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. With prices in the $150-$200, Weitzman shoes aren’t cheap, but they’re a whole lot cheaper than a pair of Manolos. Having own a pair of both (bought on sale of course), my Weitzmans were ALOT more comfortable than my Manolos, just as stylish and cost about 50% less. Some basic questions to ask yourself BEFORE you blow your tax return on a pair of expensive shoes: 1. How does it 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 alway put the shoes on and then walk around the carpeted floor of the shoe area for about 5 minutes ( I do this even in Target). If the shoes still feels good, I keep them. If not, I toss them. 2. 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.. Rub your finger on your skin (don’t do this on day you “missed” a shower or went crazy with Vaseline) and then rub the fabric on the shoe. Does the nap look instantly worn? Did your finger leave a print on the shoe? 3. What’s the sole of the shoe made of? Expensive shoes tend to have leather soles. However, these soles won’t last as long as wood or synthetic soles. 4. Does the heel feel stable? The heel of the shoe should feel stable and connected to the main part of the shoe. 5. Does it 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. Thanks to my friends at Shoeflyer for the tip. Read the Consumer Report on Designer Shoes
As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine, DrLaura.com, Refinery29, Wellness.com and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.
Thanks for stopping by! I'm Catherine, your Budget Fashionista style editor. I'm a bargain shopper at heart, as I love nice things but hate paying for them! I'm also a personal finance writer who's been featured on USA Today and MSN Money.