For a long time, I never spent more than about $150 on a pair of shoes. I forayed in everything from sub-$30 shoes (a dabbling I strongly recommend against after one very painful romp across Midtown Manhattan) to $400 booties on sale for a remarkable $133 (one of my favorite sale finds to date!)—but never did I drop more than $150 on a pair. I simply refused, based on principle, on account of my love for thriftiness, and on a belief that, truthfully, is a $400 shoe that much more high-quality than a $100 shoe?
The answer I’ve now learned is that yes, it is. I recently donated 400 of my hard-earned dollars to a for-profit charity organization otherwise known as Bloomingdale’s, purchasing a pair of the Stuart Weitzman Nouveau heels [Ed note: Which have since sold out.] that I simply could not refuse. When I saw the perfectly pointed stiletto, the subtle gleam of iridescence, and the deeply cut silhouette of the arch, I felt that I had waited my entire life to spend so much money on one pair of shoes—and this was the pair I was destined for.
As my clicker finger paused over the purchase button, I pondered what I was doing. As a 28-year-old woman, I had finally reached the point where I felt like I should own a pair of shoes that cost a somewhat significant portion of my rent—ones that at least had the potential to elevate my personal style from respectable to undeniable. My feet needed an upgrade. Plus, this was all in the name of science: I had to test my long-held belief that expensive shoes weren’t that much better than shoes of average price points. I clicked purchase.
And I’m here to share with you, ladies, an unfortunate truth: Expensive shoes really are better than cheap ones. Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve gathered, point by point:
1. They’re more comfortable.
While stilettos are rarely (if ever) comfortable, this pair is without a doubt the most comfortable I’ve ever owned. Because the construction quality is so high and the quality of the leather is too, I feel like my foot is being constantly hugged by my shoe—a sensation that gives at least the illusion of comfort, even when true comfort isn’t entirely present.
2. They feel much more stable.
What’s truly amazing about a well-crafted stiletto is that it makes you feel like you’re not walking on a stabby rod of metal, when in fact you are. While most stilettos I’ve owned have mostly resulted in me wobbling around like a maniac, this more expensive pair somehow makes me feel like I can walk like a normal human being in them. Unlike with shoes that are more cheaply constructed, I don’t feel like I’m tempting fate with each and every step.
3. They magically withdraw compliments from others.
As much as I don’t want to believe it’s true, expensive shoes just look better. If you buy a good pair of expensive heels, they tend to look expensive, which just equates to looking sleek, well-made, and stylish. While I am a big proponent of brands like Zara and ASOS that have more affordable shoes that oftentimes look just as pricey as the real deal—I’ve come to believe that there is no replacement for true quality.
In conclusion: If you can drop a lot of cash on a pair of shoes, I’d recommend it. To help ensure you don’t waste your hard-earned dollars, we’ve come up with tons of shoes worth investing in now.
Opening Image: Style du Monde
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.