Unique Gift Ideas to Ease the Troubled Sole

Have your feet been aching? Perhaps you feel a stabbing pain near the heel. You may be thinking your shoes are worn out and no longer providing adequate support. 87669_1000x1000

If any of these scenarios sound familiar, you might be experiencing the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. When it gets strained, it can get swollen and inflamed, and your heel or the sole of your foot hurts when you walk or stand. It’s a common affliction in middle-aged people, people who are overweight, or people of any age who are on their feet a lot because of their profession or their pastimes. 87670_1000x1000

It’s a good idea to replace your shoes if you suffer from plantar fasciitis. With fall in full swing, we have a selection of seasonal shoes that will look great with autumn clothing and give your feet the unique gift of sweet relief. 84848_1000x1000

These lady’s athletic shoes help combat the effects of plantar fasciitis with a comfortably soft, stabilizing orthotic footbed that provides superior arch support. Recipient of the prestigious American Podiatric Medical Association’s Seal of Acceptance, the shoes have mesh uppers, strong heel counters, lightweight CME midsoles, TPR midfoot stabilizers, and resilient rubber outsoles with a non-slip pattern. The positive effects of these shoes will be felt when they are worn at least a few hours per day for two weeks. 86929_1000x1000

These athletic-shoe-style mules help relieve discomfort of plantar fasciitis using the same principles. They have a lightweight, breathable leather and mesh design to provide extra comfort, even when worn all day.

For gentlemen, these moccasins will help relieve plantar fasciitis pain. The podiatrist-designed orthotic footbeds have deep heel cups that stabilize and realign feet to a neutral position for those who over-pronate, a common cause of plantar fasciitis. The outsoles are made from durable, rubber with treads for superior traction. The footbeds are covered with soft microfiber and the uppers are made from supple, full-grain leather.

Finally, at the end of the day, relief can be found with these men’s herringbone slippers. Like our other shoes for plantar fasciitis sufferers, they are podiatrist-designed. Twin flexible gores give a comfortable easy on/off fit and the breathable wool-blend uppers keep feet warm. The flexible soles are made from resilient non-slip rubber, enabling indoor/outdoor wear. With the holidays coming, these would make a welcomed and unique gift for any gentleman known to say, “Oh, my aching feet.”

Shop Early and Conquer Your Gift List Easily

We all know someone who has all of their holiday gifts bought and wrapped by Halloween, while the rest of us are still running out to the malls throughout much of December.

This year, YOU can be that early shopper. Just shop online at Hammacher.com and you’ll have your gift list conquered in no time.

We make it easy to shop by category or keyword to help you find unique gifts that suit the personalities of the people on your list. 86860A_1000x100087141_1000x100087637_1000x1000

For example, you may need to shop for someone who loves to decorate their home, but has no need for dust-catching knick-knacks. Within our Home Decorating category, you’ll find The Tabletop Fireplace. This mini liquid fuel fireplace rests on any stable surface and provides the color, crackle, and comfort of a wood-burning fire without the smoke, smell or sparks. It’s clean-burning and gives off only water vapor and carbon dioxide, so it can be used indoors, generating up to 8,500 BTUs per hour. It’s the ideal gift for anyone who loves to fill their home with the warmth of good friends.

At Hammacher Schlemmer, we pride ourselves on offering exclusive, unique gifts that can’t be found anywhere else. Even in our Kitchen and Entertaining section, you’ll find items guaranteed to be one-of-a-kind. The Selfie Toaster takes an otherwise-ordinary kitchen appliance and gives it a new twist that indelibly brands its owner’s image onto a slice of bread.

With George Lucas’ latest film due to be released just days before Christmas, you may know someone who just can’t get enough of the Star Wars series. Enter the search term Star Wars at Hammacher.com to find unique gift ideas sure to please anyone who finds themselves under the influence of The Force. For example, The R2-D2 Humidifier combines the love of Star Wars with a practical gift that remedies room dryness. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the humidifier is built right into R2-D2’s domed head.

Finally, don’t forget most gifts from Hammacher Schlemmer can be wrapped prior to shipment directly to the recipient, leaving you free to relax and enjoy the unique gifts of the beautiful holiday season.

