Saturday, March 9, 2013

Kalso Earth Shoes

Kalso Earth Shoes

Get 20% off Kalso Earth Shoes this Earth Day! Just use code Earth20 at checkout

Find Kalso Earth Shoes at the best online source for Yoga lifestyle products.

It’s a story that goes back more than 40 years. Anne Kalsø, a Danish yoga master, made the insightful observation that the daily raising of the toes relative to the heels could actually help people attain a physical feeling of wellness like that experienced in the yoga position - ‘Mountain’ pose. Inspired by the thought that wellness, in its most organic form, could be part of an everyday experience, she set out to develop the very first Kalsø Earth® Shoe.

From those passionate beginnings now thrives an expansive collection of casual wellness footwear. Each and every one true to its roots as ‘the original wellness shoe’.
Designed by nature.   Created by Kalsø.

See the collection here at DownDog Boutique

A little history courtesy of Wikipedia:

Earth shoes (also known as Kalso Earth Shoes) were an unconventional style of shoe invented in the 1970s in Scandinavia by Danish shoe designer Anna Kalsø. Unlike most other shoes, the soles were thick and the heels were thin (Negative Heel Technology), so wearing them one walked heel-downward.

The shoes were introduced in the United States in New York City on April 1, 1970. This was the first "Earth Day" and so the shoes became known as Kalso Earth Shoes.

The shoes surged in popularity and were prominently featured on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and TIME Magazine. Unable to keep up with demand, franchise owners pursued litigation against the United States distributor of Kalso Earth Shoes, and the brand discontinued being sold at retail by the late 1970s.

In 2001, Kalso Earth Shoes re-surfaced as the rights to the name, technology and branded properties was purchased by Meynard Designs, Inc.

Here are a couple of photo's of Ann Kalso in the 1970's with her shoes:

A little more detailed history courtesy of Earth Shoes:

It's a story that goes back more than 40 years...

Anne Kalsø was born in the Faroe Islands off Denmark in 1905. Her life was defined by a deep immersion in the study of yoga, and the fundamental belief that wellness principles needn't be reserved for just one aspect of an individual's life, but could be wholly integrated as part of an everyday existence.

Kalsø 's passion for yoga led her to study in Switzerland and eventually in Santos, Brazil. It was there, in 1957, that she observed the excellent posture of indigenous Brazilians, and the impressions left by their bare footprints as they walked through beach sand. She observed that the footprints laid were deeper in the heels than in the toes. This natural body position resonated with the thoughtful Kalsø . It echoed a formative yoga pose she knew well – Tadasana (the 'Mountain' pose).
As she herself emulated the pose of the native Brazilians, she noticed how her own posture improved, and how her breathing passages opened. She was inspired.

Returning to Denmark, Kalsø enlisted the help of a Portuguese shoe maker to begin what would become a 10-year process to design the original Kalsø Shoe. Although not a shoemaker by trade, Kalsø was deeply immersed in the process of shoe development -- even testing prototype models on long hikes that covered hundreds of miles. According to Kalsø , "it took numerous years of hard work before I reached the final form of my shoe that takes into consideration all the natural demands of the foot and body. It is only now that I know I have created something. It is no longer an idea in my mind, but is something that is thoroughly tested and proven."

Kalsø began selling her shoes from a modest storefront in Copenhagen. Those who discovered her shoes became passionate about their benefits. Many reported that the shoes helped ease chronic foot and body problems. Expectedly, people from around the world inquired about the shoes. But Kalsø insisted that they be experienced in-person prior to being worn.

Even with such interest and fervor, it was not until the mid-to-late 1960's that Kalsø entertained the idea of expansion – ultimately exploring retail beyond Denmark. And specifically in the United States.

April 1st, 1970 would mark the much-heralded opening of the first United States distribution point for Kalsø 's shoes. Coinciding with the first Earth Day, the name of the shoes - on the spot – was changed to "Kalsø Earth Shoes" and capitalized on the youthful movement and energy that defined the day. The trajectory of a wellness enterprise was underway. With much thanks and credit going to a Danish yoga instructor, a belief that wellness could be part of everyone's daily existence, and a simple shoe.

Kalsø Earth Shoes. Designed by Nature. Created by Kalsø.
1971The Kalsø Earth Shoe becomes the symbol of the 'casual revolution' started on college campuses around the country. Comfort and wellness inform the thinking of many progressive young people nationwide.
1975The Metropolitan Museum of Art places a Kalsø Earth Shoe in its permanent collection, securing its place as an icon that balances both form and function.
1990'sRestoring the name and its technologies, the Kalsø Earth Shoe is re-scoped and re-vitalized under a new company -- Earth, Inc.  New fashion-forward styling and an expanded assortment - all of which features the Kalsø Earth Shoe's signature "negative heel" – provide the underpinnings of the new enterprise.
2003Kalsø Earth Shoe distribution expands into markets including Canada, Japan, Italy and Australia.
2008Reputable industry trade publication, Footwear Plus, honors Earth, Inc. with an "Excellence in Design" award.
1970The first Kalsø Earth Shoe store opens on East 17th Street in New York City, coinciding with the world's first celebration of Earth Day.
1974TIME Magazine publishes an extensive story on the Kalsø Earth Shoe.  Demand soars.  A full-page ad appears in national publications stating, "Please Be Patient.  We're Making Our Shoes as Fast as We Can!"
1980'sUnable to keep up with demand, the Kalsø Earth Shoe in its first incarnation is no longer able to be sold at retail in the United States.  Regional networks of consumer loyalists develop – petitioning to bring back the Kalsø Earth Shoe in some form.
2001The Kalsø Earth Shoe is officially re-launched.  Noting its re-emergence, famed European shoe designer, Manolo Blahnik, remarks in a June TIME Magazine article "… the Kalsø Earth Shoe was the first shoe to ever make a social statement …"
2004Leading the sustainable footwear design evolution, Earth, Inc. becomes one of the first shoe manufacturers to introduce water-based adhesives throughout 100% of its line.
2010Leveraging the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, Kalsø Earth Shoes celebrate their 40th birthday.