Skip to Content

Ask The Readers | Where Can I Buy High Quality Shoes?

Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!

Usually I answer the questions you all send in for the Q&A feature, but this week’s question is one I’m not really well qualified to answer, and I’m hoping that you can help me and my reader out!

Like you, I like to invest in high quality items that will last a long time. Previously, I’ve always bought cheap shoes, but I want to invest in higher quality ones. However, I’m not sure where to look–there are a lot of cheaply made shoes out there! Do you have any ideas?



I’m so glad you wrote in to ask about this because I’ve been wondering the same thing. My cheap black flats bit the dust recently (after a sole repair), and now I’m wanting to buy a high-quality pair made of real leather, but I’m not sure where to go.

worn out flats

It’s not terribly difficult to buy decently-constructed athletic shoes, but when it comes to dressy or semi-dressy shoes, I’m a little more lost.

A reader sent me a link to Unshoes, a company that makes minimalist footwear right here in the U.S., and I’m considering purchasing this pair, (which look like they are stylish enough to wear with jeans or maybe a casual summer skirt.)

But of course, even if those meet all my summer needs, they’re not going to work in January. 😉

I also poked through this great list of American-made shoes, but I didn’t see any good leather flat options.   These ones from Bali look sort of promising, though.   And these leather ballet flats from Clarks also look like they might be good.

I’m willing to pay more for shoes if they’re made really well or if they’re fair trade or if they’re made in the U.S. I am not willing to fork over $500 for a pair of shoes (!) just because they’re Jimmy Choos.

Also, shallow as this may be, I’m not really super willing to compromise on style…I’d like to wear shoes that look stylish and that will last.

So, dear readers! Please help me and Alexis out.   Where do you go to buy high-quality, stylish shoes (especially flats) that will last?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Friday 8th of December 2017

It is hard to find a store selling good quality shoes. Even those who used to sell good quality shoes now down graded. It stinks. They think consumers are idiots who don't know the difference. I do. Others do to. I am refraining from spending until something better comes along.

Kayla M

Thursday 6th of April 2017

I have these ( from Marmi Shoes and they've lasted really well so far. I've worn them almost every day to work for the past 6 months! They're super comfy and match everything!


Saturday 8th of October 2016

Take it from a guy who knows a lot about shoes. Admittedly not a lot about women shoes but the Quality question should be the same.

Quality shoes can be hard to identify to even the novice shoe shopper these days. The variety of construction techniques and material quality can make it very difficult. The short answer is to look for a shoe that's made of stitched full grain leather and either rubber or leather soles that is either fused or a good year welt, not glued.

The long answer gets very confusing. These days even the quality can vary in full grain leather. Fused sole shoes can vary from very high-quality to poorly fused, depending on the process the company used. It really takes a pro to identify the difference.

Just to make the comparison let's compare a pair of Jimmy Choo high heels two pair of Bandolino's from Macy's. The construction process on the bandleader news or very cheap and the leather if you can find them in full brain is very poor. Yes you can get them for under $50 but as you wear them it would become more uncomfortable and lose their luster. The jimmy choose on the other hand are made of a topic grade full grain leather and as they age it will conform to your foot become more comfortable in the leather actually develop An aged look that is quite attractive. Because of the construction of the jimmy choose you can actually have the soles and heels replaced where is the band wieners you cannot nor would it be worth it. A classic pair of Jimmy Choo how heels could be worn for 10 or even 15 maybe 20 years while the Bandolino's may only last a few years a regular use if you're lucky. So you could say that a pair of Jimmy Choo's actually justifies its price . I'm not advocating for jimmy Choo. I'm sure there are several other brands maybe more reasonably priced that are equal in quality. Consider brands like Munro, Johnson and Murphy or Ecco. avoid anything from Macy's, Kohl's, JC Penney or any of the discount big box stores. They are all cheaply constructed and often use cheaply made synthetic soles or pleather. Be cautious of brands such as Cole Haan. They are overpriced for what they are but a good buy if you can get them for a good clearance price.


Saturday 24th of May 2014

I know I'm kind of late to the party on this one (catching up on my RSS), but I have to share because I FINALLY found good shoes. A little background: I usually go through shoes in a month or two. My feet are a tad wide and I suspect they roll out when I walk, so I always get holes in the sides of my shoes. Beyond that they're never comfortable and I often get sores on my little toe from my shoes rubbing. I really didn't think I'd ever find a shoe that works for me, but I did! It's Ahnu shoes ( and they're made from leather (I don't know if it's in the US or not) so they stretch the little bit I need to fit my wide feet. And they aren't wearing! I've had them for about a year and I'm seriously amazed at the lack of wear. I have washed them once on the outside and a few times on the inside (stinky feet!) with some special shoe cleaners I got at the store I bought them at, but I'm okay with a little upkeep. And they're cute too! I have the Gracie style in grey and they look just as cute as my flats ever did (to me at least, my husband took some getting used to it) and worked well through all parts of the year except the snowy parts of winter where I wear boots anyhow. Hope this helps someone!


Saturday 29th of March 2014

Great post-great timing. I need another pair for work. I only buy at Macy's, Kohl's or Naturalizer outlets. I have a number of Clarks that are older than dirt..and still look good. Same with the Naturalizers that Kohl's carry. My son recommended Sperry, just got my first pair, while they are very casual they are super comfy (and pricy).

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.