If your initial thought is “ew” upon reading the title of this post. I would like you take a step back from your computer, take a deep breath, and come back again with a more open and positive attitude.
Are you ready now? Wonderful! Listen, I get it. Feet? Gross. Other peoples feet? Gross. Smelly second hand shoes? Nasty. I am not saying that every shoe in a second hand store is your Cinderella slipper. However, I will tell you there are hidden gems if you take the time to look.
Lets start off with an inspirational story.
Once upon a time I was perusing around my local (and favorite) Goodwill and thought I spotted a pair of Jack Roger wedges in the general population shoe display (not the one behind glass that literally requires a key to get into.) I thought no freaking way, must be fake. So I snatched them before anyone else noticed and snuck into a dressing room to google Jack Roger dupes, and other important investigative things. Sure enough being an expert I came to the conclusion that these babies were real and an employee must have made a mistake by putting them in the general shoe population. I ran to the front to purchase them for a mere $15 then ran out of the store.
Feeling inspired? Lets get to the tips!! >>>>
Tip #1: Have Standards
As I said previously, not every shoe at the store is Cinderellas slipper. However, I have to admit – although I buy second hand shoes… most of the time I suspect that they were never worn. I look mainly for shoes that have tags still on them, no signs of wear on the insoles or soles. These are my standards. You can create your own standards! But just make sure you create standards for buying shoes so you know your intentions when browsing the shoe section.
Tip #2: Check the Insoles and Soles
I always check the soles and insoles for wear and tear. I steer away from shoes that are warn down on the soles, or if the insoles have apparent wear marks. Again, I have a high standard for second hand shoes.
Tip #3: Check for Holes, Cracks, or any Damage
Just like any item you buy second hand it is important to inspect all parts of the shoes. Remember, if there is something on the shoe that looks “fixable” think to yourself “Am I really going to fix it? Is it worth it?”
Tip #4: How to Clean Thrifted Shoes
Simple method you can buy an anti bacterial spray (similar to ones used at bowling alleys) or you can make one yourself with items around your house.
The easiest method I use is to apply rubbing alcohol to a paper towel, then rub down the inside and outside of the shoe. Additionally, if you are looking to get rid of an odor a mixture of water and vinegar in a spray bottle will also help.
If it is a pair of sneaker you can throw them in the wash, or if you would really like you can replace the insoles of the shoes with new ones.
Now, take this tips and get out there and buy your self some new (previously owned) shoes!