All posts by Justin Bearak

Made in USA—we proudly support local shoe and foot care businesses

Manufacturing Marketing magazine recently published an issue devoted to USA-made products, including 6th-generation Annin Flagmakers who has been manufacturing USA flags since 1847.

Here at Justin Blair, we have been partnering with locally-made companies since we started our business over 40 years ago.  On the heels of Independence Day in the USA, we would like to acknowledge the shoe care and foot care products we carry that are made in the USA and the manufacturers we partner with who manufacture many (or all) of their products locally.

We also manufacture many of our own products locally, including more than three-quarters of our Ralyn Shoe Care line.

Core Products

Core Products’ best-selling Tri-Core Cervical Pillow and Soft Comfort CorPak Hot & Cold Therapy packs are manufactured at their industrial sewing and textile manufacturing facility in Wisconsin.

Plastazote Sheets

We convert Plastazote—a latex-free, non-toxic and hypoallergenic foam used for orthotic formation that is free from all residual chemicals—in-house in our Chicago facility. As a result of manufacturing locally, we can assure the highest quality—as well as produce custom sheets, strips, or laminates in any size.

Ralyn Shoe Care

Ralyn Shoe Care, our in-house line, is made for shoe care professionals by industry experts. More than 80% of our line is manufactured in the USA, including our top-sellers, Ralyn Aquatec, Ralyn Leather Lotion and Ralyn PediMates.

Disposable Foot Sox

Our brand of disposable foot sox is manufactured at our partner’s dedicated hosiery plant in North Carolina. We sell a range of foot sox used by top footwear retailers, from the top-selling Women’s Disposable Foot Sox, to specialty foot sox such as Men’s Disposable Foot Sox, Disposable Cushioned Athletic Sox and Disposable Trouser Sox.

Join us in celebrating and supporting these manufacturers whose products are MADE IN THE USA!

 

Ralyn Shoe Care makeover: how we updated a local shoe care kiosk

 

We recently did a “makeover” on the Shoe Hospital shoe care kiosk in the B Concourse of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

The kiosk offers travelers a quick shoe shine, as well as grab-and-go shoe care products. With a record-setting 79+ million travelers passing through O’Hare each year, we wanted to help Shoe Hospital attract as many potential shoppers as possible, so we upgraded their kiosk with a selection of Ralyn Shoe Care products to appeal to the on-to-go traveler. 

Whether travelers are seeking comfort or needing a quick shoe upgrade, the Shoe Hospital kiosk now offers Ralyn Shoe Care insoles, shoe shapers, travel shine kits and shoelaces—plus our new DeoSole shoe deodorizing inserts and fitting aids to improve shoe fit and comfort (perfect for travelers on long flights).

See our full line of Ralyn Shoe Care products. 

To schedule a shoe care makeover for your kiosk or shop, reach out to one of our sales representatives. 

Tips for protecting shoes in rainy weather 

Spring showers mean May flowers—but they can also wreak havoc on shoes. Make sure your customers are prepared for rainy weather with these easy weather protection tips.

Weatherproof them

mink oil productwill condition the leather and also make it water repellent (not waterproof, so you still want to limit the shoe’s exposure to water).

For ultimate protection, choose a weather protection spray such as Ralyn Aquatec or Moneysworth & Best Pro-Tex Camp Spray. It adds a water-repellant layer to the shoe—causing water to bead up rather than soaking into the leather.

Cover them up

For total rain protection of dress shoes, good-old rubber overshoes are the way to go. They are 100% waterproof, lightweight and reusable—and also offer extra traction on slippery walking surfaces.

If shoes do get soaked

If shoes get soaked, always let them dry naturally. Never use a heat source to dry (i.e radiator, hair dryer) as this can dry out and damage the leather.

Stuff the inside of the shoes with newspaper and allow them to dry overnight. Inserting a pair of plastic shoe shapers or boot tree will help them retain their shape and prevent shrinkage as they dry.

Treat the leather

If shoes have gotten wet, the leather may become dry or brittle. A leather balm or  leather lotion will soften and condition the leather, bringing it back to life.

Questions about which weather protection products you should offer your customers? Give us a call or email.

How to Heat Mold Orthotic Inserts for the Perfect Fit

According to this article by Thrive Global, only 20% of people have so-called perfect feet—where “the shape of their foot is neutral enough that they don’t need any type of additional support to help it hold its shape when it is supporting the weight of the body.”

In other cases, it’s recommended to counteract that lack of support with a specially-designed shoe—or at the very least, a custom orthotic shoe insert.

By heat molding orthotic shoe inserts, the patient can walk away with a perfect fit and optimal foot comfort—in any shoe they wear.

Read our 4 easy steps to heat molding orthotic inserts below: 

 

Step 1

  • Pre-heat oven to 200 F. Use an interior thermometer to verify internal temperature.
  • We recommend using a countertop toaster oven for best results. Such an oven easily maintains a constant temperature evenly throughout the heating space.

Step 2

  • Pre-fit heat moldable inserts by placing into footwear.
  • Trim areas if necessary to achieve a perfect fit. We recommend Finny 10” shears for trimming inserts.

