Category Archives: Fashion
I am learning at the moment that it is not only important to give your feet good quality shoes, trainers or boots, but that it is also important to give them good quality and suitable socks too. “Proper” walking, running, cycling, hiking, skiing and other kinds of socks are packed full of technology just like shoes are these days, and you are really doing your feet a favour by spending a decent amount of money and choosing those over bog standard socks from any clothes shop.
But that’s not extended to every day socks is it? I mean, those bog standard socks you buy from department stores and fashion shops are fine for wearing to work or just for wandering around town aren’t they?
Brasher have a wide range of socks for walking and hiking, and amongst them are these new Travel Light Socks. These aren’t designed for long treks or harsh conditions, but for wearing on a normal outdoors day. They are designed to wear with any pair of walking shoes or boots, when you are travelling or spending a leisurely day on your feet.
These socks have been designed for comfort – they are made from Merino wool which is light, warm and soft. They also have “Thermo Cool” technology which aids heat regulation, keeping your feet not too hot and not too cold whatever the weather.
What you get is a pair of symmetrical socks (marked left and right), with extra padding under the heel, underfoot and toe area. The double cuff at the top keeps the socks pulled up, the lycra support bands prevent slippage and rotation, and the flat toe seams stop those annoying indentations.
My first outing in these socks was probably a bit more strenuous than what Brasher have designed them for… perhaps. I walked 10 miles in two sittings and spent a very pleasant day being a tourist in Lincoln – I was on my feet all day. I teamed these Travel Lite Socks with my trainers because I knew I would be on tarmac and concrete all day and so I needed the cushioning.
My first thoughts were that these socks are thicker than the socks I normally wear with trainers, I had to loosen my laces quite a lot really. But once my trainers were locked in place I have to say I hardly thought about them all day (I don’t think I even pulled them up once). The socks offered comfort and warmth and I did appreciate the technology such as the flat toe seam – while my feet ached after being on them all day like that, there were no sore areas or blisters or anything like that.
Since then I have already washed, worn, washed and worn these socks. And I am impressed. I have not worn them with trainers since, I think I’ll stick with a different type of sock with those, but I do like to use these socks when wearing walking shoes.
Once again Brasher has turned me into a sock snob. At £11 a pair from the Brasher website these are way more than I would normally spend on everyday socks (for example, I bought three pairs of what I thought were decent socks from M&S for £4.50 just before these arrived), but I am really tempted to treat myself to a couple more pairs of these so when I’m on my feet all day on holiday or something like that I have some really comfortable and sensible socks that are going to look after my feet nicely. They aren’t going to replace my drawer of ordinary socks, but I definitely am beginning to appreciate the need for a decent sock more often than not.
A little while ago I reviewed Heat Holders Socks here on Splodz Blogz.
I loved how cosy and comfy they were and said that I enjoyed wearing them around the house as well as out and about, but later commented on twitter that they were a bit slippery on my wooden floors. So Heat Holders sent me a couple of pairs of their slipper socks to try out (I think they were trying to prevent me from hurting myself!).
They have the same 2.3 tog brushed fluffy inside which is seriously comfy and cosy for your feet. The only difference between these and the ones I’ve already reviewed is the rubbery bits which give these a non-slip bottom. Whereas I could easily slide from one side of my kitchen to the other (on purpose and by accident), the bits on these mean I can walk normally. Phew!
Once again Heat Holders get the thumbs up from Splodz Blogz – they are a joy to wear and now I won’t fall over in my kitchen!
This competition is now closed. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Splodz Blogz soon. Good luck to everyone who has entered!
The nice people at Whooga have given me a pair of boots to give away in a competition here on Splodz Blogz. Check out my review to find out more about Whooga ugg boots.
The winner will be able to choose their preferred style/colour from the Whooga website, so this really is a great prize that you can keep yourself or give to a friend.
To enter please comment on this blog post telling me what makes your feet most comfy.
It might be a particular pair of shoes or socks, a specific chair, a bed in your favourite hotel or in your favourite holiday destination. Whatever it is, tell me about it to be in with a chance of winning.
Make sure you enter by 8pm on Friday 2nd March for your entry to count, and take a note of the rules below.
- This competition is open to UK residents only.
- You must be aged 18 years old or over at the time of entry.
