Fancy Shoes: Spend More to Save Money

Buy expensive shoes. Let me clarify… spend a bit more to buy a pair of high quality shoes. When you buy for quality instead of price, you end up ahead in the long run. Buying shoes at discount stores like “payless” I could get a pair of shoes that would last me a year at probably $30 a pair. Then I started buying “fancy” shoes. At first this was for fashion (I worked at “Express” then…) but now I don’t really follow the latest fashion trends and I still buy them because I can buy a high quality pair of shoes for $100 and wear them for 5+ years. My current favorite pair of black dress shoes is about 5 years old and they look like they’ve got at least another 5 years left to go. I wear them everyday! I also don’t really baby them too much. Outside of wearing them everyday in all weather conditions I also often times don’t bother to change shoes when it’s time to do work, like shovel snow, or fix a car. All I have to do to keep my shoes looking good is give them a nice polishing every few months.
My cheap shoes over 10 years = $30 x 10 = $300
My fancy shoes over 10 years = $100 x 1 +$5 (shoe polish) = $105 = Winner.

So… next time you need shoes find a nice high quality pair in a timeless style. My favorite pair right now is my Florsheim shoes. They are comfortable, and are the ones I was talking about above that I wear everyday.

I’ve been finding lately that this principle will apply to my life with other purchases as well. For example… I bought ALL of my furniture at Ikea, and I love it. It looks so nice!
BUT… it’s made of soft woods. It gets dinged up really easily, and screws can get stripped right out if it’s not moved with extreme care making it weak. I bought my chest of drawers probably 3 years ago. It’s moved homes twice so far. I’ve repaired it with wood glue and screws twice.  I’ll be moving again soon. I’ve got the Gorilla Glue ready. Soon enough it’ll be time for a new dresser. I could(should) have bought a quality one with hard woods, and dovetail joints elsewhere. I would have paid twice as much or more, but it would probably outlive me.

I feel like almost everything is getting cheaper, cheaper, cheaper and I think that’s great. I love getting a deal, and spending less! But is it always as good of a deal as it seems? Am I really spending less? Or am I getting what I paid for? These are the questions I try to ask myself every time I’m making a purchase now.

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2 Responses to Fancy Shoes: Spend More to Save Money

  1. Steve Turnbull says:

    Thanks for this post, Josh. I feel the same way about certain purchases. Some stuff is worth paying for because it will last a long, long time. For me though, dress shoes haven’t worked out that way. It seems like I can get about 2 years out of a pair of high quality shoes bought at a specialty shore for $100-120, but I can get 18 months or so out of shoes purchases at Kohl’s for $25-40. Maybe I just weigh too much and wear out the good shoes too fast!
    Funny story: A few years ago I was telling a shoe salesman how much I like the shoes I had bought from him a year earlier. I said, “When these wear out, I’ll probably buy another pair.” He said, “Did you hear that? You said, ‘when these wear out.’ That’s why you can’t make a living selling men’s shoes.” I can’t vouch for the veracity of the comment, but I thought it was amusing.

    • lletram2 says:

      We may have different definitions of “worn out”. For me to declare my shoes “worn out” they either need to have a hole, or so many bad scuffs that they can’t be hidden from a good polishing anymore.
      There are shoes I’ve gotten at Kohl’s and Penny’s that are great, and at a much nicer price point than other places also. Especially at my favorite part of the store, the clearance rack.
      The key thing to look for remains the quality of the shoe. If you buy a cheap shoe that’s cheaply made, it won’t last long. If you get a quality shoe at a cheap price, then you win!

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