Buying shoes online is very practical: you don’t have to hit stores, you can enjoy all types of filters, compare prices and have various brands and styles in front of you at all times. However, there’s one thing you can’t do online—try out the shoe! Luckily, with these tips, you’ll always get the right pair for your feet and have successful purchases.
Start with something cheap
If this is your first time shopping for shoes online, start with a small and cheap order. Once it arrives and you see that the brand is reliable and the sizes fit you, you can go ahead and splurge on something.
When shopping online, you can’t take a shoe in your hand, so getting an accurate sense of the quality and finish can be hard. It’s best to shop with retailers that have HD images and multiple-angle photos. You also want to be able to zoom in and get a better look at the texture and color of the material, and the fineness of the finish. If you can’t get good images, look for photos elsewhere (that’s more than possible with major brands). Different retailers choose to portray their products in different ways, so if you look for various sources, you’ll get a full image of the shoe.
Measure your feet
Start by getting the right measures of your feet. Stand flat on a sheet of paper and trace the outline of your foot with a pencil. Grab a ruler and measure from the tip of your big toe to the end of the heel. Repeat for the other foot since most of us have feet of different sizes. Sizes might differ between Europe, the USA and Australia, so when shopping for shoes online, you can just refer to conversion charts and find the right size for you.
Consult individual brand sizing charts
Oftentimes, different brands have different sizing—sometimes that difference is insignificant, but sometimes it can affect your fit. When buying women’s shoes in Australia, you might come across markings such as Standard Fit and Standard AU/US Size. In most cases, your shoe will fit, but if you want to be 100% sure, you can contact the shop’s helpful staff and ask for sizing charts.
If a shopping site stocks different brands, they probably have one conversion chart that they use for all the shoes—it may be highly inaccurate. So visit the website of the brand you’re interested in, consult their sizing and return to your original e-commerce business. When in doubt, look for reviews or opt for brands that you’ve already worn in the past.
Look for model images
When you can see the shoe on a real foot, it helps with your purchase immensely, especially if you want to try something completely new. This way, you can see the placement of straps, the depth of toe cleavage and how the shoe visually affects your leg length.
Get familiar with return policies
No matter how much you try to get the right fit, sometimes you’ll get a pair of shoes that just don’t do it for you. And there’s always a chance you might get a defective shoe, just like in in-person shopping. So make sure the website has good return policies that will not leave you hanging. Ideally, you should have at least two weeks to return the product and get a full refund, exchange or store credit (shoes need to be in original condition, of course). A store that goes all-in to help customers deserves your loyalty.
You don’t need to be scared of online shoe shopping with these tips in mind. If you stick to this buying guide, you’ll manage to (almost) always get the shoes that fit your feet, budget and standards.