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I bought these Hello Kitty boots for Hollie after spotting them in a local discount clothes store, priced at £22 I considered that reasonable for a pair of snow boots featuring a favourite character and as there was only one pair left in her size I decided to buy them straightaway rather than going away and thinking about it (and then invariably going back and buying them anyway).
These are actual snow boots rather than fashion boots, if you're of a similar age to me then you'll probably remember moon boots and these seem to be an updated version of that style. They're made from a shiny fabric which is completely waterproof, with the bottom section of the foot (ie. above the sole of the boot) being protected by a tougher rubberised strip of a leather-type material. I was a little annoyed by the fact that they are available in black or brown only, with the black ones looking like motorcycle boots gone wrong, as Hollie would have preferred something a little brighter or more girly. Not a problem really, the brown is a rich chocolate shade but being a Hello Kitty product you would expect them to be sold in pink or red!
The design is exactly as you can see above, the only thing I need to point out really is the fact that the fur is a trim only and doesn't reach very far down into the boot itself. This is a bonus in my opinion as Hollie's feet get hot quickly and this irritates her so I try to avoid shoes and boots which feature a full fur lining despite the fact that they make walking in cold weather lovely and cosy! The three velcro straps aren't as basic as they look and on the other side of the boot you'll find they thread through a D-ring to create straps which can be adjusted to suit the width of your little ones calves and ankles - these work well, allowing me to tighten the leg slightly to fit Hollie's skinny little calves and I'm grateful for that as otherwise I suspect they'd be a little 'boat like' on her.
I'm impressed with the very thick sole and as I write this review am watching Hollie fly around the garden in the snow, it's ridiculously cold for March so we have icy patches where the guttering has dripped yet she hasn't slipped or slid once (unless deliberately!) thanks to an excellent grip and a width to the boot which seems to give her added stability as she walks (runs!) around in this very wintery weather.
She tells me they're highly comfortable, and I have no reason to to disbelieve her - not least because she's the kind of child who will soon complain if she's not comfortable in her footwear! The very rounded toe gives her feet room to spread out, while the structured sides of the boots give more support than the fashion boots she wears when the weather isn't quite so horrendous. They're completely waterproof so keep her feet dry; it's the outer skin of the boot which keeps the water from her feet not an absorbent layer in the padding, this helps to keep her feet warm as the wet (slush today, as it happens) completely outside of the boot.
The sizing is a little off, but considering the bulky style of the boots this is to be expected. Hollie is just now going into a size ten shoe, for a while whenever I've bought her shoes I've opted for the ten simply because I know she's not going to be in the nines for long. These boots, however, are a nine and there is TONNES of room for her feet to grow - they're not so large that they're looking like clown shoes, but I suspect she could have comfortably fitted into an eight in these boots which is a pretty big difference to the 'correct' sizing of her feet. Despite the bulky nature they're really lightweight, being so slim Hollie struggles with very heavy shoes and at first I wondered if I'd made a mistake buying these as she seemed to be walking a little spaceman-like - after a few minutes wear however she was back to walking normally and I think it was the actual width rather than the weight of the shoes which causing to to walk so strangely.
But wait. We have a problem. As I came to wrap the review up Hollie has come in with a gaping hole along one of the decorative seams - this is breaking news, it's just happened. One minute she was scooping up snow and throwing it at her little brother, the next she's tramping in to me complaining that her 'boots are broken'. And they are, well one of them is anyway. She's worn them a maximum of five times, today being the only time she's actually spent a large chunk of time in them and their first excursion into snow. Not good. They're unrepairable as the seam is a tight one, no way would her dad be able to pull the edges together and even glue them - they're going to have to go back to the shop. Very disappointing for Hollie as she absolutely loves the boots - I'm now praying they've had another delivery since we bought them as stock levels are extremely hit and miss in this place.
If I'd have posted this review twenty minutes earlier it would have been a full five stars and a glowing recommendation, unfortunately the splitting incident has tarnished my feelings for the boots - of course it may be an isolated incident but it says to me that the quality of these boots isn't actually as high as I thought, therefore they have to lose a couple of stars and I need to tell you to keep your receipt if you do decide to buy them just in case the same thing happens to you.