Until I had my children, as an adult I had worked in jobs where I was constantly on my feet. And, it showed. Despite wearing what were "sensible" shoes for my childhood and basically living in my Doc Martins for years at university, living in the jungle and teaching including the one summer that I decided to teach in "fashionable ballet flats" my feet were in a very bad way. My Mum had warned me that when you were pregnant and carrying your young children it did something to your feet, sometimes making them flatter and other times making them grow. I was one of those people but didn't know it until I went in for a fitting at our local Hotter Store as part of the Fit Fortnight raising awareness that there are a lot of us around that are wearing the wrong size shoes.
I have been provided with a pair of boots to help promote the fit fortnight on behalf of Hotter Shoes.
Since having kids and not returning to teaching I have worn basically 3 shoes throughout the year. I have my winter boots - which since 2009 have been from Hotter and I'm now on my 3rd pair of Mystery, having had green, purple and now brown and literally wearing them out. The spring and autumn I wear my Shakes again from Hotter which I've had in blue and blue as they go with my jeans. Then in the summer a pair of walking sandals that aren't Hotter but ones that I would recommend.
One of the reasons that I go with Hotter each and every time is because it's one brand that my podiatrist friends recommend. The shoes are created for comfort and durability and unlike a lot of shoes available for women they come in half sizes and different widths - basically, like you get for your children.
I've always gone in and said my size tried on the shoes and then adjusted depending on how tight, loose or big they were - always ending up between a 5 and 6 UK size.
Fit Fortnight with Hotter Shoes
However, as part of their commitment to making sure we are wearing the right size shoes Hotter have improved their fighting services and during this fortnight there are Fit Ambassadors within the stores that are there to help measure your feet and provide the perfect fitting shoe for you. You can find out all of the information about Fit Fortnight on their website or visiting your local store.
It's been a long time since I had my feet actually measured - sometime in my teenage years when my feet stopped growing and I was the same size for a couple of years. In those days my feet were measured using the traditional shoe fitting gauge - one that extended to fit my feet and then a tape came over giving the width. I know things have changed from taking my kids to have their feet measured - in one store it's all iPads and electronic!
In Hotter they use what is called a Brannock Device - this gives 3 measurements for each foot. The length of each foot, the width of each foot and also the position of the widest part of your foot. The standard width available in Hotter is slightly wider than the standard in other high street shoe shops for women meaning that your foot is going to be more comfortable and the shoe a better fit without the need to wear the shoes in.
The widest part of your foot measurement was new to me - as the fit ambassador at our local store explained. Their shoes are designed with an "ideal" foot shape - where the widest part of the foot is in a particular place for that size. However, because our feet are all unique, some don't match this foot shape and the widest part could be in the "ideal" place for a size above, below or more.
With all of the measurements in - time to try on the shoes and there was so much choice - it's boot weather coming up and this year I've gone back to bootcut jeans after finding a style I really like over the summer so some ankle boots were what I was looking for.
The choice was HUGE - just check out the boot section on the Hotter website to get some idea.
As to what I chose - well I would like to say I'm unpredicatble but you know what I'm a creature of habit and as Hotter now have my favourite boot as an ankle boot I went for that. The Whisper is my ankle boot for the winter and with the soft fleece lining I know that on my cold, wet and dreary school runs that I will have warm, comfortable, cosy feet all autumn and winter long.