The standard for composing a Strategist post should be the following question: “Can the author cite three or more friends who are tired of hearing her talk about the item in question? If yes, then proceed.”
In this case, three is a joke. I can name three members of my nuclear family who can repeat back my HOPP pitch verbatim. Yet it’s worth it for all involved, because every person I convince has become a die-hard customer. It’s like setting up a blind date that blossoms into a thriving relationship: highly gratifying!
Here’s how a typical interaction unfolds.
“They kind of look like normal boots,” a new victim will tell me when I corner her into appreciating my shoes.
“I know, but they’re not,” I say. “You have to wear them to understand.”
A month later, the victim will text me a photo of her feet in the shoes. She has not taken them off since they arrived, she will say. Yesterday she walked to and from work (total mileage: 4.7) in the shoes and her feet feel amazing, she will add. Now her mother wants a pair. Do I have a discount code by any chance? (Unfortunately I do not.)
The comfort technology of HOPP shoes is obscure to me, but I have come to understand that the soles are lightweight and flexible (which provides the “walking on marshmallows” feeling) and the interior contains a liner with sponge foam and arch support. The construction of the shoes yields two key benefits:
1. You don’t need to “break them in.” They are as comfortable on the first day as they are a hundred miles later.
2. The soles don’t wear down. For three years (2011-2014) my favorite shoe was an Alexander Wang motorcycle boot which had to be resoled by my neighborhood cobbler every six months. I have never had to resole any of my three pairs of HOPP shoes.
Because HOPP is a tiny company run by a single person, I have private anxiety daydreams that it goes out of business and leaves me unable to obtain new shoes, and then five years later there are message boards and eBay communities devoted to sourcing dead-stock pairs but by then it’s too late. Luckily this has not yet happened. The shoes are not cheap, but they last forever and always look box-fresh. If you divide the cost by the number of days you will end up wearing them, the outlay becomes downright prudent.
I wear my red babies with a standard uniform of white jeans and white shirt. You could incorporate them into a monochromatic red ensemble. The color is eternal, but the color is also on-trend: in case you haven’t been alerted, this cherry hue is the new millennial pink. Get in on the ground floor! And if you don’t look good in red, no sweat. Your foot is far enough away from your face that you can 100 percent get away with it.
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