Monday’s Money Deal: Good Shoes for Bad Feet

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Men hate buying shoes as much as women love to. It's worse when those men have foot problems. Here's an offbeat way to to find the right shoes for the wrong feet.

My wife owns a lot of shoes. But I buy more each year than she does. And I never try them on.

I buy all my shoes from the Target website – usually 3-4 pairs of work shoes and 3-4 pairs of workout sneakers per year. I don’t do that because I’m vain. I do it because I pronate. Like a lot of people, I wear down the outer edge of my heels first. (Less common is wearing down the inner edge, which is called supination. That concludes today’s science lesson.)

What this means is that I go through a lot of shoes. Yeah, there are treatments and inserts and corrective (read: expensive) shoes for this common problem, but I’ve found the most cost-effective solution is to simply buy a lot of cheap shoes, wear them out, and buy some more. It’s not exactly a “going green” solution – it leaves a bigger carbon footprint, if you pardon the pun – but it saves me a lot of money.

If you’re a guy or you date a guy, I recommend the Ronan Casual for work. They cost only $20 per pair and are perfect for most office jobs that don’t require full suits. If you read the comments on the Target site, you’ll see some complaints about the cheap materials – and they’re right. These shoes are comfortable (at least to me and one paramedic who left a comment) but will fall apart in about four months. Frankly, that suits me fine, because I usually grind down the edges of the heels before then, anyway.

For working out, I spend $20 on a pair of these skateboarding sneakers. I learned long ago that unless I run more than a mile at a time, I don’t need running shoes. Skateboarding shoes fit the bill, and because these are solid black, they don’t look foolish on my 45-year-old feet.

So I spend a couple hundred dollars a year in shoes. Even if I didn’t pronate, I’d spend more than that on quality shoes. Best of all, I buy these in bulk (free shipping!) once a year and stash them in the garage. So I spend only a few minutes a year buying shoes – and zero time cleaning them. By the time they get dirty, I’m ready to trash them.

Finally, if you want to wear the most comfortable casual footwear in the world and don’t mind looking weird doing it, you can buy a pair of crocs – specifically the Classic Sandal. They’re not pretty, but they’re on sale at Amazon for as litle as $16 – less than half what I paid only a few weeks ago. Not only do I pronate, but I apparently have bad timing.

And don’t forget to check our deals page and deals search engine for deals on shoes and everything else.

Stacy Johnson

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