When you’re shopping for footwear, you want to make sure you’re getting good quality. It’s not worth spending tens or hundreds of dollars on shoes if they don’t fit correctly or fall apart after a few months. How can you tell if a pair is meant to last? Fortunately, there are several things you can do to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth, whether you’re in the market for the best men’s athletic shoes or women’s high heels.
Look at the Details
A shoe may look well-made from a distance, but you have to get close to see how much care was paid to the small details. You can usually spot low quality production from the following:
If you’re purchasing online and can’t see these details from the included photos, scan the customer reviews for these tell-tale signs.
Listen To Your Walk
Most shoes sound quiet on carpet, but walking on concrete or another hard surface can be revealing. Poorly made footwear tends to make a lot of noise and you can even pinpoint the issue if you know what to listen for.
For example, you want to stay away from heels and wedges that sound hollow, as it means there isn’t a great deal of support. That isn’t a good idea when you’re putting your full body weight on something. Additionally, you should keep an ear out for any clicking or squeaking. These sounds can indicate low quality materials or pieces that aren’t properly secured.
Check the Insole
If you’re going to wear these shoes for long periods of time, you need to check the insole. Is there built-in arch support? If not, you could end up with sore feet at best and foot problems at worst.
You may think cushioning and support are only important for sportswear, but they’re vital in everyday footwear as well. Whether you’re looking for ladies flat shoes or gentlemen’s sandals, you should check for a well-built and comfortable insole.
Don’t Be Afraid To Give It a Sniff
This may seem like strange advice, but you can learn a lot from smelling footwear. Poorly made shoes tend to have an overly chemical smell, while pairs fashioned from quality materials tend to smell like leather, wood, polish or freshly cleaned cloth.
Learn About Production
If you’re purchasing online, you won’t get a chance to try on your shoes or smell them, but you can certainly do some research. Once you find a pair you’re interested in, look into the brand. Does it craft its shoes in small batches? Or are they mass-produced? Smaller batches allow for greater quality control, while mass production makes it impossible to guarantee the quality of each product due to sheer volume. If you want well-made footwear, look for brands that produce in small quantities.
When you buy shoes, you should always check the quality. From waterproof Birkenstocks to glittering high heels, your newest pair of shoes should be made to last.