“ Brand: Evans / Type: Boots „
When I was a child, I always had to have the widest fitting shoe in Clarks for school - in fact I only recall once being able to get school shoes which weren't Clarks - a pair of Mary Janes made by TUF, a brand which claimed was scuff proof. This claim sadly proved to be false and my mother was so disappointed it was back to Clarks for me again - a fate I suffered until I finally was able to wear adult footwear.
Sadly as I have got older, I have noticed my feet not growing in length, but certainly in width. I have found I invariably have to look at the wide fitting section in shoe stores nowadays, and ironically Clarks have one of the poorer selections on the high street.
I usually go to Marks & Spencer, who have shaken off the "granny sandal" image of wide fitting footwear in recent years, but another port of call is plus size clothing store Evans, part of the Arcadia group.
Most of the footwear Evans sell is EEE fitting - making it rather luxuriously wide if I am honest - my fitting tends to be more an EE (the standard women's width is D). Sometimes I can wear a size 5 such is the generosity of width in Evans shoes, other times I need to take my usual size 6.
The range at Evans varies enormously - they do sell a lot of footwear with man made uppers which I invariably eschew as I do prefer leather footwear (with the exception of my Crocs). Where they really excel is in their boots. They understand not all women have standard size feet, ankles and calves, so if you have wider than average legs, you may well be able to get boots to fit you here.
It was on a trip to Evans with my sister who was looking for boots that I spied these black zip up leather shoe boots. I was really taken with them, and so too was my sister. So much so we each bought a pair and such is our mutual adoration of them, I decided to review them as they are still available instore and on the Evans website.
These are billed as "shoe boots", and they come up to your ankle. The silver zip fastener is located on the outside of your ankle, making them a noticeable feature of the boot, and the leather is ruffled slightly around the ankle, but smooth over the top of the foot.
The boot has a flat heel of 0.5 cm, and the sole is padded for additional comfort.
What drew me to these boots at first was the look. There is something quite edgy about the way the zip is positioned at an ankle on the outer side of your foot, and the black leather acts as a wonderful contrast to the silver zip. I am not renowned for being edgy in the fashion stakes I hasten to add - but I do like fashion details and this was the kind of fashion detail that draws me to an item when I am shopping.
The toes are angled but not too pointy - pointed toes are a bit of a turn off for me, taking me back to the pixie boots of my youth (the less said the better!).
These obviously work best with jeans or trousers look wise but you can also wear them with leggings or thick tights. They aren't the kind of footwear you could possibly wear with bare legs however.
What I really love about these boots is how comfortable they are. Putting them on is a breeze, although I must admit I found it weird the zip not being on the inside of my ankle at first but I've got the hang of it now. The zipper is strong and of a very high quality, easily fastening and unfastening without sticking.
The boots feel soft and supple next to my ankle - they don't give me a vice like grip around that area that I have endured with ankle boots in the past - they just sit nicely around that area.
They are noticeably roomier than standard boots as well due to the extra width afforded by the EEE fitting.
The padded sole makes for a very comfortable shoe - I have worn these on several occasions where I had rather a lot of walking to do and haven't suffered any burning sensation on my sole which I get when I wear some shoes, nor have the boots rubbed against my foot at all. It's most unusual for me to buy footwear that doesn't require any "breaking in" period but these are safe to put on straight away without wondering where the Elastoplasts are.
The leather on the boots is soft and supple, but I have managed to scuff mine on the toe. I was worried this might be hard to cover up but a quick application of an anti scuff product from Morrisons saw the scuff off and you'd never know I'd done it now.
They do need pretty regular polishing as the finish on the leather is quite shiny and it looks at its optimum best with the shine you get from a good polish, but I always think regular polishing improves the lifespan of leather shoes anyway and as such should be encouraged. The flat heel so far is showing barely any sign of wear (I have had them 2 months now) after regular wear.
The boots are weatherproof, if not waterproof - certainly I wouldn't recommend walking through huge puddles in them but they will keep you dry in a downpour.
If you have wider than average feet and ankles, and you are looking for a woman's ankle boot which is both comfortable and stylish, then this might well be what you are looking for.
Sadly if your feet are standard width or narrower these won't be any good for you and I haven't seen anything similar elsewhere.
Available in sizes 4 EEE to 10 EEE (no half sizes) on www.evans.co.uk website and instore. Full price for the boots is £45 but they regularly have promotions. I got mine during a 20% off promotion and therefore only paid £36.