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Well-Heeled

2012 November 20

It’s a common stereotype that women love shoes. Certainly, this isn’t true of all women, just like it’s not true all women are bad at math, or dream of getting married, or love romantic comedies. However, I have to plead guilty and say that it’s true for me–I do love shoes.

Despite my dreamy sighs in front of storefront windows and my wanderings through the aisles of shoe departments (or DSW), though, I don’t buy shoes as often as you may think. Living in New York City, I walk nearly everywhere, so comfort is a huge factor for me. Another consideration is price (always), versatility (how many outfits will they match), and of course, style (they gotta look good, even if they’re the most comfortable shoes on the market). All of these factors lead to a very choosy customer.

One trend I’ve been seeing more and more of are shoe clubs. Sites like Sole Society, Shoe Dazzle, and ShoeMint allow customers to create accounts, which are then personalized based on their particular style preferences. The style preferences are determined by a short quiz, and then members are given access to “exclusive” styles, customized just for them. The choices on these sites actually seem affordable, and they’re mostly on trend, and they don’t require any monthly membership fee or commitment. I decided to have some fun, take a couple quizzes, and see what these sites could offer me in terms of shoes.

First up, Shoe Dazzle:

My quiz results revealed my style as “Refined, Cultured, and Classic.” I would agree!

After I took the quiz, I was informed my “personalized showroom” would be ready in 24 hours. In the meantime, I’m given access to the site’s top sellers and featured shoes, and can browse the site’s other selections. You can also shop handbags, apparel, and accessories. Not a bad deal. Of the top sellers, my favorite was the Marcy boot--for $29.96 not a bad deal!

Next, I checked out ShoeMint, Rachel Bilson’s shoe venture:

Here, I was given a showroom immediately after taking the quiz, with top recommendations and an offer to save $30 on my first pair. I liked many of the choices offered. Here are my favorites:

Taia flat ($79.98)

Kellie sandals ($51.98 on sale)

Carol leopard print sandals ($51.98 on sale)

Sole Society seems to function a little differently than the other two sites. Rather than take a style quiz and receive personalized picks, when you join Sole Society, you receive a new shoe style and deal every day. I really liked the choices here, and the prices were reasonable as well. Here are some of my favorites:

Katarina stud flat ($49.95)

Marcia round toe heel ($49.95)

Sadie satin stud flat ($49.95)

Elsa western bootie ($69.95)

Kirby snake detail flat ($49.95)

Sole Society has free shipping and a feature called “my closet” where you can save the shoes you like to visit later.

 

I was a little skeptical about these shoe clubs, but after some exploration, I think they are a good option for online shoe shopping. Overall, I think I preferred Sole Society, but the other two options weren’t bad either.

Have you joined any of these shoe clubs? What are your thoughts? What are your favorite shoe shopping destinations?

 

 

 

3 Responses Post a comment
  1. November 21, 2012

    I’ve done a couple of these style quizzes and browsed the sites, but I’ve never gotten very good results. Apparently, if you want (need? have daydreams about?) leopard print booties, you must also like patent leather platforms or strappy neon sandals. I guess I want them to be a little more spot-on than they actually are. I think what it comes down to is that I don’t actually *like* the idea of a personal shopper, or something catered to your “tastes” because there’s less of an opportunity for you to branch out. Sometimes I like to throw something that typically wouldn’t be my style into the mix for fun, and I think these sites seem a little limiting in that respect.

    Also, I must say that for shoes, I put a lot of trust into brand names and know which shoes I buy last (Target FTW), and which ones suck (STEVE MADDEN), so I have a hard time investing in something completely unknown. If you end up getting some, I’d love to hear how they hold up to the miles of walking us city folk have to do every day!

  2. November 21, 2012

    Also, just realized that I completely contradicted myself saying that I want the quizzes to be spot-on, but I also don’t want personal shopping tailored to me. Mostly, I just want to shop. All the time.

  3. Raquel permalink
    November 25, 2012

    I love that the quiz says you like nautical styling. Were these people inside your brain? Every time I see an anchor, I think of you. :)

    I have weird foot issues, so I stick to just a few brands that I shop for on Zappos’ VIP site because I know I can trust them to keep my feet content if not somewhat stylish. Also, free next-day shipping and returns make me happy.

    Is it weird that I love to ogle beautiful shoes as objets d’art but have no desire to wear them? Like I want that table with the rainbow of flats in my home to look at, but probably wouldn’t wear any of them. I’m weird, I guess!

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