Shoes! Vital apparel that many people disregard. They think any old pair of shoes will suffice as a buffer between their feet and the ground.
In reality, there’s so much more to the world of shoes. How can you make sure that you’re getting the best quality shoes on the market for the price you pay?
In this article, we teach you:
- What to look for when buying shoes.
- The importance of shoe fit.
- How important shoe quality is.
- How to tell when a shoe is top quality.
What Should I Look for When Buying Shoes?
That depends. What brands are you looking for? Featured names, like Calvin Klein? Shoes without brands? Athletic brands, like Nike?
Then, what type of footwear are you looking for? Indoor, outdoor, boots, sandals, slippers, shoes for a specific activity, or season?
Do you want colors and patterns? For adults? For kids?
You must take these all into consideration when making a purchase. It varies every time.
But here’s what you need to know when you’re looking for shoes in general:
They need to fit. Does this seem obvious? It isn’t always! Some shoes, especially ones for women, may fit at first, but as you walk, you realize there’s no room in the toe box, or they’re too narrow.
Do not buy shoes if they don’t fit, even flimsy little flip-flops! Always try them on in the store, or when purchasing online, try them on and send them back if they’re not perfect.
“They widen with time.”
“It takes time to break them in.”
“You’ll get used to them, eventually.”
These are phrases you hear when buying shoes, and they are excuses you should not accept. You owe it to your feet to give them the best comfort right from the start!
When in the store, or with a new delivery of shoes, examine them. Check out the seams, look for hard or soft areas, search for bulges.
Sometimes favorite manufacturers cut corners so they can reduce costs. Don’t accept them sacrificing your product quality for the sake of their profits. Move on to another quality manufacturer.
Don’t be flexible with your specific needs. Your shoes, however, need to be flexible on your feet! Try on both shoes, walk a bit and see if you have free motion in them.
The featured brands of the time, the big names, are generally trustworthy. But can you trust small name manufacturers to deliver quality? Do your research on a brand before you buy their shoes.
Shop around, grab an email address, ask questions. Manufacturers are likely to respond to a question-asking email.
If there’s no email address available, do some digging. Search for reviews. Ask a shoe store about a manufacturer.
How Can You Tell the Quality of Shoes?
The upper is everything above the outsole. The quality of this part lets you know how your shoes will age.
Poor quality materials for the upper:
- Thin suede.
- Low-grade leather.
Suitable quality materials for the upper:
- Full-grain leather.
- Some synthetic materials.
- Reinforced mesh.
Avoid brands that refuse to disclose what materials they use. That’s a sure way to avoid mediocre shoes.
Soles vary according to cost, be they leather or rubber, stitched or glued. Examine the quality of adherence to the upper. It should be neat and secure.
Note: You can resole or reinforce stitched-on soles, where, with glued soles, you cannot.
Top-quality shoes are handmade. They are more detailed, stronger sticking, and higher quality materials in a quality construction.
If you want to know if a brand really hand makes their shoes, see if they’re only available in limited runs. That’s a sure sign that the shoes take a while to make and are produced by hand.
Not that all overseas factory-made shoes are bad, they just won’t be as good as handmade ones.
If you can’t afford handcrafted shoes, by all means, go for mass-produced. But make sure they’re from a trusted brand that you’ve done your research on well in advance.
There are some basics to know about shoes, and hopefully, these essential tips and tricks have helped you.
Now you can choose your best styles of shoes for men, women and children with confidence and knowledge.