A couple of weeks ago I was invited to visit the Hotter Shoes store in Bury for a special blogger event. This was my first hands-on experience with this particular shoe brand because, despite a number of my friends raving about them, they were never a brand I had considered when I was out shopping for shoes. Partly because they don’t have any high street stores near me, and partly, I suppose, because I had the same perception that a number of people have – that they were the kind of shoes that were advertised in the back of the Telegraph magazine, and not really a brand that would suit me. However I started changing that perception when I attended the Blog On blogging conference a couple of months ago, because Hotter brought along a selection of their current range, and there were a number of styles I really liked.
The event was held after closing time at the store, which meant that we had both the shop and the staff all to ourselves. After a few nibbles we sat down for a presentation to learn some of the history of Hotter. I was interested to learn that Hotter are the UK’s largest shoe manufacturer – they make an average of one pair of shoes every 20 seconds at their Lancashire factory. They started out in 1959 making slippers, but then expanded into shoes, and in 1992 launched their Comfort Concept shoe, where the soles are filled with millions of little air bubbles for a really comfortable fit. I also learned that whilst Hotter started out as a mail order company they are expanding their High Street presence – having expanded from 5 physical stores in 2010 to 65 today. Although I’m really nervous of ordering shoes online it was good to learn that the Hotter UK call centre is manned by staff who know the products and can advise customers on the sizes and fits to purchase.
We were then let loose on the store to see the Summer range, to choose our own pair of shoes. Now I often really struggle to find shoes that (a) I like and (b) fit me comfortably, but there was certainly no shortage of shoes that I really liked, and I struggled to narrow my selection down to a small enough number to try on. Here are some of the styles I liked:
As you can probably tell from the styles I photographed, I was torn between getting a pair of summer sandals and a pair of their oh-so-cute heels. I really don’t wear heeled shoes, but decided I would at least try a pair to see how they felt.
The staff at the store were friendly and helpful. I usually find it hard to pick the right sizes when I’m trying shoes on as I can end up anything between a 6 and a 7.5 depending on the style and brand. I also have quite wide feet, and unfortunately the first pair I tried were too narrow for me. However that first try was enough for the lady serving me to get an idea of my foot size and shape, and from there on she managed to bring me a well-fitting pair in every style I wanted to try, and could advise me as to which styles in the range might fit best. I managed to find an alternative style of sandal, which fitted nicely. When it came to trying the heeled pair on I was pleased to discover that Hotter offer a “wide” fitting in a lot of their ranges, and this fitted me perfectly.
Wow, both the sandals and the heels were comfortable. I never thought I would find a pair of heeled shoes comfortable, but I did. However in the end I opted for the sandals as being something I would wear every day rather than just special occasions. So, with an apology for the poor photo (it’s really hard to take a photo of your own feet!), here are my lovely new shoes:
Those are the Maisie sandals which retail at £66. All the straps are fastened with Velcro so it’s really easy to adjust them to fit perfectly. I have worn these sandals every day since getting them, and they remain the most comfortable pair of shoes I have ever owned. They haven’t needed any “wearing in”; in fact two days after getting them I was out with the family for the day, walking far further than I usually would, and these shoes gave me no trouble at all. I think I just became a complete Hotter convert. The next time I have any reason to wear some more formal shoes I’m going to be heading back for a pair of those heels!
If you want to try Hotter shoes for yourself they have provided me with a special discount code which can be used to receive a 10% discount and free delivery on your first order from the Hotter online store. Simply quote the code PKCTEN at checkout. Please note the terms and conditions: 10% off plus FREE delivery is for first orders only. You are entitled to 10% off the total order value of any full priced items in the Hotter range (excluding shoe care products) plus FREE delivery. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer or on Sale or Factory Clearance items and gift vouchers.
Disclosure: I was invited to a Blogger event by Hotter, and provided with a complimentary pair of shoes for review purposes