Get Cheap Designer Shoes Without Paying Designer Prices

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While your feet may be a small part of your body, what you want to adorn them with may often require a large paycheck. You may want those coveted red soles, but you don’t want – or simply can’t afford to – pay the hefty price tag they come with. The good news: There are plenty of places to get a Carrie Bradshaw-worthy collection at more wallet-friendly prices

Can I brag for a sec? I once scored four pairs of Christian Louboutin shoes at 75% off from a store that was going out of business. While it may have been sheer luck, there are many other store options that sell designer overstock, gently used or discounted merchandise. 

Now, without further ado, here’s the “real deal” on the best online and in-store places to find cheap(er) designer shoes: 

5 Best Cheap Designer Shoe Stores 

DSW

dsw
Image: DSW

You can take its full name literally: Designer Shoe Warehouse. DSW is just that. Besides over 500 retail stores, you can get great deals and brand names online. Best of all, this store accommodates every budget, from more mainstream brands like Crocs and Steve Madden, to high-end luxury brands. 

Price Range: $9.95 and up


Marshalls

marshalls
Image: Marshalls

Marshalls is a mecca for fashionistas digging for a discount. They sell designer kicks like Valentino, Donald Pliner, Badgley Mischka and Gucci, to name a few, for 30% to 70% off retail, often taking designer overstock merchandise or selling past-season (but scoring those boots at 70% off are worth the wait to wear them for next winter). 

Price Range: $35 and up 


Nordstrom Rack

nordstrom rack
Image: Nordstrom Rack

Much like its competitor, Saks 5th Avenue, Nordstrom Rack entered the designer outlet model to offer its shoppers a less costly alternative. You’ll find items and brands that the store no longer carries or has discontinued, at a deeply discounted price. Nordstrom Rack has on-trend styles, and this is a great way for shoppers to score the latest trends for less. Designer brands include Coach, Moschino, Dolce & Gabbana, P448 and more.

Price Range: $38 and up


Saks Off 5th

saks off fifth
Image: Saks Off 5th

The NYC retail staple Saks 5th Avenue has expanded its business with an outlet-style store known as Off 5th. It’s a great place to get all their designer shoe brands at up to 70% off. They have fast delivery too, usually within one to five days. Designer brands include Valentino, Stuart Weitzman, Bottega Veneta and Alexander McQueen.

Price Range: $20 and up 


T.J. Maxx

Image: T.J. Maxx

As sister company of Marshalls, T.J. Maxx is another mecca for fashionistas who are digging for a discount. With similar designer brands to Marshalls, like Gucci, Bottega Veneta, FERCA ’81 and other “Made in Italy” favorites, the only problem you’ll have is deciding which store to shop.

Price Range: $25 and up


5 Cheap Online Designer Shoe Stores 

6pm

6pm
Image: 6pm

It’s no surprise this site has an amazing selection and variety; it’s the sister site to Zappos. 6pm is essentially an outlet store to the other site, offering thousands of its styles at a discount. Designer brands include Giuseppe Zanotti, Loeffler, Clergerie, See by Chloe and more.

Price Range: $20 and up 


Farfetch

farfetch
Image: Farfetch

Farfetch has skads of designer and high-end merchandise, and most are way outside of peoples’ budgets. But when you shop Farfetch’s sale, you can get your favorites without having to forego your bills for a month. Designers include UGG, Philipp Plein, Dolce & Gabbana, Stella McCartney, Aquazurra, to name a few. Plus, there’s also a pre-owned section you can score more savings.

Price Range: $30 and up


Gilt

gilt designer shoes
Image: Gilt

Fashionistas need to be on high alert to snag rock-bottom prices on designer shoes at Gilt. The brand literally started the trend of designer online flash sales back in the early 2000s and is still going strong. With over 35 million members, Gilt offers something new every day with up to 70% off retail. Some designer brands include Fendi, Christian Louboutin, Gucci and Versace.

Price Range: $20 and up


Rue La La

rue la la
Image: Rue La La

Blink twice and you might miss those Gucci loafers you’ve been eyeing all season. Once rivals with Gilt but now housed under the same parent company, Rue La La is another designer flash sale site, meaning you have to join and only have about 24 to 36 hours to shop until the site has moved on to the next sale. Designer brands range from Valentino and Burberry to Dolce & Gabbana and Jimmy Choo.

