Buying Cheap Shoes Is (Almost) Always A Misstep

I’m totally guilty of becoming obsessed with three or four high-end fashion finds at a time. Recently it was a black Alexander Wang cocktail dress. The week before that it was a See by Chloe tulip skirt. Both of which I could never, ever afford. Luckily, I’m equally obsessed with trolling the internet to find cheaper versions of my objects of desire. One item I had been thinking about for quite a while was a pair of Repetto oxford lace-up heels, which would have cost me about $300. I almost considered shelling out for them, knowing the purchase was an everyday classic and the good brand would last and be comfortable.

Yet, the oxford heel is redundant in fashion today. So against my better judgment, I sneakily settled for a pair from H&M. I even went against some of my own advice, having blogged in July about how fakes and knock-offs really show off cheap details. Trying them on in the store, I told myself, Yeah, these are comfortable (oh the lies we tell ourselves when we’re set on buying!) and They look pretty spiffy. Yesterday, I took them out for a spin. In just two hours time, one heel had noticeably worn down; there was also a scratch in it; and the body of the shoe sported scuffs all over—not the kind of scuffs that you can rub off but marks where a layer of the material has peeled off. Not to mention the flimsy cardboard insole with no support had caused me pain and agony. I’ll now have to take a Sharpie to them and pay for some type of cushion insert.

I’ve learned my lesson. When it comes to classic purchases that will need to withstand some wear and tear, you’ll end up disappointed and frustrated with a cheap-o model. For trendy, novelty items, there’s nothing wrong with buying a discount version to last you through the fad. But when the item is something you want to be a wardrobe staple, going cheap stinks. That’s not to say that you necessarily need to shell out for top-shelf luxury goods, but that settling for mid-range label (in my case, I should have checked out Nine West or maybe J. Crew) will buy you a lot more in terms of quality.