Take the Pressure Out of Maintaining Good Health

Recently, an ongoing study being conducted by the National Institutes of Health showed conclusive evidence that healthy blood pressure guidelines should be lowered, from the current systolic level of 140 down to 120. 87119A_1000x1000

While new guidelines have not yet been made official, the findings present food for thought. To maintain the unique gifts of good health, most of us will need to be more vigilant about our blood pressure levels, being more proactive about self-monitoring and taking preventive measures. 87180_1000x1000

For regular self-monitoring, we recommend The Best Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor. In tests by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute, it was rated the best because it was the most accurate and easiest to use. If you prefer the more traditional cuff-style monitor, we also recommend The Best Cuff Blood Pressure Monitor for its ease of use and accuracy. Both of these monitors’ readings were compared to those taken by a cardiology nurse and showed little deviation. 82763_1000x1000

Along with self-monitoring, you can positively impact your levels with increased exercise. Increasing your core strength will improve your fitness overall, and better fitness generally leads to lower blood pressure. The Compact Core Exerciser is a compact trainer that simulates cantering on a horse to strengthen and tone the core muscles. You’ll engage lumbar muscles, abs, glutes and thighs, building core strength that will also help prevent back injuries and improve your balance and posture. 12674_1000x1000

Lowering stress is another means toward lowering your blood pressure. When it comes to relaxing, nothing beats the combination of gentle heat, massage, and aromatherapy to sooth the mind and body. The Personal Day Spa produces a sauna-like heat that penetrates deep into tissue. Its memory-foam bed delivers a full-body vibration to relax tense muscles and joints. And an integrated aroma diffuser releases subtle scents from essential oils. This is a perfect unique gift idea for someone who needs to destress on a regular basis. Perhaps that someone is yourself.

The NIH is expected to make results of their study final by the end of the year. In the meantime, you can start taking proactive steps now to lower your blood pressure and increase your health and longevity.

International Skeptics Day? Prove it!

We heard today is International Skeptics Day. Feeling somewhat doubtful, we checked it out.

In case you don’t believe it, there are skeptics’ organizations all over the world. Many are dedicated to questioning theories unproven by science, such as the paranormal. Every October 13 celebrates their quest for tangible proof.87714_1000x1000

We fully support not taking a theory as fact until having a closer look. That’s why we developed The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute. The Institute is a non-profit consumer advocacy organization created in 1983 to research, test, and rate consumer products objectively to determine which are truly superior in each category. So, when you’re shopping for unique gifts, if we promote an item as The Best, you can rest assured we’ve tested and proven the claim.86575_1000x1000

For example, The Best Automotive Jump Starter earned our Best rating because it instantly started eight-, six- and four-cylinder engines, unlike lesser units that failed to start the V8. It was one of only two units that jumped engines frozen to 17 degrees. What’s more, it’s nearly as small as an iPhone 6 Plus and stores unobtrusively in a glove box.

Need a unique gift idea for an arachnophobe? We confidently recommend The Best Bug Vacuum. It’s The Best because it captured the most bugs in the shortest time and was easiest to handle. The lightweight plastic design allows complete control with a flexible accordion neck and a suction cup tip that compresses to fit in tight corners.  84503_1000x1000

This nose and ear hair trimmer earned its Best rating because panelists lauded it as smooth, comfortable and easy to clean thanks to its removable head and easy-to-install attachments. It’s also the only model tested by The Institute with an integrated light that illuminates difficult-to-see areas in the nose and ears.

If the skeptic in you wants to see our entire selection of tried-and-true Best products, visit our online The Best category for unique gifts ideas especially suited for the hard-to-please.

Saluting the World Traveler in All of Us

Here’s to Christopher Columbus…and a day off for many folks on Monday!