Step 3

  • Heat the inserts by placing them in the oven for 2 minutes.
  • Use a silicone mat to protect inserts from the metal parts of the toaster oven.
  • Use Thermo Gloves to remove inserts after heating as the inserts will be hot.
  • Remove inserts and prepare to mold them your patient’s foot.

Step 4

  • Using a Rubber Molding Pillow, place hot inserts on pillow.
  • Request patient to stand on orthotic (make sure a sock is worn to protect bottom of foot from hot insert).
  • Hold position for two minutes, this ensures the insert will permanently take the foot’s shape.
  • The ridges on the rubber molding pillow are where the foot’s arch rests; ridges provide the extra support to mold the proper arch profile into the insert.

Our Thermothotic Molding Kits contain everything you need for heat molding (one even includes the oven). They offer an easy, effective and quick way to properly achieve total contact with the patient’s foot. The kits include a unique polyurethane molding pillow which allows the patient to remain seated throughout the molding process, easily molding the orthotic to each arch to achieve total comfort.

See all of our Thermothotic shoe inserts.

NEW PRODUCT: DeoSole odor-destroying shoe patch

DeoSole shoe odor patch

We’ve added a new product to our Ralyn Shoe Care line: DeoSole® odor-destroying shoe patch.

The DeoSole patch uses a unique carbon laminate odor-neutralizing technology that offers up to 3 months protection against shoe odor. The compact size fits easily in all types of footwear and is easy to apply—just peel and stick the patch inside shoes.

DeoSole odor-destroying shoe patch

Makes a great addition to your shoe care accessories display or countertop for impulse purchase at checkout. Sold in units of 12.

Contact us to learn more about DeoSole and to place an order.

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NEW PRODUCT: Ghiblis foam rubber sheets from SVIG

ZVIG Ghiblis Itaca and Moonlight

We are now carrying Ghiblis foam rubber sheets from SVIG, an Italian supplier of high-quality rubber for shoes and orthopedics. 

Ghiblis sheets are made with an innovative micro rubber compound that features lightness, snap, elasticity, flexibility, and grip. This high-quality material is also well-suited to orthopedics. 

We carry two distinct patterns, Moonlight and Itaca, in either black or white. 

Contact us to learn more about SVIG Ghiblis and to place your order. 

Join our email list or follow us on Facebook to hear about new products first.

Thank you for a great year—here’s to 2019!

Our December Shoe Repair Meet & Greet was also a special “Customer Appreciation Event.”

We welcomed our customers with coffee, sweet treats—and prizes, of course! We gave away 10 Amazon Echo Dots and the grand prize was a big-screen TV.

Thank you to all of you who help us learn, grow, and become a better business every day. Here’s to a successful 2019!

RSVP for our upcoming Meet & Greets in January and February.

Join our email list or follow us on Facebook to hear about new products first.

NEW! Micro-size orthotic supports

Offer a unique, compact foot comfort solution to your shoe store or medical facility customers.

SoulInsole is a micro-size orthotic support that adds maximum comfort to any shoe. This amazingly small insole adds the perfect amount of arch support to prevent over-pronation and relieve pressure from the heel and forefoot. The revolutionary new design is durable, easy to clean and self-sticking so it can easily be moved from shoe to shoe.

In addition to the insole, the SoulInsole line also includes a unique Heel Wedge, Met Pad and Toe Separator.

Contact us to learn more about SoulInsole and place your order.

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NEW! Orthotics for ESD and children’s footwear

Add to the orthotic selection at your shoe store or medical facility with the new Powerstep ERGO ESD Orthotic, as well as the Powerstep Pinnacle Junior Orthotic, which is specially-designed for children’s footwear.

The Powerstep ERGOShield ESD Orthotic provides full contact electro-static dissipation (ESD) at the heel and ball of foot using conductive fibers threaded throughout the durable top cover. A contoured EVA base with a breathable urethane foam layer offers added cushioning and slight support for all-day comfort. It continuously dissipates static discharge in body to the shoe to the ground. Recommended for use in ESD-approved footwear only.

Pinnacle Junior is a fully cushioned, full support option for children’s footwear, which often lacks sufficient cushioning or support. The dual-layer EVA/VCT® Cushion foam offers full-foot comfort and shock absorption, and the encapsulated polypropylene arch support provides support and improved foot positioning.

Contact us to learn more and place your order.

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Our updated Buyer’s Guide is now available!

JB Buyers Guide 2019

The 6th edition of the Justin Blair & Company Buyer’s Guide features a new online format that makes it easy to navigate to specific product categories (Footwear, Orthopedics, Orthotic Materials, Shoe Care, Shoe Repair Supplies and Shoe Store Supplies), download pages you are interested in, and share pages via email or social media.

Plus, inside the 200-page Buyer’s Guide you’ll find:

  • More than 1,000 new products
  • An all new easier-to-use layout
  • Detailed sizing and color charts
  • All new Shoe Repair Supplies section

Take a look inside and see how our new Buyer’s Guide will help grow your business in the new year.

Print fans, never fear: hard copies of the Buyer’s Guide will be available late January 2019. Contact us to receive a print copy.