Smart Shoe Shopping Tips For an Economy in Recession

When the economy is in a recession, it very basically means that people are worried about money and that the majority of consumers are saving instead of spending. If you developed a bit of a shoe fetish over the past few years of prosperity but are now effected by money woes too, does that mean you need to start a 180 degree lifestyle overhaul asap? Well, technically more than one pair of shoes is a luxury many people in the world don't have … but for some women, quitting shopping can be harder than giving up cigarettes (me included!). So, here are some smart tips that are easy to incorporate into any lifestyle, even one that ever so slowly has to do some changing.

1. If you're still buying shoes, the easiest first step is just don't buy full price. Don't worry about "all the good shoes" selling out, if there are fewer shoppers in the marketplace, that means there is a much larger chance that a pair of those amazing shoes in your size will still be going to the sale rack in a few weeks or months. Almost every store has a clearance or sale section of some sort. You can also find both physical and online stores that don't sell anything at full retail value, just racks and racks (or pages and pages) of discount designer shoes. Discount outlets are a great way to cross temptation off of your list of over-spending triggers (or move it lower on the list anyway).

2. If you absolutely must stick to the newest of new shoes at full price retailers, at least do a little research before you start shopping. Many full price retail stores and online stores provide coupon codes or promotions on a rotating basis to encourage shoppers. Sign up for online store mailing lists if you buy from the same locations often. You can also try coupon websites that collect codes from all over the web in one location. If you are walking into a brick and mortar store, trying asking a sales associate if they have any specials going on. It never hurts to ask!

3. This next tip is for any neglected shoes you already have. Fix any broken shoes hiding your closet or donate them to a friend who might want to fix them. Problems that would otherwise make a shoe unwearable like a broken heel or a crack in the sole of your shoes (especially when it lets water in), or pulled stitching can all be easily repaired by a trained cobbler. Try searching online or in a phone book for a shoe repair shop or cobbler in your area. You can even replace simple things like frayed or torn shoelaces or a lost ankle strap at a shoe repair store or a craft store.

4. And last, definitely alter the shoes that you don't wear very often because they're not the most comfortable or they give you blisters, etc. Any local drugstore or grocery store should carry Moleskin which is a soft piece of cushioned material with a sticky side that can be cut and applied to anywhere a shoe rubs. You can also find pieces of tape to use on slingback ankle straps that don't stay up and balm to put on your toes (or anywhere!) Where strappy sandals can cause blisters. There are also tons of brands of insoles both for the cushioning the entire length of a shoe and insoles for just the ball of your foot or just underneath the heel of your foot (especially great when wearing high heel shoes).

Heels with soles too slick and smooth to wear in any but the nicest weather, can have non-slip rubber grippy pads glued to the soles. And I've even heard that heels that are too high can be cut down a little shorter by a trained cobbler (although don't expect to go from a 3 inch shoe to a 1 inch kitten heel – I think about a half inch is the most to hope for).

Good luck out there ladies!

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