To Top

Saving Money on Shoes

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 Pamphyila

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 Msburny

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 Toolgirl

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 Pamphyila

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 Mrsdawn

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 Smartfell-r (Jim in Jax)

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

Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!

By guest (Guest Post)
August 29, 20080 found this helpful

I wear a woman's size 6 1/2 to size 7 and can wear a kid's size 5 to 6 shoe. This saves me a ton of money. Kid's shoes are always cheaper than adult's.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By guest (Guest Post)
August 29, 20080 found this helpful

If you like to buy shoes in catalog/online, Zappos is free shipping both ways. I recently returned a shoe twice (neither size was right) you just go online to your order, print out a return label, box them up in the box they came in with the new label and just drop them off at a UPS store. Very easy and convenient.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
August 29, 20080 found this helpful

I save money on shoes, linens, purses, sneakers, clothing, sportswear, gifts,appliances, knick-knacks, and even furniture shopping at the following places:

J.C. Penny OUTLET Store

Sears OUTLET Store

A.J. Wrights (overruns, last year etc., good brand names)

Burlington Coat Factory (great brand names at low prices)

T.J. Maxx (a little more expensive than AJ Wrights but same merchandise)

Marshalls (same as TJ Maxx)

Tuesday Morning (higher quality, very inexpensive but you never know what to expect. linens, clothing, toys,rugs, kitchen items etc.,an example might be sheets that would cost 400.00 normally would be 60.00)

Christmas Tree Shops (I think these are just in the Northeast, tons of stuff cheap cheap, I think most is made overseas. quality is so-so)My opinion of course.


Salvation Army



Used book stores Or Outlet book stores

Auctions (general estate and tons of STUFF)(look for ones with low or no buyers premium, you dont have to be a dealer to buy here. Find out if they accept checks and credit cards)

Flea Markets (Ask them what they are willing to take for the items and offer less, its does not hurt to try)

If any of these stores are in your area, try to explore them.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By guest (Guest Post)
August 30, 20080 found this helpful

JOANNE: I like shopping from home and will look up Zappos. I found another online and have purchased many shoes. is not only free shipping coming and returning but it is overnight delivery. Many shoes are on sale and I can't loose. I have a wide foot and they have very narrow to very wide. I also feel I save money as I live 30 miles from a city. kz

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 30, 20080 found this helpful

Check the Children's Department.

If you're lucky enough to have small feet, check in the children's dept. I wear a 5 1/2 or a 6 in ladies shoes, but I can also wear a 3 1/2 or 4 in childrens shoes. I have saved a lot of money that way, especially when I needed quality shoes for work (I stand for up to 12 hrs a day), I was able to get childrens namebrand tennis shoes for less than half of what almost the exact same shoe in the ladies size!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

August 31, 20080 found this helpful

DO NOT buy shoes at thrift stores!! My aunt did this, and she once contracted a nasty case of athlete's foot. Plus, it's bad for your feet, to wear shoes that have molded to the shape of someone else's foot.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 1, 20080 found this helpful

I just went to Payless. I had not been there for a few years. They have the cutest shoes now and still great prices. They now carry American Eagle brand and Airwalk brand to name a few. I ended up buying 6 pairs of shoes for about $80.00 and they were so cute.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
September 2, 20080 found this helpful

For running shoes (and I assume other sport shoes), do not assume you are getting the same quality at a Kohl's or Dick's for $30 less than you pay at the running store! The quality is much less and you and your feet will pay the price difference in the long run (no pun intended!) Spend the extra to get the higher quality shoe!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
September 2, 20080 found this helpful

Instead of paying for coloring shoes, it is possible especially for evening/bridal fabric shoes to use thick black texta marker to change the color. It works better when the color is changed to black as the streak marks/stains are less visible. The look is very effective and the cost less than paying for coloring. As a trial you can try it on the inside of the heel to see if the effect is what you are after.

To take out the smell from shoes which are getting older, put them in a plastic bag and freeze them overnight to take away the smell.

To wash shoes, especially sports shoes, wash them in the washing machine in COLD water (otherwise the glue holding the shoes together can become unstuck) without the spin drying part. It will give them a new refeshed look.

Changing the laces on shoes to a different color (especially for running shoes - navy blue or silver laces on white running shoes etc...) or replacing the laces with new laces can also be very effective in renewing their look. For little girls using colored ribbon instead of laces can also be very cute.

For women putting on big glitzy old clip-on earrings to the front of the shoes can really update a shoe or cover stains. The look is good especially for flat shoes or for evening shoes. In some instances I have actually sewn the earrings on when the result has been good. Also making big gross grain ribbon bows (in matching or contrasting colors) and sewing them (yes even to leather - only a few stitches on each side of the bow are needed) can also be good. I put beige bows on red flat shoes and it really helped me co-ordinate the shoes better with different outfits.

Hope this is a help!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 29, 20090 found this helpful

I don't buy inexpensive footwear anymore because of the arthritis on my feet and good footwear is always a good investment. When I went from cheap to pricey footwear my feet improved tremendously. I either shop at, or the thrift store as they sometimes have good brands and good shoe stores on the sales rack. When I order online I look for coupon codes on to get the best price. If you take care of them you'll have them for years!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!

Related Content
In This Guide
Pile of new shoes.
Saving Money on Shoes
Consumer Advice Shopping Apparel & FashionAugust 29, 2008
Shoes at a Thrift Stores
Buying Shoes at Thrift Stores
Dirty tennis shoes.
Cleaning Tennis Shoes
Shoes that are oranized on a shelf.
Organizing Shoes
Man Repairing a Shoe
Repairing Shoes
Back to School Ideas!
Summer Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2017 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published by .

Generated 2017/08/21 10:42:26 in 963 msecs. ⛅️️
Loading Something Awesome!