairing with almost every outfit in my closet. I can truly wear Olivia all day long!”
    • Staff Picks: Our Favorite Fall Styles -

      Anna, Purchasing

      “I look forward to spending the fall outdoors. I’m envisioning my Celeste slip-ons by living by my back door where I can quickly put them on to walk the dog, tend to the garden, and attend my son’s cross-country meets on early weekend mornings. They will definitely keep my feet dry and cozy in the wet, chilly grass!”
    • Staff Picks: Our Favorite Fall Styles -

      Kristen, Finance

      “I’m excited to wear Renee this fall. Because I often go straight from work to my son’s outdoor sporting events, I need a stylish shoe that can be worn all day long. Renee fits the bill!”
       
      To learn more about Olivia, Celeste, Renee and the rest of our brand-new fall styles, visit Dansko.com.
       
    ▼ Click to read more ▼
  • Get to Know Tamara: Our Go-To-Work or Go-Out Shoe

    By Nick on Thursday, September 04, 2014

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    ​Before making essential purchases, consumers often consult professional reviews. Cars receive ratings for crash-test performance, vacuums receive ratings for suction capacity, and refrigerators receive ratings for longevity and reliability. But what about shoes?

    This summer, Restaurant Business Magazine added shoes to the consumer review mix, completing their first-ever “shoe test.” The publication tasked eight staff members with a challenge: to test popular styles for “front-of-house” workers—like hosts, hostesses and servers—and “back-of-house” workers—like chefs, cooks and dishwashers. Based on comfort, durability and slip resistance, the Magazine ranked the top shoes in the industry.

    How did we fare?

    Dansko served as the only brand to score top marks across the board, a humbling honor! In particular, the Magazine praised our Tamara shoe, offering a perfect 15 out of 15 score. Ready for busy professionals, including back-to-school teachers and creative culinary experts, Tamara took home the Magazine’s highest review. 

    Below, we share a few of Tamara’s greatest features—and a few of the reasons Restaurant Business Magazine celebrated our comfortable, supportive shoe. Take a look! 

    • Get to Know Tamara: Our Go-To-Work or Go-Out Shoe  -

      1. Richly-burnished, full-grain leather uppers offer workday style and durability. But when you get home, why not keep them on? Tamara pairs with cords, trousers, jeans, bootcut pants and more, delivering the ultimate got-to-work or go-out shoe.

      2. Speaking of style, we took Tamara’s clean and classic lines and added a heritage-inspired buckle. Subtle accent stitches complement a stitched-to-sole construction, offering a timeless look for every day of the week.
       
      3. A breathable leather socklining provides comfort for the breakfast rush and the late-night crew. When you’re on the move all day, every day, you’ll want dry feet (and socks!).
       
      4. Trust us: comfort and breathability should always work in tandem. So we infused the socklining with leather and latex foam, ensuring all-day comfort with a soft and supportive ride.
       
      5. Despite offering all these features (and more), we kept Tamara lightweight and stable, providing an ideal option for all-day travels.
       
      Interested in learning more about Tamara? Visit Dansko.com for all the details, or check out our "Find A Retailer" page to find a pair near you!
       
      [Magazine Photo Credit: Restaurant Business Magazine]

       

    ▼ Click to read more ▼
  • Four Nursing Lessons and One Big Giveaway

    By Diana on Friday, August 29, 2014

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    ​With just a few weeks left for getaway vacations and spontaneous road trips, students nationwide have started to focus on an annual fall transition: the busy back-to-school season. Exams, long nights of studying and countless cups of coffee will become familiar once again, striking a balance with club meetings, sporting events and dining hall meals.

    As students filter back into dorm rooms and college apartments, Kaplan Nursing, a leading educational resource for nursing students, has decided to add a little fun to the back-to-school transition. How, you may ask?

