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We've all experienced the joys that come with too much walking in uncomfortable shoes: squished toes, blistered heels and the bottoms of our feet become sore and enflamed. But walking is our natural way of transportation and many people have no choice or no desire but to spend many hours of each day on their feet, walking here and there in their jobs or recreation.

Given that people will continue to spend long hours on their feet, it behooves us (no pun intended) to find a solution to the cramped pain of most shoes. Mephisto, a French shoe making company, has found just such a thing. Through long practice and many hours at the design board, Mephisto has created a line of what should be considered the world's finest walking shoes.

Made in France by traditional methods, Mephisto shoes demonstrate a commitment to producing the finest quality walking shoes on the market. From start to finish, Mephisto makes use of the best natural products and most efficient shoe-making techniques. The result is that each pair of shoes will cradle and comfort a person as he walks, virtually eliminating the pains and dangers associated with extended walking, standing or hiking.

The company has existed since the middle of the twentieth century, when it was founded by Martin Michaeli. Michaeli established Mephisto shoes in 1965 in Sarrebourg, France and the company has experienced fantastic growth and received repeated awards over the course of its lifetime. In 1984, the very first Mephisto concept store opened in Aachen, Germany, devoted to Mephisto products and having knowledgeable, experienced employees who could be aware of the entire Mephisto line and how the shoes can be best selected for each customer. In 1985, the company received its first OSCAR award for exports from the French government (it earned a second such award in 1994). In 1987, Mephisto established an American headquarters in California to help position itself in the budding consumer market for high quality walking shoes and in 1989, it began retailing in Canada as well.

Since its inception, Mephisto has undergone amazing growth; by 1998, there were over 600 styles of shoes sold in 46 countries. 300 concept stores had been established and over 18,000 stores carried the Mephisto brand. All of this in just over thirty years.

Such incredible growth undoubtedly owes much to effective marketing, but it owes a far greater debt to the quality of the shoes, whose amazing comfort has been marketing of its own. The shoes are made from full grain, aniline dyed leathers and are improved with a latex midsole (which is 100% biodegradable), rubber soles, and pure cork foot beds. Features like padded tongues and toplines (just under the ankle), mudguards, cleated grips, and speed lacing add to the comfort and durability of Mephisto's shoes. Amazing though these innovations are, it is the double shock absorbing heel with its air jet (to circulate air around the feet) and massage area (to strengthen foot muscles and promote circulation) that truly put Mephisto on a different level.

Mephisto shoes are loaded with every possible comfort to make walking a joy and to remove all possible problems or pains that can be fixed with shoes. Now that you're in on the secret to comfortable walking-get out on your feet and enjoy them!