Thursday 25 March 2010

Hotter Shoes

I wasn't too sure about how well it would work ordering shoes online. After all, even when you're in a shoe shop trying them on, it's hard to find a pair that fit perfectly as some shoes are wider than others and some brands seem to use bigger sizes than others. But when I was given the opportunity of receiving a pair of Hotter Shoes for review, I jumped at the chance. First of all, I had a good look around on their website to choose a pair. When I saw the terms "extra wide fitting" and "comfort concept", I was expecting to find a very limted range of styles that would appeal to me, assuming that they were catering mainly for the sensible little old lady market. But I was amazed at how many lovely styles there are, including funky brightly coloured trainer-type shoes and lovely pastel flat-shoes, heeled-shoes and sandals for the warmer months.

The website is really easy to navigate around, especially using the "quick links" (Women's Shoes, Women's Boots, Gifts & Accessories, Men's Shoes) and "popular searches" (Comfortable Shoes, Women's Sandals, Wide Fitting Shoes, Comfy Men's Shoes) at the bottom of the screen. I eventually opted for the Penny model, which is perfect for work and goes just as well with skirts as jeans or trousers.

Fast forward a few weeks (I'm sure normal service is faster, don't forget this had to go via a PR person, plus on their facebook page, they mention having had a few technical problems that delayed deliveries, but that normal service should have been resumed now) and the postie knocked at the door with a box. I already smiled to myself before I even opened it, seeing the "delivering happy feet" message that made me imagine a hyperactive penguin hiding in the box ! They're very well packaged, with the normal shoebox inside a sturdy cardboard box, and as soon as I took the lid off, I could SMELL the quality - they're definitely real leather !

The shoes look exactly as they do in the picture - no airbrushing here ! They're very well-made and remind me of the high-quality shoes my mum and dad always used to buy me for school at Clark's ! I prodded the squishy cushion insole and realised what they meant when they talked about "walking on air". They looked seriously comfortable but, wincing in advance, I pulled them on with a pair of thin nylon tights to give them a test drive. However comfy shoes are in the long run, I always find I have to go through the painful breaking-in period for the first few days, suffering at worst nasty blisters on my heels and at best painful red welts on the skin. Well, I was amazed - right from the first step, they were as comfortable as a pair of slippers with absolutely no rubbing at all. I even checked my feet at one point on the school run, convinced that I must have forgotten to change out of my slippers ! I think this is the first pair of shoes I've ever worn that haven't needed breaking in.

The comfort is also unlike anything I've ever experienced before. The cushioned insole supports you in all the right places and feels just like when you finally hit on a bra that is exactly the right size, that lifts and supports in all the right places without cutting in or rubbing, and you suddenly realise how uncomfortable you've been up until then ! I haven't taken them off once since I got up this morning, whether indoors or outdoors, and I've been running around with the kids on the way to school, running up and down stairs, sitting aroun in front of the computer ... They're totally versatile and really do suit all occasions. They are also the perfect fit - I didn't even have to touch the buckle to adjust the width - so my fears about buying shoes online without trying them on were totally unfounded. The fact that they offer half-sizes is also a great bonus and is something many high-street shoe shops don't offer.

Hotter Shoes also offer a 100% Happy Guarantee, whereby you can return or exchange shoes that don't fit or that you decide you don't like. As they say on the website, "The first step towards happy feet is having confidence in our service to you and I can assure you that everyone at Hotter is focused on delivering a happy and comfortable shopping experience that will leave you 100% happy – guaranteed! ". That sounds like a lot to live up to, but they really do deliver. The shoes aren't the cheapest that you can buy (£59) but they are absolutely worth every penny (no pun intended !). I don't know how I'll ever bear to wear any of my other shoes ever again now !

star rating : 5/5 (I'd give more if I could !)

RRP : £59, depending on the model

for more information :
Other reviews you may be interested in :


  1. Very thorough and informative review. I have often thought about ordering a pair of Hotter shoes but until now have not done so. This review has convinved me that I should get myself a pair!

    Thank you.

  2. Hi there, I came across your review via Google and I hope you don't mind me commenting. I just wanted to share my recent experience with Hotter to warn people that, unfortunately, they've gone downhill! The quality of the shoes I purchased is appalling and the customer service is dreadful :( Having come across recent reviews online, it seems I'm not the only one having trouble with them.

  3. Hello Emily, Thanks for your comment. I've actually just ordered another pair of Hotter shoes so I'll let you know how I get on ! I noticed they've opened several new shops recently so it might be better to check them out instore first if you're worried about the quality. I googled reviews for Hotter Shoes after your post to see what others had to say and I noticed you posted the same comment on a number of reviews. Did you notice that Hotter got back to you and asked you to contact them to sort out whatever the problem was on one of the other reviews you commented on? If not, it sounds like they're keen to sort things out so try emailing them. They promise a refund or exchange if you're not totally satisfied on their website, although I've never actually needed to use it. Keep us posted and good luck !

  4. My new Hotter shoes review is here :

    Still no problems at all my end.

  5. There's a link to the Hotter website at the end of the blogpost, you can buy the shoes from there

  6. I just hate most shoes. It is so difficult to find shoes that fit my wide, flat, small feet and do not cause blisters and rubs. I got a Hotter catalog in the mail- they now have a HotterUSA site- and ordered two pair. They are really wonderful shoes. I ordered extra wide and didn't need to. I have to send one pair back because it was too big. THe other fit well with an insole. I just ordered another pair today. Finally! Shoes that are cute and comfy. I wish I had found these before I spent a small fortune on all of the other shoes that are sitting unloved and unused.

  7. I love the shoes, but had a terrible time when I decided to take advantage of a promotion and buy 4 pairs at one time. I am a USAHotter customer and bought with a bankcard linked to me bankaccounts. The shoes are sent internationally one at a time and the pending charges kept coming until double the amount owed was tied up. I never received any Email explaining that the order sent was not complete, as they promise to do. I just kept receiving Emails with the order number saying it has been despatched until I have finally received 4 identical emails, one for each pair. I have no idea which shoes went out, when. I didn't have sufficient funds in the checking acct. to cover the excessive pending funds and ended up with penalties for moving funds from a savings acct. more than allowed per month. So I basically lost my promotion savings. I recommend not purchasing more than one pair of shoes per order if you are a US customer and better to charge to a credit card. Don't tie up your bank acct. with lingering and excessive pending charges. The customer representative was polite and says they will work on correcting the pending charge problem for international purchases, but I think I learned my lesson. I love the product. Great shoes and super comfortable, and cute.

  8. I have been wearing Hotter shoes for about 6 years now. They are very comfortable and well made and last for ages. I have worn a pair of Calypso to walk up a very steep hill on ice and didn't slip or get my feet wet in the melting ice. My favourites are Calypso, Saffron and Tiffany. I have issues with bad knees, ganglions on my feet and a bad back so find it difficult to find a comfy pair of shoes. I have 14 pairs of Hotter shoes and have just ordered two more pairs with some Xmas money. You could say I'm a fan!

  9. I have a pair of Hotter shoes which I have been wearing virtually every day for about five years. They have just split at the side and need replacing.

    However, my two sons, who have been wearing Hotter boots for several years, have not been so fortunate. The boots look very smart and are very comfortable but unfortunately they split across the sole after only a few weeks. As the boots cost almost £100 a pair we are unable to keep replacing them so the boys wear them until they let in water. I have had a few pairs replaced by Hotter and the same thing has happened with the sole. Our garage is a bit like a Hotter Boot Graveyard. We must have at least eight pairs in there awaiting disposal. They look as good as the day they arrived in the post, apart from the soles.

    I have read a lot of reviews on Hotter Boots and they all seem to have the same problem. I am considering lining up the boots and taking a photo of them, which I will send to Hotter and ask for an explanation. If I do not get a satisfactory explanation it may end up on Facebook.

    1. Definitely get in touch with them - they're usually really helpful so if there's a problem with the boots, I'm sure they'll replace them.

  10. I have had issues with tendonitis caused by rubbing of the shoe against my heal. I bought 3 pairs in July and wore 2 of them constantly. I even bought another pair in the sale in July. I have been seeing physio thinking the problem was my age until I realised the pain got worse the further I walked. I stopped wearing the shoes for a few days and the pain in the ankle and lower calf considerably reduced. I got a refund for the pair I bought in August but left it too late for the 3 pairs I got earlier. Shame really as I liked the shoes but the heals on the shoes are extremely stiff and must have caught the back my heals to cause the tendonits.

  11. I have just bought 2 pair in the BOGOF offer. I've read on Trust Pilot awful reviews on customer service.
    One thing to note I bought mine from their shop. I normally take a UK 7 but went down to a 5.5 for the comfortable fit. I would say don't buy online.


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