I bought shoes

My feet are so happy that they have new shoes.  This whole walking around and my feet not hurting thing is amazing.  Why did I put it off for so long?

I know why: I hate shopping and the few times I tried to buy expensive shoes I couldn’t get anybody to pay attention to me to sell things so I just left.  I am very high maintenance when it comes to shoe buying, in that I need someone to tell me what to get.  (Zappos was also a bust after several failed attempts at purchasing the correct size– I really do usually need to try things on.)

Which is why I now have a new $100 pair of sandals and then two $200 pairs of shoes after the shoe guy realized I didn’t bat an eye-lash at $189 for a pair of shoes.  It’s worth $200 to me to not have to try on a million pairs of shoes (assuming I could have found cheaper good shoes if I’d been looking myself) given that I buy shoes so infrequently and hate shopping so much.  I think the salesman got an extra kickback from the $100 Cobb Hill sandals as well, but I’m ok with that!  My feet don’t hurt!

How much was the damage?  $527 for three pairs of shoes, including tax.  How did I spend that much without blinking an eye?  Well, right before getting them I deposited a travel reimbursement check for $538.  It’s like the money was already spent!  Yeah yeah, I know, bad thinking. But I only buy shoes once every few years. I need these mental tricks to keep from being a miser.

And I did put off buying shoes for far too long.  I mean, my feet were hurting because my two pairs of work shoes were worn down because I have had them for YEARS.  Since before I got pregnant (I have a three year old), and possibly quite a while before that– I can’t actually remember when I got them.  Similarly, my brown sandals that I love but are no longer made were falling apart.  (You may remember I replaced my black sandals for #2’s wedding, but it’s too cold to wear them to work!)  When you have two pairs of work shoes, two pairs of sandals, and a pair of hiking boots… they kind of need to be replaced more frequently than I’ve been replacing them.

So that’s me.  I spent a lot all at once on super expensive shoes that I will wear for far too long.  Am I frugal?  Am I a miser?

What I am is someone who should buy shoes more often because she shouldn’t have to marvel at her feet no longer hurting.

Do you put off any purchases for far too long?  What gets you to finally spend?


42 Responses to “I bought shoes”

  1. Practical Parsimony Says:

    My feet hurt when I have shoes worn down. It’s hard to find shoes that feel right on my feet. In 2005 or 2006 I found sandals I like on sale and being discontinued. I bought at least six pair or maybe eight, even in colors I hated. I figured those could be worn in the yard. I was only going to buy one pair since I had had these before, but the sale and especially their being discontinued convinced me to buy them all. I was able to wear them to work some days.

    This fall, I finally got out the last pair, black doe buck. There is a tan pair I opened earlier in the year. That’s it for sandals stashed away. Now, I will be searching for sandals before these even wear a bit. My finances will not allow for multiple purchases now, even if the perfect shoe is being discontinued.

    This is the third time since 1990 I have bought multiple shoes because they were being discontinued.

    What is the brand and style name of the shoes and sandals you bought?

  2. Leah Says:

    Yes, good shoes are necessary. I also spend a lot on them. I’ve had foot/shin//knee/etc problems before from wearing down shoes or wearing really cheap shoes (or even just from wearing the same one pair of shoes for months).

    I put off things like updating electronics. I keep my phones for as long as humanly possible. I’ve literally had a phone fall apart on me (broken keys, etc) before I replaced it. I get used to one thing, and since phones get updated so darn often, I can never get what I liked again. I wish planned obsolescence and upgrades weren’t such a thing.

  3. Steph Says:

    I think if you’re the kind of person who really wears their shoes into the ground (by wearing the same pair all the time or by keeping them around for years) then expensive shoes are worth it in the long run. Doubly so if you have any kind of foot problems, which removes most of the cheaper shoes from the realm of possibility anyway.

    I put off haircuts, especially when the stylist who I’ve gotten to trust quits (this has happened 2x in the last 2 years) It’s problematic because I have short hair that starts getting shaggy at 6 weeks, but I typically end up leaving 8+ weeks between cuts. I left 12 between my last two cuts because my stylist had quit the cheap salon I go to, and I didn’t feel like dealing with a new person until ~5 days before a conference. That is not, btw, the right time to get a haircut from a new stylist.

  4. bogart Says:

    I don’t like having to set foot in a retail establishment (exception: restaurants), so pretty much anything I cannot buy online gets delayed. I do regularly go to Costco so will buy clothes there if I can find what I need. I don’t have lots of trouble with shoes, so can usually get those online.

