Summer Footwear Wishlist

After KonMari-ing my entire house, my footwear collection went under the knife too. Not a big deal, as the shoes which I got rid of simply didn’t bring me joy anymore, but as a result I am now having some gaps in my slimmed down yet joy giving, shoe collection.

After thinking long and hard about summer footwear I’ve made a shortlist of the shoes I would like to buy. One would think that summer shoes would be all open with lots of straps, kind of like your typical sandal look but hey, we are living in the UK, which means I need shoes to survive the British summer and a collection of only sandals isn’t going to cut it.

It’s funny when you think about it… it’s summer yet my wish-list contains boots! No, I am not mad… I simply live in the more rural part of the country where the weather is super unpredictable so one has to be ready for any scenario 🙂

So, what’s on my wish list?

After KonMari-ing my entire house, my footwear collection went under the knife too. Not a big deal, as the shoes which I got rid of simply didn’t bring me joy anymore, but as a result I am now having some gaps in my slimmed down yet joy giving, shoe collection.

Hush Puppies Janessa | Coast Embellished Sandals | Crocs Olivia II Flats | Sole Diva Cork Wedge | Clarks Dinah Pixie | Heavenly Soles Heeled Leather Ankle Boots | Brakeburn Green Loafer | Cushion Walk Mule | Moda in Pelle Wilmia Sandals

What do you think about my choices?

Do any of them take your fancy?

* This is a collaborative post.

My Top 5 Summer Essentials

I love reading top picks, wish lists and guide type posts but I actually hardly ever write one myself, so for a change I’ve decided to write one too.

Looking at the calendar summer might not be here for another few weeks but looking at the weather… it is definitely here, it has arrived and it is time to get ready.

I spent my morning today wondering around a couple of car boot sales and I have to admit I wasn’t prepared… I came back home all hot and sweaty with a burnt neck and in desperate need of a glass of water… as I said I wasn’t ready… Well, it is time to get ready as it looks like this lovely sunshine and high temperatures will stay with us for a while.

So here you go, my top 5 summer essentials:

My Top 5 Summer EssentialsA pair of comfy shoes

By now you most likely all know about my shoes addiction so it would be very weird to have any sort of list without shoes featured at the top of it… but to the point… summer + sun = adventure; adventure most likely equal walking, which means that a comfy pair of breathable shoes is a must. So what can be better than a suede leather pair of fab looking sandals like the ones from Merrell?

A pair of proper sunglasses

As lovely and pleasant as bright sun is, it is most definitely not ideal for our eyes. A pair of proper sunglasses is a must have! I say proper because I really do not mean ones that are just a fashion statement, which look cool and you buy them mostly for theirs look; I mean sunglasses which actually have some real UV filter and will protect your eyes.

A tube of a sun cream

I don’t know about you but I burn very quickly (I guess this is what you get when you are as white as they come). Even today, after just a few hours out and about this morning in the sun my neck is now totally burnt and it resembles a well-cooked lobster 🙁 Good sun cream with the correct level of UV filter is a necessity. It is much easier to put sun cream on now than try to “cure” sunburn later.

A lip balm

Ok, this one has nothing to do with vanity or looks, believe me. I am talking about clear lip balm to protect my lips from drying out. For me a strong sun is even more deadly to my lips than a harsh winter wind and low temperatures. So again a must have during the summer months and ideally with UV protection and at least SPF30.

A water bottle

I, like most people, hardly ever drink enough water. Mark always has to remind me to drink some, but as always to no effect. Then I discovered that if I use a water bottle and carry it with me I actually drink far more. It is extremely important to stay well hydrated both in the coldness of winter as well as during these summer months and inevitable high temperatures which will lead to dehydration. So due to this Health & Safety issue I will take a bottle of water as my 5th and final choice.

So, this is it… my top 5 summer essentials 😉

What’s on your summer must have list?

*Post contains PR samples

It’s all about the shoes!

It’s all about the shoes! Belas Men’s Suede Technical Boots from TrespassSpring is now in full bloom and most of us are already planning the summer holidays. No matter what your plans are I bet you will need to buy something new as most seasonal changes require some sort of wardrobe clear-out and update 😉

New shorts, shirt or that swim suit are always welcome but they are very fashion dependant… if you are the type of person who cares about the current fashion trend then normally you would expect these types of clothing to be bought with just one season of wearing in mind but what about footwear?

