When I was a little kid, Jaime Sommers, a.k.a. the Bionic Woman, was my idol. Although we all cannot be Jaime Sommers (and in reality, may not want to be), we can all be Vionic women, as I learned upon an invite to visit the West Hollywood fitness studio of celebrity trainer Juliet Kaska to view the complete line of Vionic shoes and go home with a pair of “red carpet” red walking shoes. The sandals and loafers, for lack of a better pun, are flat-out fabulous. Lots of nice designer details, from leopard prints and patents in attention-getting colours, to silhouettes that promise to keep you comfortable all day without looking as if you looted your hippie aunt’s stash of Birkenstocks and orthopædic oxfords.
The cheerful red walkers everybody went home with did have a fun, street-chic vibe to them. I wore them to work the next day, and was delighted that my feet, and the rest of the legs, felt pretty good from 7.45 a.m. to 3 p.m. The job literally keeps me on my toes, and the way it is padded (like a several hundred dollar orthotic built into a shoe), felt particularly good.
The science behind the style can be traced to Australian podiatrist Phillip Vasyli. The Vionic Innovation Lab (VIL) is an unparallelled collaborative of world-renowned authorities with a common vision: to enhance foot health and advance affordable, innovative technologies that help feet and legs function at their very best. Over his years in practice, Vasyli has witnessed the biomechanical effects of overpronation (the excess rolling of the outside of the foot to the inside). To address the problem, in 1987, he introduced the Vasyli custom heat-mouldable orthotic, a fast, low-cost solution and vast improvement over previous—and more expensive—treatment options. This led to the 1991 invention of the globally acclaimed Orthaheel, the world’s first and only true orthotic available without a doctor’s prescription.
Orthaheel orthotic inserts and sandals quickly expanded through Australia and the UK, and the company’s 2007 US market introduction was received with great enthusiasm and commercial success. It also did not hurt that Dr Andrew Weil, integrative medicine guru, and Juliet Kaska have advanced its cause. To bring it further, the red-carpet shoe press event also served as an official kick-off to the third annual Walkabout Campaign, where those who attain the shoes and make a pledge to attain better health will receive 28 days of fitness tips from Juliet Kaska and healthy recipe ideas from Dr Weil. The contest is open to the public, and a grand prize winner will be selected at the culmination of the campaign, based on participation, to win a Red Carpet Ready weekend where they will be flown to Los Angeles to train with celebrity trainer Juliet Kaska at JK Zen Fitness in West Hollywood. The winner will also receive Vionic footwear, athletic wear and fitness gear to begin their personal health journey.
For more information, or to sign up, visit www.vionicshoes.com/2014-walkabout-signup.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor