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I do a lot of walking about during the day and I like to wear flat comfortable shoes. As I'm tall I rarely wear heels because I don't need the extra height, and I save my heels for special occasions. I am endlessly grateful that trainers have now become a mainstream fashion item and I particularly like the different designs by Ash. I purchased these Virgin trainers from eBay for around £35 which is about half of the RRP - a good bargain buy because my version are a canvas version (which I believe has been phased out now) rather than the usual leather design which is more expensive.
Product description: "Ash Virgin buckle trainer boots are a staple item for any woman who cares about style and comfort! Ash Virgin trainers continue to be a bestselling style season after season! Ash Virgin sneakers have a rubber sole and comprise of a 100% nappa wax leather upper. Signature Ash styling details are the four buckles down the centre front and one buckle around the heel. The buckles can be adjusted to fit."
My trainers have a white rubber sole with a beige canvas upper, which is almost a boot style as the trainers come up to fit around the ankle. There are 5 buckle straps in a tan coloured leather which really makes the detail stand out against the plain background. There is a white rubber cap over the toe section, which helps to add some extra durability to this area. The rubber does get a little grubby over time with frequent use, but overall I have been really impressed with how few marks the shoes have sustained considering that they are such a light colour and I really put them through their paces by wearing them outside regularly, in all weathers. The canvas material is nice over the summer months as it does not cause my feet to get overheated, but unfortunately it is not fully waterproof so doesn't quite stand up to a proper British summer. I have worn them out and about during showers and light rain and they have been just fine. However, in the case of a surprise downpour the material can get soaked through which lets moisture inside of the shoes.
These trainers are extremely comfortable and are perfect for wearing all day if you need to be doing a lot of walking. The buckles are adjustable so you can have them fitted at whichever setting that suits you best. I have narrow feet so normally choose the tightest setting, but even still the trainers are comfortably loose without slipping around. When I have worn these shoes in winter, I like to layer up and will normally wear thick boot socks and legwarmers to go with my outfits for added warmth, and the adjustable buckles allows me extra room when I need to expand the straps to the next setting for a more comfortable fit. There are four buckle straps over the top at the front of the shoes, and I only need to undo the highest two buckles to be able to get the trainers on and off, so it is quick to adjust the buckle fastenings when I am wearing or removing the trainers. There is an additional buckle strap at the back of the shoe which wraps around the heel, and I don't really feel like this has any practical purpose, but it is a nice visual touch which helps to balance out the overall look of the shoes. These trainers are intended for fashion purposes only, and do not give the required amount of support to the feet and ankles that you would need if you were engaging in sporting activities.
These trainers are lightweight and comfortable, and lasted me very well. I had my pair for a couple of years and they have only now passed their best since a split appeared in the rubber sole, making them no good for wearing outside. I was really pleased that the canvas material was able to repel dirt so effectively, as I was a bit doubtful that they would remain looking so light and clean, but they have barely marked at all and I was able to clean them easily by using a damp cloth. I would recommend these trainers as a really great design from the Ash brand, and I would happily buy from them again.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that dooyoo have posted a picture of my old trainers from this photo. When I opened my supposedly spanking new shoes I thought they had sent me an old pair!
Ahhhh fashion. Ash or fASHion has dictated that these trainers arrive slightly grubby! As you can see they have been vintaged up already so you are already street smart from first wear. Sweet.
I bought mine from www.cocosa.com - this is an invite only fashion website who hold limited time (usually 48 hours) sales on top name designer brands. If you want an invite let me know! Anyway, I paid £55 including P&P back in March 2010. This is a bargain price for fantastic trainers that I had been lusting after for over a year. For the Virgin trainer style on the high street you'd be looking to pay around £125 from John Lewis and the same at ASOS or Oli. They are also available in select shoe boutiques around the country. I saw lots of ash shoes in the posh shoe shops in Athens too.
Ash is an Italian brand, (see www.ashitalia.com) being Italian I expect excellent quality and high fashion with quirky European styling - that is exactly what I got here.
My Virgin trainers have a mock-croc finish, in a granite colour. I would describe this as a very dark grey/black with colour contrasting lighter grey around the edges of the croc pattern - the official description is Grafite colour in Coccolone. I assumed this was Italian for crocodile, but according to google translation it means cuddly! They are also in high shine patent leather. The sole of the shoes is a thick rubber, with a shallow tread. There is lots of different finishes around and they change from season to season, my friend has silver snakeskin and I've seen a lovely soft black leather colour. You can also get them in a material finish for around £80 (ASOS).
Being leather the shoes are super comfy once worn it - I bought a 39 as I am a UK size 6 and while they do fit, I did have a few blistery days, but one must suffer when one looks this good. The innersole of the shoe seems to be a good half centimetre thick adding a lovely cushy feel for your feet.
This takes me back the styling on these shoes. Fabulous, in my opinion. You can wear them all done up, as you see them in the picture, but since each buckle does undo I have taken to wearing them with the top two buckles completely undone. This gives me a slightly sloppier look which goes nicely with my slouchy attitude. I find that I usually wear them with skinny grey or blue jeans. I've also worn them with opaque tights and a short skirt for a dressed up but down vibe. They would also suit opaque tights and hotpants as dela mode la season, but my knees (or dignity) can't take short shorts!
Quality wise I can't fault them either, I've been wearing mine a few days a week since March and they still look like they did they day they turned up. So far they have remained dry as well. The only real wear is on the heel of the shoe, but since I don't drive its often shanks pony for me and I feel they have held up well.
Overall I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these, I think they look really cool. I think they are versatile enough to wear with lots of outfits and that the quality is excellent. However, I will be looking out for the next Ash sale as I don't fancy paying top dollar for them, and I certainly won't wait for these ones to die before I buy my next pair.