Elle-Hime (ellehime) wrote in egl,

Review: Miranda House Boots

Hello everyone!  This is sort of cross-posted from my journal, but it has been added to - I now include a tip for winter shoes that have no tread - take a look!

I thought I'd do a review of my Miranda House Sweetheart Boots.  I only spotted one other review for these, and thought it might be useful to have one with a different viewpoint and more pictures!  These are replicas of BtSSB boots, if anyone owns the original I'd love to hear from you - tell us what the differences are!  Click on the pictures to enlarge them.  Any questions, just ask.

I was very tempted to buy these in a special color, but erred on the side of caution by ordering all-white.  I figured that way if they weren't of the best quality the flaws wouldn't show up as strongly.  As a comparison of quality I will make reference to the Secret Shop boots I have.  I feel this is a fair comparison because they are both made from man-made materials, SS is the manufacturer for Angelic Pretty, and MH is the manufacturer for An-ten-na shoes.  (I would have ordered these in real leather but the factory does not offer that.)

My first impression was, fortunately "Ooo, pretty!"  These boots do not disappoint with looks.  As for the shade of white, I've learned that I should never expect "white" Lolita shoes to be true white, but more off-white.  That is the case with these, but they are not a cream off-white color.  They are a very pale off-white color like Angelic Pretty white Tea Parties or Montreal shoes white.  I'm pleased with the color!  I was sad to see that, despite being sent along in a boot-sized box, they had creases around the ankles already.  I consoled myself with the fact that now I won't be upset with myself when they inevitably appear from normal wear, but my SS boots were crease-free, and so I wish these were, too.

The boots come laced up tight, their uppers flattened.  They weren't stuffed with anything, but they were wrapped in tissue papers.  All the stitching on the boots is very sturdy, construction seems solid all around.  The bows on the "lacy" tops are stitched in place, though one has slight uneven stitch lines.  I won't worry about the bows coming loose or catching on anything!  I was very sad to see that the boots have NO tread... this is a concern, since my area gets plenty of snow and ice.  SS boots have sort of wimpy tread, but at least it's there...

I was curious about how the decorative upper would work...  One end is stitched down beside the zipper, and it wraps around to secure with velcro.  Simple enough, but I wish they had used a snap or two instead of the velcro, which does like to catch on lace trims.  Yes, that zipper is grey.  Evidently the zippers are only available in grey or black.  While I don't entirely get that, the mis-matched zipper doesn't bother me; it is a pale grey.  The hearts on the laces are the same size as the punched-out hearts, that is probably where they came from!  Inside the boots there is a supple lining material in a nude color.  Also, the insole is stamped "an-tai-na", for whatever reason.  Notice that the tongue of the boot is very narrow (7cm/under 3 inches).  The boots have eyelets all the way up, so you could potentially lace them all the way to the top, if you are willing to replace your laces.

Nitpicking would have me point of the back of the heels where the seam is.  The punch-out lace bunches rather oddly, but I imagine that is tricky to put on a boot, so okay.  As for the quality of the punch-out lace, I'd say it rates as "good", but not excellent.  There are a few wonky spots, but nothing terrible, and it looks fine from a distance.  I did have a streak of glue across one part, though, which is not cool and I will keep trying to clean off.  I ordered size 23.5cm, which seems to be accurate, but is not stamped on the boot anywhere.  The hearts have good stitching and heat-sealed edges, but they had light silver cut-out markings on them...

Try-on involved wrestling with all the loose "boot-flaps".  Put these things on sitting down!  One hand has to hold one side of the boot, the loose lacy topper, and the tongue of the boot, while the other guides your foot into it...My foot fit the boot snugly, with room to wiggle my toes.  The zipper works smoothly, and once the lace topper is secured it stops being troublesome.  My calves are a bit smaller than the default calf measurements for the style of boots, and it was a perfect fit.  There is no leeway to loosen them, so I'm glad I don't need to!  They are made to lace tightly up the front, and the lace topper fits around perfectly that way.

Walking around in them brought out how they have no padding in the footbed.  Disappointing, it's rock-hard.  Feels solid, at least?  I added insoles to mine, but I would have ordered a size up if I had known they needed them so badly, just so it wouldn't cut down on room for thick winter socks.  The great part about wearing them?  No squeaks!  Not a single sound from the tongue rubbing or anything.  I'm sure the soft inner lining has to do with that.  (In contrast, my SS boots are squeaky.)  My legs felt cozy in these boots, and had I given my feet a chance to warm them, they would have probably been cozy, too.

In conclusion I would say that these boots are not perfect in every way, but they are very nice, and I'm happy with them.  They get points knocked off for stray glue residue, lack of tread, and the velcro where I would prefer snaps.  I can forgive those flaws because these shoes don't squeak.  I would suggest these boots to someone who wanted a really fancy, dressy pair mainly for indoor/safe walking conditions use.  If you want something to get you through the winter or quick to put on and off, look elsewhere.  Their sizing runs narrow, so beware if you have wide feet.  Definitely pay a little extra for a larger calf measurement if you need it.

Design (looks): 5 out of 5
Design (function): 4 out of 5
Materials: 5 out of 5
Construction: 4 out of 5
Value: 4.5 out of 5

I also have a pair of sandals by Miranda House, I think I will be reviewing them in the future.

On the issue of "winter" shoes with no tread, I went on a hunt through the shoe department in Walmart.  I found these:

Back of package.
They aren't very big, and I could have crammed two onto each shoe, but went with just one on each boot, with the rounded end towards the toe.  The glue seems very strong.  They have a good texture to them, and while I'm sure it's not a cure-all, it's better than nothing.  They were two dollars a pair at Walmart, I'm sure other shoes stores would sell similar products.
Tags: review product: shoes
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