When I was invited to pop along to the opening of Hotter Shoes in Brighton I had no idea what to expect. The name made me think of ankle breaking West Street stilettos, or the kind of sparkly cheap shoes my kids beg me to buy when I get their feet measured at Brantano. Then I mentioned Hotter Shoes to a friend who said ‘Don’t they do old ladies shoes?’.
What to expect?!
Slightly wondering what on earth I was doing, I headed to the new shop that has opened on Western Road just outside Churchill Square.
I joined several other Brighton bloggers for a presentation about Hotter Shoes (and some lovely cake), and was really pleased to find that they are a British born and bred company with some great, well made products.
Started in 1959 producing comfy slippers, they went on to grow in to the UK’s biggest shoe manufacturer with over 50 shops and now send product all over the world via their website.
There aren’t many things that are still made in the UK, and as well as being really well made shoes, they have some pretty cool styles too.
We were invited to try on some high heels even if we weren’t fans. I wore nothing but trainers as a teenager and couldn’t even stand in heels, let alone wear them out clubbing for a night. I’ve always felt like a 5-year-old in her mums shoes in anything other than flats. I never did quite grow up in to the world of ‘adult’ shoes and these days go from 9 months in flip-flops to 3 months in winter boots. Reluctantly, I tried the heels.
Glory be! They were super comfy. Comfy heels – I may be converted!
There were lots of lovely shoes with a cool vintage twist that I liked. I was drawn to GORE-TEX boots range as I’ve had a faithful pair of boots that have survived several knee-deep muddy festival seasons made with this technology that have kept my tootsies dry in many a field somewhere.
The Horizon and the Ribble range both guarantee to be waterproof so I tried both and could have happily gone or for a 10 mile trudge immediately in either. In fact, all the shoes I tried on, although not all my taste, were so soft and comfortable I could probably have gone out raving in any of them – even the heels!
So what about the other shoes?
Yes, there were some old-fashioned shoes that I’d imagine my gran wearing (if she wasn’t dead that is), but there were also a large range or really well made shoes that I would wear. They’re all shoes made in the UK and will last for years, so you can feel slightly less guilty about air miles and enjoy plenty of stomping miles.
So does that mean I’m getting old or does it make Hotter Shoes cool?
Perhaps both are true.
Lots of the Hotter Shoe ranges are half price in the January sales right now, including the Horizon (£55) and the Ribble (£75) boots which I loved.