Hopefully, some of you managed to tune in to our long awaited Instagram Live debut. Although we are a little late to the party when it comes trying out this popular social media tool (fashionably, I might add), we decided to take the plunge and see what all the fuss is about.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let me explain exactly what I am talking about for those of you that don’t know much about Instagram Live. It is, in its simplest terms a live video broadcast through Instagram. The purpose is to engage with our customers and encourage discussions with a live stream of the host (me) and one or more guests. Once live, anyone who follows us on Instagram is notified and they can decide whether or not to join in. If you joined me on Monday then you would have seen me with our brand ambassador Gui Bo of Men Need More Style live from his home in France, talking about all things Herring and style. I also had a Chancery briefcase to give away (congrats to Aleksander who resides in Norway for winning). Once you are watching you can submit questions, which will be visible for everyone, that we can discuss and answer, as best we can.
I know social media still holds a bit of stigma for some, understandably, and you may ask us ‘what is your aim? why are you doing this?’. Well, quite simply we are trying to engage with as many people as we can and show everyone what lies at the heart of Herring shoes, which is more than just great shoes! We are, of course, proud of our Herring range and the other brands we sell on our website but we are just as passionate about friendly, approachable customer care, which runs through the core of our business from top to bottom. We love giving advice and answering questions. Between us we have a wealth of knowledge, gained from years of experience which we can use to help you make the best choice possible. Whether you want to know the best colour shoes to wear with your navy suit or what size is best for you, we are on hand to answer your questions and, by using Instagram Live, we think we can reach even more people.
In case you missed it I will now sign off and leave you with a recap of some of the questions asked on Monday. Once again, a huge thank you to everyone who contributed with their kind comments and I look forward to speaking to many more of you in the near future. To make sure you see me next time, follow us (click here) and hopefully the next time you see ‘Herring Shoes have gone live‘ pop up on your phone, you are tempted to watch and, maybe, ask a question too.
I hear people talk about shoe trees, but what exactly are they and what do they do? It’s a good question and although many will know what they are, it shouldn’t be assumed that everyone has come across them before. Essentially, they are made of either plastic or wood and they are designed to fit inside your shoes to help them keep the shape and wick away excess moisture, this in turn keeps the leather in good condition and stops the soles wearing through quickly. We don’t sell plastic ones because they don’t absorb moisture unlike wooden trees. Plastic can be acceptable for travel but you can also used rolled-up paper to stuff inside which will work perfectly well as an alternative. It should be noted that you don’t have to have one set of shoe trees for each pair of shoes you own, you can rotate them and use them on the shoes you have worn that day. Yes, in a perfect world you would have a pair of shoe trees for each pair of shoes, so they always get a chance to dry and and reshape between wears. Ideally you should also be rotating between at least two pairs of shoes and not wearing one pair solidly throughout the week. This will make a huge difference to the longevity and overall wear. Please follow these two simple tips: rotate your shoes, and use shoe trees. (Find shoe trees here).
What other tips do you have for keeping my shoes looking at their best? Following on from the last question, it’s good to get in the habit of using shoe cream on your shoes (Saphir is the best, find it here). If you think about it, leather is a natural product and, just like our skin, it does need some moisture from time to time. So using shoe cream on a monthly basis at the very least is highly recommended, finishing it off with a nice polish also helps to protect the leather and adds a nice lustre which many people find appealing. Another tip would be to avoid rain/wet conditions if you can. Unless you are a meteorologist, naturally you will get caught out from time to time, but if this happens simply put your shoe trees inside your shoes and leave them to dry at room temperature. It is important that you don’t get tempted to put them near a heat source as this will dry out the leather too fast and it may crack. Leave them for at least two days, then give them a little cream and you are good to go. If you don’t let them dry properly and you continue to wear them, the sole will wear through extremely fast; wet leather and concrete do not mix well. If you have rubber soles then you don’t need to worry quite as much, although I would still use the shoe trees so the leather uppers keep their shape.
A question for Gui: How many shoes and suits do you own? 40-50 suits and 150-200 pairs of shoes. (I am still trying to get my head around this too).
Do Herring ship worldwide? Yes, we specialise in worldwide delivery using DHL. In most cases items will take one working day from despatch to reach you within Europe, and within 1-2 working days for most of the USA. Asia and Australia is usually around 3-5 working days. We can also help you with the duties as we offer the opportunity to pay for them when you are in the checkout, this way there are no surprises when your parcel gets processed through customs and it saves you extra handling fees. You will see we also sell low-cost returns labels for anyone outside of the UK (we send free returns labels with all UK orders as standard). This is a DHL label that you can use to send your shoes back. It is always cheaper than any other method and could save you a lot of hassle and money if you have to return a shoe for any reason. You can think of it as a really cheap insurance policy if you are unsure of sizing or if the style will suit you.
My shoes are still a bit tight, any tips on how I can stretch them? Generally speaking, you want them to be a little tight when you first get them as, with wear, the leather uppers and cork footbed will mould to your feet. We find if you wear them for an hour whilst sat down and relaxing, your feet will soon warm the leather and you will get a good idea if the fit is right. At this stage, if you have not creased them or scratched the soles you are welcome to return the shoes for an exchange if they are not the right fit for you. If they feel OK but you have worn them outside and they still need stretching after a few months then I would advise using Saphir renovateur to help soften the leather and use some shoe trees with socks on them, this will help to push the leather out and stretch them. Alternatively, you can take them to your local cobbler who will be able to give them a bit of a stretch.
What styles do you suggest for wider feet? We try to make sure we have a good selection of shoes made in wide fitting, which is a G (F is normal, G is wide, H is very wide). Although you can sometimes find that an F is still suitable if the last is particularly giving. You should consider derby/gibson styled shoes as the lacing allows for more flexibility around the instep area, this could make all the difference you need. If in doubt, always contact me or a member of the team and we will talk through some styles with you and help you to work out what is best.
What are your best selling business shoes? Assuming this means black shoes, then our Herring Knightsbridge and Mayfair are the best sellers. The Knightsbridge is more traditionally shaped with a slightly shorter toe when compared with the Mayfair, which is sleeker overall.
What have you got coming up that’s new? Covid has put a bit of a delay on a few things we had lined up, but we are working hard on finally getting some ladies styles online so this will be the next big thing you see on our site. We are, of course, still adding new styles so the collection will always have a freshness about it.