Online shoe shopping can be a thrilling experience, offering endless options right at your fingertips. However, it can also be a bit daunting, especially when you’re trying to ensure the perfect fit and style without trying the shoes on in person. Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, aptly puts it, “Online shoe shopping can be a gamble, but with the right research and knowledge, you can find your perfect Cinderella slipper.” (Source: The Tig) This guide provides practical tips and insights to help you navigate the world of online shoe shopping successfully.

Know Your Measurements

Accurate Measurements Matter

Understanding your foot measurements is crucial when shopping for shoes online. Sizes can vary between brands and even between different styles from the same brand. Rebecca Minkoff, fashion designer, advises, “The key to successful online shoe shopping is to know your measurements and understand the return policy before you click ‘buy’.” (Source: Rebecca Minkoff)

Steps to Measure Your Feet:

  1. Length: Measure from the heel to the longest toe.
  2. Width: Measure the widest part of your foot.
  3. Arch Length: Measure from the heel to the ball of the foot.

Using Size Charts

Once you have your measurements, compare them with the size chart provided by the retailer. This can help you determine the best size to order. Keep in mind that some brands may have different sizing conventions, so always refer to their specific charts.

Read Reviews

Insights from Other Shoppers

Reading reviews can provide valuable information about the fit, comfort, and quality of the shoes you’re considering. Beth Goldstein, footwear analyst, suggests, “Read reviews before buying shoes online. They can provide valuable insights into the fit, comfort, and quality of the shoes.” (Source: NPD Group)

What to Look for in Reviews:

  • Fit: Look for comments on whether the shoes run true to size, small, or large.
  • Comfort: Pay attention to remarks about comfort, especially if you plan to wear the shoes for extended periods.
  • Quality: Reviews can reveal the durability and craftsmanship of the shoes.

Personal Anecdote:

I once bought a pair of boots online that looked perfect in the photos. However, they turned out to be too narrow for my feet. Reading the reviews beforehand could have saved me the hassle of returning them, as several customers mentioned the narrow fit.

Understand Return Policies

Hassle-Free Returns

Before making a purchase, familiarize yourself with the retailer’s return policy. Emily Weiss, founder of Glossier, emphasizes, “Don’t be afraid to order multiple sizes when shopping for shoes online. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and returns are usually hassle-free.” (Source: Into The Gloss)

Key Aspects of Return Policies:

  • Return Window: Know the timeframe within which you can return the shoes.
  • Condition Requirements: Ensure the shoes can be returned if they’ve been tried on indoors.
  • Return Shipping: Check if the retailer offers free return shipping or if you’ll need to cover the cost.

Use Virtual Try-On Tools

Leveraging Technology

Many online retailers now offer virtual try-on tools or augmented reality experiences to help you visualize how the shoes will look on your feet before purchasing them. Adam Petrick, Global Director of Brand and Marketing at Puma, highlights, “Look for online retailers that offer virtual try-on tools or augmented reality experiences. These can help you visualize how the shoes will look on your feet before you purchase them.” (Source: Footwear News)

Benefits of Virtual Try-On Tools:

  • Visualization: See how the shoes look with your skin tone and outfit.
  • Fit Assessment: Some tools can provide insights into the fit based on your measurements.
  • Reduced Returns: By making more informed choices, you can reduce the likelihood of returns.

Personal Experience:

Using a virtual try-on tool, I once found the perfect pair of sneakers that not only looked great but also fit perfectly. The tool allowed me to see how the shoes would look with different outfits, making my decision much easier.

Shop from Reputable Retailers

Trustworthy Sources

Choosing reputable online retailers can make a significant difference in your shopping experience. Established retailers often have better customer service, accurate product descriptions, and reliable return policies.

Tips for Identifying Reputable Retailers:

  • Customer Reviews: Look for overall ratings and reviews of the retailer itself.
  • Clear Policies: Ensure the retailer provides clear information about shipping, returns, and customer service.
  • Secure Payment: Check for secure payment options to protect your financial information.

Consider Multiple Sizes

Ordering Multiple Sizes

When in doubt, order multiple sizes to ensure you find the perfect fit. This approach can save time and frustration, especially if you’re unsure about the brand’s sizing.


  • Fit Comparison: Try different sizes to find the most comfortable fit.
  • Reduced Return Hassle: Since many retailers offer free returns, ordering multiple sizes can be a hassle-free way to ensure satisfaction.

Personal Insight:

Ordering two sizes of the same pair of shoes once saved me from a potential return headache. I found that one size fit perfectly, while the other was too tight. This approach allowed me to make the best choice without multiple rounds of shipping.

Assess the Material and Construction

Quality and Durability

Examining the material and construction of the shoes is essential to ensure you’re getting a durable and comfortable product. Pay attention to the descriptions and close-up photos provided by the retailer.

Key Aspects to Consider:

  • Material: Leather, suede, and high-quality synthetics are generally more durable.
  • Construction: Look for well-constructed shoes with secure stitching and robust soles.
  • Breathability: Materials like mesh and perforated leather offer better breathability for comfort.

Compare Prices and Look for Deals

Smart Shopping

Comparing prices across different websites can help you find the best deals. Additionally, keep an eye out for sales, discounts, and special offers.

Tips for Finding Deals:

  • Price Comparison Tools: Use tools like Google Shopping to compare prices.
  • Email Subscriptions: Sign up for newsletters to receive notifications about sales and discounts.
  • Coupon Codes: Search for coupon codes that can provide additional savings.

Personal Experience:

I often use price comparison tools to find the best deals on shoes. Last year, I saved a significant amount on a pair of designer heels by waiting for a sale and using a coupon code.

The Role of Reviews and Ratings

Trusting Peer Feedback

Consumer reviews and ratings can provide a wealth of information about the shoes you’re considering. They can offer real-world insights that go beyond the product description.

What to Look for:

  • High Ratings: Focus on products with consistently high ratings.
  • Detailed Reviews: Look for detailed reviews that discuss specific aspects of the shoes.
  • Photos: User-uploaded photos can give you a better idea of the shoes’ appearance and fit.


Online shoe shopping can be a rewarding experience when approached with the right strategies. By knowing your measurements, reading reviews, understanding return policies, and utilizing virtual try-on tools, you can find the perfect pair of shoes that fit well and look great. As Meghan Markle aptly says, “Online shoe shopping can be a gamble, but with the right research and knowledge, you can find your perfect Cinderella slipper.” (Source: The Tig)

Embrace the convenience and variety that online shopping offers, and don’t hesitate to experiment with different styles and sizes. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to find shoes that not only meet your needs but also make you feel confident and stylish. Happy shopping!

Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue creating content. Thank you for your support!

I'm a fashion-obsessed gal with a passion for sharing affordable finds, styling tips, and body-positive fashion inspiration. I believe great style is about feeling confident and expressing your unique personality – not about breaking the bank. When I'm not hunting down the perfect pair of jeans, you'll find me sipping coffee at my favorite local café or exploring new hiking trails with my pup.

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