Ol’ Chris was one of the first world travelers. In all, he made four voyages to the new world in his search for a new route to India and China. Thanks to his discovery of the West Indies, today we enjoy Caribbean cruises and the unique gift of lazing on the beaches of Aruba, Jamaica and Kokomo.84290_1000x1000

We’re thankful that world travel today is so much easier than it was in the 15th century. Worries about tarmac delays and excess baggage fees seem trivial compared to the difficulties new-world explorers encountered. For your next trip, or for unique gift ideas for a traveler in your life, we have some suggestions to make your journey even easier. 88084_1000x1000

Looking to avoid baggage fees? The world’s lightest four-wheeled spinning carry-on tips the scales at a mere four pounds, 66% less than most 20-inch bags. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, it’s effortless to hoist into an overhead bin and won’t contribute to weight limits imposed on carry-ons by many international airlines. Rugged construction and aluminum and fiberglass reinforcements ensure long-lasting durability.83770_1000x1000

Here’s another easy-to-handle carry-on available only from Hammacher Schlemmer that brings a higher level of organization to your packing. The supple leather bag features accessible pockets, a large lined inner compartment, and tiered sleeves that keep tickets and credit cards at the ready. Padding protects your tablet and other electronics.

One obstacle Columbus never faced was the need for a different plug adapter for every country on his travels. This palm-sized device provides an adapter for 150 countries worldwide. Five different foldout plugs are compatible with most outlets across the globe. It also has two USB ports for charging smartphones and tablets. 86904_1000x1000

For cross-country drivers—or those making a day trip to the city and all its crazy traffic—this two-directional in-car video camera captures the road ahead, behind, or even to the sides. The camera suctions to your dash or windshield and makes a cyclic 90-minute audio and video recording of each trip, automatically recording over old footage that wasn’t expressly saved. Video can help relive a memorable trip, or provide an “eye-witness view” following a traffic accident…a problem Columbus never had to face.

Interestingly enough, Columbus never set foot on mainland North America. Nevertheless, we celebrate the spirit of adventure he and other explorers carried, and the unique gifts of travel dreams so many of us have today.

Decorate for a Night Out with the Ghouls

The night of ghosts and goblins is almost here! We have some great ideas for indoor decorations that get any home into the Halloween spirit and make “terror-ific” unique gifts for party hosts. 87680_1000x1000

This whimsical wall clock was inspired by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, complete with beloved characters Jack Skellington and the ghost-dog Zero. Capturing the distinctive animated style of the 1993 film, the handcrafted clock recreates Halloweentown and its residents in lovingly creepy detail. 86136_1000x1000

Crisp fall weather means it’s time to light up the fireplace. This fireplace screen adds a touch of Halloween whimsy to your hearth. Constructed from sturdy powder-coated steel, it’s decorated with five skeletons with green acrylic eyes: a musician on each of the screen’s two side sections and three dancers in the center. 87554_1000x1000

Arachnophobes don’t stand a chance against this remote-controlled, oversized tarantula, a Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive. It crawls across smooth surfaces with creepy, crawly leg movements. With the remote control, you can move it left and right, backwards and forwards so that the tarantula scuttles its way over low carpets, hardwood floors, and indoor tile. For added surprise, the spider randomly ejects an 11″-long red cord.

We have many more Halloween surprises and unique gifts. Visit our online Halloween shop today and plan a frightful end to October.

TODAY Show Hiking and Biking Segment

hammacher_fb_oct2__1_Our new mosquito jacket was featured in the “Hiking and Biking” segment of The TODAY Show this morning with gadget guru Steve Greenberg, Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager.

This jacket is perfect for your outdoor adventures, not only protecting from mosquitos without the use of harmful chemicals like Deet, but also from insect-borne illnesses like West Nile and Lyme Disease. Watch the segment below and pick up a jacket here: http://bit.ly/1LoabsO.

Watch the TODAY Show segment here: http://on.today.com/1JK26Hv

Feed Your Driving Ambition

This Sunday is a great time to get out on the greens—it’s National Golf Lover’s Day!86176_1000x1000

There are some who would say every day is golf lover’s day…but all too often, the need to work or accomplish chores around the house can drive a wedge between a golfer and their favorite sport. We say bad weather will be here soon enough and these mild autumn days make for the perfect time to get out on the links. The chores will wait12648_1000x1000.

