Hotter Shoes. They’re what your mum wears, right? Or maybe your Grandma. (My lovely late 95 year old neighbour was a huge fan!)
But did you know they also make lots of shoes for stylish younger ladies? And men – my husband has been wearing them for work for years. He’s found that they are just as stylish as shoes in, for example, Jones, but last forever, are cheaper and, crucially, very, VERY comfortable!
Anyway, I digress.
I was very pleased to be invited along with a group of Gloucestershire bloggers to the Hotter Shoes store in Cheltenham to find out more about Hotter and try a few pairs on.
Hotter started out making slippers. Now they make shoes that are as comfortable as slippers (which is certainly what I always want in a shoe!). The secret is millions of air bubbles in the soles of their shoes. They even have a cunning pyramid construction to make their heels comfortable!
Hotter is the UK’s biggest shoe manufacturer, but its move into high street retailing is pretty recent – in 2010 it had just five stores, now it has 75. Hotter assistants actually fit shoes, just like when you buy kids’ shoes, and they come in a range of width fittings and half sizes. They also do their boots in two calf fittings and have lots of elastic, so their boots fit larger ladies comfortably. They make ladies’ shoes up to a size 9 – must tell my sister!
The autumn and winter range includes some very stylish knee boots and riding boots, some brogues that Lady Mary might wear on the farm in Downton (and that is a good thing in my book!) and a range of heels. I don’t wear heels, but if I ever need any, I will be getting myself some comfortable Hotter Mary Janes.
I’d looked at the Hotter website before the event and had my heart set on a pair of black Ivy boots – short biker boots, which I thought would make the perfect replacement for my worn-out Doc Martens. I do a lot of walking and only wear jeans, so I need comfortable, hard-wearing boots for winter.
I was gutted when they didn’t fit! I learned that Hotter shoes come up large. I’m normally an 8, but went right down to a 6.5! The boots fitted my foot, but were too big on the ankle and the heel. This is a problem I’ve had before with shoes. As shoes and boots are increasingly built to accommodate the needs of larger ladies, the smaller ladies sometimes get left behind! But, as they very helpful assistants explained, shoes are like jeans – not every style fits everyone. So some people can’t wear skinny jeans, they need straight leg, bootleg or jeggings. And I can’t wear biker boots!
I tried on three other boots – the Shawbury ankle boot was my second favourite in terms of looks, but still didn’t fit right. It seemed pointless to get boots from a company renowned for its comfort if they weren’t actually comfortable. The Ellery lace-up boot was comfortable, but not as stylish as I wanted. And then I hit the jackpot – Romance boots!
I can safely say I have never felt anything so comfortable on my feet. They really DID feel like slippers! They were warm and soft, but it was more than that. I felt like I was walking on air. I pondered the other boots for a bit longer, but once I’d tried on Romance, there really was no competition. I’d wanted a replacement for my Doc Martens, but I’m also a dedicated Ugg wearer and I’ve ended up with a replacement for my Uggs instead.
I can confidently say I will have a warm and comfortable winter in my Romance boots!
Thank you very much to the staff at Hotter Cheltenham for looking after the Gloucestershire bloggers. A big thank you to Pink Oddy for bringing the Gloucestershire bloggers together and setting up the evening with Hotter.
I was given a pair of shoes courtesy of Hotter. All opinions are my own.