Price Range: $100 and up. 


Zappos

zappos
Image: Zappos

What was once referred to as the Amazon of shoes, Zappos ended up being purchased by Amazon in 2009. Zappos has been around for over 20 years, selling hundreds of brand name shoes and boots — and now apparel and accessories, too. The site has speedy service and free shipping and returns. They don’t carry higher high-end designer kicks, but you can get deals on designers like Birkenstock, Bed Stu, Donald Pliner and more.

Price Range: $20 and up


3 Secondhand Designer Shoe Stores

The RealReal

the realreal
Image: The RealReal

Not to be confused with The Real Deal (ahem), The RealReal considers itself a luxury brand consignment sale site, where you can shop or sell. But this isn’t your grandma’s thrift shop experience. Every sale is curated, and every item undergoes a rigorous process to ensure its authenticity. 

Price Range: $300 and up 


ThredUP

thredup
Image: ThredUP

If you thought ThredUP is just for regular secondhand clothes, you’re wrong. ThredUP has a whole section of premium apparel, including high-end designers, including Golden Goose, Christian Louboutin, Prada, Fendi, Saint Laurent, Miu Miu and more. Of course, the downside is they have to currently have your size, but you’re guaranteed to find something your world can’t possibly go without.

Price Range: $30 and up


Tradesy

tradesy
Image: Tradesy

Tradesy adds different brands daily (including those coveted red soles) at up to 70% off retail because they’re pre-owned. They guarantee authenticity. Many styles are “like-new” and have almost 3,000 reviews with an average of between 4 and 5 stars. Tradesy also offers the option to pay over time using Affirm if you don’t want to spend all your cash at once.

Price Range: $200 and up


Tips To Shopping Secondhand or Flash Sales 

  • Check for authenticity. Any legitimate seller of secondhand or discounted merchandise should be able to prove that it’s real and not a fake. They’ll often provide a certificate from an accredited examiner, so be sure to ask for that. 
  • Broken in or broken down? Check for signs of leather tears, deformed or stretched out toe boxes or worn treads on shoes. Pass if the pair looks too worn. This can be hard to do when shopping online, but the descriptions and photos should show/tell you everything you need to know.

What To Know When You Shop for Cheap Designer Shoes

1. Beware of Fakes

Counterfeit merch has long been an issue with designer handbags and over the years, these same counterfeiters, often from overseas, have knocked off designer labels for shoes, clothes and pretty much anything in between! Sometimes the fakes are so good, you can’t believe they’re not the real deal … until they fall apart one week later.

These counterfeit stores also often place advertisements on places like Google and Facebook and appear to be legitimate. Always check the reviews, as those can tell you everything you need to know, and doing a simple Google search ensures you’re dealing with a legitimate website selling authenticated merchandise. You can also contact the designer directly for a list of retailers that carry their products. But if it’s too good to be true, it likely is. For example, a $1,000 pair of shoes will sell nowhere for $100. It’s likely a fake.  

2. Check the Return Policy

The shoe doesn’t always fit. For example, if it’s a material like patent leather, you may want the next size up. Or, if it’s European sizing, you may end up buying slightly off from your American size. Or perhaps you just have wide feet and that trendy pointy toe-box left you with blisters. Bottom line? When you’re spending that much, make sure you can easily return them if needed. 

3. Go With a Timeless Look

If you’re splurging, you’ll want to opt for a style that’ll stand the test of time. You already know designer brands promise quality, but that doesn’t mean those alligator cage heels will still be in style come next season. It’s better to opt for a timeless look that you’ll want to wear for years to come. 


How To Save the Most Cash on Designer Shoes 

  • Subscribe. Sign up to flash sale sites (that are often members only) and check their emails daily so you don’t miss the sales on your favorite brands. They often only offer limited quantities in certain sizes, so if you wear a popular size, shop early. 
  • Shop secondhand stores. They estimate the designer apparel resale market at around $20 billion these days and about 80% of people are shopping secondhand, be it to save cash or help the environment (or both). There are plenty of sites (some listed below) that offer gently used high-end shoes and this can still give you that designer cred, while saving you a ton of cash. 
  • Shop outlets. Outlets have long been a secret of the most savvy shoppers. And if you think it’s just for mainstream brands like Gap and American Eagle, think again. High-end department stores like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus (Last Call) and Saks opened up their own outlets so you can shop their selections for less. 

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