    Congrats on having new shoes that you like!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I like shopping in grocery stores… but yeah, other than that, I’d prefer not to.

      • Debbie M Says:

        Interesting–I don’t like most kinds of shopping, regardless of whether it’s online, in a store, at a garage sale, etc. At least in person, you get to try things on. I’m not a normal shape apparently, and very few things fit. (I do luck out with the shoes though. I wear and average size–7. And I have the kind of flat feet that don’t like arch supports, so cheap shoes are perfect for me. They don’t all fit, either, though, of course.)

        Although in some places, I want to have a t-shirt that says, “No, I don’t want any help.” (Then if I did want help, I would just point to the shirt and say I changed my mind and then ask for help.)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Yeah, I generally have to try stuff on. Though I did recently buy some t-shirts from Loft online to replace some that the washer here destroyed. Three of them are fine and are in my work rotation now. Two of them were see-through so will not be worn, but they were also only $6 each on clearance and not worth returning. Eventually they will go to goodwill.

  5. gwinne Says:

    I also put off buying most things because I don’t like shopping, and then I buy in a frenzy. I’ve probably spent $400 on shoes in the past year or eighteen months? That includes two pairs of boots I will wear most days this winter which, where I live, can go on until May…

  6. Ana Says:

    Good shoes are a necessity. I don’t get the “frugal” types who buy cheap shoes from Target and call it a win—I guess they have magic feet? (or never walk anywhere) I am seriously contemplating a nearly $300 pair of winter boots because I want warm & comfy feet so badly. I wear my commuting shoes into the ground, it takes about a year (and I only wear them Apr-Nov when I’m not wearing boots) because they get MILES a day on them. Other shoes, that I only put on once I get to work, last forever, and I spend much less on them. I have plenty of those types of shoes to last me into the next decade.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Occasionally target will have good stuff. Right now in their children’s section they have stride rite.

    • oldmdgirl Says:

      I love the boots you’re talking about. Though, I was looking at my own — and it turns out they are danskos (not Uggs). Def not as fashionable, but still very cute and comfortable, and only $200 (not $300). Just saying…..

      I also don’t “get” buying shoes at Target. My poor feet hurt just thinking about it. Heck, I have that problem at DSW too. I hate blisters, and all of their shoes seem to do that to my feet immediately.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I think with DSW, like Target, there are a few shoes that are good deals. But sorting through that is a nightmare. I’d rather pay the additional $150/pair to only try on a few pairs.

    • Leah Says:

      I buy danskos, and I still wear them out faster than most people say they do. I’m a teacher and on my feet all day, which is part of it. I also suspect I’m rough on shoes. But my feet die in the cute, cheap shoes. Ballet flats look lovely, but I literally can’t walk an hour after putting them on.

      Like #1 says, Target has nicer kids shoes. I bought my toddler a nice pair of shoes for $15 that have worked really well for her and been sturdy.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Yeah, for kids they have some brands that we used to get at specialty stores.

      • notofgeneralinterest2 Says:

        I wear Danskos (or the ur-Dansko Norwegian version) almost exclusively because other shoes make my feet hurt. Between the long life of Danskos and the clothes I can get at Costco, I barely need to shop except for going to Nordstrom’s sale every 2-3 years for fancy suit-type clothes when my old ones get too shabby.

  7. Ana Says:

    Oh and I haven’t bought a pair of shoes in an actual store since 2007. Hate going to stores in general but HATE HATE HATE having to interact with shoe salesmen and ask for sizes and its always so busy, you’re waiting forever. UGH. Also LOVE being able to try them on at home and walk around in them, try them with different outfits, go up and down stairs, etc… If I’m unsure I order multiple sizes to try on. Almost all online shoe places offer free returns, so its risk-free.

  8. middle_class Says:

    I try to stay close to $100 for shoes, $200 max for boots. But I don’t hate shoe shopping and have very regular feet so I can get quality shoes on sale. I may have to increase my max to $200 for shoes. I don’t buy a lot of shoes and I take good care of them — polish, heel taps, leather protection — so they last a long time.

  9. chacha1 Says:

    Good shoes are an absolute necessity. I don’t have to be on my feet much for my job, but I am super finicky about shoes because I want my feet in good condition for dancing.

