With this in mind I got in touch with my shoe store of choice and asked if they might like JJ to put a pair of their men's shoes to the test. Hotter shoes are available online and from over 70 stores in the UK and I am an avid fan. I got my first pair of Hotter boots back in 2010 and I still wear them now, I also have trainers that travelled to Ethiopia with me and a couple of pairs of shoes and they all last this heavy-footed woman really well.
I therefore knew that a pair of Hotter shoes for my 12 year old JJ would be a good bet. He is also heavy-footed like me and at a size 8-9 already it is getting expensive to keep kiting him out in men's shoes. Hotter men's shoes are available from a size 6 to 12 as standard and many are available in half-sizes. Most shoes are standard fit (which is F-G) but many of their styles have clever dual fit technology and you can remove the inner sock to give a roomier G-H fitting. It is these little touches that make Hotter shoes fabulous.
When I told JJ we were going to go to a Hotter store and choose him some new school he was a little concerned and he thought they might just do 'old men' styles (his words) but he was really pleased when he looked around and saw lots of different styles that he liked. In fact he ended up wanting a couple of pairs as she saw styles that would suit casual wear too. He did make me smile as we entered the shop as well as he was really pleased that the shop was not overly big but was spacious with a sofa for him to try his shoes on. You know what they say, it is the little things...
We met with Karen the assistant manager of the store and she helped JJ try two different styles of shoes. She measured his feet and checked the fit when he had the shoes on, encouraging him to verbalise they they felt and if he had any concerns about them. At first JJ said they felt a little tight but after a good walk round and Karen checking the fit again they were both happy that the fit as right and he just had to lace them correctly. I think JJ's highlight of our visit was finding out what a shoehorn is and Karen giving him his own mini-one to take home.
JJ settled on a pair of Venture men's shoes which were in the sale. They normally retail at £95 but we bought them for £79 in store and I see they are now £65 online. It is also worth signing up for the Hotter newsletter as I was offered 25% off my first online order and free delivery by email at the weekend (just look towards the bottom of your screen when on the Hotter website), so if I had ordered the shoes online they would only have been £48.75 which is a really good price for some men's leather shoes with GORE-TEX® technology.
Considering JJ has to walk to the school bus each day and our back road regularly floods I was thrilled to find a pair of shoes that have the GORE-TEX® technology membrane inside, as these make the shoes waterproof. I also noticed these shoes have an extra padded collar to ensure that JJ does not get any more blisters from rubbing at the back of his heels.
He looks very smart in his new Hotter shoes and I'm interested to see how they stand up to the test of time. Karen encouraged JJ to wear his shoes around the house for a bit to further check the fit and comfort and assured me that we could use the 100% happy guarantee if we needed to. Basically this gives us 90 days to return the shoes for a refund or exchange if we do not feel they are the perfect, comfortable fit.
JJ has worn his shoes to church for about three hours and tells me they are super-comfortable but tomorrow will be the ultimate test when he wears them to school. I'll blog again about his shoes in a couple of months time to let you know how they are doing and I'll show you photos so you can see for yourself how they are standing up against the everyday tests that a 12 year old school boy puts his shoes through.
Ohh and I found I just could not resist, I had to invest in a new pair of Jewel shoes for myself. These deep purple shoes were down to £29 and that was too good a bargain for me to pass up!
Disclosure: I received JJ's shoes free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.
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