“ Brand: Orchard / Type: Ankle Boots „
Part of my daily routine in the week is a commute followed by nearly a half hour walk to work. For this, I need to have appropriate footwear. When I say "appropriate", my needs aren't great. All I ask for is a pair of shoes which are
(a) Smart enough to wear in work
(b) Comfortable enough for my daily walk
(c) Waterproof for when it's raining
(d) Don't cost the earth
Personally, I don't think this is a great deal to ask for, but over a period of two years I have struggled to find the perfect footwear. Sadly, although I got very enthusiastic about these, they proved to be less than useless.
==Where and How Much?==
I bought the boots from Brantano, costing £26. They are part of the Orchard range, which rang a bell with me at the time but I couldn't quite remember why. Shortly after buying them, I had a flashback to another pair of shoes I once bought from the Orchard range, which fell to pieces in about a month.
I'm not a "normal" girl in that I hate shopping and prefer efficiency over browsing. Don't get me wrong, I like buying nice stuff, and I love buying things to do with hobbies, books, or things I enjoy doing, but buying essential boring things like shoes just doesn't excite me. I wandered around the shop, tried a few pairs on and settled on these.
They are very low ankle boots, which I wasn't sure about at the time given that we're in summer. My husband pointed out they're not exactly winter boots, and that we've not got long until autumn anyway (cheery soul he is!), so I thought these would be a good investment as I could wear them all year round without having to buy new boots for winter.
Like I say, these are ankle boots, and they are black in colour. They have stitching in white which is part of the "look", and gives them a smart look which is suitable for wearing in an office environment. The toes are squared off rather than being pointy, so they don't squash your toes. The boots have an inside zip to fasten them, and a very soft almost sponge-like soul which feels like walking on a cloud! I tried them on in the shop and they seemed very comfortable. The heel is a block rather than a high heel, so this makes them easy and comfortable to walk in. The heel is 3.5cm according to the product details, so it gives you a bit of height without making you totter around.
When I first tried these boots on they seemed so comfortable, I didn't even bother walking round the house to break them in. I just wore them for work. They are easy to drive in, which is important to me because I can't drive in heels so I sometimes end up switching shoes to trainers for driving, which is a faff if you have to do it every day for work. As for the walking, the heel is very springy which seemed great, until the back of my heel started to rub, and I ended up with a huge painful blister.
The blister incident didn't bother me too much, I put it down to wearing socks which were too thin (need to buy some socks which aren't worn down at the heel!), and the fact that one of my feet is slightly larger than the other. After my blister healed, I wore thicker socks and the shoes were comfy once again.
So, onto the next problem which was the fact these boots aren't waterproof. With the rain we've had recently, I often get caught in showers on my way to work, and was gutted to discover that despite looking decent quality, these boots left my feet wet and squelching. Added to the fact the heel started making a weird puffing noise which sounded like I was constantly being followed by an asthmatic puppy, I was starting to fall out with these shoes.
And then, to top it off, they fell to pieces. Actually that's not factually correct, only one of the boots fell to pieces, but one boot is useless unless it has a matching one so this basically meant they were beyond use. Basically, I took them off the other night, and noticed the heel was cracked and ripped, meaning there was a gap between where the heel joined the shoe. Not that they were waterproof beforehand, but this basically means my feet aren't particularly well supported either. I had only had the boots a matter of weeks, and I will be returning them to the store as they clearly aren't fit for purpose.
My advice.....avoid these boots.