I’m a believer in spending as much as you possibly can on shoes – and no, I don’t mean by buying 50 pairs in Primark, however tempting that may be. I’ve been there and done that (well, perhaps not 50 pairs) and more often than not they fell apart after a few weeks of wear and cut my feet to shreds – but that’s what you have to put up with when you’re a poor student, right?
Now I’m older and (I’d like to think) wiser, I know that a quality pair of shoes is your best friend and will see you through many a walk to work, shopping trip and night out without you having to give a second thought to your footwear and whether it’s rubbing or pinching. As Carrie Bradshaw would agree, good shoes are an investment, which is exactly why you want to the fit to be just right when you’re splashing the cash on a pair.
Cue Duo Boots – their boutiques aren’t just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill shoe shops, but luxurious fitting rooms with an expert team on hand to measure you up and help you find the perfect boot or shoe for you. It’s just as well they really know their stuff when it comes to shoes and style, as Duo offer three width fittings, an amazing 21 calf sizes and a huge array of beautifully crafted shoes and boots, so choosing may be a pleasingly tricky task.
The Frome-based brand has had a boutique in Bath since the 1970s, and has expanded to include stores in Edinburgh and London too. Since it opened its first shop 40 years ago, Duo has built a reputation for the excellent quality, fit and design of its footwear – its in-house designers collaborate with independent European manufacturers, a team of technicians, last-makers and pattern-cutters who use the finest Italian leathers to bring Duo’s on-trend yet timeless designs to life.
I’ve often gazed longingly at the gorgeous styles on Duo’s website but have yet to add a pair of their shoes to my collection, so I was pleased to be invited to Duo’s #BootTribe blogger event in Bath last week, where myself and other shoe-loving South West bloggers – including the lovely Lorna from raindropsofsapphire.com and Hope from ihopeso-blog.blogspot.co.uk – had the chance to browse the Autumn/Winter 2014 range and choose our #BootTribe. Our blog logos were on tags with little pegs so we could claim our boot of choice.
As much as I’d love to join the long-legged Olivia Palermo types and be part of the over-the-knee #BootTribe, or even Kate Moss and the knee-high-loving gals, my petite stature means I’m definitely firmly in the ankle #BootTribe. But which to choose? I was delighted to learn that Duo offer shoes to fit my little size 35 feet, which is near impossible to find on the high street as most shops start at size 36 – and, what’s more, that all of their ankle boots are available in a 35. Win!
Although extremely tempted by the rather jazzy cheetah-print, in the end I went for these stunning tan Mandels.
I had a sneak peek at Duo’s range online before heading to the event and these were the boots I had my eye on, and they were even better in person – you can tell they are well-made with care and attention to detail, fit, comfort and style. I how versatile these are – they’ll smarten up skinny jeans and a snuggly jumper, and will add a casual edge to a dress and my new fur coat from Dorothy Perkins. In fact, these will be great with the second Megan dress I’m sewing up at the moment, so watch this space.
You can find out more about Duo and browse the latest styles on the website, and follow @DuoBoots on Twitter – be sure to search #BootTribe on Twitter too for all the blog posts and photos from the event.