Friday, April 19, 2013

The Shoes of My Dreams for $8.50

My Clark's shoes
Last year as my family struggled along under reduced circumstances, I did something that I swore I'd never do - I bought a pair of shoes at a second hand store. Previously repulsed by the PU factor as well as the idea of ruining my feet with the wear patterns of a total stranger (why, back in the day I wouldn't even wear my sister's shoes!) I suddenly switched gears and hit the ground running. 

When I was young, shoes were, as they are for many young women, a passion. But as I aged, shoe shopping became tedious. I bought a few good shoes for $60 - $80 at DSW; shoes that lasted for years and years. But as our income dropped and cost of living rose, it killed me to spend money on shoes. 

A friend confessed that she bought shoes at Goodwill. My locally A-list boss bought a pair of used sandals on ebay. I was frankly shocked. 

"You'd think nothing of wearing rented bowling shoes worn by hundreds of strangers, why not a pair someone wore once or twice?"

So I now look long and hard at shoes on the rack at my current favorite second hand shop, 2nd Ave. I scan the display for interesting shoes. Finding what I like, I inspect them for wear. Honestly, some shoes look brand new - clean lines on the sole, inner part and labels looking fresh and bright; that new shoes stiffness.

I wanted a pair of Clark's shoes. I just did. As happens to many of us, I fell in love 
 with a particular pair of Clark's. At DSW and several other stores that I visited in my quest, I found the ideal pair. But in black. This time I wanted brown. They looked like urban moccasins but with nice soles and cute little side zippers. 

And there they were, at 2nd Ave. In my size. In brown. With very little wear. (The scuff on the toe is my own and so it the muddy smear from my own back yard). The shoes of my dreams for $8.50. Life is sweet!

Update - sadly, on my last visit to 2nd Avenue, I noticed several pairs of Clark's shoes with prices close to $20.00. Shopping at thrift stores is not only a treasure hunt, but a way to save money and get a fine bargain. Used shoes, however the condition, are just not going to happen at that price. I hope that I am not the only one who feels this way and that they decide to take those prices down. 



  1. I know what you mean about wearing someone else's shoes, you just have to wonder. I have been dying for a pair of Croc sandals for a couple of years now, but I hate to spend $40. for a pair of rubber shoes! I may have to look at the Salvation Army or some second hand stores for them. I hadn't really thought of that! Glad I read your blog! :)

  2. Hi Sheila, I used to think that it was disgusting but some people buy things and never wear them, or are given clothes, etc. they wear only once. You can pretty much tell if shoes have been worn. The soles get nasty right away. Thanks for stopping by!