Inquirer Lifestyle columnist, running advocate and triathlete Tessa Prieto-Valdes said you don’t have to be a hard-core runner to be active. Not everyone is fit to hit the tracks, for one, while others don’t have the schedule or safe environment for it.
Walking prepares the body for high-impact running. It helps you develop discipline, especially the formerly sedentary, to maintain an active routine. Valdes, a mother of four known for her over-the-top style, added that being fashionable can also inspire you to work out. Her walking shoes of choice: Glagla sneakers from France.
Her first Glagla was the Tutti Frutti model, which comes in a citrus combination of green, orange, yellow and white. She uses this for walking, cycling, and as after-yoga footwear. The best thing about the shoes, she said, is that “they’re super light and cool on the feet.”
Glagla sneakers claim to be the “coolest shoes on earth.” Entrepreneur Popsie Gamboa, who brought the collection to the Philippines, explained: “Glagla sneakers are well-ventilated and lightweight. It reduces perspiration by 50 percent, warding off unpleasant smell as you comfortably walk.”
Valdes gave tips to those who want to start walking regularly: “Walk only as fast and as long as you can; stretch to avoid injuries; be totally hydrated all the time; wear a colorful outfit; and sport a nice lip color!”
A pair of Glagla sneakers weighs 170 grams. It is built with Wind’air technology, which promotes natural ventilation. The inside lining is made of soft polyester Drytech fabric traditionally used for sportswear. The outer upper part is made of Drytech material, which allows air to circulate.
The sole has three layers: Two are made out of absorbent Drytech fabric, and one is of molded ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) with carbon rubber reinforcement that absorbs pressure. A layer of metallic wire membrane protects the soles and prevents stuff like pebbles from getting into the shoes.
“The sneakers reduce temperature by 6°C, and you can wear them without socks without worrying about blisters,” Gamboa added. “It has a Bacteria Safe System that reduces sweating as well.”
The unisex shoes come with a Velcro tape, but you can also use shoelaces for longer walks and more secure wear.
Glagla has been around in Europe and US since 2002, where sales pick up during summer. The kiosk in Power Plant Mall in Rockwell, Makati, which Valdes designed (she’s also an interior designer) is the first branch in Southeast Asia.
In tropical Philippines, where it’s mostly humid, Glagla could be your all-weather shoes. It also doubles as aqua shoes for sports activities, since the wire mesh allows water to get through, so they dry up pretty fast.
Since the brand was launched last May, sales have picked up, said Gamboa. The first buyers were those familiar with Glagla, which they used to get as pasalubong from abroad, while the come-ons for new buyers are the youthful style and vivid colors.
Glagla Classic (P2,695 a pair) is available in basic black, white, red. There are bright styles like the Metal Blue (silver and sky blue) and Metal Pink (silver and hot pink), and the best-selling combination Flag Blue (blue, red and white). The ballerina-style flats called Marbella are also available in black. Glagla Flash for kids are available, too.
“Teens love Glagla shoes because it can keep up with a lot of walking and give a pop of color to their casual outfit. Medical professionals buy the white ones for work, and the seniors trust the skid-proof shoes,” Gamboa said.
To clean, hand-wash in color-safe detergent.
Glagla is available at R2 Bridgeway, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati; tel. no. 8066221.