Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Times Have Changed

The construction of the new Bozeman parking garage behind Schnee's corporate offices on Main Street is nearly complete. A bit behind schedule, the Bozeman parking garage is 5 stories (including the basement level) of downtown parking.

Sadly, our view of the Bridger Mountains is completely blotted out, but we look forward to more downtown shopping when the garage is finally opened. Hopefully that day is just around the corner, both for the sake of downtown Bozeman, the construction crew that has been working diligently in all kinds of weather and for our customer service team who have continued to serve our telephone customers over the constant drone of heavy machinery. See before and after images below:

Monday, December 15, 2008

The 28th Annual Christmas Stroll on Main Street in Bozeman, Montana

The 28th Annual Christmas Stroll in Historic Downtown Bozeman was packed this year. The unusually warm weather encouraged people to stay outside longer, which actually made shopping easier for the folks inside.

There was food to be found, Christmas carolers, Santa Claus, hay wagons, plenty of Christmas shopping and of course the traditional lighting ceremony of the downtown decorations.

Schnee’s Boots and Shoes’ kicked of the Christmas Stroll with the eagerly anticipated annual visit from the Bernese Mountain Dogs of the Heartland Bernese Mountain Dog Club. They were a hit as always. Schnee’s Boots and Shoes also featured an elegant brass band playing traditional Christmas music. There was much cheer and shoe shopping.

The Powder Horn was also hopping with sportsmen and women escaping the crowds to browse all the gear and ranchwear. The Powder Horn staff was hard at work – as always.

For more information on the Christmas Stroll or other downtown activities contact Downtown Bozeman Association at 586-4008 or visit www.downtownbozeman.org.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Discontinued Chaco Sandals 40% Off Sale!

Click to view our Chaco closeout sale!Take advantage of sale discontinued Chaco sandals at 40% off! All closeout styles are less than $50! Hurry for the best selection of last season's Chaco sandals. While supplies last.  View all Sale Chaco Sandals >

Click to view Chaco sale sandals!

What Makes Chaco Sandals Great. . .

The Chaco BioCentric™ Footbed

Chaco sandals are APMA acceptedChaco collaborated with certified pedorthist to design a footbed that controls pronation and maximizes performance. Their BioCentric™ footbed ensures a supported, comfortable stride in any activity. The result? Chaco has been awarded the Seal of Acceptance by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).

The APMA Seal of Acceptance increases consumer awareness by identifying products of exceptional quality that are manufactured with your comfort, health and safety in mind.

Chaco sandals feature Vibram soles'07 Chaco sandals feature a durable Vibram® outsole. Vibram® offers top of the line outsoles that provide superior traction, durability and support.

Sustainability & Social Responsibility

Chaco strives for social responsibilityWith the goals of durability and simplicity, Chaco strives to make sandals and shoes that last. Chaco sandals can be restrapped and repaired, so they never see a landfill. Chaco works to make a positive impact in their local communities and beyond. In 2006, Chaco was awarded the Community Award by the Western Slope Environmental Resource Council and was recognized by the North Fork River Improvement Association for work in removing the Chipeta Dam. Chaco also budgets 10% of pre-tax profits to social and environmental initiatives.

What Our Customers Say About Chaco. . .

I wear my Chaco's practically every day in the summer. I'm always ready if I end up going hiking or to the lake. They're also a great basic to wear everyday with summer outfits. Very cute! - Morgan, Washington

I purchased this Chaco sandal style at the beginning of the summer last year, 6 months into my pregnancy and I love them! They were so easy to slide in and out of as my belly grew and I could adjust the straps as my feet swelled with the summer heat. They were very supportive and I wear them to this day. Thank you so much for selling such a great sandal! - Jessie, Montana

View the Chaco Flip for $29.95!View Closeout Chaco Sandals >

View all Chaco Sandals >

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New Bozeman based OBoZ Footwear premiers at Schnee's

Schnee's is proud to carry a new line of hiking and trail running shoes based right here in Bozeman, Montana.

Click to view Oboz Hiking Shoes at Schnee's With their name derived from Outdoor Bozeman, newly developed OBoZ innovates outdoor shoes inspired by a love of the wild landscape that surrounds Bozeman. OBoZ strives to help equip people for their outdoor adventures.

