Where do Hotter ShoeS come from?
Hotter Shoes are a UK based brand, with significant manufacturing of product here in the UK. Although recently struggling with financial difficulties, Hotter remains a force in the UK womens comfort shoe market. From our independent perspective, Hotter Shoes have been both a formidable shoe maker , a supplier and a competitor on the High Street although many Hotter Shoes stores have now closed.
At Begg Shoes we have been working with shoes for a long time and Hotter Shoes has been a relatively recent market entrant. Until 2017, we have watched the success of the brand grow from afar as they have taken market share from historically dominant brands like Clarks, Padders and Ecco. In 2017 we took the step of adding Hotter to our offering for our customers. We feel it is worth introducing the brand to you, from our perspective and offering a little insight into what have been the keys to their success.
Hotter has ruffled a lot of feathers in the shoe industry over time, none more so than than Danish heavyweight brand Ecco Shoes, may claim that Hotter copied a number of their biggest selling shoes. We have the benefit of an independent retailers view from the sideline – check out our head to head comparison of Ecco versus Hotter shoes for our thoughts on which is best and why.
The Origins of Hotter
The origins of Hotter’s emergence dates back to when Clarks were the major players in the comfort footwear market in the UK. Following Clarks’ acquisition of K Shoes in 1981 they tried to operate two separate Clarks and K Shoes as separate entities, with each having their own factories and their own shops.
Subsequently, Clarks decided to close down UK manufacturing and this meant that the K Shoes factories in Cumbria had to close as well. Arguably the mistake Clarks made was they sold several of K Shoes’ best lasts (remember a “last” is the mould that is used to shape a shoe) and moulds for their PU injection machines to the newly former Hotter Shoes. In many ways, Hotter Shoes are a “spin off” of K Shoes – many people will still remember the K Shoes brand fondly. Remember Springer Shoes and Sandals? How about Aquaskips? (they were the 1st guaranteed waterproof shoes made by appointment to the Queen!).
The loss of K Shoes to the British footwear market was a big one but all was not lost as Hotter have no doubt used Clarks’ loss to their gain. The next step for Hotter was to make some of their own versions of the best-fitting comfort shoes which hit the shoe market with a great deal of controversy. Hotter would no doubt argue they used “inspiration” from brands like Ecco, Clarks and K Shoes, this is common in the shoe trade but causes friction as competitors will call this copying. Nevertheless, it has worked to great effect and Hotter have several top-selling styles in the UK market and have used their knowledge of what UK customers want to great effect by producing colour ranges that are often superior to competitors.
Hippy Sole Unit
Their Hippy sole unit is what they are now famed for famous styles like Shake, Nirvana, Leap, Dew and Sugar that are all now part of their Hotter Originals range. The Hotter Originals range is a collection of a lot of their best-sellers over a long time and in many ways, is a collection of comfort shoes that have taken inspiration from Ecco, Clarks and K Shoes.
As buyers at Begg Shoes we place great emphasis on choosing the best sole units and last shapes as these are the two key factors in influencing the fit and the comfort of shoes. This is where our knowledge of the shoe industry makes a big difference to our customers as we spend a lot of time trying to find the best last shapes and sole units across the world. I hope you found this article on Hotter’s origins informative, please keep an eye on our Facebook page or the blog itself for latest updates and information from us.
Browse our Hotter Shoes Collections
Enjoy great British design and quality with the stylish and comfortable range of footwear for men and women from Hotter Shoes. Discover the full Hotter collection today.