Different online shoe stores cater to customers in need of different services. Which shoe store is right for you?
Whether you’re a shoe-a-holic who always needs another pair, or a shopper with hard-to-fit feet who finds it difficult to find the right shoes in the right size, online shoe shopping is a great solution. By buying your shoes online you get all of the shoes, but none of the legwork. Not every shoe store fits every foot, though, so here is a rundown of the best online shoe stores for different situations.
When You Need a Wide Range
One of the biggest advantages to shoe shopping online is that you can shop across a much bigger range of shoes. There are some online shoe stores, like DSW (short for Designer Shoe Warehouse), which carry just about every shoe you could want. DSW is brimming with women’s, men’s, and kids’ shoes in every style, from boots to sandals and flats to sky-high heels. If you’re looking for a specific brand, the chances are that DSW stocks it.
Net a porter is a great address for luxury branded shoes. It doesn’t have its own in-house line – instead, Net a porter showcases a seemingly endless selection of designer shoes from pumps to kitten heels. Gucci, Stella McCartney, and Vetements are just some of the top names in footware that you’ll find in every size on Net a porter.
On the other hand, sometimes you’re shopping for a specific type or style of shoe. If you know exactly what you want but don’t need a designer brand, ASOS is likely to have it. Nasty Gal fills the niche for shoppers looking for the coolest statement shoes with a rebellious edge. It’s ideal for when you’re not looking for a large range but for just the right shoes.
When You Need Hard-to-Find Sizing
If your feet don’t fit the average mold, online shoe shopping might be your salvation. Internet shoe outlets sell the most wanted shoes for very small – and very large-footed shoppers. Nordstrom has Jimmy Choos that begin at size 3 1/2 and Valentino pumps from size 4, while ASOS’ collection of thousands of shoes begins at size 4. No longer do you need to shop in the children’s section. At the other end of the size range, Nordstrom goes up to size 15 and Zappos up to a size 20 so that no one needs to feel that she or he has sized out of the cool shoes.
When You Want Free Shipping
If online shoe shopping has a drawback, it’s that you need to pay for your shoes to be sent to you and wait for them to reach you. Shipping costs are a great way to choose your best online shoe store. Many shoe stores offer free standard shipping – Nordstrom, Zappos, 6pm, and DSW all deserve a mention for this feature.
When You Need Easy Returns
The hassle of returning shoes that don’t fit or don’t look as good in real life is one of the main things that puts people off of shoe shopping online. So, finding an online shoe store that has a good returns policy is a major plus. Zappos, of course, is famous for its quibble-free, totally cost-free returns policy that accepts returns up to a year after you bought the shoe. Nordstrom accepts returns even on shoes that have been worn and Overstock provides free refunds for any unworn shoes that are returned within 30 days of purchase.
When You’re Searching for the Best Prices
This one is tricky, because so much about good pricing depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re after designer shoes you’re going to expect to pay more than for budget flip-flops. So, when you compare pricing you want to see fair prices as compared to other outlets. ASOS is a good choice if you’re searching for the lowest price on a particular type of shoes, because it helps you compare prices across different styles and brands. Aldo is known for consistently low pricing on all types and styles of shoe from their in-house line. As long as you’re not looking for a specific designer brand, Aldo provides reliable value for money.
Another aspect to pricing is the size of the discount. Sometimes what you’re after isn’t a pair of heels in a particular price range, but a pair of Louboutin heels with the biggest possible discount. For this you’ll want to turn to sites that specialize in discounted brands. 6pm and Overstock are two of the best online shoe stores for huge discounts on brands. Overstock stands out for offering big discounts on this season’s hottest heels as well as on last season’s styles.
When You Need a Website That’s Easy to Use
Frankly, some online shoe stores can be overwhelming. You need a site that is simple to navigate and makes it easy to browse productively and to search for the particular shoe you’re looking for. Shoeaholics’ unfussy and uncluttered site invites you to browse by price or by size as well as by style or brand. You can easily search by keyword, too. DSW does a good job of making its thousands of shoes accessible by inviting shoppers to hunt by price, size, or style or to flip through dozens of brands arranged alphabetically.
When You Need Top Customer Service
Customer service might not be the first thing you look for in an online shoe store but it certainly makes a difference when you have a problem with your order or you’re trying to track down an elusive pair of cherry-red sandals in a size 5. Zappos is practically built on the back of its famous customer service. Free shipping and free returns are capped with exceptional customer service from polite human beings who don’t work from a script.
Nordstrom has put similar energy into building its customer service and along with accepting returns in almost any condition, its customer service representatives make it clear that they are always willing to help.
When You Want Brick and Mortar Branches Too
Online shoe shopping has plenty of advantages, but it can sometimes be helpful to use a site that also has a brick and mortar presence. Being able to go into your nearest branch and try on the shoes, then hand them back directly if they aren’t comfortable, can sometimes just be the fastest and easiest approach. Stores like Aldo, Nordstrom, and DSW that combine online shopping with a brick and mortar presence, permit shoppers to browse the full range of shoes online and order them into their local branch for free to try on the next day. The shoes usually appear at your local branch faster and cheaper than if you ordered them to your home and you can try them on and return them in store without any hassle.
If the Shoe Fits, Wear It
Whether you need the cheapest prices or the easiest returns, want to browse a wide range of brands or are on the hunt for that one perfect shoe, you can visit an online shoe store that fits your needs.