Saving Money on Shoes

Buying shoes doesn't have to break the bank. This page is about saving money on shoes.


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February 20, 2012

I agree with all the comments that said to buy decent, well-fitting shoes instead of cheap ones but sometimes this is really not possible. Forty years back after buying the children properly fitting shoes, there was usually only enough money left for jumble sale shoes for me.

My solution was to go barefoot whenever possible. It helps to control the damage done by second hand shoes that don't 'quite' fit! And when the kids grow up and living gets easier, oh, the pleasure of buying new shoes!

By Marg from England

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August 29, 2008

Tips for saving money on shoes as suggested by the ThriftyFun community.

Thrift Stores

There are great deals on shoes in thrift shops! You can sanitize them with disinfectant spray and used shoe powder to clean the insides! Also, Payless shoes on sale are good deals. And you can find good deals for sports shoes on sale at sporting goods stores. My husband loves to wear his boat shoe moccasin loafers!

By pam munro

Always Try On Shoes Before Buying

Do not order shoes through a catalog, Always get them at a store where you can try them on. This may sound silly to some. I am 66, I still remember when I was about 8, my mom ordered me a pair of shoes from a Sears catalog. When they came, one was larger/longer than the other. So then there is the problem and expense of sending them back, getting your money back, and getting a different pair. The time and expense is not worth it.

By Linda

Dye Odd Colored Shoes

When shoes go on sale and you find a pair that you like but they are the wrong color, just dye them. This works very well with leather.

By Dolly

Looking For Deals

I agree on the thrift shops to find great deals, sometimes brand new never worn shoes are found. Also, yard sales are a super way to find new or nearly new shoes. Last week I found 2 pair of heels and a pair of earth shoe sandals, never worn, a dollar fifty for all 3. Also, drugstores this time of year for reduced flip flops, up to 70 percent off, for next year.

By Peggy

Make Them Last

Take care of your shoes once you purchase them! This may be harder if the shoes are for children, but not for adults! Make them last by keeping them clean and polished (if applicable). Let them air out properly and rotate them, if possible. I bought a pair of leather mules at a garage sale for $1 over 10 years ago and they still look fabulous!

By Christine Biernat

Don't Trust The Sizes

Try on shoes - as wrong sizing may have got them to the thrift shop! (Inexpensive Asian shoes run small.)

By pam munro

Shoes Should Fit

Good fitting, comfortable shoes are worth their weight in gold.

Always try on shoes or measure your feet at the end of the day. Preferably a long, hard day as your feet will be at their largest.

You can find lots of guides on the internet for measuring your feet and translating that into proper shoe sizes. Ordering shoes is fine once you have your current and correct size. Most people wear shoes that are about 1/2 to 1 full size too small... a major reason for tired/aching feet at the end of the day. Shoes sizes change quite a lot over time so remeasure at least every 6 months. Ego is not worth pain of any kind.


Thrift shops are ok; IF you're very careful and it appears the shoes haven't been worn much. There is NO spray that will effectively get rid of fungus that may be in the shoes and ultimately get onto your feet, so be careful.

Try to find materials that will last. Flexible but durable fabrics or leathers. Something that allows for the shoe to bend without a plastic stressing and tearing. Payless is famous for cheap shoes like that. Closed shoes made of plastic without air holes are an invitation for bacteria and fungus to grow on your feet.

Also, look for quality construction. No arch support = bad (expensive) foot/knee/back problems later on. Poorly placed buckles, etc can cause some awful blisters.

Buy during the off season whenever possible. Snow boots are cheap in the spring and sandals will cost you less than $1 in the fall.

Keep your eyes open for clearance sales instead of just regular sales. A good regular sale can be 20-50% off but a clearance where the store may not be carrying that color or style any longer can be 80-90% off.


Buy an extra pair or two when you hit a super deal that fits great. I'm a runner and I always buy 3 or 4 pairs when I hit a well made, comfortable shoe. The brand name doesn't mean anything. I look at the shoe itself; the materials and if it fits me just right with the proper arch support.

Check guarantees and use them! Some upper end shoes, especially exercise and outdoor shoes, have guarantees. Make sure you read them and keep what you need to use the guarantee if necessary later on. That can make excellent quality shoes very reasonable in the long run.

Finally, don't wear your shoes until they fall apart. It will not save you money. It will cause you foot/knee/back problems over the long haul. Much smarter and cheaper to buy an extra pair when you hit a good find.