Do you buy footwear thinking long term or are your sandals, shoes or booties destined to arrive in shoe heaven next year and be replaced with a younger fresher model?

I love shoes, I always have and if you are a regular reader of my blog you will most likely already know this. You will also know that I tend to have a very special relationship with my footwear… I never treat them as a “one season of use” thing… for me it’s all about the shoes…

Taking the whole outfit into consideration, no matter what type of outfit, shoes are always the most important part of it… at least for me. This is even more important when it comes to walking shoes or boots. As long as I have the right shoes and my feet are happy, I am happy 🙂

I have tried to convert Mark into my way of thinking.

Mark hates shopping, which is a plus for me because it means that most of the time I am the one doing the picking…

Last month Trespass contacted me asking if I would like to try something from their collection. Sure, I would… I had a long list of things I wanted but then I decided to stop being so selfish and I thought this time about my OH. Just a few weeks before Trespass got in touch our Bunk was obviously having the hump about something and decided that Marks boots need replacing… so he ate half of the right one… doh!… As he had eaten so much of the boot I guess soft leather obviously tasted nice for him… I know Trespass as a company (and I bet you know them too as they have been on the market since 1938) and we actually own a lot of clothing made by them, so I knew that I would find the right footwear to match my standards.

Belas Men’s Suede Technical Boots“We” picked a pair of Belas Men’s Suede Technical Boots; they look great and according to Mark they are super comfy. I know that these waterproof, breathable boots will last him for a long time and keep his feet happy.

He has worn them now for a couple of weeks and it’s safe to say they are durable and even more comfortable now that they have worn in. I am happy that he is happy and as it’s all about the shoes I can say that at least his feet are looking good (even if the rest of him still needs a bit of work).

Some would say that £109.99 (or a £61.99 as they are currently on special offer) is way too much to pay for a pair of boots but can you really put a price tag on your comfort and health?

What is your footwear buying philosophy?

Do you go for quality or a quantity?

Lifespan of the shoe featuring Mist by Hotter

Lifespan of the shoe featuring Mist by Hotter

I am a huge shoe junky. If given a choice of handbags, jewellery, make-up or any other tempting goodies I will always go for the shoes… but I also have high standards… I love shoes but not just any shoes. For me a pair of shoes must have “soul”; they must be comfortable, well made, friendly for my feet and yes, they must look good too.

When we moved out of London I still wanted, indeed needed to fit my love of shoes into our new countryside lifestyle. Unfortunately this did mean replacing some of my brightly coloured and funky footwear with something more suitable for a “village” life, something that would be more in line with my age and the new type of activities that you do in the countryside; Yet something still classy, still comfortable, and yes still good quality and funky looking.

My search for such footwear had led me to Hotter.

I found myself a pair of Mist shoes – flat shoes with a breathable lining, cushioned insole and lightweight soles. When I tried them on I knew that these shoes will become my best friend and I just had to buy them.

At first they were just a going out daily shoes but very soon they became my go to shoes and once we got Lilly they turned into my walking shoes. I could walk in them for hours and hours either sun or rain; no matter the weather conditions my feet were dry, warm and comfortable.

I have had my first pair of Mist for 6 years now. During this time:

Mist by HotterI lost my insoles or at least a top part of it

Mist shoes by Hotter

The soles have developed visible signs of usage but are still intact and in perfect order

Brown Mist by Hotter

The shoes became a bit out of shape

My Mist by Hotter

And Bunk from time to time has had a chew on my shoe laces

That’s all… 6 long years of wear and tear and these are the only things I have to report. Yes, they might not look as nice and fresh as a brand new pair but they are still fully usable shoes; they still keep my feet dry and warm and provide the same comfort as they did the first day I tried them on (maybe even more as they have moulded to my feet over the years).

Last year I’ve got a new pair of Mist, exactly the same, also in brown. I have had them since February but I didn’t put them on until this October. I knew that I had this lovely, comfortable pair of shoes in my cupboard but I simply couldn’t say goodbye to my original pair… and I still didn’t. Now I use my 6 years old pair for the dog walking and any “dirty” work (like gardening) and my new pair are have now became my “go to town” pair of shoes 🙂

I’ve just checked the Hotter website and they no longer make Mist in brown, they do however have a beautiful red version now. I know I will not “need” a new pair for a long, long time yet I am extremely tempted by the new red ones.

