It might be an age thing, but there’s something comforting about slipping on a pair of shoes from a company that has the confidence to emblazon its name all over the box. ‘Hotter Shoes – Comfort Concept’. Here’s a company, it says to me, that believes in its product. ‘Delivering Happy Feet’ it said on the outside packaging, and my tired old feet are happy even before I slip on my first pair of Hotter Shoes.
About Hotter Shoes
Hotter Shoes have been designing and manufacturing comfortable footwear for more than 50 years. That tells me my feet are in safe hands, so to speak. The fact that their shoes are manufactured here in the UK – yes, here in the UK - and that they also make more shoes than any other UK shoe maker is even more comforting. Hotter Shoes clearly have to be doing something right!
Hotter Shoes are obviously not only passionate about making comfortable shoes, they’re good at it too. So good in fact, they made no less than 1.3 million pairs in their Lancashire factory last year, every pair of which was hand-polished before being meticulously wrapped for delivery to customers – like me – who appreciate having Happy Feet.
Knowing I love walking, Hotter Shoes were kind enough to send me a pair of GORE-TEX Men’s Boots to try out. ‘Victor’, they told me, is the quintessential, all-weather, multi-purpose leisure boot, light enough to wear in town yet rugged and water repellent for the worst the outdoors can throw at you.
I decided to take them for their maiden outing to our local farm shop to see how happy my feet would be at the end of my usual Saturday morning 4-mile hike across the Wiltshire countryside. Four miles might not be far in walking terms, but far enough I thought to give my Victors a real test to see how comfortable my feet would be in a pair of walking boots being given their first taste of freedom. Would I still have Happy Feet when I returned home with my backpack laden with my usual 7 litres of skimmed milk, 6 eggs, a loaf of fresh bread and sufficient fruit and vegetables to last the week?
My first impressions were good. My Victors not only looked stylish and exceptionally well made, they were also surprisingly comfortable. In fact I’d go so far as to say I’ve worn less comfortable slippers. They have a generous width fitting that comfortably accommodated the bony protrusion on the first joint of the big toe of my right foot that I believe to be a bunion, a wonderfully cushioned and removable insole, and an inner membrane that is not only breathable but gives the impression that the entire foot is encased in velvet. They also have a padded ankle support that does exactly what it says on the box, and a rugged tread that is lightweight and flexible at the same time as looking extremely durable.
All in all, I’m impressed. In fact, I’m pacing up and down my home office waiting for my wife to get ready, trying to fault them and I can’t. My Hotter Shoes (or boots in this particular case) are actually a pleasure to wear. Now when did you last hear that from someone wearing brand new footwear for the first time!
So how did they do on their first road test?
If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, then the proof of comfort in terms of shoes is in the wearing. Our Saturday morning walk to our local farm shop is largely on narrow country lanes and partly cross country through open fields. A pretty thorough road test for a new pair of boots.
I’m delighted to say that my Victors stood up extremely well both on and off road. My last pair of walking boots needed breaking in over numerous short and blisteringly painful walks before they were ready for the open road. These were so tame it was as if they had been personally tailored for my specific 60-year-old feet, bunion, knobbly toes, corns and all. It was like bringing home a house trained puppy – all the excitement and anticipation of the years of fun ahead, without the initial agonies of toilet training.
Hotter Shoes certainly do what they say on the box – deliver Happy Feet. They’re stylish, practical and comfortable. I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending them!
Editor, Third Age.
Written by Editor.