* Prices may differ from that shown
"United Nude products are about clear concepts, elegance and innovation." (UnitedNude.com)
United Nude came about after Dutchman Rem D Koolhaas designed the Mobius (thats with two dots over the O) shoe. He joined forces with Galahad Clark from Somerset (of Clarks the shoes brand) and created United Nude, the brand in 2003. Now a worldwide seller with 40 countries getting in on the act and flagship stores in Amsterdam, New York and Shanghai.
I first came across United Nude two years ago when I spotted a gorgeous pair of purple and pink ankle boots retailing at £100, too much for me to spend, but not too much for me to ask the boyfriend for a pair of boots for my birthday. Instead of the pink and purple ones, he, having a random spell of sensibility, opted to buy me black ones, because they were more practical.
So for my birthday I was the proud owner of a pair of black rib Fold Hi boots. United Nude currently sell this particular boot in 12 different colour versions and the look amazing, other colours are available on other websites but these are older designs.
The Fold, which is referred to in the name is a single strip which wraps itself around like a scarf; the ribbed (or striped) effect gives the boot texture and has an almost satin type feel to it. The heel on the Fold Hi is 4inches, and the alternative is a Fold Mid which is a 2.7inch heel, the effect of the stripe, rib is also continuous down the heel and so it all very tidy, with no bad joins.
The material is quite thin and lined with leather; whilst flexible for the foot due to it elasticity, it does not squash and go out of shape like some materials do. There isn't too much padding on the inside of the boot, infact much less than cheaper boots you can buy, however they are very comfortable and I have no hesitation in wearing these to work when I am out and about. Whilst these boots are sturdy, they are not waterproof, however they do dry out quite quickly. It is also recommend that any marks which may occur are wiped off with a damp cloth, though I have never needed to do this.
My pair are a size 7 and they were ordered from Amazon. Once they arrived I realised that I perhaps should have purchased a size 6. Instead I invested in insoles which are now wearing away, making them useless. I also tend to wear thick socks with these boots as they are still a little loose with normal socks on. Next time I buy (and I will) I will try a pair on in the shop to check the sizing before I order. Despite that they look classy and I always get comments from people about them.
As I said I have had them two years now and they are still in excellent condition. I feared that the backs would wear away when driving (as they have done with a previous brand of boot) but this has not happened. Infact the only problem I have had is that the heel wore down quite quickly and so I had them re-heeled. I would suggest that this was down to a number of things, namely driving and the way I walk plus general wear and tear. This is no reflection on the product itself.
If you have a look at United Nude products they are unusual with unusual colours and styles. The heels on a lot of their products are very alien and nothing like what you would see in your normal shoe store. Definitely worth a look!
If you do decide to buy a United Nude shoe I would wholly recommend searching online for the best price. This specific boot is currently retailing at Euro165,00 on the website, but as I said before mine cost £100 on Amazon two years ago. Different colours seem to retail at different prices on sites like Amazon and Ebay, which I expect is a reflection in popularity.
I have a few pairs of United Nude shoes, they specialise in quirky designs which are supposedly easy to wear and match with any style or colour of clothing.
When I saw a pair of these Hi Ankle Boots in the sale I had to have them, mine are a different colour to the ones above with a mixture of pink and pastel blue/green stripes. Each different colour has it's own name, you can check out Amazon for all the different shades and if you do have a look at the Vegas design, which is the one I have.
The boots are what my old dad would have called pixie boots, they cover the whole foot and rise up very slightly higher than the ankle. They are made from one strip of elastic which is wrapped around the sole of the boot and shaped to form the boot. Obviously the sole itself is not covered in the elastic, but you get my drift!
The boots feel very lightweight to wear and actually holding one in your hand will show how much lighter they are than standard leather boots or shoes. The heel is also covered in the same design of elastic and this gives a seamless finish which I think is very neat and tidy in design.
These boots have a 10cm heel which is manageable, for me these boots are very easy to walk in with the heel being quite chunky through the whole length of it. The heel is also attached well to the body of the boot, with no wobble or give whatsoever.
The toe section is well shaped, there is no pinching or rubbing at all and although there is a slight lift to the toe you definitely won't end up looking like Ali Baba while wearing them. Unless you happen to be wearing a pair of those horrible harem pants which are the fashion at the moment.
The boots have a leather lining, well they had to have really as imagine how itchy the elastic would be otherwise! When I'm wearing these boots I like to wear socks which come above the height of the boots as the very top of the boot does not have the leather lining and I was right to say that the elastic is very scratchy and irritating against the skin.
The sole of the boots is quite thin, but the insole is nicely cushioned and will provide your feet with protection from the hard pavements and stones. There isn't much in the way of grips on the sole, but these aren't the type of shoes you're likely to be wearing in the snow anyway so this isn't too much of a problem.
The only problem I have is what to wear the boots with. They go fine with some jeans and can make an outfit look much dressier than it is, the trouble is they can look too dressy for everyday wear and not many styles or colours of trousers will compliment the boots. Put it like this, you wear these for the school run and the other mums will detest you. Wear them to Tesco and you're likely to be a laughing stock.
£130 from Amazon. May be cheaper elsewhere but these boots have been discontinued in many places, which accounts for the high price when you can find them.