    By launching a “Start Off On The Right Foot” giveaway for nurses! Each week from now until November 10, 2014, Kaplan will select two lucky winners to receive an “Essential Back-to-School Kit.” The prize pack includes a handful of nursing must-haves, from a book of medical terms, to a 12-ounce bag of coffee, to (you guessed it!) a free pair of Dansko shoes.

    In the spirit of back-to-school season, and in honor of Kaplan’s giveaway, we connected with two of our nurse blogger friends to share the most valuable lessons their professors ever taught them. Check out their responses below—and be sure to enter Kaplan’s giveaway by visiting Kaplan.com! All entries must be submitted by October 31.

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      Name: Caroline Porter Thomas
      Location: Miami, Florida
      Nursing Specialty: Telemetry
      Career Goal: I want to write my 4th book this year!
      Favorite Dansko Shoe: Professional clog in simple, plain colors

       
      The two most influential lessons your professors ever taught you:
       
      Be cautious and ask lots of questions. I think about this lesson every day; many times we are so busy it can be hard to think clearly. But this lesson reminds me that it’s critical to take a step back and assess each situation individually. In my position, I can never be too careful!
       
      Don’t forget about kindness. As a nurse, I am so, so busy, and as crazy as it sounds, I occasionally forget to treat my patients like “human beings.” To ensure that I do, I try to meet my patients eye-to-eye when I speak with them. This helps me slow down and treat each patient with kindness!
    • Four Nursing Lessons and One Big Giveaway -

      Name: Joni Watson
      Location: Waco, Texas
      Nursing Specialty: Oncology/Administration
      Career Goal: I want to become a Chief Nursing Officer while running a few creative side businesses that focus on encouraging others
      Favorite Dansko Shoe: Professional clog in Antique Brown Oiled
      Blog: Nursetopia.net

      The two most influential lessons your professors ever taught you: 

      New beginnings always bring anxiety. Give them time. During my first semester of nursing school, a clinical instructor required us to maintain a "critical thinking journal" to track our experiences and analyze them over time. This was the very first lesson I learned in nursing school, and I think about the process every time feelings of fear or intimidation arise.
       
      Never say never. Near the end of my college career, one of my professors continually encouraged me to try new clinical experiences and "jump right in" to the bone marrow transplant ICU (even though I was 110% sure I was going to work in labor and delivery). Nearly eight months after graduating, I realized that oncology was my true passion, and I began working on a dedicated oncology unit. Now, even when I simply think I'll never do something, I try to embrace the experience!

      As the back-to-school transition draws closer, make sure to enter the Kaplan giveaway. Who knows – you may be wearing a comfortable, supportive pair of Dansko shoes the next time you head to class or clinicals!
       
