$econdhand First Class

A thrift store fanatic shares her shopping secrets

Best Foot Forward

Remember how stiff new shoes can be? Well, good news! If you buy used shoes, someone else got them nice and comfy for you!

Some people are rightly cautious about buying used shoes. Fungi can live in used shoes and happily move into the new foot in town. However, a lot of people buy and wear used footwear without problems. If you do buy used shoes, before you pull a Cinderella and wear that slipper to the ball, be sure to clean and sanitize them completely. For tips, check out Disinfect Used Shoes on wikihow.

Black suede Ferragamos!

When you shop for used shoes:

Sniff. Stinky? Pass.

Make sure everything works.  Eyeholes for laces are intact, zippers zip, buckles buck, whatever is on the shoes should work properly. You don’t want to get those cute boots home only to find out that the zipper on the left boot has lost its teeth.

Decide if wear can be repaired. I fear this tip dates me. Shoe repair shops are becoming as rare as a real receptionist answering a business phone. However, if you are lucky enough to have a shoe repair shop in your area, you can repair some problems if the shoe is good quality. Ripped seams can often be stitched. Certain types of shoes can be resoled, for example, leather-soled shoes, Birkenstocks, and some Clark’s. Check out Resole. If the shoe leather is scuffed, it’s a tough decision. A good polish might help but if the surface has lost the top layer, the leather won’t hold a polish.

Comfy Birkenstocks!

Try them on and always wear a foot covering.  Same rule applies when you try on new shoes but it is even more important here. You don’t just want to make sure the shoes fit right–you want to protect yourself against any creepy things that could be residing in the shoe and hope to come home with you. Wear socks similar to the ones you plan to wear with the shoes. For example, don’t try on heels wearing athletic socks. You won’t get the right fit.

Happy thrifting!

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