Last week I met up with the lovely people from Hotter Shoes in their new Brighton store, and as you might have seen on my social channels I left with a new pair of boots. I was in shoe heaven that evening locked in a shoe shop after hours, with company and under instruction to try on whichever shoes I fancied. That's definitely a good night in my book.
Actually let's talk about that. Hotter will I'm sure be the first to admit that they first appealed to an older audience, in 1959 when they started out slippers were their thing. And as an image, you really can't get older than that. But now they say they make shoes as comfortable as slippers, and that's quite a claim.
Last week I tried on several pairs of shoes - well it would have been rude not to, wouldn't it? And it was the boots I left with that I found the most appealing, and the most comfortable. In fact I kept them on the whole evening and yes I was extra careful not to spill my canapés on them. I learnt that it's the millions of air bubbles that make the Hotter shoes comfortable, that and the wiggle room they provide for feet.
So while I wasn't under any compulsion to write a review of my new boots, I did want to share with you just how comfortable I found them. And when I got to thinking about a review for shoes, I thought that wouldn't be so exciting to read - I mean there's only so many ways to photograph and describe any pair of shoes. Even for me.
So I guessed you might be more interested to know what I got up to in them, and as they were so comfortable I thought I'd put them where my mouth was so-to-speak and wear them for the first time this weekend when we had a bit of a mega-day planned in town.
I woke Sunday morning reconsidering my madness. Was wearing new shoes for the first time for a Christmas market, Christmas shopping and Festive afternoon tea jaunt really my best idea. Thankfully I'd not said this publicly so I could back out without anyone knowing...
However I had planned my outfit around them. And they did feel comfortable. So I decided to go with it, even if it was a little bit of a bonkers plan.
What could go wrong?
We left home and headed to Waterloo so MOH could pick up my Christmas present which I'd reserved earlier in the week. With that collected we headed over to the South Bank and being in full tourist mode I couldn't resist some photos of the London Eye. And MOH was given his first photo assignment of the day.
We wandered along the South Bank heading towards the Christmas Market there. To be honest I was less impressed with the market, I think previous years have been better, but the carousel was pretty. There were more food stalls this year though so we stopped for a Bratwurst with sauerkraut and perched alongside a table to make sure no stray mustard or ketchup attacked my boots.
Now fed and running out of Christmas market we headed over the Hungerford Bridge, up through Trafalgar Square and past some huge box balls in some rather fine dustbins. Don't they look great?
Then it was onto Piccadilly where there's one shop we always visit this time of year to buy a special pack of mince pies. And this year was no exception.
While MOH explored the gentleman's department, which I'll admit is a fascinating place I sneaked a quick sit down in one of their wing-backed arm chairs. Well I was conserving energy, though actually my feet were feeling surprisingly spritely.
We still had a fair bit of walking to do though as our next stop was a couple of department stores on Oxford Street. So avoiding as many of the crowds as we could by skirting around some of the back streets we finally headed up New Bond Street and along to the shops we were aiming for.
With our coffee supplies replenished and some Christmas shopping bought, we were soon done with Oxford Street. We don't tend to walk up and down Oxford Street itself because of the crowds so as usual headed towards Wigmore Street and walked parallel to the busier street. By now I fully expected to be flagging and in truth I was a little. But my boots weren't rubbing, and we slowed our walking pace for a little to give ourselves a breather.
I also deployed my old trick of pausing for photos as and when I fancied a break. It's a great tactic, and quite often it means you get to see bits of wherever you are you're not quite expecting.
It wasn't long before we headed back towards Oxford Street, crossed it into Berwick Street and zig zagged our way through the streets and towards Seven Dials. There was a point for us aiming for Covent Garden and that was a rather scrumptious and longer than intended Festive Afternoon Tea. It's something that's becoming one of our traditions and not a bad one to have, which makes Christmas shopping much more fun and more of an event.
What I hadn't thought of when I planned this post was darkness. I know it's getting dark early but I'd overlooked the fact that photographing black boots once it's dark doesn't really work, does it? But after our late afternoon tea we headed down towards the Piazza at Covent Garden anyway to admire their decorations.
And then it was time to head home.
So almost 17, 500 steps later we were home. And more importantly I was still wearing my new boots and I could still walk in them. My feet were tired, but given how far we'd walked of course they were. But boots hadn't rubbed and the next day I still wore my heels to work, as usual.
So I think you'll agree the boots (and my feet) did well. So if you're looking for some stylish and comfortable shoes take a look at the new Hotter range I don't think you'll be disappointed, I certainly wasn't. And just so you know there's no need to test them in the same way I did, unless you want to of course, and afternoon tea is always a good move!
Thank you to Hotter for my new boots and for providing the inspiration for this post, all opinions within it are my own (and my feet's!)