In partnership with Trees for the Future, OBoZ will
Plant One Tree for every pair of shoes they sell.

Click to view Oboz Hiking Shoes at Schnee's Trees for the Future is an agro-forestry resource center helping people in developing countries improve their rural livelihoods through the introduction of environmentally sustainable land management projects focused on beneficial tree planting.

In addition, OBoZ donates to The Climate Trust that funds projects that curb the amount of emitted carbon dioxide. Their projects range from energy efficiency, renewable energy, sequestration, fuel replacement, cogeneration, material substitution, and transportation efficiency. Through programs like this, OBoZ aims to do more than make shoes, but to also make a difference.

Click to view Oboz Hiking Shoes at Schnee's

Owned and operated by a small group of passionate industry veterans and life-long outdoor enthusiasts, OBoZ believes in fusing life and sport. They build shoes for outdoor use - shoes with meaningful innovation, solid performance and recognizable quality. They also believe that a business should contribute to a greater common good. It is this belief that makes OBoZ more than just a shoe company.

View OboZ hiking & trail running shoes at Schnee's >

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How To Find The Right Hiking Shoe

The Schnee’s Boot Fitting Guide

By Rob Stiehl. Rob is an assistant retail manager and footwear buyer for Schnee’s and an avid outdoorsman in his free time.

For many people, the process of researching and selecting a new pair of technical footwear can seem quite daunting. Whether you are looking for a pair of trail runners, a new light hiker, or a serious backpacking boot, there are a few steps that can be taken to simplify this process and help to ensure that you are purchasing the right piece of footwear to make your outdoor adventures more enjoyable.

Step 1 - Pick your activity

The first step of the selection process is to decide what activity you will primarily use the footwear for and then focusing your attention on that category when trying different models. Common categories for technical footwear may include:
Although a sturdy trail-running shoe will often be supportive enough to handle some light hiking on the side, this is not what the shoe is designed for and may result in the shoe wearing out more quickly than normal. Similarly, a burly all-leather backpacking boot can be extremely durable and amazingly supportive when carrying heavy loads, but the increased weight and medium to low flexibility associated with these boots can make them slightly less comfortable on light trails or when you are trying to cover ground at a faster pace.

Step 2 - Measure for size

Once you have decided on which category of footwear you are interested in, the fitting process can begin. This is the most important step when buying technical footwear, and should be performed by someone well trained in boot fitting. Ideally, you want to have both feet measured and evaluated on a Brannock Device. However, Schnee’s online boot specialists can help you with the process. Most people have slight variances in the length, width, or shape of their feet, and this is important information for both you and the boot fitter to know to achieve the best possible fit. Also, be sure to have your foot measured with a quality performance sock in the proper weight or thickness that you would normally wear with the footwear you have chosen.

Step 3 - Not too tight!

When fitting technical footwear, one of the most important things to consider is getting the proper length inside the shoe or boot. Roughly an extra half-inch of space is crucial in order to protect your feet from bruising and blistering, and to accommodate any swelling that may take place.

To check the length in footwear with a hard toe such as hiking boots, stand in the unlaced boot and gently tap your foot towards the front until your longest toe is just touching the front of the boot.

You should now be able to easily fit your index finger directly behind your heel in the boot. This ensures that you have a “finger’s width” in the front of the boot to protect your toes while descending and this will also reduce pressure and friction on the heel when ascending.

As for the fit in the rest of the boot, you should be looking for a snug (not tight!) and secure fit from the heel of foot to the ball of the foot, and a slightly roomier fit in the toe box that will provide some wiggle room for your toes.

Step 4 - Test driving the boot

Now you can lace up the boots firmly and evenly, and test them on an incline board or ramp if one is available. If an incline board is not available, always wear the footwear on the carpet at home for a couple hours in the evening before wearing them outside. This will help to identify any tight spots or pressure points that should be addressed before taking your new investment to the trailhead.

A Word about Socks

Selecting the right sock for an activity can be about as complicated as finding the right footwear. Socks can be made from natural fibers such as wool or silk, or from synthetic materials such as acrylic or nylon blends. Socks also come in an array of thicknesses from ultra light to extremely heavy to accommodate different activities and climates.

