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I am only 24, but I am already conscious to look after my feet (and my daughters). When I got pregnant I realised prancing around in shoes from New Look/Topshop just wasn't cutting it for me. My feet were sore, wide and swollen and all I wanted was something comfortable to go out and about in! I then ended up in an Ecco store and I have enjoyed wearing Ecco shoes for some 4 years now and have not encountered any problems with them!
Ecco are a danish company founded in 1963, where the primary aspect is making shoes to fit your feet. They have ranges for men, womens and kids although personally I think they have a lot more in stores and online for ladies predominantly. All their shoes are leather so this does mean an increase in pricing, but considering I have still had shoes for over 3 years in excellent condition means buying a pair for £160 which will last really is much more financially efficient than a pair costing £50 that will only last me 6 months!
The shoes are excellent in terms of quality and comfort and aside from the odd Ugg boot and converses, my 3 year old mainly wears Ecco shoes as her feet now need the most looking after. At her age her foot is rather flat so I know I want to get her something that will accommodate this and still look cute! Their kids range can be expensive too, but considering they aren't much more than Clarks I am happy to pay the difference. She has had some cute pink trainer types with velcro, some purple booties with laces (see other reviews!) and they generally cost for her size between £30 - £50. It does break my heart a little as I know that within a few months I will be buying her a new pair, but I do much prefer to invest in something that means she won't have bad feet in future.
Ecco shoes are made by direct injection - where the upper has been placed in a tank and the sole is moulded to the shoe. This creates a seal which cannot be broken and so you are not left with talking shoes! Much preferable to shoes which are glued/stitched together and you can see them falling apart within minutes of wearing them lol. For me, this is one of the selling points for a shoe with longevity as the soles (aside from a few leather ones) are made from PU (polyurethane) which is a man made material which takes years to wear down. However, once the sole is worn down it cannot be repaired so if you walk enough to wear the sole down its basically time to throw them away!
Ecco have a varied collection from casual shoes, formal shoes, boots, and some of these come with the coveted goretex lining making for a 100% waterproof shoe. This can be not only in casual footwear, but they also do a hiking/walking collection which if I was ever to go mountain climbing or on holiday where I would be trekking on different terrains I most likely would definitely keep Ecco in mind! They also have a Biom range which I have found to be one of the most comfortable shoes I have ever slipped on! (Aside from slippers lol!) The Biom Technology is basically where ecco have biometrically scanned 2,500 people's feet to garner pressure points and create footwear that imitate natural motion walking. Essentially it is back to barefoot technology which is to emulate how you would walk when barefoot, so applying more pressure to the ball of your foot and reducing the heel strike effect so as to lessen lower back pain and make a more pleasurable walking experience. I have tried a number of these biom technology shoes/trainers on and they are SUPER comfortable but start from around £125. My partner also tried them on and said they are like walking on clouds lol! Sadly I don't do any kind of running/training (I know I am a lazy so and so) and since the main biom range consist of trainer types I don't really need to buy them but if I ever take it up I know where to head for some good running shoes! For men there are also golf shoes which I hear are really popular and comfortable and great for practising your swing as they give good ankle support :)
An excellent aspect about Ecco shoes are that they have removable insoles. This allows me to take the insoles out of my daughters shoe and measure the sizing of her feet so I know when it's time to get her a new pair! Also this makes the shoes a lot more hygienic as they have an antibacterial foam sole, and at the end of the day it is recommended to take these out so the insoles can air out and you are not left with smelly shoes! Alongside this, the plus of having a lot of their range (not the formal range however) with removable insoles means those with orthotics can put their own in and so I have recommended this to my gran lol!
One comment I will say about Ecco is that not all of their shoes are as comfortable as they advertise it totally depends on peoples feet; whether they are wide (as their designs have gotten a lot narrower) or if people have a high instep they may find difficulty finding an ideal pair. I find sizing quite tricky as in the trainer types (I have a few called summer zone, lite and chase) I am pretty much my size which is a 5 (European 38 as they are a Danish company, sizes are predominantly european) but in boots I am totally a 37 as the boots come up really big.
