I first heard about the Earth Shoe when I was a kid; in part because they were all the buzz in the health food stores frequented by my mother, and partly because it was the mid-70s and everyone heard about the Kalsø Earth Shoe and its mystical negative heel. I didn’t know what a negative heel was then, but I did know it made you a better person somehow and I wanted them. The problem was, everyone else did too—literally. But first, a little background.
Anne Kalso was a yoga master originally from Denmark. She observed that the “Mountain Pose” in yoga, a fairly simple lifting of the toes relative to the heel, actually helped promote a physical feeling of well-being. Anne believed in wellness in a very organic form should be part of your everyday experience, so she created the Kalsø Negative Heel. After years of success in Europe, the newly-christened Kalsø Earth Shoe came to America in April 1970—just in time for America’s first Earth Day.
America was in a full-scale wellness renaissance, and the innovative shoes with their healthy message proved wildly popular. Demand was so great at one point that the company had to run full-page ads asking people to please be patient. But don’t worry, they’ve hired a few more cobblers since then.
Fast forward a couple decades and about a gazillion pairs of shoes, and we catch up to the Kalsø Earth Shoe organization, now known as Earth, Inc. just as they are launching their Earthies® collection. This innovative line leverages all of those years of good-for-the-body know-how, but crafts it into a gorgeous line of elegant designs for work and dress-casual occasions, you know the ones; where you want a little more snap and sizzle.
But enough history; let’s look at some shoes. These shoes were made famous for their ability to mimic walking barefoot in sand, but they could just have easily made their name for their unique and slightly funky styles. Take the Kalsø Earth Shoe Invoke; sure, it’s got that mystical negative heel, but the real mystery is how it manages to be vintage and fashion-forward at the same time.
The Kalsø Earth Shoe Rally shares the Invoke’s ability to improve posture and reduce joint stress, but it does so in a snappy little mary jane.
Earthies, on the other hand (or is it foot?), are like the trendy little sister to the Kalso Earth Shoe. They share a lot of the same wellness-focused characteristics, but the Earthies are less about negative heels and more…how do they say it…”Wellness…Elevated.” Take the Earthies Barina; two parts sophisticated and one part sassy—all sitting on a wellness-focused footbed. It’s like they made a healthy chocolate torte.
And if you want to talk about a great way for wellness to be part of your every day, look no further than the Earthies Sarenza. If you can’t picture an outfit to wear with these right now, then you should go shopping. These glamorous little pumps may have a contoured footbed designed to improve your posture, but that is not the only reason you will be standing tall. They are gorgeous.