Last updated on August 29th, 2023 at 07:49 pm

Buying Shoes Online? 15 Tips for Buying Shoes Online
buying shoes online

Buying Shoes Online? 15 Tips for Buying Shoes Online

Welcome to the new era of convenience, where you can buy shoes online from home. No more trudging from store to store or waiting in line for your turn. But with great comfort comes the challenge of finding the perfect fit. This shoe purchase guide aims to help you in buying shoes online.

When buying shoes online, ensure accurate sizing by: 

  • Measuring your foot at home and cross-referencing size charts. 
  • Understand the retailer’s return policy before purchasing, and 
  • Be vigilant for counterfeit products by checking shoe authenticity. 

Reading customer reviews and using virtual try-on tools can also aid in a successful purchase.

Let’s get started!

Part 1: Sizing

Onlines shoes in different sizes

If you’ve ever ordered shoes online only to discover they’re too small, too big, or just don’t fit the way you expected, you’re not alone. 

Sizing can be one of the trickiest parts of buying shoes online, but with the proper guidance, it doesn’t have to be. 

So, let’s dive into how you can accurately determine your shoe size at home and how to navigate the complex world of shoe size charts.

1. Importance of Accurate Sizing When Buying Shoes Online

One thing we can all agree on is that comfort is king when it comes to shoes. And comfort begins with the right fit. Buying shoes online can be a gamble if you’re unsure about your size. 

You certainly don’t want to be stuck with shoes that are too tight or loose, so accurate sizing is the first step to a successful online shoe purchase.

You might also like our SP shoe-buying guide.

2. How to Measure Your Foot Size at Home

Measuring your foot size at home is straightforward and requires a piece of paper, a pencil or pen, and a ruler. 

  • Place a sheet of paper on the floor. 
  • Stand on it with your heel against a wall. 
  • Mark the longest toe’s end on the paper. 
  • Measure the distance from the paper’s edge to the mark in inches or centimeters. 
  • Repeat for both feet.

3. Understanding Shoe Size Charts

Shoe size charts help you convert your foot measurements into the correct size. Most online shoe retailers provide a size chart specific to the brand. Compare your measurements with the size chart to find your perfect fit. 

Online shoe sizing can vary between brands, so always check the size chart.

4. Understand Varying Shoe Sizes Across Different Brands

It’s not uncommon for your shoe size to vary between different brands. Some brands may run large, and others might run small. It’s a good practice to check customer reviews while buying shoes online, as they often provide insights about sizing. 

If you’re unsure, opt for a size up, as adding an insole to a slightly larger shoe is more manageable than stretching a smaller one.

5. Dealing with Half Sizes and Width Considerations

Don’t overlook the width of your feet and the availability of half sizes when you buy shoes online. Not all brands offer half sizes, but half sizes can provide a better fit if your foot measurement falls between two. 

Similarly, brands often provide varying shoe widths, so ensure you choose the correct width for ultimate comfort. Remember, a shoe that doesn’t fit well isn’t just uncomfortable and can lead to foot health issues.

Part 2: Returns

Infographic on the leading reasons for online clothing returns

No matter how accurately you measure your foot size or how carefully you review the product, there’s always a chance that the shoes you order may not meet your expectations. Understanding the shoe return policy can save you from potential headaches.

While it’s exciting to click on that “buy now” button, knowing the return policy of an online shoe retailer is equally essential for buying shoes online. It acts as your safety net if things don’t turn out as expected. 

Will you be able to return the shoes if they don’t fit? Are there any costs associated with returning items? Will you receive a full refund or store credit? Answering these questions beforehand can prevent surprises later.

1. Typical Online Shoe Return Policies 

Return policies can vary significantly among different online shoe retailers. Some offer a generous window of 30 to 60 days to return the shoes, while others may only allow returns for 14 days. 

Some retailers offer free returns, while others might deduct a return shipping fee from your refund. Read and understand the shoe return policy thoroughly before making your purchase.

2. Steps to Take Before Finalizing a Purchase

To ensure a smooth return process, here are some steps you should take before finalizing your purchase. Check if the shoes are returnable, as some sale items may be final sale and not eligible for return. 

Understand the return procedure – would you need to print a return label or drop it off at a specific location? Always keep the original packaging until you’re sure the shoes fit well. It’s usually required for returns.

3. Tips on Packing and Shipping for Shoe Returns

If you need to return your shoes, pack them properly to avoid damage during transit. Use the original box and packaging materials if possible. Ensure the shoe boots aren’t moving around in the box, but avoid packing them too tightly, which could cause damage. 

Before shipping, double-check the address and ensure you have any necessary return codes or labels attached. Tracking your return shipment can provide peace of mind while waiting for your refund or exchange.

