Shopping for shoes online is a tricky business as it is difficult (if not impossible) to tell whether a shoe is for you without trying it on. However there are so many great bargains to be had shoe shopping on the internet, so it is important to try overcome this difficulty if you want to snatch up a bargain. With a little bit of imagination, shop shopping online can actually become no more of a hassle than buying any other type of clothing—you just need to prepare yourself first. So here it is, the ultimate guide to online shoe shopping.
Get your shoes professionally sized
The first step to successfully shopping online actually starts on the high street. Go into a normal shoe shop and get them to measure your feet and give you your shoe specifications. That doesn’t just mean size: make sure you find out about the size of your instep and arch, plus the width of your foot. Knowing everything there is to know about your feet is a good place to start and it means you will be able to chose shoes with supplied measurements more carefully.
If You Know Your Brand, Stick To It
If you know a size 8 in a certain shoe fits you like a glove, then it is usually a safe bet that a size 8 in that brand of shoe will also be a great fit. Certain shoes or brands have standardised measurements that mean all their shoes run true to a particular size, so if you already own a pair then you can be much more secure about buying them online as on the whole they are more likely to fit as your imagine. While this is not always true, especially when not comparing like for like (boots to ballet flats for example), as a general rule it is something that can help you out while shoe shopping.
Make sure you read the product description and size guides
Most shoe websites will provide a size guide if their sizing deviates from the standard or to compare US/UK/EU shoe sizings. It is worth checking out the size guide before buying to ensure that there is no information you need in there. Also pay particular attention to the product description: online stores will often mention the measurements of shoes or mention if they run small/large for their size.
If they don’t fit, actually send them back.
If worst comes to worst and you order a pair of shoes that don’t fit, make sure you send them back. Many people out of sheer laziness wear ill-fitting shoes that cause a host of problems later on, instead of just switching to a more comfortable pair. Sending shoes back can be a hassle, so make sure you check out the returns policy before you buy anything. Certain online stores make it easier than others to return items, and many will even reimburse you for shipping so that you don’t end up out of pocket.
Don’t be afraid to try them on in-store and then buy them cheaper online
Many stores have different sales periods for their online operations than they do for their brick-and-mortar shop, meaning that sometimes a shoe can be cheaper online than it is to buy in-store. If so, the best course of action is probably to go and try it on to find the best fit and then go home and buy it cheaper. That way you get the best of both worlds: a shoe you know fits and a shoe that is a steal!