Sure, trying on jeans may win for the most harrowing retail experience, but when it comes to shopping for shoes, what should constitute as the perfect afternoon out can lead to breaking the bank and pledging allegiance to Crocs. But rest assured, we’ve got you covered. And thanks to our list of dos and don’ts, the days of ill-fitting heels, shoehorns and pushy salespeople have come to a close.
DO: Try on
While it’s tempting to assume that all shoes fit the same, unfortunately the in-and-out technique of accessory, t-shirt and even underwear shopping does not apply to footwear. True, avoiding retail associates may seem ideal, but with some stores hesitant to give full refunds, and others a Mecca of mismatched pairs and unmarked boxes, it takes less time to try on and judge at the moment than it does to go home, curse footwear in general and return to the store to do it all over again.
DON’T: Be a pushover
Though the majority of those in retail want only to help you make the best decision, others work for commission and will tell you whatever it takes to sell an extra pair. Therefore, remember to stay within your comfort zone: while those leopard print high-heeled moccasins may seem like the statement piece of 2011, only you know whether you’ll wear them and if you can really carry them off. (And congratulations if you can.)
DO: Ask questions
And while certain salespeople use customer transactions to score an extra buck, the majority are happy and willing to help – so don’t be afraid to ask. While internet shopping and some DIY chains have abolished the person-to-person interaction that was previously mandatory, it’s important to remember that asking for help is not only acceptable, but encouraged “ especially if you need extra sizes, colours or even an opinon. And of course, if you start to feel like a burden, remind yourself that it doesn’t reflect poorly on you: odds are, if you’re dealing with an associate who treats you disrespectfully, you’re likely not investing in a brand that’s worthy of your hard-earned money.
We’ve all tried to justify shoving our size nine feet into size seven shoes in hopes of leather stretching out, but despite our best efforts, we’re usually faced with disappointment when we realize it’s not going to happen. Thus, regardless of how perfect one pair of shoes may seem, it’s important to remind yourself that footwear is an investment, and compromising on size, colour or variation will only lead to regret and the subsequent purchase of the pair you want. After all, we’ve all seen the episode of Friends with Monica and the boots.