How Online Reviews Can Help You Find the Perfect-Fitting Pair of Shoes

Shopping for footwear online comes with limitless choices. But, it can also have its share of challenges particularly when it comes to fit. To help take the guess work out of ordering shoes online, the best (and most obvious) solution is to read up on customer feedback from like-minded shoppers. According to the industry, about one-third of shoes bought online are returned. So we polled consumers and asked them about their shopping hacks when it comes to finding the perfect shoes.

Look for styles that address your foot issues.

Alex Nevins, a bunion and flat foot sufferer depends on consumer reviews to guide her purchases. “It’s of major importance,” said Nevins, who has bought shoes online from brands such as Crocs and Vionic. Similarly, Judy Stein, who has bunions and hammer toes, does the same, seeking styles with roomy toe boxes and soft leathers. “I look for people with similar fit issues,” she said, who once bought four pairs of shoes based on positive feedback alone. “[Reviewers] will often indicate if shoes have a wide toe, fit tight, run large or small.”

Pay attention to the small details, too.

“I also look at reviews on a range of issues, including whether shoes may squeak, if the heels are narrow, if they cause wounds after wear, and what was the quality level like,” Nevins said.

Don’t just read the five-star reviews.

Have you ever wondered whether websites post all reviews they receive — good and bad. According to etailers, today’s consumers are savvy shoppers and will see right through only rave reviews. While the five-star comments might be posted first, those with less than stellar remarks are also included. So spend the time and read them all.

Read as many as you can.

Mallory Prahalis, who works for a global review platform, checks reviews for sizing purposes. “My feet can range from a 7 to 7 1/2, so without a review commenting on sizing (true to size, runs small, etc.), I usually won’t purchase,” she explained. “I also use reviews to see if the shoes are comfortable and easy to walk in. A lot of shoes I purchase online I end up wearing to work so it’s important I’m able to walk a good distance in them.”

Skip the purchase if there are conflicting reviews.

“I often read about 12 reviews,” said Micki Liebman, a retired insurance claims adjuster. “If I read three that say a shoe is true to size, and three that say it is small, I wouldn’t buy the shoe. Who do I believe?”

And finally, return them if you’re unhappy.

Don’t be lazy when it comes to returns if shoes don’t meet your requirements. Many websites offer liberal return policies to ensure customer satisfaction.

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