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April 21st, 2009

5 Tips for Thrift Store Shoe Shopping

Fashion has always been about creative personal expression, but creativity is especially crucial in these days of economic woe.  As they say, scarcity is the mother of invention, and history proves that limited resources fuel innovation.  Recessionistas are already scouting out garage sales, thrift stores, and deep-discount sale racks for “new” pieces for their wardrobes.  Although such locations can harbor incredible deals, it’s not always easy to find them.  Here are a few tips to help you navigate the jungle of second-hand shoe shopping:

1) Follow your instincts. If you notice that a shoe is dirty, worn, or just giving off a bad vibe, avoid it.  After all, you won’t want to wear shoes that give you the heebie jeebies.

2) Avoid cheaply made shoes. “Mall shoes” may look super cute on the thrift store rack, but if they’re not well made you’ll regret spending even $4 on them.

3) Look for brand names.  One quick way to find well-made shoes is to judge by the label.  Although I wouldn’t recommend judging people by the labels we give them, shoes are another story.  If you spot a pair of shoes from a brand you know and trust, snag them quick!

4) Location, location, location. The quality of the items in thrift stores often depends on the location of the store.  Look for shops in ritzy locations which receive donations from wealthy households. Also, keep your eyes out for special glamor thrift store events, such as Seattle Goodwill’s Annual Glitter Gala Sale.

5) Don’t buy performance shoes unless they’re brand new. Many regular thrifties avoid shoes that aren’t perfect.  Personally, if a shoe feels comfortable and looks super cute, I’m willing to overlook a scuff or two.  Still, I don’t buy my running, walking, or hiking shoes at second hand stores, unless they’re just-out-of-the box new.

Top photo by Katherine Raz.

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One Response to “5 Tips for Thrift Store Shoe Shopping”

  1. Topics about Seattle » 5 Tips for Thrift Store Shoe Shopping Says:

    [...] Shoeflyer | Shoes, Trends & Reviews created an interesting post today on 5 Tips for Thrift Store Shoe ShoppingHere’s a short outlineFashion has always been about creative personal expression, but creativity is especially crucial in these days of economic woe.  As they say, scarcity is the mother of invention, and history proves that limited resources fuel innovation.  Recessionistas are already scouting out garage sales, thrift stores, and deep-discount sale racks for “new” pieces for their wardrobes.  Although such locations can harbor incredible deals, it’s not always easy to find them.  Here are a few tips to help you n [...]

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