When I told work colleagues I was going to a hotter blogger event, they laughed. And told me I was an old woman. My previous experience of hotter was limited to a quick look into my local store in Banbury, and speaking to the PR team at a blogger conference.
My initial impressions before going to the event, were that hotter shoes didn’t really fill my shoe needed. The colours had attracted me to look at some of their shoes. I went to the blogger event in Banbury to see why other bloggers raved about the shoes so much, and whether there was something I was missing about the brand.
The hotter team at the Banbury store was lovely. Really friendly, knowledgeable and passionate about their shoes. The store itself is like being at home. It’s homely but with a bit of a shabby chic farmhouse feel, with relaxing pale greens and browns. A bonus is that there’s lots of room to move around the store, with nice seating areas to try on the shoes.
After nibbles, prosecco and introductions, we heard the history of hotter, from its roots in the north of England where they are still based today. The passion for shoes comes through at every level of the business. Amazingly, a par of hotter shoes is made every 20 seconds, making them the biggest shoe manufacturer in the UK.
The originals range is probably what people think of when hotter is mentioned. These are the best sellers, the shoes that have stood the test of time. The range isn’t my cup of tea, a range I’d still see as for older people, but hotter have dversified over the years into more fashion led styles in their boots, shoes and leisure ranges.
Picking up a hotter shoe, it’s surprising how light and flexible they can be. Every sole made in their factory is filled with millions of air bubbles, and their pyramid technology makes your feet feel great once on. Hotter are all about their Comfort Concept with the addition of ankle padding, dual fitting through a choice or 1, 2 or no inserts, rainproof attached tongues and more.
At the event, we’d all been eyeing up shoes we wanted to try on, and were then let loose on the shop floor. I’d got my eyes set on a pair of patent loafers and brogues, but if I wore the latter I think my OH would make too many comments about them being manly. But I also spotted some gorgeous shoe boots and 2 pairs of flat casual chelsea boots and riding boot styles. Once I started looking, there were quite a few styles I could see myself wearing.
I am really fussy with shoes though – I saw some lovely ballet pumps, but wasn’t keen on the heel, and obviously the originals range wasn’t for me.
It turns out though, that my choice was made easier by my seeming to have strange feet. Or not feet, but heels that don’t go into hotter boots. Even with the half size options I struggled to get on several pairs I liked. I’m usually a size 5.5 and have shoes and boots ranging from size 5 to 6 with a standard fit, but I found hotter shoes came up small. I decided on the Annette shoe boots, but had to remove the thicker of the 2 insoles to make them fit properly.
The good thing about hotter shoes, other than the sizing options (half sizes and different width for some styles) are the colour options. As well as classic blacks, browns, tan, suede nubuck and leather, many styles come in the upcoming colours for the season. I loved the teals and plus, but in the end opted for the black shoe boots over the tan for practicality reasons. I’m hoping these will get me back into heels for work.
I went home a very happy shopper and new shoe owner. The next day I was able to go back ino work to explain that hotter is about more than just comfort fitting, and that there are on trend shoes and boots in their range. I’ll certainly be checking into the shop each season in case I spot anything that catches my eye.
Disclosure: I was invited to the hotter blogger event and gifted a pair of shoes. All views and words are my own.