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My feet have always been the bane of my life, and I've spent many years trying to find the perfect shoe, that looks acceptable and is comfortable. Having a backside that were it shot into orbit could cause an eclipse I rarely wear trousers/jeans so trainers would look plain daft with a skirt, Lilly Allen I ain't.
I had pretty much given up hope on finding something that didn't cause my 'non standard construction' toes to blister, or my heels to cry, or the sole of my foot to burn like the depths of Hades. Marks and Sparks footglove were the nearest thing I had found to comfort, also they were mostly too narrow for my hobbit feet . They didn't have much in the way of style, and the fact that they caused my mother (never the most fashion conscious) to cry 'oh those look like nice shoes' was enough in itself to make me stop wearing them, they were also expensive.
Then whilst having a rare moment to myself to idly flick through the channels (nothing specific I wanted to watch being on) I stumbled across a loud lady and a Fly Flot rep extolling the virtues of a 'the most comfortable shoe you will ever wear' on Ideal World. I watched mesmerised as they told of the little Italian family firm who pay such attention to detail (got to love the Italians, when they do something they do it good.... mostly), they bent the shoe in half to demonstrate its flexibility, emphasised the lack of stitching on the uppers so as not to rub sensitive feet, and how the top was attached in such a way as to have no seams at all. They also showed a footbed/sole unit sliced in half Damien Hirst style to show the layers and air pockets which allow the high level of support.... Now I have to admit that even though Fly Flot have added a vast array of styles to their stable since that day, they with the best will in the world can't be called the most stylish of shoes.
If you love Birkenstocks, Scholl, or Sketchers; I'm sure you'll find something to love about these. However Fly Flot don't do what I would call 'going out shoes' because the construction of the sole and footbed doesn't allow for high heels and pointy toes etc., and as these are built primarily for comfort there are no patent finishes. Fly Flots only come in wedges some of which are two or three inches high, or a cut out wedge that gives the impression of a heel, the aforementioned heel being rather thick though.
You can buy Fly Flots from many online sites including their own, and they advertise in some national newspapers (such as the Daily Mail) as well as the shopping channel Ideal World (channel 644 on Sky). The price ranges I have seen vary from about £12.99 to around the £55 mark. There is a clearance section on their website, which I have used, and there are also often offers available via other channels. I have never seen Fly Flots in the high street, and I can't say whether they are available off line. No matter where purchased delivery of these shoes has always been quick and efficient. When I bought a pair online it seemed to trigger the regular delivery of a small catalogue, more of a booklet really with their latest styles and offers displayed. I have not used this yet, but quite like getting it as I will buy Fly Flots again.
I have tried several styles of these shoes, the first being a soft closed in nubuck mule for when I worked in a library; being on my feet for several hours a day I really needed something comfortable. They made my feet and legs look like my Nanas when she's forgotten her diuretics, but by god were they comfortable. I later purchased a couple of pairs that look a little like Birkenstocks (if you squint). My latest pair of 'Flots' were bought in an attempt to avoid having to cram a pair of pumps into a small handbag to pop on to relieve when the agony of wearing 'going out' shoes for a few hours got too much.
They were intended to be smart enough to look nice with a less casual more 'dressed up' look, in lieu of my usual stiletto, or pointy toed kitten heels. They are open toed mules with a soft shimmer black nubuck upper, with a slim chevron of pewter nubuck as a design feature. I wore these for the first time on a shortish trip to collect my sister's new kitties from the nearest Cat Protection centre. Just to test them out for comfort before wearing them for a longer period. I was quite shocked to find that within half an hour just above the ball of my big toe behind the last knuckle on both feet were blistered and painful, one of them was bleeding! It was hard to tell which wailing was louder, mine or my sisters when kitten number one pooped and threw up all over his relatively calm and together sister (bless). The reason I like Fly Flots is that (usually) they have no 'break in' period, you can put them on and they are good to go, and just keep getting more comfortable with time. So I was surprised to find these to be so different.
On checking I realised that the fine soft stitching where the nubuck 'chevron' was attached is what was causing all this consternation to my feet. I did know there was stitching on the upper of this particular design but such was my trust in Fly Flot that I thought it was worth a try. Although the inside of the upper was very smooth and the stitching fine and soft it was not lined and that was enough to set my accursed fairy dust constructed feet off. However I didn't return the shoes as quite frankly I'm used to having to break them in, and after wearing for about a month they became quite comfortable - even though I have a reddened slightly toughened patch where my skin has adapted to the shoe rather than the other way around. I don't know if this is because Fly Flot's standards have deteriorated or simply because it was a style I hadn't bought before.
