Shoe shopping can be a dream for some, or a nightmare for others, with hundreds of styles, colors, and prices to choose from. From boots to heels, and from sneakers to sandals, there are shoes available for every occasion, and you can often spend as much or as little as you want on the perfect pair. With all of these things to consider, how can you make sure you are getting the best deal, and making your money go as far as it possibly can?
Shop the Sales – Especially Online
Shoe sales can offer huge discounts to the smart shopper, and it is definitely worth taking the time to shop around for a bargain. Shopping out of season, and buying your sandals in September and party shoes in the January sales, can make a significant difference to the price you pay. If you wear one of the more common sizes it is a good idea to snap up these deals as soon as you see them, because they probably won’t be around for long! Check the returns policy if you’re not sure about a sale item. It may be possible for you to purchase the set, and return them later if you change your mind. When a sale item is out of stock, you can also ask if it would be possible to order it, either in store or have it delivered to your home, for the sale price.
Compare Prices In Store & Online
If you do see a perfect pair of shoes in a store, it never hurts to jump on your smartphone and see how the price compares to what is available online. Make sure to consider delivery fees if free delivery is not an option. Online sales can happen at any time, and if you have a favorite brand, it is a good idea to search for offers every few weeks so you are aware of any discounts when they are available. Coupons and discount codes are common online, and even if you have already reached the checkout page, a quick search for a discount code can sometimes save 10-20% or more. If you sign up for emails from some websites you may have these codes mailed to you on a regular basis, while being made aware of any sales.
It is important to remember that while sales can be fantastic, they can also be tricky. Bright signs offering large discounts can seem great, but a deeper look might show the deal is not quite as amazing as it seems. Again, a check online will show you the regular value, and you can judge for yourself how good of a deal you are getting.
Bid or Borrow
Another online option is to use bidding sites for pre-owned items, such as eBay. People often buy shoes, particularly in bright colors or extravagant styles, only to find they do not wear them very much or even at all. These unworn, or very slightly worn, shoes can sometimes be snapped up online very cheaply as people try to clear out closet space. If you are looking for shoes for a one time event, or that will not be worn very often, second hand items can be a very economical choice. An even cheaper option is not to buy at all, but see if a friend or family member has a suitable pair of shoes you could borrow. If you are only going to wear a pair of purple pumps to one event or to match one outfit, borrowing a set may only cost you a cup of coffee.
Spend to Save – Buy Quality
Once your feet have finished growing, shoes become an investment. A good pair of shoes can last years, so while it is tempting to go for a cheaper option, in the long term, a better quality shoe is going to save you money. Materials are important, and genuine leather will outlast less costly options. Plastic or imitation leather shoes show wear more quickly, and also have a shorter life. Manufacturing is also something to look at, and while hand-made Italian loafers may be outside of your budget, checking for shoes with stitched seams and a well lined interior will help you identify which options are better made, and therefore likely to last longer without falling apart.
Find a Local Cobbler & Take Care of Your Shoes
No matter how high quality the shoe you buy is, eventually they will wear out in some areas. Though it seems old fashioned nowadays, repairing shoes used to be extremely common, and there is still likely to be a cobbler somewhere in your area. Having shoes, especially boots or heels, resoled or re-heeled can be all that is needed to bring them back into top shape, and it is enormously cheaper than buying a new pair. This option is especially great if you wear out a favorite set of shoes and are unable to find anything similar in store or online.
Take Care of Shoes at Home
There are other simple ways to make sure you are keeping your shoes in the best condition possible, like regularly polishing leather, and applying a waterproofing treatment to suede or outdoor shoes. If your shoes do get wet, avoid placing them in very hot places to dry, as this can crack or damage the material. Instead, wipe them with a soft cloth, and store them somewhere clean and dry.
Make Good Choices – Pick the Right Pair
Before you buy, think about the purpose of the shoes you need. Learn the different parts of a shoe, and which styles and fits will best suit you and your lifestyle. If your job involves a lot of running around, you might want to go for a thicker sole and lining for durability, while if you are in a corporate environment, a combination of style and comfort might be more important. Know what you are looking for and try not to be swayed from your sturdy pair of work boots, to another set of slightly different red heels.
Make sure your purchases match your wardrobe, so you can get as much use out of your shoes as possible. If you want a more colorful or exciting set of shoes, try adding colored laces, or homemade decorations, rather than spending money on a niche pair which you are unlikely to wear often.
How do you save money on shoes?
Overall, shoe shopping can be a bit of a minefield, but there are good deals out there to be had, if you can work out how best to take advantage of them. Having a pair of shoes for every occasion does not have to cost a fortune, and with some consideration and shopping around you can have the best dressed feet, without breaking the bank.