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On Staging a Sandal Intervention


Hello our dear, sweet Flip Flops,

Thanks for taking the time to read this. We thought we’d start easy—because what we have to say isn’t going to be, well, easy. So first, thank you for just reading this. When you’re done with this letter, please join us in the living room. All of us: Bootsy, Mr. Sneakers, Ms. Dressy Shoes.

So, what’s this about? Well, we love you and if you don’t change, something else will have to change.

We’ve been through a lot together – all of us – so we’re going to speak honestly.

We’ve noticed that you’ve been hanging around the closet more than you used to. It’s not that we don’t love having you around. No one else can tell a good adventure story like you can! Bootsy has done some sweet mountain trips, but he only gets out every so often.

You used to be out EVERY day of the summer. You were the first to get packed for a trip to the beach, the first pulled out for errands around town and the only shoes that ever get to go to a barbeque. Truth be told, we’re all a little jealous of how much action you see. At the same time, we understand. You’re cool, easy-going and comfy. Who wouldn’t want you around?

Here’s comes the hard part, Flips. All of us are beginning to worry that your days are numbered. Just a few weeks ago, you came back to the closet with a dramatic toss. Obviously, we were all concerned that you’d thrown a strap or delaminated or something tragic. No, buddy. You were in one – well, technically – two pieces.

Then it hit us… literally. You smell terrible! You reek! You stink!

It seemed to happen almost overnight. First, you came back from the pool earlier than expected. Word on the street was that you never even made to the water. We’re not accusing you of anything, Flippy, but you know how the other shoes love to talk. Most of us have been around this closet a long time and we’ve seen too many flip flops leave before their time. Don’t have your last adventure be a trip to the dump, Flipper.

Bootsy has lasted as long as he has because every time he gets a little tired, he signals by allowing a little water through his skin. Voila! A little wax-like stuff and one massage later, he’s rejuvenated. Bootsy lives to hike another year!

Here’s what you need to do, otherwise it’s sayonara summer shoes. Beg for Nikwax Sandal Wash. You’ve made the first step to admitting there’s a problem by wafting your odor at completely unexpected times. If you push the stench thing too hard, Sandal Wash can still get you out of trouble, but the head that goes along with your beloved feet may be hesitant to attempt to save you.

It’ll tickle a little, but it’s worth it. First you’ll take a warm shower. Then the hands that go along with your beloved feet will rub some Sandal Wash all over you. It feels like a nice loofah scrub at a Scandinavian spa or something. Another quick rinse and you’ve just guaranteed yourself another summer of fun. Plus, the closet will be a much nicer place without you stinkin’ up the joint.

We love you enough to tell you this, Flips, so we hope you love yourself enough to be part of the solution.

Your friends,

The size 9 gang

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Beat the heat


Summer: the one season that has the power to make us suffer and enjoy it at the same time. It’s during these dog days that we have hours and hours of sunlight that lure us outside. The same sun bears down in relentless heat, which can zap the enthusiasm of even the most die-hard athlete.

And for us recreational athletes? Well, we get hot, too! It’s (kind of) tempting to hole up inside, but we don’t really want to. There’s vitamin D to absorb, after all! Blue sky! Sun! Here at Nikwax USA’s Seattle headquarters, those are in limited supply. We want to beat the heat, not escape it.

So, even if it’s hot enough to almost fry an egg on the sidewalk, we’ll take fresh air and scenery every time.

(A side note: always be on the lookout for symptoms of heat exhaustion, which can include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

If you experience any of these symptoms, move to somewhere cooler, sip water, and stop rigorous activity.

Now—when it’s just hot, and not heat-exhaustion hot—here’s how we suggest you  beat the heat and  keep your cool.

  • Do acclimate. Don’t go out for a two hour hike in the heat of the day if you haven’t been consistently working out in the warmer temps. Build your way up time wise, so your body doesn’t go into shock when blasted with that blazing sun.
  • Do take advantage of the extra daylight. The cooler evening and morning temperatures are so much easier on the constitution than, say, high noon.
  • Do wear the right clothing. Clothes that wick and are light in color are the best choices for the summer swelter. Don’t forget that a hat/visor can also do wonders to keep you cool. Make sure you keep those wicking and cooling properties at there max by properly washing and maintaining your workout wear with products like Nikwax BaseWash.
  • Do hydrate properly. Avoid that last beer before bed and caffeine in the morning before that singletrack ride or five-mile run. Keeping on top of your hydration all day long (before, during and post workout) will help keep your body temperature regulated. Not a huge fan of H2O? Try adding some Nuun hydration tablets, or toss a slice of lemon into your water bottle.
  • Do choose your path wisely. Is there shade, access to a water fountain, a sprinkler or two that goes off during your route? Ask yourself what are the cooling benefits you will have access to based on the direction you go and maximize those advantages.
  • Do partner up. Nothing helps more than having a buddy to keep that motivation up, to keep accountability and to keep safe.
  • Do know when enough is enough. If you begin to feel any of the symptoms of heat exhaustion/stroke from dizziness to cramping, stop activity.
  • Do take care of yourself once back indoors. Continue to hydrate by jazzing up water with a slice of lemon, enjoying a coconut water or some green tea with honey, eating water-based fruits and veggies like watermelon, pineapple and cucumber and taking a cold shower.

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Tips for keeping kids’ uniforms clean


Your kid may be good at science, but that doesn’t mean you want to participate in a microbiology experiment in your home this summer. Yep, we’re talking about uniforms—the baseball/soccer/swim/lacrosse/all-around active gear that gets hammered on a regular basis.

If you’re a parent, you know how quickly kids sports gear grimes up. And it’s not just dirt we’re talking about. There are bacteria, mold and fungus that can sprout in less-than-hygienic conditions.

To make sure your kid stands out for their performance on the court or field and not because they smell up the locker room, here are some tips.

1. Air-dry all equipment when wet before throwing it back in a bag or storing it. Drying it outside is OK as long as you avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.

2. Wipe down equipment that has direct contact with skin after use. Avoid using odor sprays and products full of chemicals that can break down the plastic and other materials today’s gear is made of. Simply spray hydrogen peroxide on each piece and wipe down with water.

3. Don’t let stinky stained clothes pile up until Mt. St. Odor takes over the laundry room. Create a weekly cleaning routine, teaching your older children where to put their sports apparel post use.

4. That red sticky Popsicle may have been the perfect treat post game but the red stains won’t be a treat to get out when the wrapper and stick go through the wash. Be sure to check the pockets before throwing any uniforms in the wash.

5. Two words: Base Wash. Use Nikwax’s Base Wash each time you wash any uniform made from synthetic material. While you are at it, turn the uniform inside out before throwing it into the wash too.

7. You may think you are saving time throwing in that sportswear with other wash, but for better results, wash it all separately from other clothes. Better yet, throw in a cycle of  BaseFresh to eliminate odors, maintain wicking properties at their maximum, and prolong the uniform’s longevity.

How you take care of and store your equipment is just as important for making it last. While we all would love the crew from HGTV to come over and build us the perfect mudroom/garage, simple to find products from bins and hooks to racks and organizers will also do the trick. Before storing those bats, gloves, sticks etc., follow these tips.

1. Make sure equipment is completely dry before storing.

2. Keep equipment from being exposed to damp environments, excessive heat and excessive cold temperatures.

3. Use Nikwax Leather Cleaner to remove mud from baseball gloves and other leather equipment. To condition the leather, use Nikwax Conditioner for Leather.

4. Shoes stink? That’s a silly question. Of course they do. Use Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel to get those cleats ready for the next game.