We’ve been having a glorious bank holiday weekend here in Glasgow, although the joys of post scheduling might mean that I’m looking pretty stupid right now as this goes live. On Saturday, I popped down to Dumfries to see how my tiny nephew was getting on (he’s almost the size of an actual baby now!) and yesterday I pottered around the house, doing a bit of tidying and sitting in the garden with some ice cream. It was ostensibly to take a picture of my new shoes, but the sunshine felt so good on my shoulders that I ended up staying out until I had finished the tub.
It may have been a while since I raved about the Hotter “comfort concept” on these pages with you, dear reader; but please don’t let it be said that I haven’t been talking up the brand offline to anybody who asks me. A few weeks ago the lovely ladies on their in-house PR team got in touch to let me know that they were heading back up to Scotland, and would I be free for a catch-up? Of course I bloody would.
Hotter is a UK footwear brand which started out making slippers in Lancashire in 1959. At some point in the early 1990s, they realised that there was a gap in the market for stylish shoes that were as comfortable as slippers – and so they expanded their product offering. The company, which is still based in and has a huge factory in Lancashire, now makes a range of shoes for men and women, ranging from boots and activewear to glamorous sandals and heels, all designed with the same meticulous attention to detail. There’s even the odd handbag thrown in there now too!
Hotter now has more than 70 stores throughout the UK – including in Glasgow’s Buchanan Galleries – but I think the brand still has a bit of a rep for making sensible shoes like your granny would wear. That’s certainly how I felt before I visited one of the shops myself, and it’s a bit of a common theme whenever I’ve spoken to people about them. Now, there’s probably some truth in that since they do pride themselves on comfort above all else – but one thing that’s clear from the range of shoes available is that they’ve managed not to do so at the expense of style.
Besides, as last weekend’s adventures with my girlfriends helped to remind me, it’s a good idea to wear shoes that you’re capable of walking in. I walk a fair amount – even more so since I got my Fitbit and have been trying to change my habits – and I’ve pretty much been living in, and spinning in, my trail running shoes over the last few months. I tend to sweat more from my feet than from any other part of my body, so spending too long in trainers really isn’t pretty.
The last time I attended a Hotter event I picked out a pair of the Leanne trainers. Soft, breathable and lightweight, I wore them until they were falling off my feet. As much sense as it would have made for me to choose something similarly practical this time around, I’d flicked through the summer 2016 lookbook before the event and had made up my mind: I was having the pink floral Hattie wedges*. So set in my ways was I that I had in fact dressed to match them beforehand, although I didn’t realise that was the case until it was pointed out to me…
The attention to detail that is part of the Hotter brand ethos trickles down into their retail stores, where you will be waited on hand and, er, foot in a way that simply doesn’t happen anywhere else when you are shopping for shoes as an adult. Do you remember how they used to measure your feet before you could try on your new pair of Start-Rites, and you wouldn’t be allowed to leave the store until you had walked up and down in them? The measuring might not happen at Hotter, but the walking up and down definitely does.
These super-soft, padded wedges are incredibly comfortable, and the strap is actually positioned so that they don’t slide off my feet – unheard of, at least as far as my footwear is concerned, for shoes that don’t have a strap around the front of my ankle. And best of all, they look the part – I’ll be getting wear out of these from Sauchiehall to Sorrento over the summer months.
Fancy giving Hotter a try? Shop online and get £10 off your first order for full-priced shoes over £25, plus free delivery, when you use code PPATEN. Expires 30/06/16. If you’d rather shop in person, give me a shout – I have some £10 off vouchers for in-store use too.
This post contains a PR sample, but all opinions are my own and unbiased.