I’m a girl who likes shoes. But, they have to be my idea of the right kind of shoes. I’m not interested in trainers (my disinterest is evident in the fact that I do not own a pair), and neither am I captivated by sky-scraper ‘wear them once and never again because that level of pain is a form of torture’ heels. So what are my kind of shoes? Shoes that I can wear and walk/stand in all day without even thinking about them. They also need to look nice – I need to feel excited about wearing them. When I look down at my feet, I want to feel my heart skip with joy that they are encased in beautiful shoes that complete my chosen outfit.
So, today I am delighted to present to you – Hotter Shoes. This British company was first founded in 1959, and initially began by manufacturing slippers. In 1992, their ‘Comfort Concept’ was launched, which is a series of features that make Hotter Shoes a dream to wear. The company has grown rapidly since 1992, they now have over 70 stores in the UK, and the website caters for overseas customers too, with their customer call centre (which is based in Lancashire) open from 8am – 4am to answer customer queries. Now that’s great customer service! Hotter is also the UK’s biggest shoe manufacturer, so you can be sure you are supporting British business and economy when buying from them.
I already own a few pairs of Hotter shoes, indeed, you will most likely have seen me wearing them in numerous posts here on my blog, and on my Instagram. As I am already a fan, imagine my excitement at being invited to their PR evening for their latest store opening! After some delicious nibbles, a natter and a presentation, we were then invited to look at the latest collection. It was interesting to see many of the new styles in opulent, jewel shades, and Mel from the PR team informed us that Hotter work closely with trend forecasters each season in order to produce shades that are harmonious with current trends. Having said that, I was particularly excited to find a number of styles that would work brilliantly with a vintage inspired wardrobe. As part of the evening, I was able to chose a pair of shoes to take away with me (yes, I know how lucky I am!), and as Kieren also came with me, he was also able to take away a pair to see what he thought.
After trying on a few styles, I decided on the Antoinette in navy. I was particularly drawn to these, as I thought they would lend themselves well to a 1930s/1940s look, and maybe even a later time period too. I went for navy, as I knew I already had some navy accessories, and I didn’t already own any navy shoes. Kieren went for the Defender in khaki, as these are smart, and also in the classic brogue style that he would usually wear.
My previous pairs of shoes from Hotter have been online purchases, so until now I had yet to experience the one-on-one customer service that Hotter offers. All the staff were so friendly, and offered excellent advice – not only on the fit, but also on the different styles of shoes. Through trying a few pairs on, I realised that my left foot is slightly smaller than my right – something that I had completely failed to notice until now. Most of my shoes are flat brogue styles, or T-bar/Mary Janes – which all have enclosed fronts/uppers – hence making my slight difference between my feet harder to spot. With the Antoinette, and the Donna (which I also really liked, it was a close call between the two!) as they have a split open-front design the teeny difference between my feet became apparent. But – this was magically solved with some genius Half Insoles which were conjured up for me by my lovely sales assistant! I simply pop one into my left shoe, et viola – perfectly fitting shoes.
These shoes, like my other pairs from Hotter, are so comfortable to wear. Often, if Kieren and I are filming at vintage events, we are on our feet all day, normally carrying tripods and camera equipment across uneven ground, fields, stages or gravel. If I have uncomfortable shoes on – let me tell you – it ruins the day. But with Hotter shoes on, I know I never need to worry about my feet aching, rubbing, or feeling sore. I have worn Hotter shoes trudging around East London – getting lost because I didn’t have a map and my phone had died, and my feet felt fine. I even walked home from the train station rather than getting a bus as my feet felt THAT GOOD.
Kieren also loved his shoes, saying they were lovely and comfortable, and they also kept his feet warm in cold weather (whereas some of his leather soled brogues trap the cold and make his feet freezing!). As Kieren teaches lindy-hop, the ultimate test was of course whether he could dance in them.. and I’m pleased to report that after a 3 hour class of dancing the shoes were perfect!
To compliment my lovely new shoes, I decided to team them with my 1940s Swagger Jacket from Scarlet Rage Vintage, and navy accessories. I made the skirt from a late 1930s pattern, as the fabric is plaid I decided to cut the centre front panel with the blue stripes laying horizontally, and the side panels with the blue stripes laying vertically to give a bit of visual interest. I did want to cut the centre panel on the bias to give a lovely diagonal effect, but the plaid pattern was just too large for this to be effective. I also made myself a matching hood, from a late 1930s sewing pattern which I have had for a few years. The pattern is actually for a series of adorable bed jackets, one of which has this hood; so I decided to adapt the pattern to make the hood a ‘stand alone’ accessory. At some point I shall definitely make up the hooded bed jacket, as it would be a perfect little day jacket.
So if you are looking for some new shoes that not only look gorgeous, but feel wonderful too, I suggest you head on over to Hotter shoes website sharpish! I know I shall certainly be adding to my growing collection of Hotter shoes..
Until next time dears!