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Buy Used Shoes/Boots - Yes or No?


Moderator Emeritus
I see used shoes and boots for sale on eBay, and I know of at least one store here in Houston that sells used cowboy boots. I don't recall reading much about this here, but I've seen other places online where the opinions seem to be mixed. Some say nay, used shoes have conformed their fit to someone else's feet, and/or you're exposed to possible health risks like toe fungus. Others say they've had good experiences buying and wearing used shoes.

What do you guys think, is it a good idea to buy used shoes, or not?
I've purchased slightly used shoes before.

Spray the inside with disinfectant.

Just remember people tend to sweat quite a bit in their shoes so if the shoes have been worn more than a handful.. I'd pass.
Layman's response here, but I think it is fine, and the probably the only way to get an older, classically made shoe if that is what one is after (meaning a shoe which has since been outsourced or no longer produced). Or a great way to reuse something that did not fit its original owner. That said, I have never given it any serious consideration or done it myself. If the shoe is cleaned, disinfected, and not worn out I don't see any downside. Germaphobes couldn't handle it, but I don't see much difference in that and traveling on an airplane/bus, sleeping in a hotel bed, using hotel shower/towels, using public toilets, etc. Millions of people have bowled in rented shoes without any side effects.


Moderator Emeritus
Although I see nothing wrong with it, personally I couldn't bring myself to do it. OTOH, I have a nephew who has purchased at least 3 pairs of Aldens (2 pair made from shell cordovan) and not only paid considerably less than retail but is quite happy with those particular purchases.
I bought one lightly used pair of boots on E-Bay. I disinfected them and never really worried too much about it as they were easily cleaned. I don't think I would buy any thing else but dress shoes or boots as athletic shoes would be difficult to clean. I know Mark The Shoe Shine Boy has a method he uses to clean used shoes, he had several pictures of shoes that he had restored.
I have several pairs of the high quality Northampton English bench made shoes by Tricker, Church, Cheaney, Alfred Sergent etc that I've bought on the bay. They have all been hardly worn so no worries for me.

I have found them to be an excellent purchase. It would seem that a lot of people buy them thinking they will be comfortable from the off like trainers/sneakers. When they find they need breaking in they get rid of them after a few wearings!

So, I have several pairs of well made shoes that are supremely comfortable and will see me out for a fraction of the price!

Biggest hesitation I have had in purchasing from ebay is size. Have no good idea how a pair would fit, and what to do if they did not. Concerned with variation between manufacturers, and with European sizings; true even with new, unworn shoes.
I've bought several used pairs, but all have been local purchases so I could find out how the shoe fits and feels. No issues whatsoever after a cleaning/polishing inside and out.

It is a good way to get high quality shoes on a young family budget.
Other than my exercising shoes, generally I buy used. Largely because my usual shoes are military assault boots. Cheap, tough and polish up nicely.

And as mentioned a few times, I've got a pair of ancient German Jackboots. Older than I am. Super comfortable, and dead shiny.
I found a great pair of insulated neoprene camo hunting boots made by baffin for $3 at a garage sale. I put that $3 in the ladies hand and walked away with the boots still on my feet. There is no way anybody was getting those off my feet after I paid for em!

The best part is the boots fit perfect, were almost new and I was seeking a pair of similar boots.

I dont mind used footwear at all as long as it is in good condition.
No, I've always bought my own shoes. :thumbsup:

“Shoetini: 4oz GQ Fashion, 1oz Cool Attitude, a splash of indulgence, a twist of temptation; shake over ice, strain into a trendy pair of shoes and garish with lots of accessories”. CBJ
I'll buy a pair that's been worn, say, five times or less. Only on account of I'm poor and the discounted price is often too good to pass on. That's how I got my Wolverine 1000 Mile Winchesters, and I love them. I'm wearing them as I type this, in fact.

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
I have never bought used shoes, but have been tempted, and I do not think I would hesitate to buy little worn high end shoes.

I would be more concerned about "used shoes have conformed their fit to someone else's feet" than anything else, and I have no idea how much or little of a problem that would be.
I have bought plenty of gently worn high end shoes off eBay and I havent been disappointed yet. The key decision point for me is the condition of the soles and heels - as long as there is a photo showing minimal wear, I will bid. I would not purchase any that have been resoled or have had the heels replaced, as those shoes have too many miles for me to take a chance on.

I tend to stick with Allen Edmonds because I know that when the time comes the recrafting services will return to me a practically new pair of shoes - esp with the hot cork footbed being replaced. I figure that if I buy a gently worn pair of high quality shoes and I recraft within 2 - 3 yrs, I am still below the original $350 purchase price.
I would consider buying lightly-used expensive dress shoes (Allen Edmonds, Aldens, etc.)--although I would worry about fit if I were buying remotely.

Otherwise, I would not be interested. Then again, I'm not too interested in used shaving soap either...
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I'm calling the U.N.
Moderator Emeritus
Well, all the guys who scour the BST for deals on used brushes and razors probably won't mind ...

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