I seem to have a thing about shoes at the moment. Actually, I think I always have, except these days I seem to be swapping high heels for comfy sandals. After being invited to try out one range of shoes last month, this month I was invited along to the brand new Maidstone store of Hotter Shoes.
Hotter have been around since 1959, and were originally famous for selling slippers (which goes some way to explaining why their shoes are so comfortable!) but it’s a brand new name to me. From what I can gather (from friends), Hotter Shoes have, perhaps, had a reputation for providing comfortable shoes to an older clientele, but things have definitely changed from what I’ve seen, and that’s not the case any more.
The store was bright, clean and colourful – and the staff that kindly stayed on after hours to look after us, were as delightful as our surroundings (and our lovely food platters from M&S!) My body being a temple and all that, I managed to resist the cream cakes on offer and treated myself to not one, but three fruit skewers. I sure know how to live it up on a Monday night!
Anyway, back to the shoes. Hotter are all about comfort and support and although I was given a lot of technical information about how the support works, the best way to describe it is by saying this – the ‘Comfort Concept’ is thanks to breathable leathers and linings, flexible soles, and air bubbles inside the shoes which actually cushion the feet. That’s my take on it anyway. But I would just suggest you go and try the shoes for yourself, because they’re like nothing I’ve ever worn before.
As we sat listening to the presentation the lovely Hotter ladies were giving us, my eyes kept wandering around the shop and I spotted a gorgeous brown, leather handbag at the top of one shelf. I figured it would be about £40, which I’d have paid, and (no offence ladies) I couldn’t wait for the presentation to finish so that I could nab one of the last two bags there before anyone else did! Turns out it was only £16! Unfortunately, I’d forgotten my credit card so couldn’t actually buy it in the end, but there’s still time to get it online.
So it’s not just shoes Hotter sells, the range of handbags is fantastic, and in the autumn, there’ll be hats, gloves, wraps and stoles too.
There’s a lovely vintage feel to a lot of their shoes and apparently they’ve sold incredibly well in the past, with more styles to be launched next season. So if you like patent, T-bar style shoes (as just one example), keep an eye out for those in the autumn.
Hotter Shoes HQ is based in Lancashire and I love the idea of supporting a British business. They go up to a size 9 and a triple E width fitting, so cater for ladies who perhaps struggle to find stylish and comfortable shoes in their size, and I honestly think you’d find something to suit every taste.
I was lucky enough to be offered a free pair of shoes and decided to be sensible and not buy yet another pair of sandals. Instead, I chose a pair of Belle knee-length boots, in brown leather. Now, if you’re anything like me, you will have struggled to find knee-length boots that fit you. I haven’t managed to wear any for years and even now I’ve lost a little weight, I wasn’t sure if they would zip up.
I decided to choose boots half a size smaller than usual, just because I’ve lost weight, and … drumroll … they fit perfectly. And I mean perfectly.
They’re warm, comfortable, not too tight at the top but snug enough that they won’t fall down and I’m delighted with my choice. At last, a pair of knee-length boots that fit me! They also happen to come in black so I may treat myself in the Autumn if they’re still on offer (I think these are last winter’s boots.) This particular boot retails at £125.
I love discovering new brands, especially British ones, and I’m so glad I’ve found Hotter Shoes – I’ll definitely be back.