Online Shoe Shopping: A Guide to the Finding Perfect Pair
Shoes are a tricky thing to shop for online — but we know from experience how hard it is to resist the temptation of those ankle boots you’ve been ogling on your computer for weeks. If you’ve got your concerns about buying shoes online, you’re not alone — with these tips, you’ll get the perfect pair of shoes delivered to your door in no time!
1. Know your size.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s one of the most important things to consider. To start, there are only three things you’ll need to get a real idea of what you’re getting into: a sheet of blank paper, a pencil, some measuring tape, and the online size chart for the shoes that you’re looking to purchase. Placing your foot on the blank sheet of paper — ideally wearing a pair of socks or tights you'd wear with the shoe — make a mark at the tip of your big to and at the back of your heel. Measure the length between these two points, and compare it to a size chart, like this one from Aldo:
It's a good idea to do this with any shoe you're not sure about, as sizes can often slightly fluctuate between different brands. Of course, there's no better substitute for the real thing — so if you can drop into a nearby DSW or other shoe store, it's helpful to be able to try on a similar style from the brand you're looking to buy.
2. Know what your shoes are made of.
Since you can't see the shoes in person, it's going to be more difficult to tell the quality of the shoe from the picture you see on the screen. What you think is shiny patent leather could just be shiny, plastic-y polyurethane in a well-edited photo — so be sure to read the fine print! This usually isn't too hard to find — it's typically listed under the "description" or "details" section of the page, alongside the heel height:
This isn't to say that your shoes have to always be made of 100% leather; you can still find some solid shoes made from "man-made materials," especially if you're on a budget! The key here is to know what you're getting yourself into before the shoes get shipped to your front door — since it's a little less personal than trying on shoes in the store, you'll want to know as much about your future pair as possible.
3. Read the return policy before you click ‘buy.’
No matter how perfect those boots are, they’re going to be useless to you if they’re uncomfortable or don’t fit. Even if you’re convinced you ordered the right size, there’s always a chance that it’ll be a little off the mark — in which case you’ll want to return it. Most larger shoe stores offer a reasonable return policy — for instance, Zappos offers free shipping and returns on all its others — but some do not, which is something that you’ll definitely want to know about beforehand!
4. Check out the reviews — or better yet, consult Influenster Nation!
As Influensters ourselves, we know how valuable reviews can be to the purchase of pretty much anything. Check out the comments section of the shoe you're trying to buy or head on over to the Q&A of the brand's Influenster page to pose a question to your fellow shoppers. Whether you're concerned about sizing, comfort, or quality, there's bound to be someone who can answer your question!
5. Be patient.
While you have a seemingly endless supply of shoes to choose from, sometimes having too many options encourages you to dwell over finding the “perfect” shoe. Trust us, we’ve all been there. Give yourself ample time to do your research — you're bound to find the right pair of shoes eventually!
Have any online shoe shopping tips of your own? Share them with Influenster Nation below!