By Reality Check

Wal-Mart and Target

Buy shoes at Wal-Mart. My 5 year old got a gift card from there. I bought two pairs of shoes, one for her and one for her brother and it was like $25.00 for both pairs. Both of them love them and she still had money left for the lunch box she wanted.

Target also has great shoe deals the last time I was there they had Converse shoes for adults marked 75% off.

By Dawn

By Off Season

For adults, buy good shoes in the off season or go to outlet stores for name brand discontinued styles. Payless and Walmart are great for my kids but their shoes hurt my feet and you don't save money if you spend less but can't wear them.

By Joni

Always Buy On Sale

Never pay retail for shoes! The stores get full price on new stock, wait a few months. Always buy on sale and big department stores are always offering sales. Buy at outlet stores. But again, look for shoes that are on sale. Folks think if they are at the outlet, they are already at the lowest price, this is not true. Outlets, when they get new stock, reduce it from what it was selling at the retail store, but the longer it stays on the shelf, the lower the price will be!

My wife just bought a pair of dress heals at Belks. Originally $79, marked down several times, she bought them for $7! That was 89% off of what they originally sold for. Normally she buys shoes for 40 - 60% off of retail. She only buys good shoes, as she used to be in the shoe biz and knows all to well that good shoes fit better and are better for the feet. You can save a few bucks buying at a discount store for lower quality shoes, but you will be paying the doctor down the road because of foot problems!

By Jim

Nordstrom Rack

I love high quality shoes but I just can't stomach the price tag. So I always check out the shoe section whenever I am at Nordstrom Rack. You have to hunt through the shoes to find the size and style you like but they usually have a ton of choices. Like has been said before, they mark them down depending on how long they are there. They are especially good for dress shoes but have all kinds.

I also check out the clearance racks at Macy's or even Fred Meyer, just to see what is there. This is great for kids shoes, if you get them in bigger sizes. I have purchased name brand tennis shoes for as little as $5.00. Once I found a pair of shoes that was mismarked for the size. They fit me perfectly but were marked as three sizes too small. So glad I tried them on!

I don't shop at Target or Payless anymore for shoes for myself. They just don't ever seem to last even a season. I will occasionally get kids' shoes at those places, but they don't seem to last very well either.

One last tip, when I get nicer dress shoes that I'm not going to wear as often, I store them in the same shoe box to keep them as new as possible.

By Jess

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I love to garden and, more often than not, I ruin my shoes when I'm immersed in black dirt. I constantly go outside to garden. Sometimes I'll actually remember to slip on my plastic garden shoes...

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As I have back problems, there is only one shoe that I can wear comfortably. It is the Easy Spirit Traveltime clog. It doesn't matter where I buy them, they fit comfortably. They are usually about $70.

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April 1, 2013

My white shoelaces were dirty but not worn out yet. I hand washed them with soap and water and then painted them with white acrylic paint. When they dried, I had new laces.

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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
June 17, 2009

Shoes are a weakness for many women. It's easy to spend a fortune on a closet full of shoes, but it's very impractical. Instead, try to make wise decisions when purchasing shoes and avoid buying "cute" shoes for that reason only.

Saving Money on Shoes

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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
May 27, 2008

Want a great way to save money while shopping? Buy expensive shoes. Sound crazy? It makes more sense than you think.


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September 9, 2011

I have a pair of sandals with faux suede insoles that had darkened with perspiration and dirt. It was unsightly and annoying until I tried washing them. I used a toothbrush and an enzyme household cleaner, although I'm sure soap would work as well.

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February 24, 2012

Nothing beats a yard sale or consignment shops, but always look for the clearance rack at any store. I've found some great shoes at Bob's stores, Sears, JC Penney, Lord and Taylor, Payless, etc.

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Many years ago, I talked with a surgeon who told me that most people damage the blood vessels and structures in their feet long before they have diabetes by buying and wearing cheap, ill-fitting shoes.

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My son is very hard on his shoes and we have had to replace them already. I was able to get a very nice pair of Nike Zoom at Fred Meyer for 40% off the lowest clearance price, or about $40.

Check Fred Meyer for Discounted Shoes

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You've seen shoes at garage sales or the thrift store and might pass them right by. You can clean and disinfect them. Use Lysol spray or bowling-shoe disinfectant or simply replace the insoles.

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Boating stores have great sales on boat shoes and other sporting shoes! My husband is addicted to Topsider sailing moccasins gotten on sale.

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June 1, 2014

Here is a fun way to spunk up an old pair of shoes. Learn how to make your own glitter shoes with this short video.

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Consumer Advice Shopping Apparel & FashionFebruary 2, 2012
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