    ▼ Click to read more ▼

Archive Vault

  1. 2014 (55)
    1. September (4)
      1. September 12 2014 The Birth of a Comfort Generation
      2. September 11 2014 A Moment for Mindfulness: Tuning Into Your Taste Buds
      3. September 05 2014 Staff Picks: Our Favorite Fall Styles
      4. September 04 2014 Get to Know Tamara: Our Go-To-Work or Go-Out Shoe
    2. August (10)
      1. August 29 2014 Four Nursing Lessons and One Big Giveaway
      2. August 27 2014 Allison and the Country’s Top Food Markets
      3. August 25 2014 Recognizing our Footwear Family with Five Anniversaries
      4. August 21 2014 Shop the Trend: On Active Duty
      5. August 19 2014 Momentum Magazine: 5 Ways to Incorporate Bicycling Into Your Daily Routine
      6. August 14 2014 Touring Dansko Headquarters: Our Five Favorite Spots
      7. August 12 2014 A Moment for Mindfulness: Three Ways to Focus the Wandering Mind
      8. August 08 2014 The “Art” of Mneme Therapy: How Kim Ingwaldson Makes A Difference Every Day
      9. August 06 2014 Five Dancing Tips and One Stylish Sandal for your Latin Dancing Routine
      10. August 05 2014 Retailer Spotlight: Vintage and Modern Shoe Care Tips from Simons Shoes
    3. July (10)
      1. July 30 2014 Summer Days at Dansko: A Dip & Dessert BBQ Spectacular
      2. July 28 2014 Shop the Trend: Refreshingly Cobalt
      3. July 23 2014 A Passion for Fashion: Q&A With Marcus Allen
      4. July 21 2014 Dansko and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Team Up to "Save the Bay"
      5. July 15 2014 The "Idiosyncratic Fashionistas" Weigh In: How Do You Form a Style Identity?
      6. July 11 2014 A Moment for Mindfulness: Practice in Posture, A Seated Guide to Meditation
      7. July 10 2014 Fran’s Four Fabulous and Functional Summer Hairstyles
      8. July 08 2014 10 Summer Adventures for 10 Dansko Shoes
      9. July 03 2014 Retailer Spotlight: 10 Paddlesport Tips from Route 96 Power and Paddle
      10. July 01 2014 The Essential Guide to your Fourth of July Tablescape
    4. June (9)
      1. June 30 2014 In the News: Dansko Co-Founder and CEO Mandy Cabot
      2. June 27 2014 Food, Farms and Comfortable Clogs: Q&A With Cooking Light Executive Chef Anna Bullett
      3. June 24 2014 Summer Days at Dansko: Team Day 2014
      4. June 20 2014 Cabot Creamery Makes a Difference in Local Communities
      5. June 17 2014 Shop the Trend: Rooted in Vintage
      6. June 12 2014 A Moment For Mindfulness: Introducing Guest Bloggers Mindful Magazine
      7. June 10 2014 Kickstart Your Art Collection with these Five Artsy Tips
      8. June 05 2014 A Woman of Many Titles: Q&A with Image Consultant Michele Gustafson
      9. June 02 2014 Trend Alert: Your Complete Guide to Normcore
    5. May (10)
      1. May 30 2014 Shop the Trend: Fresh and Fabulous Florals
      2. May 28 2014 10 Summer Suitcase Essentials for your Next Adventure
      3. May 22 2014 Brooklyn Chef Justin Warner Shares Three Kitchen Essentials (Hint: He wears Dansko shoes!)
      4. May 20 2014 Let Your Garden Grow: An Early June Planting Guide
      5. May 16 2014 A Month of Celebrations: Dansko Recognizes Teachers and Nurses
      6. May 14 2014 A Mixologist’s Journey: Q&A with Bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler (And a Cocktail Recipe, too!)
      7. May 13 2014 Dansko Volunteers Hit the Road During "Footwear Cares" Month of Service
      8. May 08 2014 Mother's Day 2014: Why Do We Celebrate Mom?
      9. May 07 2014 Lace up Your Sneakers and Visit Our Top Walking Cities
      10. May 01 2014 Six Stretches for your Workday
    6. April (7)
      1. April 29 2014 "America's Best Cook" Contestant Presses Onward – In Dansko Clogs!
      2. April 25 2014 A Step-By-Step Guide to Planting your Arbor Day Tree
      3. April 23 2014 Shop the Trend: Bright, Bold, Beautiful Tangerine
      4. April 21 2014 Earth Day 2014: Five Steps for Conserving Water at Home
      5. April 17 2014 Q&A with Street Style Blogger Dana Landon
      6. April 14 2014 Recipe Time: A Sweet Spring Treat from King Arthur Flour
      7. April 01 2014 10 Spring Adventures for 10 Dansko Shoes
    7. March (5)
      1. March 28 2014 Volunteers Leave a SPLASHing Impact
      2. March 26 2014 Spotted in Dansko: Acclaimed Chef Suzanne Goin
      3. March 24 2014 Celebrating Employee Ownership with a Little Competition (And a LOT of Laughter!)
      4. March 21 2014 Suits, Sweaters and Dansko: Q&A with New York Designer Drew Villani
      5. March 20 2014 Now Introducing: Word of Foot!
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