Hop to It: Enjoy the Perks of Online Shoe Shopping
“Shoes, shoes everywhere and not a drop to drink…” This quote from shoe-obsessed Carrie Bradshaw played by Sarah Jessica Parker on the HBO hit series Sex and the City clearly illustrates how many women (and a growing number of men) feel about shoes. We live in a designer-obsessed culture, and swanky footwear is a key ingredient in the fashion cake.
In the “old” days, every time you wanted to buy a pair of shoes, you would head to the shoe store and peruse a random selection of choices – often finding the perfect shoe, but not finding the size or color you desire. I certainly have experienced this frustrating debacle many times, wasting time and energy in short-staffed department stores with meager selections.
Whether you are an outdoorsy type and haven’t dressed up since 1982, or head out on the town a couple of times a week with friends, shoes are an important element in the fashion equation.
Online shopping has revolutionized the shoe shopping experience – making it easier for consumers to find the ideal shoe for any occasion. Whether you need to find a good hiking shoe, work shoe or even the perfect shoe to go with your perfect wedding dress, they all can be found on the information super highway.
The selection is incredible! While looking for a good hiking shoe, I discovered a wide variety of choices and my size was always available. I also found it to be extremely convenient and easy – I could view unlimited styles and colors from the comfort and privacy of my own home. And for someone that does not care to frequent crowded shopping malls, online shoe shopping is an ideal option for me.
Any shoe that can be bought in a store can be found online. I like outdoor brands like Merrell™, North Face™ and Columbia™ and found a shoe for every outdoor activity imaginable, including backpacking, kayaking, rock climbing, running and many more. www.shoes.com/ also has a pretty good variety of outdoor accessories including hydration packs, crampons and snow shoes.
The convenience factor is key. For instance, www.zappos.com has free shipping and orders are at your door in four to five business days. The return policy is excellent too – if customers are not satisfied for any reason, they can print a return label right from their own computer and send the shoes back. Even better, the site picks up the return shipping. www.zappos.com has a 365-day return policy and they just ask that the shoes are shipped in the same condition they were received in the original box. It is also good to note that if a customer finds a better deal on a shoe within 10 days of purchase, the site will refund 110% the difference.
For the shopper with upscale tastes, www.shoes.com offers an impressive selection of designer footwear including DKNY™, Steve Madden™, Marc Jacobs™, Anne Klein™, Diesel™ and many more. I discovered a great selection of DKNY™ wrap sandals that I had seen at a mall recently, demonstrating to me that the sites are carrying the latest styles, not just the overstock. I even found many designer brands for discounts of 50-65% off, with many sizes and colors available.
The Web sites also had an excellent selection of backpacks with consumer-specific brands like Columbia™, DC Skate™, JanSport™ and North Face™. Every product on the site can be viewed from any angle, not just side and top, making it easier to visualize and decide on a product. In the backpack category, there is certainly something for everyone, whether the customer skates, backpacks or just needs a roomy urban bag to tote life’s essentials.
For those people with unusual sizes, widths and tastes, there is certainly something online. When I was looking at wedding shoes (wishing I had known about the vast selection when I got married), I found that not only was there a huge selection for every taste, but there was also a wide variety of sizes and price points. Additionally, many of the shoes came in wide and narrow, which is hard to find in many traditional department and bridal stores. There were also very good deals and a wide selection of colors and styles for even the pickiest bridesmaids.
I found the best selection of bridal shoes at www.6pm.com, as well as a great selection of handbags. The site had an astonishing 19,072 styles, including accessories. I especially like Guess™ sandals and found a stunning variety right at my fingertips. The stores usually only carry a few styles at a time, so that was quite a treat for me. There were many designer brands available and I found it to be a shoe-lover’s paradise. There was also a link on the site for the latest arrivals – all three sites were receiving new styles all the time.
I would go out on a limb to say that online shoe shopping is the best option out there. Unless you are a person that really enjoys spending hours going from store to store in a vain attempt to find deals and great styles, online footwear shopping is a perfect fit. Personally, I would rather spend time with family and friends, or take a nice long hike rather than hang out in a fluorescent-lit shopping mall. All it takes is a few clicks and the shopping is done. I honestly don’t think I will step foot in a shoe store again.
About the author: Vanessa Baptiste writes online articles on a variety of subjects including online shopping. She received her degree in journalism and is currently employed at a full service advertising agency in Denver where she lives with her husband Dan and their two cats, Abbey and Thomas.
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