    So I have five pairs of work shoes:
    grey boots, brown boots, black Munro clogs, brown Munro clogs, and black granny loafers. The loafers are for casual Fridays but the new office is actually more casual and I feel comfortable wearing sneakers, so the loafers are about to go. They are five years old. The brown boots are oldest at about 6.5 years, the grey boots youngest at about 2 years.

    If you really love those new shoes, I would suggest buying them again in a month or two and putting them away for five years from now. That way you don’t have to go through the whole process again. :-)

    When I intend to shop for shoes, I go with the understanding that it will take at least an hour. I have something to eat first and promise myself a treat after, if the new shoes are not enough of a treat (work shoes are, let’s face it, not as much fun as sparkly frivolous shoes).

    Generally I wait too long to buy new clothes. Am trying to work my way up to a wardrobe refresh – just a couple new shirts or something – every 6 months or so, versus every 2 years.

  10. Miser Mom Says:

    Hahaha . . . because here, from the other side of the planet . . . I was going to chime in with Ana and say “YES! I never buy shoes in a store EITHER” until I realized she meant she bought them online. So I guess I’m one of those people who has magic feet. I buy almost all of my shoes from yard sales. I don’t wear the same pair over and over again; perhaps switching between shoes often helps to keep from hurting? I dunno. But with the exception of one $11 pair of emergency winter running shoes two years ago, I haven’t spent more than $2 on a pair of shoes or $5 on a pair of winter boots for about a decade.

    Which is not to say that I argue with other people who need to shop differently; I just know this works fine for me.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      One of my friends this weekend said she thinks it has do do with how high one’s arches are. I have super high arches and so does she. Her husband has much flatter feet and can wear anything (he prefers thin soles). She prefers the same shoes that I do, but tends to get them half price by buying them used on ebay and has a lot more pairs of shoes. (We’re both big NAOT fans. Though not all NAOT work for me! If they did, I would have replaced shoes earlier)

      I also have unusually wide feet which means that I often have problems with fit in the toe-box which leads to blisters and could lead to bunions if I wore shoes like my sister does. You should see how disfigured her feet are after years of ballet and high heels.

      I also don’t have much trouble with any kind of tennis shoe or hiking boot, it’s just work shoes that cause problems, with my wide feet and high arches and aversion to heels.

    • Ana Says:

      Oh man, I wish I had your skills for finding used stuff! But I don’t, and I don’t really live an area with yard sales (or yards) and the consignment stores are super expensive. So I shop online.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        note to self: when I am unleechblocked, write post about different types of shopping (mine is the only buy stuff when I need it and pay for new full price if necessary), see also sales, yard/thrift/craigslist/ebay, coupons, freecycle/buy nothing etc. and pros and cons of each type

      • Ana Says:

        “What type of shopping is best?” That’s a question that depends almost 100% on how you prioritize money vs. time vs. ethics vs. style vs. whatever other thing you can think of!

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Also personality. But I haven’t written the post yet!

  11. laura Says:

    I wear size 12 shoes. Most stores that sell shoes won’t carry my size in the store. I hate trying to buy shoes, particularly now when because of ill made shoes I have bunions. Putting $1000.00 of shoes (5pair) on a credit card to try them on from mail order… and then having to return them all due to poor fit BEFORE the bill must be paid or interest charged… well it is a budgeting/timing problem.
    Good shoes properly fitted will help prevent foot problems. Take care of your feet.

  12. P Says:

    Enjoying shopping in stores (and trying lots of things on) sometimes ends up *saving* time/money for me–I know what size I am and what styles I like in a lot of different stores, so when I see something online it’s easy to tell if I want it or not.

    The other plus is that my company lets us send and receive personal packages (like returns) through the mailroom, so I don’t have to worry about being home to receive a package or having to search out a Fedex store or something to return it.

  13. S. Says:

    I’m not sure if I missed it, but what shoes did you buy? I am about to have to go on a buying blitz as well, and have finally decided I’m through with lots of cheap shoes. I bought the Teva sandals you recommended, and love them. Super comfortable, my feet don’t hurt in them, and I can wear them to teach (prof here too). Since your first rec was spot on, I want t know what you found this time around! Thx!

  14. Minimalism has not caused enlightenment, only mild annoyance | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] means not having extra.  Not having extra results in sore feet if you don’t replace your shoes quickly enough. It causes you to wear damp clothing when the laundry didn’t completely dry. Or a […]

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