Until recently, most of us bought shoes only in person. We sat next to a big stack of shoeboxes, trying on candidates with a little store-provided stocking, and then gave them a little trial walk around on the carpet.
The good news was that you could see and feel the shoe on your foot. The bad news, in my experience, was the endless sitting while waiting for a salesperson to bring me styles that I’m not interested in because they don’t have my size in the ones I requested.
These days, buying shoes online is a great alternative, especially as more shopping malls close their doors. Even though you can’t try shoes on when shopping online, you can choose from thousands of styles and compare prices.
Ratings and reviews from other buyers can give you a good idea if a shoe runs large or small, or has some problem. Plus, you may also know which brands and styles work for you, so you can nail it down fast, cheap and … never wear your feet out walking around at a shoe store.
At this moment, the end of summer, it is a great time to get stylishly shod, at a discount, through online shoe sales.
Here are some great options to get your online shopping journey started. Remember, a journey starts with a single step! (Sorry, could not resist.)
Zappos (a division of Amazon) is an online-only shoe store with a massive selection — too much to offer in a brick and mortar location! Check out shoe styles for everyone in your family. Zappos has everything from soccer cleats for the kids to classic Oxfords and Crocs for guys at work and play.
I probably wouldn’t make the investment for a kid when their feet are still growing (though kids styles are available here, through Zappos) but for me, these shoes are worth it, especially if I’m shopping for comfortable footwear for work or my go-to boot for the winter.
Target is affordable on a regular day, and they do a great job of creating styles that are up to the moment. Now is a good time to get in on those styles at an even more affordable price. Who needs shoes in your household? Check here first to find a screaming deal.
As a general rule, Macy’s has a good array of affordable shoes for everyone in the family. You can get them at even better prices as the season ends.
You can find the women’s sale rack here. (Check out the pineapple-themed flat espadrilles from Sam Edelman for just $24 bucks!) For a look at men’s clearance shoes click here.
I find Macy’s is a good bet when I need shoes for the holidays or special occasions. I don’t dress up all that often, so I try not to spend much in this area.
Nordstrom Rack is a bit of a treasure hunt — that is, you won’t find everything in every size. But you’ll do better online than at the store, which in my experience, is pretty disorganized. Just search — by size, color, style, price and brand — to find just the right pair of shoes, often at a deep discount.
It doesn’t matter if your dream shoe is a Dr. Martens boot or a soaring Steve Madden pump — this is a great place to browse for a deal.
If you haven’t yet run into Allbirds, you will. These shoes, billed as “the world’s most comfortable” are made of wool and a bunch of other natural and recycled materials — and they are gaining a cult following.
To be honest, they don’t come cheap, but the word is that they last a very long time, don’t get as stinky (due to natural fibers) and are kind to the environment.
Your conscience and your feet can feel comfy with these “athleisure” shoes: Allbirds donates a portion of its proceeds to Leonardo di Caprio’s Amazon Forest Fund — the real Amazon, with trees and creatures, not the online retailer.
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