Overall I am a big fan of Ecco and I have noticed the styles get trendier without losing their comfort over the years. I have my eye on a pair of ugg types in the store (but as I already have Uggs I wonder if this is just me wasting my money?) but I am sure whatever I get, whether for me or my daughter I will be a good customer for years to come!
Ecco is a Danish shoe company which was founded in 1963. It was set up by a man called Karl Toosbuy in a small town just north of the German border and his idea was to create shoes which combine understanding of the foot with Scandinavian design and innovative technology. By 1978 Ecco had gained international recognition for its comfort and were the first in the world to feature a sole imprinted with the manufacture's logo.
Karl Toosbuy's philosophy was that the "Shoes must follow the foot" rather than the other way around and perhaps its comfort factor is what makes them so popular with older people. In the past Ecco shoes were something your gran wore, but noticeably more recently Ecco has branched out to the younger market. I only bought my first pair of Ecco shoes just over three years ago as previously I had not been keen on their designs, however, when I have popped into their Oxford Street store, which was also the first Ecco shop in the UK I now notice that the majority of shoes are a lot more fashionable.
My first pair of shoes, well boots from Ecco were smart black ankle boots. Traditionally produced more casual shoes with rubbery moulded soles, however there were hard-bottomed shoes with healable soles. My black boots, which I called my "witchy boots" were laced up at the front, which was the main design feature, although handily they had a zip up the inside so I didn't have to keep doing up the laces. They were made out of a shiny black leather and thus always polished up very well. The top of the boot remained in excellent condition, this may also be due to the fact I regularly polish my shoes, but also the leather didn't crease or stretch therefore remaining fresh looking. I am however quite hard on the soles of shoes and around every 6 months would have to get them re-healed. I do an awful lot of walking, especially as I have several different offices, so can walk quite a few miles per day. The problem came when the front soles began to wear and I had completely worn the front of the soles away. I could have a this point got them re-soled, however they also needed to be re-heeled again which would have costed around £35 so I decided it wasn't worth it, especially as they had started to leak in the rain.
My Ecco boots were super comfortable right from day one. They never rubbed or caught my feet anywhere. The only issue is that the soles are quite hard and hence make the soles of my feet ache if I walked around too much, however this is a problem I have generally as I much prefer hard bottomed shoes for work and hence get achy soles as there is no padding when walking around. All in all these were a good buy, costing about £75 I think - I haven't seen this design in Ecco for a while now.
My second pair of Ecco shoes are more "casual" shoes. I am not a trainer fan and hence didn't have any shoes suitable for doing lots of walking, days out with the kids etc. so, during the summer I treated myself to a pair of black leather Ecco comfy shoes. These are still available in Ecco stores and go by the name of "Sky", here's the link - http://www.ecco.com/en-XI/Ecco/Casual/211503-01001?i=35. I wanted a shoe which was practical comfy with a padded sole that didn't look too much like the traditional Ecco "granny" shoe and these sort of do it, although they aren't really the height of fashion.
These shoes come in a range of colours (browns, beige and burgundy) and also in suede. I got leather as it is easy to polish up if they get muddy and I am really glad I did as several times now they have got extremely dirty from trampling across boggy fields. I have had to clean off the mud with a wet cloth and brush and I put black polish on over night to soak into the leather. When polished up they come up like new again. Only problem is that the stitching which was grey is now black, but this hardly matters. They are laced up and padded and support the sole of the foot well with a design which moulds itself around the foot. The shoes also have a high back at the heal which is padded and supports the ankle. The insides of the shoes are made from a breathable fabric using the "ECCO Comfort Fibre System" which keeps moisture away and circulates air to keep feet cool.