- The competition closes at 8pm on Friday 2nd March 2012.
- Entry is by making a relevant comment on this post and by liking Whooga on facebook or following them on twitter.
- Entrants must include a valid email address in the box provided (will not be published).
- You can only enter once. If you post more than one comment only your first will count as entry into the competition.
- Members of my immediate family cannot enter (sorry!).
- The winner will be picked at random from all eligible entries and be announced on Splodz Blogz soon after the closing date.
- The prize is one pair of Whooga ugg boots as chosen by the winner.
- The winner must respond to their email from Splodz Blogz within two days or I reserve the right to re-draw.
- The winner’s details will be given to Whooga and they will arrange the prize directly. Details will not be used for any other purpose.
- You don’t get any extra entries for tweeting or posting about this competition anywhere, but I don’t mind if you do (go on… you know you want to – use one of the share buttons below!).
- Oh… and my decision is final (I like saying that!).
I received an email not so long ago offering me the chance to review a pair of Whooga ugg boots. Whooga ugg boots? Never heard of them… so I naturally had a look into them and discovered that they are one of a seemingly large number of companies making the popular Australian ugg style boots. So I said yes, and received a pair of “classic tall” boots in chestnut in double quick time direct from Australia.
As you can see the boots really only just fit my larger than average calf size. As such they are a little squished around the ankle. I am sad to say I’ve always had big calf muscles, it used to be because I was a hockey player and triple jumper as a teenager but it’s no longer muscle that causes the problem! But these are not uncomfortable and I think I just about get away with them. If I had bought my own I think, I know, I would have gone for the shorts to be on the safe side – I would hate to have to send something back because my legs were too fat!!
Apart from the narrowness of the boots the fit is great. I ordered my actual size and they are perfect, there was no need to go up or down.
Whooga say right from the off on the home page of their website that there are a lot of misconceptions about ugg boots and which are “real” and what are “fake”. Much of that is marketing talk, of course, but they make some valid points, and it’s sad they feel they have to in order not to be considered as fakes. Whooga uggs boots are of course the real thing – they are not “fuggs”, they are not rip off UGG Australia boots as the term “ugg” refers to a style of sheepskin boot not a brand, and you get the impression from the Whooga website that they feel very strongly about that! EMU and other brands are in the same position, and actually I reckon I’ve seen loads of other brands become better known – still top end prices and good quality products, but not the market leading brand.
Anyway… Whooga ugg boots are made with a thick inner fleece which wrap and blanket your feet in clouds of warm air. They work by trapping and circulating air in amongst the fibres, keeping feet warm in winter and cool in summer. Obviously I’ve only done the winter bit at the moment, and I can definitely testify to them being warm. These boots are made from twin faced leathers and are hand stitched and very light.
They seem to be made really well. The stitching is sound, the uppers are brushed evenly, and the thick liner is plush and soft and goes all the way down to the toe end of the boot. Whooga recommend you wear these with no socks – I tried them on with socks straight from the box but since then have happily gone bare foot when wearing them. It’s something to do with the thick shearling and how it traps the air, and the fleece does feel nice!
Now I admit that the only other pair of ugg style boots I own is a £30 pair I bought from River Island a couple of years ago. And I love those. They are shorts and are nice and wide – I wear them a fair amount under and over jeans. Like those, I would never wear these in the rain and definitely never in the snow. Those are thin though, not furry inside like these; these are much more cosy on the feet and while I will happily wear these with no socks, the River Island ones definitely require a pair between my toes and the inners. But I can’t compare these to the infamous UGG Australia boots that appear to be the market leader. For one I would never be able to spend £180 or there abouts on a pair of boots that you can’t go out in the rain in – not when I live in the UK!
The thing with this style of boots is the sole. My husband commented that you see girls wandering around walking on the side of the boot. He’s right – it looks terrible and must be awful for their feet. They are designed with soft uppers and light soles and as such collapse after not very much wear really. So far so good with these ones, and I would always be careful to walk properly anyway. The sole does seem pretty solid and has some grip on the bottom. I’ll let you know.
To be completely honest the jury is still out on whether I consider these fashionable or not. Ok so a lot of the fashion magazines say they are, but I wonder if that’s more to do with label rather than style. I don’t know. I mean, I’m no fashionista. But I do know that these are comfortable and very warm and that is what counts most of the time, and for that reason I’m giving these a virtual thumbs up. I shan’t be power walking miles in them but they are great for putting on after a long walk for my feet to relax in for sure. I like them.
