“ Brand: M&S / Type: Pumps „
God, these shoes. I practically lived in them while I was pregnant last year as they went with a particularly hideous maternity top I was wearing at the time. Nope, I didn't specifically sport hideous clothes but at about five months I went overnight from fitting into my normal baggy clothes to not having a thing that fit. And I mean literally overnight, so I was wearing maternity clothes I'd worn while pregnant with my middle daughter in 1999 - and wearing them on and off for quite a while actually as cash was too tight to really get away with replacing my entire wardrobe!
Anyway, that's neither here nor there. I *did* end up replacing all the stuff that was trendy the first time Take That were famous, but by then I'd fell in love with these M&S shoes.
They are, strictly speaking, pumps but they're made out of such stiff suede that they're not really comfortable enough to be called anything other than shoes. They're comfortable, I wouldn't have worn them if they weren't, but more in a supportive kinda way than the cosy sloppiness of a true pump. Actually I remember they were very stiff when I first wore them, the suede is forgiving enough that they didn't physically blister the skin on my feet but they definitely weren't very gentle as I walked. They needed breaking in, these days a lot of shoes are so completely synthetic that the fit hardly changes through the wears. Real suede and leather will be affected by the amount of wear they get, this can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the fit of the shoe when you bought it.
After a week of wearing them most days they fit perfectly and started to feel so snug and comfortable that I didn't want to wear any of my other shoes. And from a confirmed shoe-aholic this is a pretty good testimony. The suede has stayed in excellent condition throughout plenty of wear, the stiff sole is still solidly in place and even the bow looks newly tied.
Walking in them, particularly while pregnant, is perfect. They support the whole foot due to the rigidity, but M&S have cut them quite low on the toe which helps to keep them comfortable and fairly flexible. They do feel heavy though so I wouldn't fancy doing a long walk in them, day to day trips round the shops were fine but sometimes I couldn't wait to get home to take them off.
The style isn't *me* now I'm not pregnant, I'm having a clear out of my shoe cupboard and these probably (definitely) won't be worn again so they're going. The tan suede doesn't really go with anything in my normal wardrobe, and you haven't got as much leeway for oversized bows in an unpregnant state. I was actually very conscious about the size of the bow even while I loved the shoes, it's just the right side of tastefully done and could really have done with being a tad smaller. It's well done though; very feminine, very attractive. Very twee.
The thing is, to be fair, M&S aren't known for their highly fashionable footwear. At that point in time I was looking for a certain style of shoe, so knowing that I wasn't being cutting edge I looked and found these little gems. I might not want to wear them now, but while I was wearing them they did me proud making my feet comfortable but without sacrificing on style. Y'know, pregnancy style. Which is completely different to real-time style.
If I remember right I paid £20 for them, the price might well have changed by now but I do think that was a bargain for a comfortable pair of real suede shoes. There were a few different pump styles when I bought these so even if bow styles aren't your kinda thing you still might find a pair to suit, the amount of wear you get out of them means they pay for themselves if (like me) you replace more flimsy pumps on a bi-monthly basis.
Recently it was my birthday and my mother in law bought me a skirt from Marks and Spencers. It isn't a shop I normally go in, it wasn't a bad skirt at all, but the style really didn't suit me, so she gave me the reciept and I went to exchange it. I didn't even know where to start looking, but I eventually found the shoe area and came across these round toed pumps. The price seemed an absolute bargain as they were real suede. They were exactly the amount of money I was looking to spend, so I snapped them up and took them to the till for the change over.
The shoes are flat, with a thin sole, and a round toe. They are ballerina pump style. Very dainty and delicate. I love the style and it suits my feet. I have tons of shoes in the same shape, but I wear them to work a lot and they get ruined, so I decided I would save these for best and nights out as they are quite a smart style. The shoes have a big oversized bow on the front so they add a funky edge to an otherwise classic style.
I really love the look of these shoes and if it was based on appearances and price alone they would get a five star.
The big downside to these shoes is the comfort. They look like they are going to be so comfortable, but sadly they are not! What a let down.
The shoes are incredibly rigid and hard and really rubv my feet, especially round the back of the heel. They are so firm. I tried wearing them for a few days round the house with socks on, and this did soften them up a bit. Unfortunately though they do ache when I wear them for more than a couple of hours, or if I haven't worn them for a while. Such a disappointment as they are gorgeous shoes.
I do still wear them, I just have to share out my time spareingly to avoid injury!
I go through a lot of work shoes. I scuff them, drag them along the ground and just generally walk through them. I always wear flats as heels disagree with my rubbish ankles, and because they're comfier anyway. Sometimes I buy cheap shoes, knowing they won't last but no matter as I'll wreck them anyway. Last year I invested in a £40 pair from Clarks, thinking they would last me as they were good quality. No, they got badly ruined as well - and lasted no longer than a £15 pair from Faith had. So a few months ago, when needing a new pair, I had a look at Marks and Spencer - somewhere in the middle price wise, but should be good quality.
I purchased the Suede Round Toe Bow Pumps for £25, pricey compared to previous purchases from H&M and Faith, but cheaper than Clarks and oh-so-cute. They were available in black, jade green and bright pink; black was boring and pink probably wasn't acceptable for work, so I went for the gorgeous green.
The pumps are incredibly comfy. They fit me perfectly, didn't fall off my foot mid-walk (although they have fallen off on the stairs a couple of times) and there was no rubbing at all, not even for the first few days of wearing them. I had plenty of compliments from the girls at work, and I liked looking down at my feet while sitting at the bus stop. All in all, I was very pleased with my shoes.
The pumps are suede material, which was the only concern to me. I thought it might not be the most practical choice given British weather. I bought these in June, but there was still plenty of rain over the next few months. At first they kept the rain out as well as any other flat pump which is fairly open on the top, but as time went on this changed...which brings me to my next point.
Durability. I love these pumps, but they were not a good investment. I've owned them four months, and they are falling apart at the seams (literally - the seam at the back is bursting open). The front is in fairly good condition, but the heels are a mess. They are scuffed and worn, and the pumps now leak badly. Rain means drenched feet - and green feet, as the dye comes off the shoes onto my socks or tights and dyes right through onto my skin.
As I mentioned at the start, I am particularly hard on my shoes, but even so I expect them to last longer than 4 months. I can usually get 6 months out of them (except when in a fit of money saving I bought a pair from Primark - they lasted a record 10 days). As much as I adore these pumps (they are incredibly cute and comfy), I won't be buying suede pumps again. I think I'll go back to H&M - the shoes may only last 6 months, but at least they cost less than £10.