The shoes are comfy around the feet, the only problem I have is that they run around the ankle. This is extremely annoying and I haven't been able to stop it from happening long term. If I wear the shoes regularly then they stop rubbing, but if I go for a few weeks without wearing them the rubbing comes back. I think this is because the heels of the shoes are higher up the ankle than I usually wear and my skin there isn't used to having shoe rub against it. I am hoping that at some point soon they will stop doing this as I have had them for around 5 months now.
These shoes aren't cheap, they were £75, having said that I expect them to last a long time and currently don't show any signs of wear and tear and I am sure they will live longer than my Ecco boots did, lasting only around 18 months. Ecco are a good quality brand and certainly last better than shoes than I have bought from other high street stores, but I was disappointed that the soles of my boots wore away so much in the time they did.
Due to the rubbing of my shoes and wearing out of my boot soles I am going to knock a star off, giving them a four in total. I would definitely buy Ecco shoes again in the future, although I would consider the design of the shoe I am purchasing more carefully.
~Mum Knows Best~
I'm sure nobody reaches adulthood without picking up a few words of wisdom from their mother or grandmother. "Never trust a man in white socks", "Don't eat the yellow snow" or best of all "Cheap things can be a false economy". The last of these goes through my mind when I think about shoes. I've bought good shoes that lasted but were too dull to look at, fantastic looking shoes I couldn't balance on, flimsy shoes that fell apart in weeks and 'investment' shoes and boots that paid me back a thousand times over by staying comfortable and never going out of fashion.
I've reached an age by which I've accumulated a lot of shoes. I'm no Imelda Marcos but just buying a few pairs each year - certainly more than you can wear out - means sooner or later your wardrobe and shoe racks will bulge with shoes you've had perhaps since student days. Some are hardly worn but get kept because they're 'too good to throw away' and there's something a bit icky about the idea of having your shoes sold on in a charity shop that stops you from putting them in the bag for Oxfam. Fortunately some shoes become like old friends - pulled out of the cupboard year after year and put to good service.
In the mountain of shoes that represent my life, the molehill of 'most worn' stands out against the background of the unloved and unworn. And when I look at that molehill of good foot-friends, there's one brand that stands out as vastly over represented and that brand is Ecco.
~Me and Ecco~
I don't recall my first pair of Ecco shoes, neither when I bought them nor what they looked like. Ecco just seems to have been in my life for a very long time. They were also a favourite of my mother-in-law and there weren't too many brands we had in common. That does however raise an important issue about Ecco - they don't ONLY make shoes that look 'orthopaedic' but undoubtedly they are firm favourites with those in search of comfortable shoes, especially for people with foot problems.
I'm not in that group - in fact I have very narrow feet with ludicrously high insteps and I have to avoid the ranges that are designed for grandmas which is sometimes a shame as they can be quite funky. I have had and loved several pairs of their flat nubuck suede 'little girl' shoes - the type with a strap across the instep, I think they're known as Mary Janes - but I've grown out of that phase and now I look for their more stylish and less childish models. To contradict that statement though, I have occasionally dipped into their kids range since my narrow size 5 to 5.5 will often get into the larger girls' sizes - hence a fun pair of black boots with appliqué flowers dancing up my calves. But mostly I'm in their 'ladies that go to the office' range.
~Take a Look on my Shoerack~
I have a spectacular pair of tan court shoes cut perfectly to deal with my scarily high arches and stupidly-narrow heels without falling off my feet. I have a classic black pair in the same range. I have flat black lace-ups picked out in gorgeous burgundy over-stitching and the most comfortable pair of pistachio green boat shoes that inspired the purchase of several items of clothing that went with this unusual colour. As I write this my ankles are cosy in my purple ankle boots - a colour so unusual that our secretary has just been asking me where I got them. They have square toes, a blocky 2 inch heel and are the most comfortable ankle boots I've ever found. I have strappy summer sandals that I've not been able to find since I put them away at the end of the summer a few years ago but one day I'll find them and I know they'll still look great.
