Until recently, most of us bought shoes only in person. We sat next to a big stack of shoeboxes, trying on candidates wearing a little store-provided stocking, and then gave them a brief 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 out styles that I wasn’t interested in because they didn’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.
Now is a great time to get warm and stylish footwear for the holiday season. Start your online shopping journey with these great sites.
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 whose feet are still growing and whose taste in fashion is ever-changing (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 every day, and they do a great job of creating styles that are up to the moment. Now is a good time to get everyone in the family set up in winter styles in Target’s current sale, which offers a buy one, get one for half-off deal on boots.
As a general rule, Macy’s has a good array of affordable shoes for everyone in the family.
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 it’s far easier to navigate the selection of shoes online than at the physical 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.
Men, there are great deals on formal and casual shoes and boots for you here as well.
If you haven’t yet run into Allbirds, you will. These shoes, billed as “the world’s most comfortable” are made of wool (cozy) and 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.
Have you purchased shoes online? Share your experience in comments below or on our Facebook page.