Your Guide to Buying Second Hand Shoes

Is Buying Second Hand Shoes OK? - A&E Used Clothing


First, let’s discuss the type of sole. Typically, designer shoes exhibit either a hard sole or soft leather. The soft leather sole wears the minute it touches a liquid or dirty surface. For that reason, many people think their pair is more worn than they really are. Looking at the wear on the heel is a helpful way to continue to gauge the wear on a particular pair 

Brand New

As you can notice, brand new shoes will look just like that. If they’re made of soft leather-soled shoes the sole will look like a fresh, pristine suede. If they’re Louboutins they will be absolutely red with no marks or indentations.  Note: shoes exhibiting soft, nude suede bottoms can get light scuffs when tried on in-store.

Like New

We have all been there. We fall in love with a pair of shoes and create a reason to wear them. “Tuesday night stiletto happy hour anyone?!”  Inevitably, we discover that the shoes are too small, too big, too high, too narrow, too wide, etc. and we cannot stand to wear them again. It is sad for the original buyer, but a win for the next owner. One must say that most of the shoes that people buy fall into this category. The below section represents shoes that look like they’ve either been worn around the house or only worn once out. The heel on these shoes typically is almost perfect too and in a good state.

Moderate Wear

There are many shoes available in the second-hand stores that fit into this category. They’re shoes that have been worn so many times but still possess a lot of life left in them. The heels on these shoes may be slightly damaged either outwards or inwards depending on how the original owner used the shoes. 

Well-Loved ( really, really worn!)

 One should pay a bit more amount of money to get a more fresh pair of shoes. However, there are several people who don’t mind taking the shoes for repairing (keep in mind that cost $40-$60). Just be sure you consult with your local cobbler before buying them because some shoes are cannot be repaired. For example, metallic leather with scuffs cannot be repaired.


Resoled shoes can be a bit confusing to choose when it comes to determining wear. A lot of followers like to buy resoled shoes to avoid having to pay for their repair to be done once bought. However,  it is a bit difficult to assess the condition of resoled shoes than those without. If you are assessing wear on a resole shoe, you should often look at the portion of the shoe that you can see between the ball of the foot and the heel.  If that portion of the shoe only exhibits a few marks or is pristine, it is safe to assume that the shoes had protective soles added on day one. If that portion is dirty you can often think that the protective soles were added after wearing down the original sole.

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