The most I've ever spent on an item of footwear (with the exception of walking boots) was not surprisingly in Ecco - a fabulous pair of knee-length dark brown boots with a small flat heel that I hunted high and low for in a season when all boots had ridiculous little kitten heels or ludicrous stilettos that would have me on my arse quicker than you could say 'black ice'. £120 and 6 years later they still look as good as new.
~Do you get what you pay for?~
This brings me to the matter of price. Ecco isn't a cheap brand and most of mine have come from the Ecco outlet shops in either Braintree or Ellesmere Port. Even on discount in the outlets they still aren't cheap. Occasionally I've picked up a bargain in the £30-40 range but normally they're £50-60. At full list price in a High Street store their shoes are around the £75 mark which should be a crime considering most of them are so ugly, and a good pair of boots at list price can be around £150. Buying from the outlet stores means you often only get access to a restricted range but that's probably not a bad thing. If you are lucky enough to have titchy feet in a size 36 or 37 they often have a fantastic range of the shoes they've used for photo shoots for the catalogues (apparently that's the perfect size to make a shoe look its best!) and I suspect that sometimes we get access to non-UK models that aren't in the other shops.
Of course when you buy from Ecco - just as in every other shoe shop - they try to sell you protective polishes and cleaners. I have to confess I polish my shoes even less often than I wash my car but the quality shines through and very few of my Ecco shoes show any real sign of wear. Just recently I've noticed they have some gorgeous looking handbags at very reasonable prices but I've not been tempted enough to part with my pennies just yet. The staff at the Ecco in Ellesmere Port are always friendly and helpful and never pushy. I think that's pretty close to heaven in a shoe shop.
Many years ago I bought my first (and only pair) of Ecco boots. Now it might sound strange for me to say 'and only' as if I would never buy a pair again, but the pair of boots I have have lasted me for at least 7 years, are extremely comfortable and really like a old friend that I just don't want to ever get rid of.
Originally when I bought them, I was looking for a sort of semi-walking type boot that I could wear everyday as casual. Hadn't even heard of the Ecco footwear brand before, but found a shop in Milton Keynes that had quite a big display of Ecco footwear in their shop. The styling looked quite good on some of their ankle boots, and after trying a few pairs on, I knew that one of their Ecco pairs would be the one. They just seemed to fit a little better - snug around the ankle with a little bit of room to move across the ball of your foot and around your toes.
I seem to remember paying something like £120 for them at the time. For that I got a brown pair of leather boots that are best described as mid-way between a full walking boot and a cheaper fashion type boot. Looking on their website, they seem to have updated the boots that I have, and the label inside mine has long since faded. But they are still from Ecco.
One of the great things that I found with these boots was that they were not quite as stiff as a walking boot - the leather was a little softer and they don't appear to have the usual stiffness of a walking boot sole. The outer, as I said, is leather with a well padded tongue and collar to protect the ankle, and some padded green fabric inserts stitched in around the sides. Lace up wise it uses the chunky laces through metal eyelets on the bottom 3 and around lace hooks on the top 3 attachments. At the back there is a grab loop on the outside to help you pull them on and they also have an embossed Ecco logo on the front of the tongue.
The sole itself seems to be a design of modern innovation because this is what makes these boots particularly comfortable to wear for long durations. Ecco have developed their own shock absorption system in the sole known as 3DS Shock which is designed to absorb much of the shock and punishment that your feet will take through everyday walking, and for me, it does seem to really work because I can wear these things all day and not get any aches in my feet at all. The grip on the sole is also more attune with a walking boot style, with a deep tread to provide extra grip in slippery or rough conditions.
Another good quality point with these boots is that they are also waterproof, where the waterproofness is provided by Gortex which is that waterproof membrane fitted between the inner and outer surfaces of the boots and is designed to keep the water out and yet still allow your feet to breath and stay cool. You also have a stylish little metal Gortex badge on the outer edge of the boot by the ankle just to let you know that they do have Gortex within.
