How To: Thrifting for Quality Shoes

It's been decided for me. Things are changing bit by bit here on LotC, and all for the better. You'll get more scoops into my life and definitely more of my personality (which can be a bit cray-cray sometimes. That means crazy. CRAY-ZAY) With that, here comes the biggest piece that I've decided to bring more into the blog: thrifting. You know I love it, you know how amazingly good I am at it (har har ;)) and above all, you know I have some tricks up my sleeves. So, it's now my turn to share them with you. This might should become a weekly feature, since I actually really enjoyed writing all my thrift-store-hoochie thoughts down. And they're all here for you to enjoy. First up?  SHOES!

Ok, I know some of you are thinking "Ew. Gross. I would never buy shoes from a second hand store." Well, let me air out my dirty, errr, shoes, here and fully admit that I buy a majority of everything I own at second hand stores. Part of me cannot reason paying even semi-close to full price, when I know if I hunt just a little bit, that I'll find something just as good (if not better and a million times kooky-er) that will fill the same needs. Including shoes. My shoe collection has grown from picking up the cute, cheaply made shoes at Payless (not really, cause like I said, I don't pay full price for them) to a more stylish and, well (I hate to brag, but duty calls) more designer filled juicy delishious-ness love fest of well made footwear. I've picked up some Blahniks, Dolce and Gabbana, LAMB, Velvet Angels, and more. So much more. And even though some of them had a little bit of wear on the bottoms, the majority were PRACTICALLY NEW! (I know what you're thinking.... Man! I'm good!) Here are my tips for you to be able to score as big as I do.

#1: Look at the overall character of the shoe. For me, I find the more designer-y shoes have more of a classic/ neutral design. It's not gospel, though, so don't take it as so. These had a cute square toe and a thick heel, so I loved them. I went in for a closer look and saw the pink insole. I was sold. I love a flash of pink here and there. 
#2: Look for a brand name. Try to be familiar with brand names, as they will be your bff. I know now that there are certain brands that are often duplicated, some which can easily be found in department stores for cheap, etc. The better you know brands, the better off you'll be in your search.  With these, the brand had worn off (they were really, quite beat up, but still had so much life left in them!) So I moved onto my next step.

#3: Flip that baby over! When you look at the sole of the shoe, you can really see what it's made of. Most high-end, quality shoes have leather soles. Just like this one. Oh, and what's that? A brand! A really really great brand! (Wohoo! Kate Spade!)  One that I know will last for a long long time. Which leads me to the next step.

#4: Check for extra markings. Made in Italy is definitely a favorite of mine. Italy is fashion central and you KNOW if you get a leather sole, Italy made shoe that it will be beyond durable. Now it's time to check out the rest of the shoe.

#5: Turn the shoe back over and check the materials it's made with. Often times, on the inside of the shoe, it will tell you. Genuine leather is a sign of a well-made shoe, along with finishes. The shiny finish here, has lasted the whole life of the shoe. No scrapes or scuffs. All signs of a great shoe. Also, check the stitching. Great shoes will be stitched together, not just glued to the sole, either. It takes a lot of work to build a great shoe, don't settle for gluing. 

Let's take a look at another pair, shall we?  This time, sandals.

Materials: leather upper, great stitching, and a thick insole.

Brand check: Roberto Durville 
Didn't recognize the name, so I pulled out my phone and checked it.
Came back with a French shoe designer, where similar styles are going for $175.

The brand is stamped into the leather insole, another great sign of quality.

Flip that baby over, and what do you find? A great leather sole. Not enough wear to have taken away the linear pattern on it (good sign) And the underside of the strap is attached into the sole, not just glued underneath it. 

Also, notice the stacked heel... this is great work! All uniform and sure to last a long time.

Look over the materials... great stitching, straps are attached into the sole, not just glued, and the material is buttery leather. The heel is smooth and quality stacked. Great attachment again....  Scooore!

So, there you have it. Two great finds in one great store. I love my life. 
Now, it's your turn! Have you found any great thrifting finds lately?? Please share!


drollgirl said...

i have not purchased used shoes at thrift stores, but i have bought a pair or two from ebay. sometimes it works out, sometimes not. lol. such is life! :) said...

Wonderful post dear...
Join Estée Lauder Giveaway :)

Kasandra Mathieson said...

You made me laugh, love all your tips and the cute little arrows! Great post....AND I always look in thrift stores for shoes, but am definitely not as savvy as you! Thanks for the tips, will use them next time!