Cheap Shoes

Tuesday, February 6, 2007 6:50 | Filed in Life, The Pickards

I bought some cheap shoes last weekend. I wouldn’t normally have mentioned it, as it’s not really the sort of thing you tend to brag about:

Hey everyone! Look at me! I’ve bought some cheap shoes because I’m a miserly skinflint!Bragging about cheap shoes

…but on the other hand I did mention it to a few of my colleagues and discovered that I’m not the only one who deliberately targets inexpensive footwear — for the same reasons I do — and so I thought I’d ask you lot where you stand on shoes. Or rather in shoes.

Basically, I wear black shoes. I wear them to go to work in, I wear them to drive the car, I wear them to go to the pub in, and I wear them around the house until l’m fairly sure I’m not going out , and then I’ll take them off.

So my shoes get a lot of wear. I also have large feet — size 11 or 12 depending on the shoe — of course, that’s the UK sizing:

UK shoe sizes
male shoe size = 3 * last length − 22.5
US shoe sizes
male shoe size = 3 * last length − 22

In this case the last is the size of the foot template over which the foot is made, and for the purpose of these calculations, it’s measured in inches. So in the US, my shoe size would be 11.5 or 12.5, basically. In many European countries it’s measured in a different, and much more complicated way, so I’m not going to bother with that…

Anyway, I was digressing significantly there. Basically, I wear my shoes a lot, and I’ve got large feet. These seem to combine to ensure that my footwear doesn’t last a particularly long time.

If I buy a reasonably-priced pair of shoes (by which I mean something from £35 to £50), then I tend to find they’ll last me five to seven months before they start falling apart. If I buy a pair of expensive shoes — anything over £50, they’ll last me … well, I dunno as I’ve never spent that much on shoes.

However, if I buy a cheap pair of shoes (anything under £25), then I find they will last me three to five months. In practice, this means I can usually buy two pairs of shoes for under £40 and get about eight months wear out of them, or I could buy one pair of shoes for the same price and get about six months wear out of them.

So I buy cheap shoes. Usually two pairs at a time. One to wear, the other to put into the cupboard until the first pair fall apart.

So, let me ask you, my dear reader: what’s your footwear buying policy for work shoes? As well as the blokes, I’d be also be interested to hear what the women have to say, because I don’t really know much about how much you lot tend to pay for shoes — I mean, I know you do get expensive “going out” shoes, but do you pay as much for work shoes? How often do you need to buy a new pair (note this isn’t “how often do you want to buy a new pair?”).

Come on then, readers, tell me all about your shoes…

…incidentally, I’m just asking “out of interest”, rather than from any plan to turn ThePickards into some specialist shoe-fetishist site. Honest.

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9 Comments to Cheap Shoes

  1. Stephen says:

    February 6th, 2007 at 9:29 am

    I spend about as much as you but I tend to wait for the sales, so I can sometimes find an expensive pair of shoes that will cost £40-50 pounds. I like shoes. Especially Italian shoes, and I spend a lot fo time in shoe shops. Although not as much time as my wife does.

  2. Anthony says:

    February 6th, 2007 at 11:45 am

    I like shoes… well I like trainers. I have to wear shoes for work, and I don’t really like them.

    Anyway I tend to buy only from sales. My current work shoes are a nice pair of Kangols that I managed to pick up for a tenner.

    I don’t think I’ve paid much more than £25 for quite a few years. Places like TK Maxx are good, and Cheshire Oaks Outlet Village.

    I do tend to buy a lot of trainers though. I’ve got 7 or 8 pairs on the go at the moment I think, if I see a good pair of cheap shoes it’s hard to walk away.

  3. Dan says:

    February 6th, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    I’ve found that spending a bit more on the right shoes pays off, at least for me. I’ve currently got a pair each of black Rockports and Timberlands I can wear to work that are soooo comfy. Having said that I picked them up at a Pavers discount store, so they were kind of cheap.

  4. Seb Crump says:

    February 6th, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    I tend to agree - I don’t like paying more than £20 for shoes. However, my wife has started making remarks about workers conditions and carbon footprint everytime we go near a bargin shoe shop now…

  5. mark fairlamb says:

    February 7th, 2007 at 9:13 am

    buy shoes? run that one by me again please.
    seriously though, i buy 1 pair of cheap trainers (sports soccer, decent names at low prices) about every other year and get boots for work (even though i work in an office, sometimes i have to go out and get dirty). i’ve got the shoes from my wedding (5 years ago, that i’d already owned for a while anyway) that just get the dust wiped off them now and again when we go out and another pair that the wife insisted i get that i must have had on three times max (about 4yrs old). i’ve just noticed a burst stitch on my current trainers so in about 6 months it might be time to visit wynsors shoes where our kid is the manager.
    i don’t get out much……..

  6. Julie says:

    February 10th, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    Shoes shoes glorious shoes…

    well, I think it pays to buy decent shoes as a size 5.5 myself the cheaper shoes only seem to come in full sizes.

    I like a decent, comfortable leather shoe, being on my feet all day I find man made trash only results in sore feet!

    Clarks shop here I come…..

  7. Tessa says:

    October 3rd, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    I have to admit… I own more pairs of girly shoes than i will ever wear. BUT

    I have a pair of New Rocks. I am not a goth persay but i do love these shoes/boots. They go with trousers and short skirts :)

    I find that normal shoes dont have the life in them. I spent £80 on a pair of trainers a good few years ago now and my feet managed to kill them within 2 weeks. Shoes dont last long with me. But my NR’s? I bough them second hand for £28! and they have lasted over a year now and only just starting to show signs that i might be pushing them too far.

    I over pronate (walk on the sides of my heels) and so that bit goes first.

    So yeah i go for cheaper shoes usually… But its false economy. NR’s cost in the region of £125 a pair new. But they last so long!


    Sorry for rambling

  8. david says:

    March 16th, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    I prefer buy a medium-level price shoes for working which balance the quality/comfortable and cost.

    How often do I need to buy a new pair sometimes really defense on the habit/position you walk. When I walk, my foot will toward outside so the portion of my shoe bottom will wear more often, so it takes about 10 months I have to change to another pair.(my working shoes has a good quality).

  9. Gill says:

    January 3rd, 2009 at 12:58 am

    ROFL Jack, you were just asking for that last comment :)

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