Increasingly over the last few years my feet have been playing up. For a couple of years I just ignored the niggling pain that prevented me from running and enjoying exercise because I thought it was the result of a longstanding verruca and if I'm honest I was embarrassed. I'd tried to treat it myself for months (years even) and it wouldn't shift so I finally met with a Podiatrist at a large cost in the hope he could help and he did, finally my feet were verruca free but sadly I still had the pain and it was getting worse.
Around six months later I decided I needed to go back and see if the pain was anything the Podiatrist could help with and it turns out that the verruca was never really the cause of my pain. I have short calves and this means my legs rotate out (hence having waked like a policeman forever) and this means I am misaligned. I finally have an answer to why I have early onset arthritis in my knees and pain in the pad of my foot. Just by walking I am putting pressure on the wrong parts of my foot as my feet tilt outwards and this explains why I have such trouble finding shoes that I can wear without pain.
Over the last few years as my foot pain has become worse I have given up on wearing any kind of heels and my choice of footwear has become much more restrictive but at only 43 years old I don't want to just give up and wear boring footwear. This is where brands like Hotter Shoes have really been a blessing to me.
I received my first pair of Hotter boots back in November 2011 and I have been a committed fan since. Their Leanne shoes saw me through my time in Ethiopia in 2012 and the Jewel style have been a staple of my wardrobe for around four years now - I have many different colours. In 2014 I got my first pair of Precious summer shoes and I was wearing those yesterday when I headed to my local Hotter store in Eastbourne to see if they could help me find a comfy pair of summer sandals.
I knew I was in good hands as Karen greeted me when I walked in and she was keen to find me the right pair of summer sandals. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff in the Hotter shop, Karen looked for various sizes, width fittings, colours and styles for me in-store and she also checked out what could be ordered and what other size/ colour combinations would be coming available in the months to come.
Before visiting the store I'd had a look online and was keen to try out a pair of Flare and Sol sandals, both of these retail at £59 which of course isn't cheap but considering I walked into the shop wearing shoes I had got in March 2014, I know they last the course and are very much worth the money. I tried the Flare style first in black-multi as I thought they would go with everything but sadly they only had standard fit in the store in this style and it wasn't wide enough for me. It could have been ordered in for me but I was keen to leave the store with a pair of sandals I could start to enjoy straight away.
|Some of the great colours available in the Flare style of sandals|
Next up I tried the Sol style and I really liked the fact that I could adjust the fit with velcro straps over the front of my foot. Karen had a metallic gold pair in wide-fit in my size so I tried those first and wow were they comfy. I really liked them but to be honest I was a little worried they perhaps looked a little old on me.
So I decided to try one last pair and asked Karen if they had any of the Tourist (also £59) in stock in my size and I confirmed I'd be happy with any of the colours as they are all gorgeous. She came out with a red pair, which I took as a sign as red is my signature colour. I found that even in the standard width they shoes fit well and you can adjust the front if you need to. I ended up with a dilemma about which pair of shoes to have and I turned to Instagram and Twitter to help me,
In the end I went for the gold pair of Sol sandals as whilst I actually preferred the look of the red Tourist sandals, I just wasn't sure that the contoured foot bed in them would be quite comfortable enough for me, whereas the bed of the Sol sandals was super soft and felt divine under my painful feet.
As always I was impressed with Karen and how she helped me to decide which were the most comfy and best fitting shoes. We chatted about shoe fitting and the training that the Hotter sales assistants get and she told me it was important for people not to get hung up on a (shoe size) number, much more important that they fully consider the feel of how the shoe fits. As we finished our transaction Karen reminded me that if I have any issues after wearing the shoes I should come back into the store as they have the 100% happy promise.
It would be very easy if you are passing a Hotter shop as a younger woman to assume there is nothing in there for you but I urge you to go and have a look. There are some really trendy styles nowadays and all of them ultra comfortable.
Many thanks to Karen and the team at Hotter, Eastbourne. You always serve me so well.
Disclosure: I received my shoes free of charge for the purpose this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.
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