Mist by Hotter are currently sold in a choice of four colours: black, navy, sangria (aka red) and smoke / limestone. They have an RRP of £90 and come in sizes from UK 3 up to UK 9. You can pick a standard or wide fit version. They feature GORE-TEX lining, have lace-up fastening and are built to last! I can personally vouch for all these points!

Lifespan of the shoe featuring Mist by Hotter.

If you are in the market for a new pair of walking shoes, look no further!

What’s your favourite pair of shoes?

Do you go for comfort or looks when it comes to footwear?

GORE-TEX – What is it and is it worth it?

Goretex

Normally I try to stay clear of advising others what to buy when it comes to clothing (except for Mark… I have to shop for him as well as he is one of those males that has no clue about what to buy and wear) but sometimes I am met with people who I just do not understand.

So the conversation is taking place about getting a pair of school shoes…
I say “I am going to look for some leather shoes, ideally with GORE-TEX, if I can find it”
Her: “Really? Why? I do not spend more than £10-£12 for a pair of school shoes”
Really? Why? Are your kids not worth it? I didn’t ask these questions because I wasn’t really in the mood for a lecture but maybe I should have.

Lately I was met with the response “Oh, but I couldn’t justify spending money on good quality shoes”.
How silly is that!

Ok, so maybe I am a little sensitive when it comes to footwear, I love my shoes but most of all I love good quality comfortable shoes.

I do not see myself as a snob. I do not buy things because they have a high value price tag, I do not buy things just because of the branding (oh, ok maybe sometimes)… I try to buy things which represent a good value for money but at the same time are of a good quality.

I think that shoes are very important part of our wardrobe. We spend hours every day wearing them and very often our well being and good mood depends on them.
Have you ever worn a pair of too small or too tight shoes? Or a fairly new pair of shoes which you are just wearing in? How painful and uncomfortable were you feeling? I do not understand why some people do not pay more attention to what they put on their feet.

That is one of my issues; my other issue is why some people must insist on criticizing something when they really have no idea what they are talking about. One of my friends once told me that GORE-TEX is an advertising gimmick and it doesn’t work… when asked “did you have a bad experience with it”, the answer was “no, I’ve never tried it”. So how can you say it is bad if you have never had a chance to test it?

I did try GORE-TEX shoes and clothing and I think these items are worth every penny.

Imagine a pair of shoes which can be worn all year round – hot summer day or a wet winter one – your feet will be dry and warm without sweating.

Years ago when you wanted to purchase some GORE-TEX clothing or footwear you needed to have a bit of extra money comparing to other similar pieces, today this is not really the case. Just a few weeks back I bought some GORE-TEX shoes from Clarks for £12 – yes they were on sale… but my point is – something good does not necessary mean expensive.

If you have never tried anything made with the addition of this fabric then I have copied a bit of the explanation of its history from the GORE-TEX site.

The origin of waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX outerwear, footwear, and gloves starts with five little letters: ePTFE. Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, or ePTFE, was created by Bob Gore in 1969 when he rapidly stretched PTFE under certain conditions. The result was an incredibly strong, microporous material with an amazing list of characteristics including low water adsorption and good weathering properties. By 1978, GORE-TEX fabric was introduced and the world met the first truly waterproof, breathable outerwear.

The secret of GORE-TEX products — which are both completely waterproof and completely breathable at the same time — lies within its revolutionary bi-component membrane. The membrane contains over 9 billion microscopic pores which are approximately 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water, but 700 times bigger than a molecule of moisture vapor. So while water in its liquid form cannot penetrate the GORE-TEX membrane, as moisture vapor it can easily escape.

Waterproof, windproof and breathable: The GORE-TEX membrane makes garments durably waterproof, windproof and breathable so that you stay dry and comfortable.

Durable: Waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX outerwear is made of the very toughest fabrics and is thoroughly tested to guarantee performance even after serious wear and tear. Easy care: Just because its high tech doesn’t mean it has to be high maintenance. GORE-TEX fabric is extremely easy to take care of and won’t lose its effectiveness even after repeated washing.

Do you have any experience with GORE-TEX?

Do you like it?

Would you recommend it?

If not, do you think it is worth spending a little bit extra for a quality items which will be waterproof, windproof and breathable?

I really would love to know what you think.