The hazards of buying footwear online

Working in a guest house may not require many travel miles to and from work, but I can say quite truthfully that one does put in the mileage in the legwork. We have four stories at Blenheim Lodge. First, there is the basement, which is not accessible to guests, but which we use on a daily basis. Then, there are the ground, first and second floors of the house, which means there are three flights of stairs to climb altogether in the house, and another flight of steps outside the house which leads from our car park to the front door as our Bowness-on-Windermere B&B is built into an incline.

Welcome to our home, Blenheim Lodge. Steps lead up from the car park into the guest house. See the chairs on the porch? This is a great place to sit and enjoy the views over Lake Windermere.

I don’t know how many miles I walk each day, but I do know the importance of having comfortable footwear in order for my feet to sustain the incessant walking, and sometimes running, from one part of the house to another. Unfortunately, I am one of those people who have odd feet and find it is difficult to get shoes which fit comfortably. Indeed, I used to have to break in my sandals again and again each Summer despite having had them for years already; so much so that I have now given up on them!

Then, at the end of last year, I gave in to the sheepskin boot revolution and decided to buy a pair of sheepskin boots which everyone whom I had met and owned a pair said were very comfortable. So I went shopping online, found a pair that I rather liked, then phoned the company to buy it as I do not like putting my card details on the internet. The boots arrived, but they were too big even though I had been advised to buy my usual size. When I rang the company to query this, I was told to return them for a refund or to try a smaller size in a different style.

The new boots arrived. This time the right boot was uncomfortable on my foot but the left one was fine. The company sent me an insole to use in the right boot to see if it would help. The answer was ‘no’. Back went the pair of boots and a third pair came winging its way to me. These boots felt more comfortable, but within three months, I could no longer use them as the natural fleece lining on the insole had become bald. So the company sent me a pair of insoles to line the boots. I have to say that the company gave excellent customer service, except for one man who was probably not experienced enough to advise me correctly as what he said was later vetoed by other staff during some of the conversations I had with them while trying to sort out the difficulties I was having with the boots.

Now, you would think that I would have learnt my lesson about buying footwear online after what had happened. However, I thought I would give it another go. Hubby was buying some shoes, so I thought I would follow suit. Having seen a comfortable- looking pair that I liked, I bought them in my usual size only to find that they were too big. They have since been returned and I am now awaiting a refund.

Let’s hope I have learnt my lesson now! But somehow, I doubt it!

‘Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’

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