Footwear can make or break an outfit. But there is no question that quality shoes can cost a lot (and you'll want to make sure you buy shoes of good quality -- not only will they look and feel better, but with proper care, they will last longer than poorly made shoes, too). So how can you save money on shoes? Here are some tightwad tips:
- While it can be tempting to wear your go-to shoes every day, switching off between two or three pairs will allow the leather to rest and your shoes will look nicer and last longer.
- Wear shoes appropriate for the weather and for your activities. For example, changing into rain boots in bad weather, and keeping a separate pair of barn shoes or garden shoes, will keep all your other pairs in better shape.
- Know that some shoes - such as fabric espadrilles with hemp soles - won't last long, especially if you are caught in a shower - and you should pay accordingly. I saw pretty espadrilles priced at $100 or more this past summer but knowing that they would hardly last through the season, I wasn't even tempted for a second.
- It is always better to pay a little more for quality, e.g. leather uppers, and sewn rather than glued soles. While they might look ok at first, cheap shoes don't wear well and you'll end up spending more money replacing them than you would have for a quality pair in the first place.
- Practice good shoe maintenance - brush suede, clean and polish leather, and if they get wet, dry them away from direct heat.
- Find yourself a good shoe repair shop - replacing heels and soles isn't expensive and will dramatically extend the life of your favorite shoes.
- As with anything else, keep your eyes open for good shoe sales (usually end-of-season sales in January and July yield amazing bargains) and when shopping online, use coupons and rebate programs like Upromise.