Modern wool socks (such as 100% Merino wool SmartWool socks) are more comfortable than the wool socks of the past. Today, most wool socks are designed to be itch-free and washing machine safe. Unlike cotton or most synthetic materials, wool is extremely efficient at pulling moisture away from the foot while retaining its insulating properties despite being wet or dry. Wool works well in Gore-Tex® lined footwear and leather footwear because of wool’s ability to wick moisture at a slightly slower rate than synthetic materials, resulting in less moisture buildup inside of your footwear. One downside to wool socks is that it takes a bit longer for them to dry when compared to wet synthetic materials—frustrating when washing your socks in a backcountry stream or lake.

Synthetic socks are typically constructed from materials such as polyester, nylon, or acrylics that are very hydrophobic. These materials repel or “wick” moisture away from the foot at a very high rate, and absorb very little residual moisture from the foot. Synthetic socks are best suited for high activity use (i.e. running) and should be used with highly breathable footwear that will allow moisture to evaporate quickly. If you prefer using synthetic socks and are looking for one to use with Gore-Tex® or all-leather boots, try to find a sock that is a synthetic/wool blend such as the Thorlo Mountain Climbing Sock designed to move moisture at a slower rate in order to maximize the efficiency of the Gore-Tex® boot liner.

Performance Footbeds

Aftermarket footbeds are an excellent addition to any type of footwear. Often referred to as “insoles”, performance footbeds can be used to increase the support or cushion of a shoe, and can greatly improve the fit of most shoes and boots. Many footwear companies utilize inexpensive, generic footbeds that are often made from lightweight EVA foam that will compress and wear out relatively quickly. Performance footbeds are typically constructed of a dense synthetic foam top layer that is reinforced through the arch with a sturdy nylon or plastic frame for increased support and durability.

New to the Schnee’s family of products is our signature Schnee’s Performance Footbed. This footbed will improve the fit and comfort of any piece of footwear and comes standard in the Schnee’s Bozeman hunting boot. Constructed with Permafoam and Poliyou™, and reinforced with a nylon frame, this insole provides cushion and support while conforming to the specific shape of your foot. Superfeet® is another manufacturer of aftermarket performance footbeds. Superfeet® offers a range of models that will add support and improve the fit of your footwear whether it’s a western boot, a hiking boot, or a ski boot.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A new look for Schnee's Online

We are pleased to announce a new look for Schnees.com. We've heard from many of you that you'd like to see a more defined Hunting section and a more accessible Footwear area on our website. We're listening, and your feedback matters. Therefore, like our Footwear and Hunting catalogs, you'll soon find an area on our website that speaks to your interests. The new site design will be live and available on October 17.

Schnee's Casual Footwear, Clothing and Accessories Tab

With our new design, we'll really be able to showcase our broad selection of casual and comfortable shoes, rugged hiking boots, trail running shoes, and kids selection. We'll introduce you to new brands like Think!, Ahnu, J-41, Tsonga, Unstructured, and Sherpani, as well as old favorites like, Merrell, Frye, Blundstone, H.S. Trask, Dansko, Lowa, Timberland, and SmartWool.

The New Hunting Tab

When you visit Schnee's Powder Horn Outfitters, you'll discover an area specifically designed for those of us hungry for the challenge and adventure of Western Hunting. At Schnee's Powder Horn Outfitters, we've brought together the best gear and clothing for Big Game,Upland and Waterfowl Hunting.

We think the new layout and design will make shopping more enjoyable. Let us know what you think. As a thank you for your input, we'll be pleased to give you free ground shipping on your next order.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jon Edwards, Schnee's President and CEO, Interviewed on YP Radio

Schnee's has enjoyed 30 years of success providing Montanans with excellent outdoor footwear and apparel.

Jon Edwards, CEO and President of Schnee's, and Curt Smith, General Manager of the Schnee's Boot & Shoes retail store in Bozeman, Montana, are interviewed by Brian Kahn, host of Home Ground on Yellowstone Public Radio.

The interview has been archived here.