Sunday, June 10, 2012

Do You Thrift Your Footwear?

If you've been a reader of this blog for even a short while you most likely know about my love of buying secondhand things. I love estate sales and adore thrift stores. While I love buying thrifted clothes, I never buy thrifted shoes. I did come across a couple hundred pairs of vintage shoes at an estate sale, and I purchased a few pairs, but sold them on Etsy as they weren't my size. To date, I have never bought a pair of secondhand shoes with the intention of wearing them.

Why haven't I delved into the world of secondhand footwear? The answer is quite simple. Feet. I don't like footsies if they're owned by someone other than myself. Now, I love my feet. I like that they carry me places that I want to go. Sometimes I do wish they were a bit smaller, as I wear a 9 1/2 or 10, but at the end of the day I should simply be thankful for working feet.

During my thrifting adventures, I sometimes come across cute shoes in my size. Occasionally, I'll even pick them up then proceed to carry them around the store for a while. Inevitably, my dislike of feet, and the sweat and other ickiness that can go along with them, get the best of me and I sit the shoes back down. I try to remind myself that wearing a used shoe is no more nasty than say, showering in a hotel shower, but my attempt to rationalize hasn't worked yet. The ick factor still remains.

I want to overcome the ick factor and open up my world to the plethora of $2 shoes that exist at the thrift store. Tennis shoes are something I rarely wear, so I only want to be able to thrift heels and sandals. I have read a few various sites that say shoes can be disinfected with Lysol wipes, white vinegar, or rubbing alcohol. Perhaps cleaning them well would reduce the ick factor that seems to bog my mind down. For goodness sake, I eat off of secondhand dishes! I need to get over this!

So, do you wear secondhand shoes? Do you have good luck finding shoes at the thrift store? How can I get over this and open up a whole new thrifting category?


  1. quite honestly, i'm a microbiologist and i thrift footware. i have at least 3 pair of vintage heels, 3 pair of vintage knee high boots and have thrifted 2 pair of loafers (but they were a touch small, so i passed them on). wipe them down with something that makes you feel better, but bacteria or viruses that came from the original owners are long dead. you don't have to worry about that at all! the worst thing you have to worry about is the inner lining coming up, the heel caps coming off or something along those lines. good luck and honestly, we all have something we won't wear secondhand. mine's bathing suits :)

  2. I have this thing about germs and feet too. I have never been able to wear any thing thrifted.. not even a belt or handbag I thrifted once.

    I once bought a pair of super platform high heels from eBay.

    My reasoning was the shoes would be so uncomfortable to wear that the old wearer would have only clocked a small number of hours wearing them, and she would have only worn them when she went out, hopefully after showering and made up nicely. I still disinfected them though!

    I would never buy flat shoes or sneakers, because I know they would have been worn heaps.

    Funny though because I only wore those platforms once. They are just to high!

  3. See, I so don't have a feet thing. I'm the girl who would walk all the way to the mail room barefoot when I lived in a dorm at college. I just don't buy thrifted shoes because I don't really find any that I like.

  4. I have issues with used clothing of any kind. I buy it, but it usually has tags or sizing in it, including my shoes (and it extends to baby clothes, too).

    Lingerie I can't even HANDLE much less buy, although aprons used, stained and torn are good to go.

  5. I have a thing for shoes, but I am fussy... so if I see them I buy them. I recently bought two pairs of Merrel shoes for $15 and $8 nearly brand new and they are over $130 ea here. Who could resist! But I get the ick factor for you!

  6. I have about 40 pair of thrifted shoes. I am wearing some now. I have quite a few that were brand new and most times you can tell when they have only been worn once. Athletic shoes or even sneakers I would not thrift unless they were obviously new. I have bought Sofft mary janes that were donated because the heel cap came off. Tags still on. Easy to have replaced. I spray them all with lysol.

  7. Just remember that those "new" shoes and clothing have probably been tried on by other people. Sweaty feet, sweaty armpits in those dresses and shirts. Handled by whom? at the factory and on the way to the store. Probably dropped on the floor. I don't find many shoes, but get my daughter tons of heels for her school dances, etc. If you don't like thrifted shoes, don't feel that you need to wear them. There are plenty of new shoes in our thrift stores. Wrong size, wrong color...who knows?