The upper of this latest pair did seem less generous and 'giving' than previous styles have been in the same brand. Another negative tendency I have noticed with this brand is that although they all seem to have a thin breathable leather insole, this 'lining' is often tissue thin, and can pull away from where it is attached to sides of the shoe. The lining is so soft that when it puckers up it doesn't usually create a problem. In closed in shoes or mules I have overcome this by inserting an insole of my own to prolong the life of the lining. Also I'm quite 'heavy' (even when I'm not heavy myself -which isn't often) on my shoes so others may not find this such a problem.
5 Reasons Fly Flots are 'good' taken direct from the uk website
Shock Absorbing Shoes - The unique production of the sole gives effective protection from the impact of walking on your joints.
Anti-Bacterial Shoes - The footbed is treated with an antibacterial solution helping to reduce foot odour and keep your feet healthy.
Anatomic Shoes - The shape of the sole is pre-formed to follow the natural foot anatomy, ensuring proper support and maximum comfort.
Self Moulding Shoes - The footbed will mould itself to the natural shape of your foot for a personal fit and sublime comfort.
Anti Slip Shoes - The sole is slip resistant and provides excellent traction.
I have to say that all these features give an accurate representation of the shoe, since my husband broke his hip before Christmas he has been forcibly conscripted to the ranks of Fly Flotters. Nothing else would fit around his melon shaped foot (on the side of the break) and he was terrified of slipping again as he's only just getting a bit more steady on his feet he needed something that was non slip, 'voila' Fly Flots to the rescue. The one thing that doesn't seem to be effective in his case is the anti-bacterial 'solution', as his shoes still have to be removed whilst wearing an industrial Bio-Hazard suit, and using tongs, before being slipped outside to 'air', and be thoroughly febreezed. Also we have noticed with my husband's pair and one pair of mine, that they have a tendency to make a rather unfortunate flatulent noise with almost every step. This seems to happen with the more strongly shaped sole units for some reason, and is a feature I've noticed with other brands too, so I suppose it isn't a fault with Fly Flots, it's more of a combination of factors between individual feet with specific styles.
I would say that Fly Flots are on the whole a fantastically comfortable shoe, available in a good range of prices and designs that has it's stylish moments.
I first came across these several years ago in Pavers. I was looking for some sandals for my dad to wear around the house... he isn't a big slipper man so I thought I'd go for an alternative!
However, I found lots of different styles and colours and ended up purchasing a pair of mule style sandals for £19.99 for him. I have also got some sandals for myself which are fairly similar to the picture above and I paid £19.99 for these...
I've had them 3 years now and whilst I don't wear them every time I go out, they are great for just slipping on and going out to the garden or round to the local shop and they don't look worn at all!
They are really comfy footwear! I think the fact they have a small heel also helps as I tend to struggle walking in completely flat shoes (such as flip flops) as it makes my ankles hurt so these are ideal.. I haven't found that they rub either which I did experience with some hush puppies I bought (very disappointed with that too)
The only thing is that they tend to come in quite a limited colour range and the range itself are quite dull colours. Even the red is a deep dull red.
My dad, meanwhile, is on his third pair as he now has different pairs for different uses!
My mum first got me into these through buying them from TV. I have found them to be very comfortable, getting sandals in pale blue and brown which mould but don't stick to my feet. Though they are marketed at a wide range of ages but mainly cater for the middle aged and up, I didn't find them frumpy and they went well with a lot of my clothes, especially three quarter length jeans. I could slip them on comfortably and be confident that I could be on the go all day, rather than getting blisters or bleeding from rubbing, which happens a lot to me.
These shoes lasted be a good few years, however the brown pair have become discoloured and are a bit green, which may be through contact with water, I'm not sure. This probably varies between different kinds of their shoes though, so don't feel put off - they have had a lot of wear!
I have also bought them from the Internet before, and received them quickly and cheaply. However, this pair have two sides which buckle across the middle, and the join where the two pieces meet cause a lot of rubbing and are very painful. This is a shame because they are beautiful, powder blue with a couple of tiny pink roses, and wedges that are comfortable to walk in other than the top of my foot getting rubbed. So it's kind of a disadvantage that you can't 'try before you buy', though with shoes sometimes you need to walk a good mile or so constantly before deciding whether they are comfy or not.
To find out more, google 'flyflots' or look on the Ideal World website.
I live in Flyflots - why? comfort!!
