Product Type: ecco shoes
Newest Review: ... 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... more
Always Comfy - Occasionally Stylish and even Sexy
Member Name: koshkha
Advantages: Great quality
Disadvantages: Can be very 'orthopaedic'
~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.
Summary: I can hear and Ecco......ecco.....ecco