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I saw these and thought of Amber. No, they wouldn't look right on my dog, but they looked suitable for me to wear when she is taking me for her daily walk. One of the joys of dog ownership is taking your beloved pet out come rain or shine, so sensible clothing and shoes are a necessity in drearier weather.
Hotter describe these as shoes on their website although they're really a mash up of those comfortable lace ups you'll associate with old dears, and trainers. I bought these because I needed some new footwear to see me through Spring and Autumn, between sandals and my waterproof winter boots.
"Light and springy, yet offering complete support..."
say Hotter. I was amazed when I picked these up in the shop, they are incredibly lightweight. Both shoes together certainly weight less than one of my Nike trainers and when I first tried them on in the shop they felt quite odd they were so light. At the risk of sounding really old, these are incredibly comfy, once I'd got used to the feeling that I was really wearing shoes after all and not walking around barefoot.
Any initial misgivings I had about Leanne's robustness were soon forgotten when I started wearing these on longer walks. A few weeks back we spent a couple of hours walking up to Ditchling Beacon, one of the highest points on the South Downs in Sussex. Not the most arduous walk I've been on, but these coped admirably, especially for shoes. They stayed comfortable and didn't leave me with sore feet, which is all the more surprising given that the ground was quite uneven in parts and the soles of these are so flexible.
"... so perfect for the gym."
These aren't the kind of footwear I'd want to wear in a trendy gym, but for marching through our local parks they're almost excellent. The one drawback for me is that they aren't waterproof, so whenever I've found myself walking through damp uncut grass or through puddles, the tips of my socks often end up ever so slightly damp too. That's not the fault of Hotter though as these aren't sold as being waterproof. I leave them to dry naturally once we're home and any mud brushes off easily.
The fitting is, according to Hotter, extra wide although by my reckoning is only a fraction wider than I would normally buy. For me if I'm wearing thickish socks as well these make for a good fit. Although they have a lot of give in them, I wouldn't want to get a 'regular' size pair and find they squeeze my feet when I'm walking.
They come in sizes 4.5 to 9 and I have a pair in a 6.5 which is my usual shoe size. There are 3 colour options: Black, white/grey and magenta, or damson/coral. I opted for the damson/coral. They might look garish to some but personally I think the coral stripes look rather fetching.
I've noticed they are currently for sale at the Hotter online store for £24 reduced from £49. A bargain!
The good points:
Oh-so-comfy, even on longer walks whether on pavements or rougher ground;
Easy to clean;
Well made, with uppers made of a combination of suede and a canvassy material.
The not so good:
They're not waterproof, so your feet are liable to get damp during heavy showers;
Not for those wanting footwear by leading brands of trainers. These will probably seem like a fashion faux pas.
I would happily recommend these to any woman who wants comfortable footwear when they're out and about in Spring or Autumn time and isn't too worried how trendy she looks.