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buying used shoes, ok or not?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by iroh, Nov 29, 2011.

buying used shoes ok?

  1. yes

    111 vote(s)
    63.8%
  2. no

    63 vote(s)
    36.2%
  1. davesmith

    davesmith Senior member Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    6,175
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    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    Funny this thread should be resurrected. I was just looking at tassel loafers on ebay. I was thinking that a lot of people wear them with no socks... I would never buy used shoes that had been worn with no socks. Gross, just gross.
     
  2. FillW

    FillW Senior member

    Messages:
    854
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    Jun 25, 2012
    I just found this thread and am fascinated that almost 2/3 of the voters voted for buying used shoes.
     
  3. CentralParkMan

    CentralParkMan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Jan 3, 2013
    Location:
    New York City
    I'm not comfortable with buying used shoes, although I would consider purchasing a vintage suit. I guess shoes are just one of those things that shouldn't be passed from person to person. I know it may seem silly but it just doesn't sound hygenic to me. Plus like some of you have already mentioned I like my shoes to have that "new shoe" smell.
     
  4. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

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    Aug 27, 2012
    It's not something I would be comfortable with.
     
  5. FillW

    FillW Senior member

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    Jun 25, 2012
    Maybe a better question would be:
    "Buying used shoes and then wearing them, OK or not?".

    A lot of people voted for buying used shoes but I suspect that some of them buy them to flip and sell on E-Bay or B & S.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  6. DerangedGoose

    DerangedGoose Senior member

    Messages:
    459
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    Jan 19, 2013
    As a student, it is difficult for me to afford shell cordovan. I want a pair of black cordovan dress shoes that will be my workhorse shoe for several years until I am set up on my feet (pun intended). Several years ago a girlfriends father was kind enough to purchase me a pair of black cordovan penny loafers from Alden in San Francisco when we were on a trip together. If I had known at the time that slip on loafers are essentially considered a casual shoe, I would have gone with a smooth black lace up balmoral (no caps or anything, I like clean lines). Now to my chagrin, I have to find a pair of dress shoes that I know wont come near the craftsmanship of my alden loafers.

    I have found many listings on ebay for shell cordovan shoes in the 150-200 dollar range. But I am not an expert, so it is difficult to tell what is well worn, has been resoled, what is too much insole wear (especially since pictures only show the heel area), and how much a complete resole and refinishing should cost me. I know that Allen Edmonds has a complete program for 150. I am estimating that with re-servicing, a pair of used shoes will run me around 400 dollars. With AE cordovan pegging around $600, I am wondering if maybe it is worth it to just wait until they are on sale and bridge the gap?
     
  7. kcox68

    kcox68 Senior member

    Messages:
    107
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    Dec 8, 2012
    Location:
    Detroit
    This isn't 100% what you described but its very close in design, cordovan, and should run under $400 new from Meermin.
    http://meermin.es/ficha_articulo.php?id=4042

    I've only purchased calf shoes from them but I'm extremely satisfied with the quality and style.
     
  8. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

    Messages:
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    Aug 18, 2011
    AE cordovan seconds are pretty routinely on sale for $400.
     
  9. FillW

    FillW Senior member

    Messages:
    854
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    Jun 25, 2012
    I have decided that buying shoes that someone else has worn and sweated in is just not for me. [​IMG]


    I'll stick with getting new shoes.


    Shirts, jackets and pants that I can get cleaned pretty easily, yeah.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
  10. sdotwizz

    sdotwizz New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2015
    As a new SF member, I thoroughly enjoyed this thread. Especially since I am beginning to embark on the journey of taking my shoes more seriously. I look forward to doing the ol' "lurk and learn."
     
  11. moltoelegante

    moltoelegante Senior member

    Messages:
    171
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    Sep 14, 2015
    Location:
    Ukraine
    I've never bought used shoes before, but I am considering it now because someone local to me is selling a beautiful pair of barely used Edward Greens in my size. If they fit well, then why not. These are around $1,000 new. I would probably offer $100-150.

