- Are you looking for a particular style to meet the requirements of a particular period of time? And if so, what style? Be sure to do your homework so you know what you are looking at when you start shopping.
- How often do you plan to wear the shoes? Everyday, only for special events, not at all you just want a pretty pair of shoes to look at.
- What condition issues should you look for (and avoid) when shopping for vintage shoes? Cracking, scuffs, worn out insoles, broken straps, etc.
- What about the details? Heel height, pretty details like bows or buckles.
- And most importantly, how do you know what size shoe to buy?
|Group of ladies trying on shoes, c 1942. - Source LIFE|
So how do you know what size vintage shoes to buy?
|Morning Glorious Vintage|
So, to avoid heartaches and headaches alike - know your measurements, know your measurements, know your measurements!
|Shoes that are too narrow or too tight will not be comfortable. Ouch!|
|My pair of red peep toe shoes were marked as a US size 6/EUR 36. However, I tend to wear a modern size 7. Depending on the style and type of shoes I can wear anything from a 6 1/2 to a 7 1/2|
To ensure a good fit, measure of a pair of your own comfortable shoes across the ball of the foot (the widest point), and from toe to heel. Take both of these measurements on the inside on the shoes. A flexible ruler is helpful. Compare these measurements to those of the vintage shoes you think you want to purchase. It's a good idea to measure a pair of shoes that have the same heel height as the pair you're shopping for. Don't measure your own feet to compare with the shoes' measurements on the site. Don't forget to leave yourself a little wiggle room! If you like your shoes to fit snug or a little on the loose side, take that onto account.
|Trying on shoes before you buy is best but not always an option. Image source|
When in doubt, ask for help!
Don't be afraid to ask questions. When looking for vintage shoes online, I found the way shoes measurement were listed to be a little inconsistent, at least on Etsy. One shop will measure the widest point on the inside of the shoes and other shop across the bottom. Once I knew what I needed for my own measurements, I asked shop owners to clarify how their measurements were taken. Each and every person was extremely help I must say!
|Good shop owners will be happy to answer all your questions and help assist in finding a pair of shoes that fit.|
The Lady Eve - Glamourdaze
As with any article of vintage clothing, whether it's a hat, a dress, or a pair of shoes, expect some kind of wear. Occasionally you will see NOS - new old stock, or "dead stock" - items in near mint condition. Excellent condition can mean a higher price.
When looking for shoes, take a look first at the soles and then the heels. If no pictures are provided ask to see some. You should look at the amount of wear on the soles. Check for cracks or other flaws to the soles and heels. If you plan on wearing them for more then the occasional photo shoot this is important. You want to make sure the shoes are sturdy and safe to wear. Worn out insoles can easily be replaced. Scuff marks on the soles are no big deal but if there is cracking anywhere on the shoes that could be a problem, particularly with leather shoes as they can become brittle with age. Leather conditioners can help but in some cases the shoes may be beyond repair. Check the buckles (if there are any) and other details such as the stitching or decorative bows to make sure they are secure.
Ask yourself - If there are flaws, can you live with them, considering the age of the shoes of course? Can they easily be fixed? (A bit of polish or leather conditioner, new insoles, etc.) Is it worth the extra cost to have them fixed? If you answer "No" to any of these questions you should probably keep looking.
Remember, the hunt for the perfect pair of shoes is all part of the fun! :) I hope you find this post helpful.
|Daniel Green Footwear ad from Vintage Ad Browser|
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|Vintage Ad Browser|