I first saw these on Ideal World about four years ago and the presenters (along with DEbbie from Pavers) were raving about the comfort. Footage was shown about their factory in Lake Garda, Italy and apparently it is a family business which started to manufacture comfort shoes (for nurses and people in the food industry etc)
and now they have greatly expanded their range - eg boots,sandals ,slippers and men's shoes.
They are truly comfortable and reasonably priced - around £19.99 for the clogs I wear what price do you put on comfy feet?
I am not keen on open-toed sandals as my nails aren't too good (won't elaborate here!!) so I go for the clogs in suede and leather. These are anatomic so you don't really get smelly feet and the clogs are great too wear all year round as they are not heavy.
I have pairs in basic black,brown,navy and beige but also pink and some slippers with daisies on (sound strange but then you haven't met me have you?!)
I took two pairs on my cruise last year (the only cruise by the way I have ever had) and they were perfect. They have non-slip soles and I nipped around Rome, Tunis,Barcelona etc (like you do...!) and after a shower changed into my other pair ready for the evening - I'm sure I had the most comfy feet of all the passengers even though I was not the most glamorous.
My daughters also have a pair each of Flyflot sandals which have seen them through sponsored walks etc with no blisters!
Although you see Flyflots on ebay and Ideal world it is worth looking online and as a past customer I get sent a little catalogue with special offers and their postage is cheaper than Ideal World.
FLY FLOT shoes you may have heard of these or seen them advertised on the TV shopping channels, but until you actually own a pair and experience the comfort they offer you cannot appreciate how good this product is.
Dont be put off by the picture at the top of this review, this is just one of the styles, there are other more modern ones now.Their designs are changing all the time and at the end of the seasons you can perhaps pick up a bargain in the sales.
MADE IN ITALY
Fly Flots were first manufactured in 1985 when a manufacturer, Lones, wanted to produce a shoe that gave comfort and durability. Over the last twenty years the company, which is family owned, has expanded its range and now produces mainly sandals and slippers.
New styles and colours are designed for the different seasons at the Italian factory, and once the design is finished a prototype is made. This is rigorously tested prior to production of the shoes. Unless the shoes meet the rigorous tests for flexibility and hard wearing, they are not manufactured and the design is reviewed and improved. The soles on most sandals does not bend, with Fly Flots as your foot bends, the sole bends too and moulds to the shape of your foot.
Fly Flot sandals are probably not the most fashionable styles, but for comfort you simply cannot beat them.
This is due to the PRODUCTION PROCES
All Fly Flots have the special sole, which is so comfortable you really do feel as if you are walking on air! It is made up of thousands of tiny airbubbles.
The soles are shock absorbing so if you have back trouble, or suffer from arthritis or other complaint in your back or other joints, then try these amazing shoes and see how the pain is reduced. They are ideal if you work somewhere where you are walking around on hard floors all day, for example, teaching, nursing, postman etc.
The sole is self moulding and will mould itself to the natural shape of your foot, ensuring a perfect fit for you. When you take off the sandals you will be able to see the shape of your foot moulded into the sole.
ANTI SLIP SOLES
The soles are anti slip so can be worn without fear of slipping on shiny floors etc.
NO SWEATY FEET!
The leather used to make Fly Flots has been treated with an anti bacterial solution, this is permanent and therefore your feet stay sweet smelling!
Ideal World, the shopping TV channel, and Pavers, a shoe outlet, stock Fly Flots and there are other outlets around the country which sell them. These shoes are gaining in popularity so look out for them, if there isnt a stockist near you at the moment then use the shopping channel or look on the internet for stockists.
Prices vary according to where you buy them, remember if you use the shopping channels that you have to add the postage and packing. You should be able to find them starting at around 18 pounds and costing anything upwards of that figure, depending on the style you prefer.
I would certainly recommend these shoes. Some of my friends have them and when I complained about back pain several friends recommended I try Fly Flots. I cant say I was particularly keen on the styles available at first, but now I have worn them this isnt a problem, comfort comes first! For the first time in years my feet are comfy! I bought my first pair this summer and have hardly worn any other shoes since, they are so comfortable I feel like I am walking on air! Also, the impact on my joints has been less severe and I have suffered less pain as a result.
If you walk a lot in your job or are on your feet all day and are not bothered about the very latest fashion shoes, then do try a pair of Fly Flots.
Founded in 1985, Italian footwear manufacturers Lones developed the Fly Flot brand with the aim to create a shoe that was comfortable and long lasting. This family owned company have continued to develop their Fly Flot brand and expand their range of sandals and slippers.