Part 3: Authenticity

biker boots on diaplay in a shop

With the rise of online shopping, the online market has also seen an increase in counterfeit products, including shoes. But don’t worry; this shoe purchase guide will help you in identifying genuine shoes.

1. The Rise of Counterfeit Shoes in the Online Market

While buying shoes online brings convenience and many choices, it also opens doors for counterfeit products. Counterfeit shoes have flooded the online market, sometimes making it challenging to distinguish between genuine and fake. These knock-offs compromise quality and durability and can lead to discomfort and foot health issues.

2. How to Check Shoe Authenticity When Buying Online

One effective way to identify genuine shoes when buying online is to compare the product images on the retailer’s site with those on the official brand website. Look out for discrepancies in design, color, and even the logo. Remember, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

3. Recognizing Reliable and Trustworthy Online Shoe Retailers

Reliable online retailers often have a secure website (check for ‘https’ in the URL), clear and comprehensive return policies, and good customer reviews. They usually offer a range of payment options and provide detailed product descriptions. They might also be authorized retailers of the brand you are interested in.

4. Steps to Take If You Suspect You’ve Received Counterfeit Shoes

If you suspect you’ve received counterfeit shoes, contact the retailer’s customer service immediately. Provide them with your order details and explain your concerns. If the retailer is unresponsive or unhelpful, you may want to file a dispute with your credit card company or the online platform you used to make the purchase.

Part 4: Additional Tips

Let’s move on to our last section – additional tips. Buying shoes online goes beyond the shoe itself. It’s about leveraging technology, using customer reviews to your advantage, and knowing when to contact customer service.

1. Utilizing Virtual Try-On Tools and Technologies

Many online shoe retailers now offer virtual try-on tools and technologies to help customers find the perfect fit. These tools use augmented reality or detailed measurement processes to provide a personalized shoe-fitting experience. 

Try them; they could significantly enhance your online shoe-shopping experience.

2. The Role of Customer Reviews and Ratings in Online Shoe Shopping

Customer reviews and ratings can provide insight into shoe fit, comfort, and quality. They can also alert you to potential issues with the product or the retailer’s customer service. While individual experiences may vary, a pattern of similar comments can guide your buying decision.

3. When and Why to Contact Customer Service 

If you have questions about online shoe sizing, returns, authenticity, or any other aspect of your potential purchase, don’t hesitate to contact customer service. Their insights can help resolve your concerns and ensure a smooth online shoe-shopping experience. 

Remember, customer service is there to assist you and enhance your shopping journey.

That’s all for our shoe purchase guide on buying shoes online. With these tips on sizing, returns, verifying authenticity, and more, you’re ready to dive into online shoe shopping. Happy shoe shopping!


Congratulations, you’ve reached the end of our comprehensive guide to buying shoes online! You’ve learned the significance of accurate sizing, the importance of understanding return policies, and the means to ensure shoe authenticity. With these tips, your online shoe shopping experience should be smooth and satisfying.

Remember, while online shopping presents challenges, its convenience and wide variety make it a worthy option. By keeping the discussed points in mind, you’ll navigate the world of online shoe shopping like a pro. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is Buying Shoes Online Reliable?

Buying shoes online can be reliable, provided you shop from trustworthy retailers. Look for secure websites with clear return policies and good customer reviews. Remember to verify the products’ authenticity, especially when purchasing branded shoes.

2. How Can I Ensure the Shoes Will Fit When Buying Online?

To ensure a good fit when buying shoes online, accurately measure your foot size at home and compare it with the size chart provided by the online retailer. Remember, sizes can vary between brands, so always check the specific sizing guide for the brand you’re interested in.

3. What Should I Do if I Receive a Counterfeit Product?

If you suspect you’ve received a counterfeit product, contact the retailer’s customer service immediately. If they are unresponsive or unhelpful, consider filing a dispute with your credit card company or the online platform where you made the purchase.

4. What Are Some Trustworthy Online Shoe Retailers?

Trustworthy online shoe retailers typically have secure websites, comprehensive return policies, and positive customer reviews. Many well-known shoe brands also have their online stores. Some popular and reliable online shoe retailers include Zappos, Nordstrom, and Amazon.

5. How Can I Avoid the Hassle of Frequent Returns When Buying Shoes Online?

To avoid the hassle of returns, take time to measure your foot accurately, review the product descriptions thoroughly, and read other customers’ reviews about the fit and comfort of the shoes. 

Additionally, understanding the return policy before purchase can help prepare you for any potential return process. 

Buying shoes online can be easy and enjoyable with the proper tools. Happy shopping!

2 thoughts on “Buying Shoes Online? 15 Tips for Buying Shoes Online”

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