Five Tips to Save on Shoes

Whether you view shoes as just things to keep your feet dry and protected, have a bit a of a shoe obsession, or are a full blown shoe-a-holic, finding ways to save money on the shoes you buy can help you hold onto a bit more of your hard earned cash to spend on other things, or, if you prefer, to buy even more shoes. Here are just a few ways that you can save money on the shoes you buy:

Shoe Shop Out of Season

Walk into most shops that sell shoes at the end of the season and you are almost certain to land slap bang in the middle of a great sale. What use though is a pair of strappy summer sandals, even at 70% off, if the weather outside for the next few months will be better suited to boots and wellies?

The fact is that winter does not last forever, before you know it the sun will be back and you will be looking for a pair of super summer shoes just like the ones in the sale. Buying shoes out of season can save you a great deal of money and can be a way to score yourself far more expensive pairs than you might ever have been able to afford otherwise. Just remember that they are stored at the back of your closet when the weather improves (or deteriorates) enough for you to wear them.

Spend More to Save More

Buying the cheapest pair of new shoes you can find when money is a little tight might seem to be a sensible thing to do at the time, but in the long run it can cost you money. A very cheap pair of boots or shoes are often just that, cheap. Many of these kinds of shoes have a tendency to fall to pieces within months, even weeks, because they are simply not very well made.

Investing in a higher quality, more expensive pair of shoes that are a classic style and versatile enough to match a number of different outfits in your wardrobe is a much more sensible course of action to take. If taken care of properly, a well made pair of shoes can last for years, which will in the long run save you a lot more money than having to buy a new pair of cheap shoes every month.

In order to get the most out of your higher quality shoes, take the time to learn how to care for them properly. Leather shoes need to be buffed and polished on a regular basis, and treating suede shoes with a water resistant spray, which can be obtained for just a few dollars, will add years to their useful life.

Shoe Shop Online

With a little careful shopping, these days you can find some great deals on all kinds of shoes, boots and trainers from a number of different online retailers. The downside to shoe shopping online is that fact that you cannot actually try them before you buy them, but as long as the site you are shopping at has a reasonable return policy that should not be too much of a problem.

If you are hoping to save money on shoes, or get a great deal on a pair of expensive shoes that you cannot afford to buy at traditional shoe stores, some of the auctions on EBay might fit the bill. Shoe shopping on EBay can save you money, but you do need to be a little careful. Not everything being offered for sale on the auction site is actually cheaper than you can find elsewhere, so make sure you know how much the shoes you are considering normally retail for before you place a bid on anything.

Don’t Splurge on Silly Shoes

You see a pair of crystal encrusted, see-through 6 inch platform heels in the shoe shop window that absolutely take your breath away. Yes, they do cost quite a lot, but they are just like the ones that Kylie Minogue was wearing on the telly the other night. That’s great, but how often are you really going to wear them? Chances are you will put them on once, go to a party, fall off them five times, and then retire them to the back of your wardrobe, never to see the light of day again.

If your shoe shopping budget is not that of a platinum selling recording artist, stick to buying shoes that you are going to be able to wear in the real world. That does not mean you have to limit yourself to granny flats and sensible brogues, but take an honest look at both your lifestyle and your wardrobe before you waste your money on an outrageous pair of shoes.

Consider Going Second Hand

One of the ways you can really save a lot of money on shoes is by buying them second hand from your local thrift or charity shop. With a little careful shopping it is perfectly possible that you can find yourself the kind of footwear that you would not have ever been able to afford to buy brand new.

The thrift store is also a wonderful place to shop if you are a fan of vintage clothing and shoes. Fashion trends come and go, and eventually a great many styles from eras past become stylish once more. For example, why spend a fortune on trendy “retro” trainers when you can find the real deal at a thrift store for a fraction of the price?

Some people are a little wary about wearing second hand shoes, but most thrift stores have fairly strict standards and only offer items for sale that are clean and not too well worn. If the thought of wearing second hand shoes really bothers you, consider purchasing a pair of inexpensive insoles to give them a brand new, hygienic lease on life. After all, if you can find a pair of gently worn to-die-for Jimmy Choos for $20, as a savvy budget fashionista are you really going to pass them up?

Timothy Ng is a personal finance writer, and has a real passion for encouraging people to compare credit cards to ensure they get the best deal. Check out his comprehensive guide to low interest credit cards where he provides an in-depth overview and analysis, to help you find a better deal. 

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Doable Finance April 18, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I buy one pair of shoes in WalMart for $12. They last me for more than 9 months. That means I buy them for myself, not for others to see.


2 Heidi April 19, 2011 at 3:49 am

I have shoes that have lasted for years! Even my husbands work shoes last longer than 9 months and they take a beating. IMO 9 months is not very long for shoes, but I would love to see what others think 🙂

I’m glad you buy shoes for yourself and not for others to see, but I think that could be said of people who buy shoes for $300 too. You should always buy the items that make you happy, not ones that will make others happy. They might be expensive or cheap – it depends on your priorities. If you like nice shoes then find a pair of nice shoes, if you don’t care about your shoes then don’t spend a lot on them. Never deny yourself your priorities if you can help it. That is the difference between an unhappy miser and a happy frugalista!


3 cmartin April 26, 2011 at 10:37 am

My husband often buys his second hand shoes at the shoe repair store. They get them from estate sales.


4 Heidi April 26, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Interesting… I never thought of that. I do not buy second hand shoes because I’m worried about the quality. I guess if they are at the shoe repair shop they are probably good quality shoes!


5 Limo Hire Melbourne November 24, 2011 at 4:31 am

Second hand shoes, interesting idea. Alwayz a little concerned how good the shoes are if they are second hand.


6 Sagar June 5, 2013 at 7:11 am

Yes online shopping site are really good since they have a lot of offers on footwear specially in the summer and rainy season.
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7 Heidi June 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm

In general I can find better deals online on almost anything!
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8 Silke from Sexy Shoes for Women June 25, 2013 at 10:18 am

I wouldn’t recommend buying shoes second hand, unless they have never been worn. Every foot is different, therefore shoes wear out differently. Wearing someone else’s shoes could give you major foot trouble down the road.
Consider buying your shoes online and out of season instead. Most online shoe sites offer free shipping and free returns these days.
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9 John Douglas August 14, 2013 at 5:12 pm

I really liked the point about buying shoes online although you must be careful because it can sometimes be a hassle to send them back. Make sure you deal with companies that will let you return the shoes without having to pay return shipping which can get costly.
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10 Heidi August 15, 2013 at 4:10 pm

very true!
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11 Eric T January 9, 2014 at 5:45 am

Shop online – definitely agree! I picked up my Mephisto ( for less hassle/time than a trip to the city!

I like the second-hand idea, but how much do you need to clean them when you get them? Is that a big problem?


12 Heidi February 3, 2014 at 4:55 pm

I’m not big on second-hand shoes, but if you do get them that way then try to find ones that do not need much cleaning – otherwise the shoes may have been used a lot.
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13 AlyssaCronin March 21, 2014 at 7:38 am

Great tips I also recommend branded shoes as you revealed benefit here “Spend More to Save More” one more thing you can do with it you can sell you shoes at online auction when you get bored and get money.
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