That $40 pair of shoes from Forever 21 may look tempting, but keep in mind most fast fashion retailers’ products are only built to last one season. By investing in shoes with sturdy construction and high-quality materials, you’ll cover your losses in only a few seasons, and you’ll be walking comfortably too. The construction means that your shoe won’t breakdown easily, but when it does the high-quality material means that it can be taken to a shoe repair to fix any scuffs or broken heels at a fraction of the original cost. According to the Shoe Service Institute of America, a good quality men’s shoe can be re-soled 7-10 times, and a women’s three to five. The same can’t be said for your cheap pair: they’re headed for the landfill.
We’ve compiled a list of shoes worth investing in.
Sure, those sky high diamond studded heels with the laser cut outs are eye catching, but every woman needs a pair of good sturdy heels. Invest in a pair that are high quality, neutral color, and most importantly, comfortable. You’ll still want to look chic in between the days your feet are aching from those flashy shoes you wore on Monday, and with this classic silhouette and neutral color to go with any outfit, you can look forward to years of wear.
This goes for both men and women. Opt for genuine leather. It may cost you, but unlike faux leather which is made from plastic it won’t flake or peel. Should it dry out, apply some leather conditioner to restore its suppleness and shine! And of course, only buy a shoe that is comfortable. Don’t fool yourself by thinking it just needs to be broken in. Is it worth it to show up at your business meeting hopping around in pain like a child with a full bladder? No. No, it’s not.
Cleats, skates, sneakers, hiking boots. Nothing is going to give you blisters like running around in cheap shoes. Don’t skimp when it comes to athletic wear: these shoes will cushion your feet when they are most vulnerable to injury. Dull or broken cleats and blades are a snap for your local cobbler to repair.
Rain boots/ wet weather shoes
Few things are worse than stepping in a puddle and feeling that cold water sponging in your sock. Cheap rain boots feature plastic soles that are simply glued on. Any small cracks along the edge and you will have a cheap pair of foot baths. Opt for rubber over polyurethane and make sure to not leave then outside where they can get warped and cracked by the sun. If you live in a chilly climate, look for rain boots with lining.
I shall recall a moment of personal experience: I was in Australia working at a wildlife park with a volunteer group. Despite my protests that my old Vans sneakers would do just fine, my mother insisted on buying me a pair of all-weather-proof hiking boots that cost well over $100. On our first day, we had to hike out into the bush to level some trails that had been washed away. Halfway through the day, it began to rain. We kept working for about another hour, until the downpour became so torrential that we had to make a run back to our cabin. We were soaked and chilled to the bone. Out of the ten of us, I was the only one with dry warm feet–the only part of my body that was so. What’s worse is that we didn’t have a dryer, so the next morning everyone else’s shoes were still damp. I thank God (and my mom) for those boots. I never go hiking without them.
What other shoes do you think are worth investing in? Do you have a pair of shoes you can’t live without? Let us know in the comments below!