'If the shoe fits' is a study to discover how shoes can contribute to our identity.
Jenny Hockey, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Sheffield, is heading
a team trying to unearth how and why shoes play such an important role in our lives.
Exclusively for Comfort Club readers she gives a glimpse into the project.
Unforgettable Shoes
Shoes are currently high profile in advertising and play an important role in popular culture, folklore and fairy tales. Just think of Cinderella's glass slipper, Dorothy's red shoes in the Wizard of Oz and the 'power' represented by the designer heels in Sex and the City.

And in real life shoes can feature within many everyday transitions - for example baby to toddler, from work to leisure activities or because of certain health conditions. Our project makes shoes a starting point for examining how people's identities can develop and move forward on a daily basis and throughout the course of their lives. When we are growing into a new life and we move on, as we always do, the shoes we wear or buy at that time can become part of the transition and they become unforgettable. They're the ones we still keep in the back of our wardrobe.

The team has been working with more than 80 people across the UK, looking at their earliest, and continuing, memories of footwear. One of the women in our research was Luna who went to Japan after a long term relationship broke up. She vividly recalled the time when, having overcome the pain, she returned to the UK and "the first pair of shoes I bought were those ballet ones, so maybe that was the start of something new. I won't get rid of them now even though I'll probably never wear them again."
"Slip-ons were a sought after shoe, I got a brown pair with a folded back and slashed vamp. I wore them the day I finally swam 14 yards across the pool and the day I passed the 11+. They became my lucky shoes."
Professor Jenny Hockey

Some women recalled the thrill of buying court shoes as a teenager; saving up 'six and 11' and being allowed to wear them for the first time or, in one case, being told by dad not to wear them as he thought they were too 'fast' and 'flash'. Other
Project research team, left to right, Alexandra Sherlock, Rachel Dilley and Jenny Hockey. The team is
completed by Victoria Robinson.
men and women wanted to wear shoes they remembered from exciting, youthful days - to move back rather than forward. For others, growing older brought a new freedom from uncomfortable shoes. And one woman bought forty pairs of high heeled shoes to celebrate her 40th birthday.

Jenny and her team have produced a documentary based on the project which follows the story of two of their subjects Sarah and Eva.

You can discover more on the 'Iftheshoefits' blog at www.sheffield.ac.uk
"Shoes also move between people. When my friend bought the wrong size of Hotter walking boots she gave them to me. I didn't think such a light pair could give real comfort out on the fells, but they've taken me on journeys into some of the UK's most beautiful countryside - and changed my mind about buying 'stout boots' that weigh a ton!"
Professor Jenny Hockey
Helena told us: "That almost impossible combo of comfort and style."
Sue said: "The shoes that you forget are on your feet are actually the most unforgettable."
Chris commented: "Coming home from a long day out and not thinking I’ll be glad to get these things off my feet."
Susan thought: "Comfort, style and colour. In that order."
Designer Ellspeth's unforgettable shoes are: "The first paper shoes I made about 7 years ago, they got me noticed by my local craft shop and set off my craft classes."
Tell us, or show us, which pair of shoes is unforgettable to you and we'll pick our favourite to win £100 of Hotter vouchers.
Enter via Facebook, Twitter or by emailing weloveshoes@hotter.com. Competition closes Monday 28th July 2014.