Posted on 14 Comments

Shoe shopping on the cheap

365 day 64 - Fresh air

So, you’ve heard me talk a few times about my difficulty spending money on certain things.  Some of it comes from a place of not having the money to spend, but even in cases where I may have the cash I can be reluctant to part with it.  I have a skewed sense of what things should cost, I guess, and it makes me shrink away when I get a glimpse of an actual price tag.

This is true of some items more than others, but a big one for me is shoes.  I have a closet full of what amounts to mostly disposable footwear.  I’ve gotten better in the last few years – my main Winter shoe has been a pair of black slip-ons like these from Land’s End, as opposed to the Walmart variety I might have purchased in seasons past.  And the Lands’ End ones have gone through two winters now without showing any signs of quitting.  Well worth the $40 or whatever it was I paid for them, even though I might have cringed over that at the time.

I haven’t really been satisfied with any of the brown shoes in my closet lately, and I’ve been daydreaming about a pair of maryjane clogs I could wear with a nice cozy pair of handknit socks [note to self: learn to knit socks].  I decided this time not to skimp on quality, but even so, I am just not at the point where I can cheerfully fork over $125 for a pair of shoes.  Just can’t do it.

So, I spent some time looking around Zappos and places like that to see what brands appealed to me, and then I hopped over to eBay and found these. I have been wearing them for over a week now, and while they took a little getting used to, my feet are now quite comfortable. These are some sturdy-feeling shoes!

Plus they make me an inch taller, which is fun 😀

Not to be down on Zappos, of course.  I really like what I see of them and their reputation is fabulous.  Someday when I’m in a position to feel comfortable spending $125 on a single item, I’ll hop over there and get myself something cute (if that day was today, these would totally be in my cart right now).

For now, though, gently-used shoes on eBay do me just fine.

So, I’m curious.  What are your own purchasing hang-ups, and what do you do to get around them?

Posted on 14 Comments

14 thoughts on “Shoe shopping on the cheap

  1. I hear ya. My husband taught me long ago that you get what you pay for. Shoes were my first big purchase which seemed extravagant to me, As a teacher at the time, I needed real leather shoes so that when the toes of my shoes got all scuffed up from sitting on the floor, I could polish them up nice and new. Try that with man made materials.
    Even now, I look in my closet and see what has lasted me all these years, and it’s the upper priced items. So I think… $50 for a good quality sweater? maybe lasting 5 years? $10 a year.
    Congrats on the good shoe find and purchase!

    1. You’re right – splurging on high-quality clothing ends up being worth it in the long run. I still have a problem with that initial investment sometimes, though 🙂

  2. I’m the same way about many things actually. I have trouble spending money on utilitarian items in general (and not being a fashionista shoes are very utilitarian to me!) I love cute stuff, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t handle the price tag attached! I could spend $100 on a pair of shoes..OR I could spend $25 on a pair of shoes and $75 at the craft/fabric store. No brainer for me! 😉 Love the new shoes, comfy and cute!

    1. I’m not quite so utilitarian about shoes – I like me some cute footwear – but I totally hear you on the general idea of utilitarian objects. It’s probably why I let my black socks get half a dozen holes in them before I replace them. Few things are more boring than a pair of black socks. Can’t I spend my $10 on something with stripes at least?

  3. I am absolutely with you. For years, I have frequented re-sale shops for clothing, and for shoes. My mother said to me recently, “You know, Cindy. You don’t have to buy everything at Goodwill.” True, but we put two kids through college without taking loans. Who can beat that? If you have a good eye, you can makes FABULOUS finds at re-sale shops. It’s the thrill of the hunt.

    1. What an accomplishment! Congratulations on that.
      I can’t manage to do all of my clothes/shoes shopping at resale shops, but every year the percentage seems to go up. I am working on improving my thrifting mojo. Sounds like you’ve got it in spades!

  4. Wow, I thought I was one of the only ones who has shoe issues. Mine aren’t so bad, but I can’t see how anybody thinks it is ok to sell plain running/walking shoes for >$30. To me that is just insane! I’m ok with a pair of good boots being $60 or some nice heels being $40 (they have to be REALLY nice though for me to buy them) but running/walking shoes are my insanity button!

    1. I figure running shoes must have some kind of science behind them that makes them so expensive, so I kind of understand (but rarely feel the need to buy). What I find really perplexing are plain canvas sneakers that go for $50/pair. I just don’t get that.

  5. There was a time when I would spend whatever the shoes cost
    if I loved them. And some of them were pretty expensive at the time, though nothing like what I see in just my local department store nowadays — like $299 for a pair of pumps! I have learned to shop at the end of the season and purchased four pair at time at giveaway prices. These are not ultra-ultra trendy, but they are styles that will last two or three years. And I might pay $12 a pair or up to $20 even. I also have started purchasing some trendier shoes online at Payless. They had some adorable Mary Janes with little heels this year that had amazing reviews by people that had purchased them, and they came in NAVY — a color that seems to be scarce in the last few years. I downloaded a coupon code and got them in navy and in black and had them shipped to my local store. I had to pay tax, but no shipping. I got them in the early fall for about $12 a pair and have worn one or the other pair at least three times a week. They look practically brand new. Now, would I wear every pair they have? Absolutely not. But these are some of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. And I guess I was a shoe snob because there was a time I wouldn’t even have considered shoes from Payless. Now I have lots of crafty love and spend my money more judiciously.

    1. You inspired me to check out Payless, and now I am trying hard not to put these in my shopping cart 😉 :
      Payless Dexter Megan Canvas High Wedge Sling

  6. Those scream summer, don’t they? Cute. If you do cave, be sure to google for a coupon code. You can usually find one for 20 percent off. Plus, wait a while and they’ll probably be on sale.

  7. I am fine with things costing what they cost, I guess, but I’m still not gonna pay it, especially for kid clothes! I am the queen of the coupon/thrift store/wait for a sale. I have a thrift store that I frequent regularly (they send me 50% off coupons too) and I find the most amazing clothes for my kids there. A Talbots navy Easter dress last year for about $2. I mean, they are just gonna grow out of it. I will spend a little more on myself, because I do like things to fit well and look nice, but I can NEVER pay full price. It’s just too painful.

    I also shoe shop on Ebay and I resell some of my nicer thrifted purchases as well (only the nicer brands, because that’s what sells best).

    And if you like Zappos, try It’s like Zappos clearance site. You never know what you’ll find, but sometimes there are great deals. They have flat rate shipping for $6.95 (one or multiple pairs, I think), and similar search features as Zappos. I just bought my daughter a pair of Kenneth Cole summer sandals for $9, and myself a pair of Lifestride summer sandals for $19. I also like Payless for trendier options…the ones you don’t expect to last years.

    1. Thanks for the tips! I’ll have to check out But not soon – I just purged an obscene amount of shoes from my closet this week. I had no idea I’d amassed such a collection!

  8. […] clogs from eBay and with luck they will be here before my trip.  (I’ve written before about my difficulty buying expensive shoes, and my eBay solution, if you’re interested in […]

Leave a comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.