“ Brand: Hush Puppies / Type: Boots „
Hush Puppies, I've discovered, are a much maligned footwear brand. Everyone I've spoken to about them seem to think that they only make shoes for old ladies. I disagree - okay, some of their shoes might be a little - shall we say - frumpy, but there are several gorgeous and fashionable pairs in their range. I own several, including the pair I am going to review today - the Vanessa Boots.
Like most of my shoes nowadays, I bought these boots from the Schuh website using a discount voucher. I can't remember how much they cost exactly, but I believe it was somewhere in the region of £60-£70. Hush Puppies are not cheap, but - for reasons I hope to make clear in this review - they are worth every penny.
I have a thing about vintage and Victoriana and love shoes that are inspired by nineteenth-century footwear. This is what drew me to these boots. They are black ankle boots (also available in brown) that remind me of Victorian ankle boots. They fasten with laces, drawn through six eyelets on each side of the front. The black leather is sturdy and hardwearing, and is joined together securely and with an attractive but simple pattern, as you can see from the picture. The rounded toe is slightly raised off the ground, and the 5cm curved heel is thick enough to be sturdy but styled not to be clunky.
At the top of this ankle boot the leather is folded over and bears a scalloped pattern. Inside the boot, the lining is an attractive deep purple, matched by the colour of the sole of the shoe. The markings on the sole provide a good grip and are attractively detailed. I've worn the shoes a lot and haven't needed to get them reheeled yet, which is a good sign as it suggests the heel is hardwearing.
I never wear trousers in everyday life, so it's crucial that any shoes or boots I buy look good with skirts and dresses. These boots look great with skirts of all lengths, maxi, midi or knee length (you won't catch me in a mini!). I tend to wear them with tights as my legs would be a bit cold otherwise. I sometimes omit tights with a maxi skirt and wear socks instead, which I can push down so they do not protrude over the top of the boots.
The black colour and simple vintage style of these boots mean that they are very versatile and go with pretty much all of my outfits. I wear them a lot and have received several compliments on them. After wearing them a lot they still look almost as good as new. I polish them every so often with normal black shoe polish which keeps them looking good. The laces, too, are still in excellent condition and show no sign of breaking. The laces fasten securely and never come undone by accident.
Another thing I love about these boots is how comfortable they are. Hush Puppies are designed for comfort so this is not surprising. They didn't need any breaking in at all - they fit perfectly from day one and didn't rub or cause any soreness at all. Most heels cause burning on my soles after a while, but these never ever do. In fact, after wearing them for several days I discovered a blister on my sole - I had no idea this blister was forming as I hadn't felt any pain whatsoever!
These boots are just brilliant - versatile, attractive and comfortable - and I can't recommend them enough. I'm not sure if this style is still available - it's not on the Schuh website any more at least - but there are other styles of boot available that might appeal.