Picture it- You’re in a shoe store, you see a pair of shoes you love (that also happen to be at a great price) and when you try them on they fit perfectly. You scream “I’ll take them!!!” You immediately start texting, tweeting, facebooking, a picture of your new shoes with the caption “I know you’re jealous :)”. Next day, you’re struttin’ your stuff, wearing your new shoes on the way to work, and BAM the ankle strap breaks and you go falling forward. The next thing you know you’re down on the ground stunned, sad and have a skinned knee. Not a great place to be with what you thought were a great pair of shoes….
With a chunk of my career being in both men’s and women’s footwear, I’ve learned a thing or 9,000 about shoe construction and what a well-made shoe looks like. Here are some quick and easy things (along with VIDEO) that you can do in the store to make sure your perfect shoe will go the extra mile.
Once you’ve tried on the shoe, found it be comfortable and it passed the visual tests- hand your kid your iPhone, sit down and let the inspections begin.
Here's the information in text form, as well as some additional tid bits.
Bound for life- Make sure the upper is bound to the sole properly. Hold the shoes up together and make sure they are even, flip it to the back, make sure the heels are even. Visually inspect for uneven stitching or exposed glue. Then go on and (sort of gently) try and separate the upper from the sole. Look out for stitching coming loose or gaps forming. Tug at heels, straps, buckles or any hardware, again, look for any separation or loose stitching.
Get acquainted- Go on, stick your hand in it. Feel to make sure the lining is secure, applied correctly and that there is no exposed glue. Feel the upper to make sure there are no exposed edges that could hurt your feet.
Flex It- Flex the shoe. Does it make a cracking noise, or feel like it’s pulling? That’s an indication that the sole was either not attached properly or the wrong size upper could have been put on the wrong size sole.
What is it really made out of- If you are buying leather shoes, you want to make sure it’s a good quality leather. If you have a dark color shoe and see a white cast or white speckles, this may be mold!! A good indicator that the leather was not handled properly. You can even scratch is slightly to see if the “leather” comes off.
At most you’ll end up spending a few extra minutes in the shoe store (I can think of worse places to be) conducting these easy “tests”. But at the end you'll know you're buying a well made shoe.
Hope this information helps and Happy Shoe Shopping!
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