Friday, 3 October 2014

Hot to trot

I don't like shoes.

I realise that this makes me different to 99.99% of the female population. It's not so much that I don't like them - I don't walk around barefoot or anything like that - it's more that I don't get excited about shoes when I see them in a magazine or in a shop.

Why?

Well, I have quite wide feet and ever since I was at school, I can remember struggling to find shoes to fit. My feet aren't obviously wider than anyone else's just looking at them - I won't be enrolling in a circus side show, don't worry - it's just the high street doesn't really cater for my slightly-wider-than-average size five's.

Until now.

Apparently, shoes can be comfortable AND stylish. Apparently. even wide-footed females can get excited about shoes again.

All thanks to Hotter.

I'll admit, I wasn't too sure if they were a brand right for me at first glance, but after taking a look at the website and exploring some of their new designs, I quickly fell head over heels...

I was invited to a special evening at the Solihull store and I hotfooted my way (sorry, I just had to shoehorn in some shoe puns!) to find out more...

The event


The Hotter team were ready and waiting with some lovely food and drink and most importantly, ALL the Hotter shoes at our disposal.



We were given a presentation all about the company and we learnt all the secrets of comfortable shoes. Hotter is well known for its 'concept comfort features' - clever hidden padding, soles and designs that make their shoes super comfortable to wear - which truly make them different to the majority of other high street shoe stores. In fact, Hotter is the UK's biggest shoe maker, with a pair of shoes made every 20 seconds - how had I never heard of them before?!


After the talk, we were let loose to look around and pick out a perfect pair to take home.

There's lots of really great new styles and colours available, tapping into the new season's trends and making me realise that these a lot of these shoes were fashionable and not frumpy after all. Sure, there's shoes for a slightly older lady but there's plenty for someone my age too (note, I'm neither young nor old at 30!).

Influences of the 1960's, folk, fur and masculine tailoring are all seen in the latest collection, offering something for all kinds of tastes and outfits, and I particularly loved the wide range of colours, from vibrant jade and grape to rich reds and glittery or metallic finishes.


It was our chance to be Cinderella for the evening and quickly and keenly, I snapped up the Danielle shoe boots I had seen online, plus a pair of Donna's (below left) before spying the boots on the other side of the store and asking politely if I could also give a pair of the Wiltshire's a whirl (pictured below left).


I was in my element. The team were super friendly and extremely helpful, talking me through the different shoe designs, features and how they should fit and feel.

It was love at first wear. I tried the Donna shoes first, in a beautiful navy suede finish, and they were just wonderful. I was one of the first to make my shoe selections and a few of the other bloggers admired my Donna shoes. I trotted around and felt pretty pleased with the first pair of Hotter shoes I had tried.

So, when I came to try the Danielle's (pictured below left) - the pair I had seen online - I was in two minds. What if I liked these even more? However would I decide?


I had picked the purple pair as they really stood out. How many pairs of purple shoes do I own? None. Exactly! Just what I need!

The Danielle's were comfortable to walk in, despite the heel, and I was really impressed by how good my feet felt in them. Everyone else quickly commented on how fab the shoes looked and it soon became apparent that these were THE shoes for me.

Until I tried on the Wiltshire boots.

Oh, it was like being hugged! I wanted to try these because I loved the unusual stone shade and the fur trim at the ankle was a really nice feature and made the boots look extra special. I slipped these on and my feet just felt wonderful.

Damn.

My dilemma 

I spent the next 40 minutes or so wandering around the store, finding our what other people had been trying on and asking for second opinions as I was in a real dilemma.

Should I go with my head or my heart?

You see, the Danielle's were really something special. Different and certainly a statement shoe, I loved the shoe boot design, comfortable heel and gorgeous purple tone. They won my heart instantly.

On the other hand, or foot should I say, I had the Wiltshire boots. Stylish, super comfy and very versatile, I knew that these would get a lot of wear throughout the months ahead. Definitely a 'head' decision. 

Hmm.

How could I choose between them?


The shoes

I had to make a decision as the evening was coming to an end and I'm sure the Hotter team would have liked to have gone home (although you wouldn't know, they were honestly so bubbly and keen to make us all Hotter converts!).

Danielle or Wiltshire?

Head or heart?

I was so excited to have found shoes that were comfortable, shoes that would fit even my funny little feet, that I cheated.

I decided to trot away with the Danielle's...


Only to return just a couple of days later to give the Wiltshire boots a good home.


My 'Hotter' moment

I'm so glad that I cheated as I have two pairs of shoes that I am going to love to wear from this season well into the New Year and beyond. You can really feel the cushioning features inside and the extra 'wriggle room' they have at the toe makes a world of difference.

My 'Hotter' moment came when I realised that I could love shoes again. Even I can be a 'shoe' person! And I can go with both my head and my heart.

I quickly found a reason to wear my Danielle shoe boots - we were going to pick up my Wiltshire boots and I wanted to take them for a test run.


However, despite wearing them for a while in the shop, my left foot started to ache slightly and the shoe suddenly felt a little too tight over the middle of my foot. We arrived at Hotter and one of the members of the team, Sean, spotted me and came to see how I was getting on with my Danielle's. I told him that sizing wise, I'd probably made a bad decision but that I still loved them and he said don't worry, try on the five and a half size instead. So I did. And they were perfect. For real. And just like that, Hotter swapped them for me. I didn't expect it but was thrilled that I could make the exchange.

I tried on a few more styles - flats this time - and almost left with my third pair of Hotter shoes but decided to wait for another day and happily took just the Wiltshire boots home.

A few of the flat shoes weren't quite right when I tried them on. Some had a wider fitting available but this meant I had to go down a shoe size so the fit wasn't always quite right, but they were all unbelievably comfortable under foot and I do have my sights set on the Periwinkle pair, in navy with contrast black rose.

I spent the rest of the day dragging hubs and Ethan around various shops and Ikea to boot, yet my Danielle shoe boots remained comfortable and I remained pleased as punch.

They're the kind of shoes you make a reason to wear so I'm glad I followed my heart. I feel fab wearing them and there's certainly a spring in my step when I do.



* A big thank you again to Hotter and the brilliant Solihull team. The whole experience was fantastic and something that every customer receives from what I've seen. The shoes are great and there's a style to suit everyone it seems, as everyone I was with picked a different pair. I love my Danielle's (RRP: £89) and I'm very grateful for the opportunity to review them, and I can't wait to wear my Wiltshire boots (RRP: £79) all Autumn / Winter long.

Be sure to check out Hotter on Facebook and Twitter and share your #shoesietuesday photos.

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2 comments

  1. I'm in the 0.1% of women with you too. I love your new shoes though - they look so warm and comfy.

    Lizzie's Daily Blog

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  2. I just saw your video on youtube and had to come and find your blog so I could find out which shoe you went for! I attended a Hotter shoe event last week in Bournemouth and I couldn't decide to go for something comfy or pretty! Tough choice! xx

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