These classic tall Whooga ugg boots come in at £89 (half the price of an equivalent UGG Australia boot).
I saw these first on a fab surfer’s blog (Ashleigh Bennetts) and as I was already looking around for the perfect pair of slippers to replace my worn out Animal boots I decided to investigate. And I feel in love. And I treated myself.
The North Face Nuptse Tent Mules are slippers designed for the coldest of feet. With 450 fill down insulation they are warm and cosy, just like the traditional down jackets and vests The North Face are known for. I have them in the ivory colour, which is light and feminine. My size 7 feet fit into the small just right – they are a snug fit but a close fit is the idea and there is some give in the material (the small is for 6.5-8).
I have no intention of trying these out at the top of a mountain or at the North Pole (just yet – anyone want to sponsor me to go on a massive expedition?!) but I like to think that these would keep my feet warm there too. Apparently they’re also water resistant and durable and so can be worn outside as well as in – mine will absolutely be kept indoors though! In fact they may be the first slippers I pack to take on holiday, I’ve never done that before, is that normal?!
Oh and the green factor – the upper is made from recycled plastic bottles. Nice touch.
Price wise these are on the expensive side at £35 (I got mine for £24.50 from Two Seasons, making them more affordable) but from the second I put them on I would say they are worth every penny. Sometimes it’s just worth spending a little extra.
Not just one but several people sent me the link to this Sarenza blog post this week…
Sarenza, “Your Ultimate Shoe Closet”, are looking for a new Ambassador to receive and review shoes from their site each month. Application is via a blog post about a pair of shoes currently in their online shop, and so this is my entry. I mean, I couldn’t resist could I? I am a shoe addict. It’s a good job I don’t have much spare cash because if I did I would have shoes and boots and trainers coming out of my ears. Some might say I already do, but I really don’t… honest!
After extensive browsing (which, lets face it, I do regularly), I’ve actually gone for something that won’t surprise any of you. A pair of Converse low tops. I’ve written about them enough on Splodz Blogz for you to be able to predict that!
These are the Chuck Taylor All Star European Leather Ox in Brown. And I love them. I need them.
Converse low tops are seriously comfortable. My current grey canvas pair fit just perfectly and are very well worn. I’m desperate for another pair. And in this year of getting outdoors I can think of nothing better than choosing a pair of pumps that I can wear all year round with a massive variety of outfits, in all weathers. These are a casual supple flat shoe, the leather makes them more weather proof than the canvas ones, and the All Star style goes with jeans, trousers, skirts, dresses, everything.
I mean, when I go away for a week on the motorbike I have room to pack just one pair of shoes. Yes – just one. And they have to be petite – not bulky – and not ruin if squished at the bottom of my panniers. These would be just perfect for that job. I’ve no need to be overly smart, but I still want something that is stylish and won’t look out of place. It’s a bit like if you were back packing and had very limited space but needed something for stomping around town and walking coastal paths. Or if you were going on a holiday somewhere hot with just hand luggage (stupid check in baggage prices) and need something in addition to those flip flops for checking out the local castle or relaxing in the pub in the evening.
But these aren’t just suitable for sticking at the bottom of your bag for when your feet aren’t in biking or hiking boots. They are perfect with jeans for every day, with shorts on holiday, with little dresses on summer days. Fabulous all round style and comfort.
So even though I had free rein and could choose any pair of shoes from the Sarenza shop for this post, I chose Converse. Why didn’t I pick some amazing high fashion sky scraper heels or over the top party shoes? Or some stunning knee high boots or even a decent pair of trainers for the gym? Well because when you’re like me you have to pick shoes that you will wear over and over again to warrant an £85 price tag.
If I was lucky enough to become a Sarenza Ambassador then I wouldn’t play it safe every month, of course, but be reassured that the shoes I pick will be me all over.
Sarenza offer free delivery on everything (and free returns, just in case things don’t fit) and have shoes for the whole family on their site. Have a look, and if I’m lucky enough to be chosen for this Ambassador role, come back here for more reviews in the future.
I’m sat here catching up on Masterchef with these blue socks on my feet. They are cosy and fluffy and definitely warm.
