Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Shoes Glorious Shoes! How to Buy Them Used.

I wasn't always a shoe person, but I have found a whole new world of fun in shoes. For me it's a lot like handbags, it doesn't matter if it's a "fat jeans day" or a "skinny jeans day"; it doesn't matter if you're pregnant or your post partum (for the most part, I know some women's feet swell) shoes and purses always fit. I love using them to add color, to add a bit of funk and sometimes to ground an outfit. It's just fun for me and though I am no Imelda Marcos, I do have a nice collection of shoes thanks to Savvy Shopping.

Given that, one of my friends asked a great question: how do you buy used shoes? I admit there can be a bit of a grossness factor in some people's minds, and I guess that's something I've never really had much of a problem with. Yes, I know, me, daughter of a German nurse, but I only say that because I have strict guidelines of what shoes I will buy at a thrift or a consignment store.

1. First and foremost, I buy shoes in excellent condition. They need to look as if they are new both inside and out; no peeling, no weird discoloration, no creases in the leather, no weird smells (EEEEEWWWW!). Truthfully, most times THEY ARE new with the TJMaxx or DSW tags still on the bottom of the shoe or obviously new with no scuffs on the bottom, sometimes they still have the string/cord attaching the shoes together.

2. Given I buy shoes in like-new condition, I feel that if they are heels or slides (where you don't generally wear socks or nylon booties) wiping the insides out with a Clorox wipe or some other anti-bacterial solution to kill any germs is sufficient. I haven't tried it yet, but if you mix 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil and 2 cups of water, a spritz in the shoes would kill anything in there as well. FYI - this solution can be used to kill any kind of mold, mildew or fungus. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic.

That's it.

In the end, one of the "benefits" of being a throw-away culture, is that many women regularly buy shoes that are too big or just a little too tight. Maybe they buy something for one outfit and wear it once, maybe twice, and then it sits for a year or two deserted in their closet. I don't really have a problem wearing those kind of discards after a good cleaning, but the truth is, barely worn shoes should not need a "good cleaning," a simple wipe down should be sufficient. And well, if you still feel uncomfortable than maybe second-hand shoe shopping isn't for you. If that's the case, it's ok...

It means more shoes for me!

Stay Savvy Y'all!

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