What do you think of when you hear the name Hotter Shoes? If you're picturing your grandmother and her pals in sensible navy slip ons, you're not alone; Hotter has a long history of manufacturing very comfortable shoes but now they're on a mission to prove that comfort doesn't have to come at the cost of style.
A few weeks ago, they invited twelve local bloggers along to their Aberdeen store to check out their spring/summer collection for ourselves. Oh, and drink some Prosecco.
Left to right are: Steff, Laura, me (hello!), Karen, Anastasia, Katherine, Hannah, Sarah, Iga, Lauren and Amey.
The ladies at Hotter weren't surprised to find that only one of the group had been in the store before.
That one person was me; I had been in because I have a history of leg and hip trouble and had had their shoes recommended to me by a podiatrist. And, honestly, I had felt a little nervous going in because I wasn't sure I was their target clientele.
This is an outdated image they're seeking to change.
Gone are the days when Hotter only manufactured slippers; now they use the same trend forecasting as high street stores like M&S and New Look to ensure that their shoes are both stylish and in season. You can walk into a Hotter store or visit their website and find just the right shoes to complement your summer wardrobe.
All this without scrimping on comfort.
Hotter's intention is to make shoes which are as comfortable as slippers. After trying on a few pairs each (and handling the big, practical men's work boots which weighed about the same as a marshmallow!), every blogger there was convinced that they succeed.
I particularly liked that the Hotter team didn't give us the hard sell on any specific shoes. Their belief is that buying the right shoes is like buying the right jeans: not every pair will work well on every foot and even the prettiest pair isn't right for you if it doesn't feel completely comfortable.
If you visit a Hotter store, the staff can help you to find the perfect pair for your foot and your taste. If you're shopping online, you can even ring their advice line on 0800 083 8490 (8am-4am) to talk about which shoes are right for you.
Here are some things I hadn't known about Hotter before attending the event:
- They were founded in 1959 and originally made slippers.
- Their shoes come in sizes 3-9 with a variety of widths. They all have built in comfort features and wiggle room in the toes.
- Some of their shoes even have removable insoles so they're comfortable for people with different sized feet.
- In February 2010 there were 5 Hotter stores - there are now over 80.
- Hotter is the UK's biggest shoe manufacturer, making a pair of shoes every 20 seconds.
Hotter had told us in advance that we would all be given a free pair of shoes to take away and review. My intention had been to be very sensible and get a pair of smart, low-heeled shoes or some trainers - you know: fill the gaps in my wardrobe.
Instead, I fell in love with a pair of yellow heels.
Steve and I had plans to go out on a one-year-as-parents celebratory date the next day, so it was easy enough to justify choosing a pair of very pretty shoes.
And believe me: these are the most comfortable heels I've ever owned. I wore them for several hours without having broken them in beforehand (and without having worn heels at all for almost two years) and didn't feel the slightest bit of pain. Unthinkable.
If you'd like to try Hotter for yourself (and, having just clicked through to get the link, I notice that they have a sale on. I bought myself a pair of trainers. The grey and yellow ones in the picture below. They're reduced to £35), be sure to use discount code PPATEN to get £10 off your first order plus free delivery.
T&Cs: You are entitled to £10 off the total order value of any full priced items in the Hotter range (excluding shoe care products and accessories) plus FREE delivery. Minimum order value £25. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer or on Sale or Factory Clearance items and gift vouchers. Expires 30/6/16
Are you ready to have your #HotterMoment?
My shoes were provided in exchange for an honest review; all opinions are my own.