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Soletrader

Still the best for men’s brands but treading a cautious path this autumn

Product 6½

Soletrader has one of the best collections of men’s ankle boots on the high street, with engineered, formal, desert and biker styles all getting a good show. The rest of the store focuses more on branded classics. 1980s sneakers are put on the back burner and the best men’s trainer is a trompe l’oeil basketball boot from Adidas. Women’s still feels like a poor cousin but there is probably the broadest choice of Uggs, with both knitted and biker styles sitting with seasonal wardrobe classics.

Experience 6½

Up to 50%-off banners are a rare sight in a Soletrader window and this is the most prominent discounting Drapers has seen from this retailer, whose promotions are usually much more subtle. It’s not too much of a distraction in store though with red ticketing kept to a minimum. Large mirrors and seating areas work well and staff are keen to help. The orange and black branding feels a bit dated though and the shop would benefit from the new store treatment as at Westfield London.

Value 6½

Side-lace Converse are reduced from £39.99 to £29 and brown Hugo Boss formals are down from £179.99 to £129, making them a great Sale purchase. The key price point for branded men’s ankle boots is £99.99, which is not unreasonable but an own-label option is also a very attractive £59.99. Slightly bizarrely, the Ugg display is punctuated by a faux-sheepskin boot by Rocket Dog at £49.99, which slightly confuses the message that Ugg is Soletrader’s must-have brand for women this autumn.

Score 19½

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