Words by MYSHUBOX Editor
“Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten”, a sentiment from Aldo Gucci in 1938 that still resonates, especially when shopping for shoes. Beautiful pieces always garner attention and bring about feelings of desire however; recognising quality is not always easy to an untrained eye. To ensure that you make smart investment purchases, we are letting you in on the top 5 characteristics to look for when shopping for your next pair of quality luxury shoes.
- Fit For Footwear
Shoe making is a complex practice that involves leather being stretched, pulled and manipulated over a number of processes, which can sometimes result in shoes being tight upon purchase. The fit of the shoe may be somewhat snug at first but it is important to remember that leather stretches with time. Therefore, when faced with a sizing dilemma it might be a good idea to purchase your regular size if the shoes are made of leather, as they usually stretch. However, if the shoes bend your toes do not buy! Even the most beautiful pair of shoes are not worth constant discomfort and pain.
- One Size Doesn’t Fit All
One size definitely doesn’t fit all. Very often feet are only measured once within a lifetime, but did you know that feet change in size and shape – even throughout adulthood. To ensure that feet are happy and healthy and that shoes fit well, we advise checking your feet for growth before buying new shoes. Click here to download a free MYSHUBOX.COM size guide. It is also worth noting that different brands tend to employ diverse shoe making and sizing techniques, therefore the size of a particular style of footwear will vary amongst designers.
- Sole Searching
Whether they are made of leather or rubber, soles should never be too thin. To keep you firmly on the ground, a sole should be sturdy as it will provide more grip, won’t wear down quickly and will be less susceptible to water. The joining of the sole and the upper should be seamless with a clean edge. Remember: thinner soles equals poor quality and not to mention major foot pain!
- Plan Your Purchase
Avoid trying shoes on at the end of the day when feet are swollen. Feet can swell more on some days and less on others, which means that you will never get an accurate understanding of your foot size and will almost certainly buy the wrong shoe size for your feet. Swollen feet may be the cause of an underlying health issue, so it is always important to consult a foot doctor if your feet swell continuously. If you are buying shoes online, most retailers give up to 14 days for returns. This is a great opportunity to try shoes on at different times during the day throughout this period, to ensure that your feet feel at ease in your new pair of shoes. In store, try shoes on for at least 10 minutes to know whether the shoes are for you.
- Luxurious Leather and Straight Strong Stitches
The old adage applies here ‘you get what you pay for’. It takes years of training and a lot of experience to be sure which type of leather you are looking at on a finished shoe, but we’ll try to give you a few tips so that you are certain that your shoes purchases are of a high standard.
Natural leather is the highest quality and soft to touch. Nubuck leather often used in luxury shoe making is an example of leather that has minimal chemical processes. This type of leather is dyed exclusively with soluble dyes; the resulting product retains the hide’s natural surface with the ‘grain’. You may find surface characteristics of the hide still remaining on the skin, e.g. visible pores or scars, meaning that each shoe will be truly unique.
We would recommend protection and nourishment as well as professional regular care to preserve the quality and enhance the longevity of your shoes. Read here for advice on how to care for specific types of high quality leather.
Any stitches on the upper of the shoe should be straight and tight with no gaps between stitches. You should also look for a waxy protective coating on the thread as this helps keep the stitching safe so it’s less likely to fray and break.
High quality footwear is not only aesthetically pleasing but can also contribute to good foot health. Investing in a good quality pair of shoes will last you a lifetime and will be kind to your feet.