As if there wasn’t already enough to love about the game, we have some fun and unique gifts for yourself or another golf lover that will make 18 holes even more enjoyable. 12245_1000x1000 (1)

Why wait for the 19th hole? The Drink Dispensing Driver will discreetly give you a head start while still on the course. In your bag, the unit’s appearance is that of a typical driver. But at the touch of a button, it dispenses one ounce per second of your favorite beverage from a spout in the club head. It’s connected to an insulated cooler that keeps up to 52 oz. of refreshments cool or warm for up to five hours.

Don’t let the bulkiness of a golf bag be an excuse not to play. Here’s a full set of clubs in an easy-to-carry backpack. The set includes one shaft and 10 club heads that simply slide into the shaft and lock into place in seconds. The entire set is a third lighter in weight than a traditional bag and lets you play without a caddie or cart. It has a pocket for golf balls and tees and there’s even a pouch to hold an iPad. 87591_300x300

For those who insist on a cart, here’s something entirely different. The Golf Cart Hovercraft glides over hazards as easily as over fairways on a cushion of air. Take this cart across a pond to pick up a wayward drive and it will turn even the most discouraged weekend duffer into an instant golf lover.

And should Mother Nature not extend the unique gifts of a pleasant fall day in your area on this year’s Golf Lovers Day, may we recommend a Plan B: a friendly indoor game of miniature golf.



Plan a Boo-tiful Halloween Display

The end of September is a sure sign that the end of October is almost here!84216_1000x1000

With October 31 falling on a Saturday, this Halloween is sure to be bigger than most. If you’re going to have the most impressive—and scariest—yard on the block, start planning now. We have several items to help ensure your house gets all the attention. These also make for unique gifts for someone you know who needs to do more to get into the spirit of the spirits.  87315_1000x1000

Standing nearly two stories tall, this inflatable black cat is the largest Halloween decoration available. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, the cat’s underbelly is more than 9′ above the ground at its highest point, allowing trick-or-treaters to walk underneath. With its swaying head, illuminated red eyes and wide-fanged grin, this cat looks as if it’s about to pounce on unsuspecting prey. 87554_1000x1000

Equally spooky is this 12′-tall inflatable ghoul. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the ghoul’s beady red LED eyes are set amid a frightful photorealistic face. This ghastly undead abomination guffaws in silence with its gaping maw while it grasps at candy seekers with talon-tipped hands. Super scary!

Once indoors, party-going arachnophobes don’t stand a chance against this remote-controlled, oversized tarantula. Another Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, it crawls across smooth surfaces with creepy, crawly leg movements. With the remote control, you can move it left and right, backwards and forwards so that the tarantula scuttles its way over low carpets, hardwood floors and indoor tile. For added surprise, the spider randomly ejects an 11″-long “web”.

We have many more Halloween surprises and unique gifts. Visit our online Halloween shop today and plan a frightful end to October.

We Could Fall for this Time of Year

Today begins our first weekend of autumn. For many folks, this is the best time of the year. Really, what’s not to like? Nature gives us unique gifts in the form of warm days and pleasantly cool nights. And it doesn’t hurt that football season is hitting its stride.84791_1000x1000

It’s also the time of the year to get yards, gardens, and patios ready for the cold, snowy days to come. If you’re looking to get your backyard chores done quickly and easily—so you can enjoy fall festivities, or a Sunday afternoon with the NFL—we have some items that will help you dispatch yardwork in time for kickoff.  87401_1000x1000

This cordless, rechargeable leaf blower was deemed The Best by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it cleared garden waste the fastest and had the longest-lasting battery. It also has a unique vacuum setting for suctioning leaves into an attached bag. Its light weight makes it easy for anyone to use. 84717_1000x1000

For bagging your leaves or lawn clippings, look to this foldaway cart that holds four bags. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, it rolls easily on four casters, keeps the bags upright at all times and folds away for unobtrusive storage.

Many homeowners agree that cleaning gutters is the worst of the outdoor chores. The Autonomous Robotic Gutter Cleaner is a game-changer. This is the only robot that removes leaves, small branches and dirt from gutters autonomously. With a powerful auger that rotates at 500 rpm, the robot’s advanced sensors detect and adapt to debris, cleaning a 30′ gutter section in five minutes. This amazing device makes a unique gift for a housewarming, too.

Once those backyard chores are done, don’t put the patio furniture away just yet—autumn’s best may be yet to come. Take some time to savor it.