    Something that I would never ever do is buy shoes online, unless you have tried the exact same model and size in a shop and you know that they will fit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
  12. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Senior member

    Messages:
    200
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Location:
    Greater Toronto Area
    I have bought used shoes, and shoes online.

    For used shoes, my general rules are:

    1. Never worn, or barely worn;
    2. If wear is noticeable, only buy ones that can be recrafted;
    3. Shoes that are no longer made (e.g. Made in USA Florsheims, B Mason or Nettleton).

    Buying used shoes can be a lot of fun. A lot of these old manufacturers in the USA used high quality materials, and their craftsmen were skilled. I doubt that anyone nowadays can reproduce the old Florsheim Budapester gunboats. Even my B Masons are solid and likely won't need recrafting for years. They're tough kickers.

    For online purchases, my general rules are:

    a. Ask vendor to provide outsole measurements;
    b. Really know my size, which is 8.5 eee. Sometime depending on the last, I will buy 9 eee;
    c. Stick to vendors that will allow return if shoes don't fit.

    Buying used shoes is not for everyone, but it can work, and the process is free entertainment at times. Especially reading others' responses here!
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  13. Marsay

    Marsay Senior member

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    273
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    Aug 28, 2016
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  14. TradThrifter

    TradThrifter Senior member

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    Oct 25, 2012
    Location:
    USA
    I am currently wearing someone elses previously worn shirt, jacket AND shoes.
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. tbrock

    tbrock Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    88
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2015
    No. Did it once and never again. Even if lightly worn and in your correct size, they will have the imprint of the previous owner's foot.

    I buy seconds all the time. But never ever used. False economy. Always worth spending the extra for something that will mold exactly to your foot.
     
  16. maxalex

    maxalex Senior member

    Messages:
    118
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Location:
    New England, Rome
    Strong opinions here, but the sanitary issue is clearly one of personal comfort level as I've never heard of anyone getting gangrene from another man's Edward Greens. And at any rate new shoes in stores (or online) may well have been tried on by dozens of others, so I'm afraid there's no escaping another man's socks, short of bespoke.

    Some people are bothered by it, others not. If you're not, like me (I also use public toilets and touch doorknobs), you can not only find some great deals but also styles that are not made anymore.

    I believe the "foot form" factor is a red herring; over the years I've bought many used pairs of Lobbs, Greens and others with no issues regarding the shape of the insole.

    I draw the line at sandals.
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Senior member

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    Jan 11, 2012
    Location:
    Greater Toronto Area
    I laughed out loud as I read this!
     
  18. LoboLaw1984

    LoboLaw1984 Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2016
    It depends on how "used" we are talking. If it's a return that was worn once, I have no problem buying it. If it was heavily walked in - no.
     
  19. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Senior member

    Messages:
    200
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    Jan 11, 2012
    Location:
    Greater Toronto Area
    

    Everytime I read this, I laugh.
     
  20. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
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    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    Every once in a while I post a variation of this story. And then some time goes by and even in the same thread it is forgotten.

    When I was a much younger man I had a pair of "shoe" come into my shop for repair. I fixed them and set them up on the shelf to await the customer coming in to pick them up. they sat there for over a year...maybe close to two. My policy at the time was to periodically get rid of shoes that were orphaned, but these seemed about my size and I was in need of some casual shoes.

    So I took them home...wore them regularly in fact for quite some time.

    I had been in the jungles of SE Asia and came out clean and healthy. But after wearing those shoes for six months I developed a toe fungus that, despite repeated regimens of industrial strength anti-fungals, remains with me to this day--40-45 years later.

    As a shoemaker of near on to 50 years, I am extremely doubtful that any remedy, any disinfectant, or anything short of perhaps...and I emphasize perhaps...ultraviolet, can kill or remove fungus or mildew from a quality leather shoe.

    I am a fastidious person...from what I have observed, maybe even a little moreso than the average individual. What I've seen over the years by way of condition of shoes coming in for repair--the dirt, the smell, would appall almost anyone and give pause. Of course, anyone wishing to sell used shoes is going to clean them up but...

    I tell this story not to discourage or diminish other people's pleasure or appreciation of vintage shoes.

    Have at it. But now you know--from here on in, it's evolution in action
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017

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