Because I live in a no-television household I did not, in fact, ever see the pitch for As Seen On TV Hot Booties. But when I spotted an unopened pair of these warming slippers at a Lewiston thrift shop, I was sold.
The search for ways to stay warm at the drafty office was growing increasingly desperate. I slapped a few bones on the counter and left the store clutching my slippers in triumph.
Then buyer’s remorse set in. My Hot Booties enthusiasm waned before I even broke them out of the box. I hid them in my desk and suffered through more chilly shifts. In my zeal, I had overlooked a fatal flaw in my latest warming scheme: Slippers at work. I’m just not that girl.
Or more accurately, I wasn’t. As the days grew colder, I reconsidered: Was I cheating readers? Didn’t they deserve to know if Hot Booties live up to their billing? Sampling Hot Booties for the shivering masses was responsible journalism.
And for the record, I’m not going back until the Ebenezer Scrooge who controls the office thermostat throws a few more coals on the fire.
Hot Booties overview: The body is constructed of soft, fleecy material with a snappy elastic opening to keep these hefty babies on your feet. The weight is in a double-walled sole that houses a microwaveable linseed/lavendar filling. The linseed is for warmth, the lavendar for atmosphere. I get no relaxing wafts of lavendar as I type, but it can only improve on the smell of feet, right?
Ease of use: The directions say to heat 30 seconds.
But who has time to read directions while on the job?
Three minutes seemed about right. When the microwave beeped, I slid my feet into slippers roughly 1 degree cooler than the surface of the sun. I yanked them back off with new sympathy for Snow White’s stepmother, who was danced to death in red-hot shoes.
I set the slippers aside to cool to a wearable temperature, but then I got absorbed in my work. When I remembered them, they were stone cold. I dug the packaging out of the trash, skimmed the directions and reheated for 30 seconds. This will not give you newsroom-strength warming. Three minutes will pop your corns. One-and-a-half minutes is perfect.
Pros: Comfy feet rain or, presumably, shine. The instructions may suggest a cooling option — I really couldn’t say. But I mean to try freezer-chilled Hot Booties during our next triple-digit streak.
Cons: Where to start?
The “ick” factor. Say you’re waiting your turn for the microwave, stomach growling and Budget Gourmet in hand. When it beeps, your rude coworker edges in and pulls out her slippers. Luckily, the Hot Booties makers foresaw this dilemma and packaged them in a thick drawstring bag for heating and storage. No parts that have touched my feet or the floor have ever come in contact with oven parts that cook food. Still, serious appetite killer.
Fit is snug. I wear a size-8 shoe. That’s pretty average, so the box’s broad description of “Fits Most Foot Sizes” is, I suppose, technically correct — for women. But Hot Booties come in blue, too, and the online product description specifically squeezes the other and generally larger-footed sex under the “Most Foot Sizes” umbrella. This is brazen, um, exaggeration. Hot Booties should only be marketed to men with unusually petite feet. As for women, if your feet are any larger or considerably smaller than mine, they may not be for you, either.
These boots aren’t made for walking. The filling is problematic. It shifts. It squinches. It bunches at the toe in a kind of reverse high-heeled shoe effect. Each cautious step is like climbing a small, warm, slippery incline of silicone beads. I find myself carefully weighing each step away from my desk: Is this trip really necessary? I’ve plotted shortcuts to the printer, coffeepot, bathroom … . Yes, Hot Booties are pretty good for relaxing with one’s feet up. But they would be bad news for people with balance issues. Or anyone who totes around pets, small children or fragile antiques.
Carefully honed professional image gone in one fell swoop.
“But seriously,” her frigid fingers typed, “the slippers are the only warm spot in here.”
Breslin is an Inland360 production editor. She loves bargains and toasty feet and has always been a sucker for As Seen On TV quirky inventions. It was the trifecta. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 848-2241.