3 Tips For Buying Thrifted Shoes

by Bonnie in , Comment — Updated November 16, 2023

3 Tips For Buying Thrifted Shoes

When it comes to buying shoes at thrift stores, the rule of thumb is that you need to be picky. Examine the shoes carefully. Nine times out of ten, you won’t want to buy them. But on that tenth time… you may just have a treasure on your hands. Here is a great way to examine shoes to see if you should pass or take them home.

1. Flip Over And Look At The Soles

3 Tips For Buying Thrifted Shoes
Hans / Pixabay

Look at each sole for signs of wear. The sole should look even. If a previous owner has worn the sole out on one side more than the other, such as the insides if they are flat-footed, you will want to pass on the shoe. Usually shoes wear out more in some areas than others, so an even sole is a great sign.

If there is uneven wear and you are drawn to the shoe despite this, prepare to pay a cobbler anywhere from $20 to $120 to resole the pair. Is it worth it? Sometimes, for a $500 pair of designer boots, the answer is yes.

2. Examine The Insoles

3 Tips For Buying Thrifted Shoes
Source: houseofhepworths.com

Look at the inside of the shoe, for indentations from the previous owners feet. Even though you can add insoles for flat feet. Ideally, the shoe that you buy second hand will have been rarely worn. Don’t buy a pair of shoes that has been worn so much that the shoe has form-fitted to someone else’s foot.

3. Consider The Quality

3 Tips For Buying Thrifted Shoes
fancycrave1 / Pixabay

While some shoes are built to last a lifetime, other brands are made cheaply and will only last a season or two. If you aren’t sure about the brand of shoe that you pick up, do some quick research. While you may want to buy a pair of Fray riding boots second hand, you may as well get Mossimo ballet flats brand new, unless they look barely worn and are a great deal.

It is challenging to buy used footwear, but with these tricks in your tool kit you will be able to sort out the good shoes from the bad. If you are in doubt, leave them on the shelf for the next shopper. Your happy feet will thank you! Do you ever buy used shoes, or do you tend to pass them by? Drop a note in the comments section below.

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