Your Guide to Shoe Shopping Online

Tips for Shoe Shopping Success

You need new shoes. Okay, so maybe you really just want new shoes, but either way, you’ve decided to treat yourself to some online shoe shopping. Can’t hurt to look, right?

It’s true that shopping for shoes online can be a bit trickier than buying a new set of kitchen pans, but it’s not as hard as you think to find the perfect new pair. Shoe retailers are making it easier than ever by bringing what you love about shoe shopping to the ecommerce experience. You’ll find selection, trends, deals, more product information, help with sizing, plus fast shipping and even curbside pickup. 

According to a new study from the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, nearly three-quarters of shoppers plan to buy their shoes online this year. If you are one of them, here’s some good advice.

Go with Stores You Know
Your favorite local store can also be your favorite online store. The good and the bad thing about online shopping is that there are endless choices. It can be overwhelming and it can also be frustrating if you can’t get the service you want or trust that the company will be reputable. When you have a retailer you know and trust, you have a head start on a positive shopping experience. 

Find the Right Size
Size is the big question. How do you find the right size when you can’t try them on? For starters, it helps to know your brands. Since shoe sizing tends to vary slightly by brand, take a look at what’s already in your closet. If you are ordering a brand you’ve worn before, you can feel fairly confident that the same size will work for you. If not, you can do a little quick research to see if the brand you want to order tends to run larger or smaller. 

Think about the type of shoe and what you’ll wear with it. We’ve found that sandals or shoes you wear without socks should work in your usual size. With boots or shoes you’ll wear with thicker socks, you might want to go a half size larger to allow a bit of extra toe room. Again, check your closet. Do you tend to go up in size with certain types of shoes?

Use the online size charts and product descriptions to guide you, especially if you are wondering about European sizing, unisex sizing, or shoes that only come in full sizes. You can even measure your foot at home and see how that measurement translates into sizes.

Check the Return Policy
If the shoe fits – of course, then you wear it. Which brings us to what to do if they don’t fit. Always check return policies before ordering. With most shoes, you can try them on and return them right away if they don’t work.

That goes for more than fit. If it turns out you can’t actually walk in those cool tall heels you had to have or the color isn’t what you expected, you can send them back. If you are really caught between sizes or concerned that you’ll miss out on a sale, order two sizes, keep the pair that fits, and return the pair that doesn’t.

Ship Straight to Your Door
The best part of shoe shopping online is getting that delivery. It’s like a present to yourself when they show up on your doorstep. Shipping is never truly free. It’s either a separate cost or built into the price. Check shipping policies and look for opportunities to save. Many offer special deals on shipping if you order a certain amount or shop during special sales. Also, consider how fast you want them. If you absolutely must have them right away, you can usually pay extra to rush them. Or check to see if you can pick them up in-store.

Customer Service
One of the real benefits of working with a trusted retailer is the customer service. If you have a favorite store that always gives you great service and attention in the store, they are likely going to be helpful when you’re shopping online as well. If you get stuck with a question or need advice on shipping, returns, or anything else, you can chat, email, text, or call them and they will help you out. Good retailers want you to be happy with your purchase.

Value and Selection
Online shoe shopping can be rewarding. Sign up with your favorite retailer to get emails about offers and promotions. You can be the first to know about upcoming sales or when new season trends are arriving. One of the best things about online shoe shopping is the vast selection that you can easily filter through to find just what you’re looking for – and you can even do it in your slippers.