Heat Holders sent me a pair of their 2.3 tog socks to try out. I’m not sure I’ve ever worn socks with a tog rating before, but I like the idea of a sock that is rated in the same way as a duvet!
Tagged as “the ultimate thermal sock”, it is the extra heavy bulky yarn, long pile cushioning and intense brushing process which all add comfort and warmth. Tog ratings are used to measure the potential warmth of a product; the higher the rating, the warmer the product should be. A high tog rating is achieved by holding as much warm air in the fabric as possible, which is by Heat Holders are brushed on the inside – not just for a fluffy comfy cosy sock but also for a very warm sock.
To put it in context, the 2.3 tog rating compares to the apparent 0.4 tog of an average cotton sock. Much warmer and much more suited to the winter months.
So how do they feel? Well I’ve already alluded to the fact that they are cost and fluffy and warm. Not a “pretty” sock in that they are thick and add bulk to the foot and ankle, but that’s not what these are about. They are definitely comfortable and that is obvious from the second you pull them on, and that brushed pile on the inside is so lovely on my soles.
I have worn these socks a lot since they arrived. Apart from just slobbing in them in front of the telly, I’ve had them on with shoes and boots to go for walks. With all footwear I found I needed to loosen the laces (quite considerably on trainers) because of the thickness of the socks, and I’d be wary of wearing these with certain pairs of shoes as I wouldn’t want to stretch them. But with walking shoes and walking boots, both of which I wear with thick socks (or two pairs) anyway, there was no problem. When I took them off I was expecting a mass of blue fluff all over my feet, but while I did have a bit of fluff between my toes it was nowhere near as much as I was expecting, and a lot less the second wear. I guess you get toe fluff with every new pair of socks, and I don’t think there was any more than I normally find. Fluff aside, these socks absolutely kept my feet warm. Happy feet!
They are thick socks – definitely casual wear to pair with boots or shoes for a walk, although I was more than happy wandering around my house in these – I reckon they are warmer than my slippers.
Heat Holders are available from The Sock Shop priced at £6 a pair. They are available in a variety of colours. There is also a long version of the sock, and a wellington boot version, both of which I think I need.
Well it’s nearly the end of 2011… thinking about those New Year’s Resolutions yet? Got big plans for 2012 that require a stunning outfit? Do you have to choose your outfits based on what you own that fits rather than what you own that will knock them dead?! Maybe you’re sat at your computer right now (like I am), not able to get quite as close to the desk as you could because you’ve got more around your middle than this time last year (like I am!)?
Yea yea I know. We shouldn’t be worrying too much about fitness and shape and weight etc right now though (not before the Christmas and New Year Celebrations are out of the way)… but come 1st January I bet a good number of my readers will be making promises to themselves to get fitter in 2012 so they can get more out of life and have more energy.
Yes??? Me too.
But it’s ok, I’m not writing a post about how you should better yourself. I’m a woman, and I know that the first thing us girls do when we’ve promised ourselves we’ll do more exercise is to make sure we’ve got the right kit! And if you’re like me then your starting from a point which means you don’t look great in tight cropped leggins and crop tops yet – what you want is something that is comfortable to wear, stylish, and doesn’t cost the earth.
Next have teamed up with fitness fanatic Davina McCall and will be launching a brand new range of workout and post-workout clothing, as well as footwear, so you can start your new routine wearing something you like that will take you to the next level. Next gave me some preview images of the range to show you, and I have to say of the pictures they sent this is my favourite outfit…
This stripey loose fitting top and cute joggers would be perfect for all sorts of classes (or exercise DVDs etc) and look really comfy. I reckon I could get fit wearing that pairing for sure!! And yes I know I can’t wear two pairs of trainers at the same time but I was thinking the black pair for exercise and the metalic pumps for going home afterwards?! The prices are pretty good too – the top £18, joggers £25, trainers £45 and pumps £28.
There are other designs and styles too. Think fitted and supporting tops, tshirts perfect to slip on after that spinning class, ballet pumps with specially designed soles to reduce stress on load bearing joints.
I have done a few of Davina’s DVDs and recognise her enthusiasm for getting and keeping fit – it’s infectious and I wish I was a little more like her. I wonder if clothing can encapsulate that motivation? I guess we have to wait until the range is launched and available in the Spring to find out.