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Manolo Blahnik vs. Stuart Weitzman: Are Designer Shoes Worth the Hefty Price?

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Consumer Reports recently wrote an article comparing two pairs of black pumps, a $500 pair by Manolo Blahnik and a $69 pair by Nine West.

According to the article, the Manolos were, in general, the better shoe, with better fabric, better construction, etc. This is 100% true. However, I think a better comparison would have been Manolos to shoes from a company like Stuart Weitzman. 

Allura slingback pumps from Manolo Blahnik
Allura by Manolo Blahnik, $745

With prices in the $150-$200, Weitzman shoes aren’t cheap, but they’re far cheaper than a pair of Manolos. Having owned a pair of both (bought on sale of course), my Weitzmans were far more comfortable than my Manolos, just as stylish, Oh, and they cost about 50% less.

Here are five questions to ask yourself if designer shoes like Manolo Blahniks are worth the money.

How do those Manolo Blahniks feel when you walk?

No matter how “HOT” the shoe is, if you can’t walk in them, then you don’t need to buy them. Period.

When I go shoe shopping, I always put the shoes on and then walk around the carpeted floor of the shoe area for about five minutes. I do this even in Target. If the shoes still feels good, I keep them. If not, I toss them.

How does the fabric respond to the elements?

Here’s a quick test you can do to the display shoe to determine how the fabric of the shoe will hold up against basic wear and tear. Note: Don’t do this on a day you skipped the shower or went crazy with the Vaseline. You’ll stain the shoes. With that caveat, rub your finger on your skin and then rub the fabric on the shoe. Does the nap look instantly worn? Did your finger leave a print on the shoe?

What is the sole of that designer shoe made of?

Expensive shoes tend to have leather soles. Sadly, leather soles won’t last as long as wood or synthetic soles.

Does the heel feel stable?

The heel of the shoe should feel stable and connected to the main part of the shoe.

Does the designer shoe come with shoe bags?

If you’re paying major loot for a pair of shoes, the shoes should come with individual bags for the shoes.


Wednesday 17th of January 2007

I think the most expensive pair of shoes I’ve ever purchased were a pair of strappy, red and gold Guess heels. $1000. They have this great gold heel and red folds in the material. They are absolutely gorgeous.

As a fulltime college student, $100 is quite a sum for me and this will probably be my one and only expensive purchase for a while. But they’re totally worth it.


Monday 15th of January 2007

The Manolos are actually $495, not $225


Monday 15th of January 2007

I just bought a pair of Cole Hahn black suede mary janes and they are called “NIKE AIR” because apparently Cole Hahn & NIKE teamed up and make the most perfect shoe!  They are amazingly cute and I can actually walk in them!  It feels like I’m walking in my shocks! They are a little pricey ($275) but WORTH EVERY PENNY!  I’m a teacher and I can wear them all day without a problem! They’re also having a sale right now too.  I included the URL, so check it out!


Saturday 13th of January 2007

I am a hug Weitzman fan! They are pricey, but I got a black pumps for under 100 bucks at the Nordstrom semi-annual sale.  They lasted me 4 years and countless wears.

Nine West, while cheaper, I have found to be uncomfortable.  The faux leather never molds to my feet, and so I never feel that I have “worn in” my shoes.

Sometimes quality is worth the extra money.

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