OK, I suppose the above detail could be for any good quality pair of boots like Berghaus or The North Face. But these are Ecco boots which is a brand I had never heard of before, and that I wasn't really expecting much when I originally bought them. But after over seven years of heavy use in all weathers, they are almost like a pair of slippers - very comfortable and an absolute pleasure to wear. I have done just about everything possible in these boots, from just walking around the shops to climbing up hills and rocks. I've waded through puddles, rivers and deep snow and then had them absolutely caked in mud. And yet, dry them out naturally, clean them up with a good polish and they still look great. OK, I've replaced the laces a few times over the years, but these boots are still going strong and show no signs of giving up and have become like a close friend to me.
Ecco was not one of those brands that I would thought would have been up there with the more familiar brands of walking boots. But having used them for so long, my opinion of the brand has totally changed and they are far better than I could have ever imagined.
So even if you are not familiar with Ecco footwear products, they are definitely one brand to seriously look at if you are in the market for some very comfortable, very capable, long lasting footwear. A well deserved 5 stars from me.
I bought a pair of soft leather Ecco shoes for the first time in Japan 24 years ago. To my amazement, they lasted for several years. So three years ago I decided to try out their latest soft leather offering in lace up shoes. They're very comfortable and, unlike trainers I have had in the past, still look almost new after three years. I do polish them, as they have become scuffed at the toe.
If you have wide feet as I do, they are ideal. As I wore into them, they became slightly loose, so I have inserted half soles into the front part of the shoes. I have worn them with tights, but find they fit more snugly with socks.
The best thing I have found about them, echoing the first pair I had over two decades ago, is that they don't need wearing in. They fit like a glove from the moment I put them on. I have never had so much as one blister from them, in spite of walking several miles a day sometimes. Also, my feet are slightly prone, so I really notice how good the support is compared to some of the trainers I have used in the past.
The sole is quite smooth, so they are not ideal for walking on icy pavements. But the flip side is it's very cushioned, so if it gets a bit rough underfoot, you don't notice it. It's also quite a light shoe, so it doesn't feel like you're lifting half a pound with every step.
One thing I have replaced is the shoelaces. They used to come, all those years ago, with 75cm laces, but these ones come with 60cm laces, which isn't quite long enough for good long bows, double tied.
They cost £50 to £65 a pair, depending on where you shop. While this may seem expensive, they last for years, and it isn't as if I wear them only occasionally. They're the main pair of shoes I wear, as I use them for work.
I have been hunting for the perfect pair of smart black mary-janes for a good year or two now, and it got to the point last september where I really needed them and money became no object. :D
Sick of looking at the pretty but plastic shoes in the average high-street shoe store, I decided to go a bit upmarket and wandered into my local Shoon, where I came upon the most beautiful pair of Ecco mary-janes - plain, black leather, pretty classy. Trying them on in the shop, the 7s were too big but the 6s nicely snug, so was encouraged to go with the smaller size (with the promise that the leather would stretch slightly and mould to my feet more, etc).
Despite the £75 price tag I took them home, safe in the knowledge that I had bought myself a pair of decent, hard-wearing shoes from a reputable brand, that would last me for ever and ever... Everything was fine for the first hour of wearing them. And then they started to hurt. They dug in across the top of my left foot, and gave me blisters above my heels. It's ok, I rationalized, just new-shoe teething problems. I'll wear them in.
Four months later, they're still no more comfortable. The leather upper refuses to budge, no matter how often I wear them, and they give me really stiff feet after I've worn them for a day. It's a real shame, seeing as I spent so much money on them. Plus I really do like them, they're beautiful shoes. Unfortunately I was mistaken in investing in a brand name... I would recommend that if you're about to buy a pair, make sure they're REALLY comfortable! Because they might not wear in for you.
ECCO Sko A/S is an international shoe brand founded in 1963 by Karl Toosbuy in Denmark. The result is the constant production of footwear.