Second-hand Footwear

Years ago I always purchased my slippers during After-Christmas sales at the mall. When I became an avid thriftier that changed. If I’m at home, I’m wearing my slippers. That means each pair has a relatively short lifespan. Because of that, I’m pretty much always looking for slippers when I go thrifting. I’ve ended up with as many as 5 pair waiting in reserve. By mid-2013 my only remaining pair was getting increasingly threadbare. I combed the second hand stores to no avail. I was getting desperate.

During December retailers advertise several items as one-gift-fits-all. Shoppers who put little thought into their gift giving seem to fall back on such things as See’s Candy, Chia Pets or Dearfoam slippers. As a result slippers turn up at the thrift stores still in the box in January. So as the calendar turned to 2014 I began to watch the shoe department even more closely.

On January 28th I came across this pair of New Balance athletic shoes for $7.99 at Goodwill.

1-28-14 GW $

They retail for $80something. They replaced this pair of work shoes.

old work shoes  worn work shoes

It took until March 20th before this pair of slippers turned up at Deseret Industries.

blu slippers 3-20-14

I bought them even though they are not my preferred style and are a bit too big for my size 10 feet (Which rarely happens). They are warm and fuzzy, so I’m not complaining too much. After all they were only $2.00.

On March 29th I purchased this pair of water shoes from St. Vincent de Paul. They were marked $3.99 but it was their Memorial Day HALF OFF SALE so I got them for $2.

3-29-14 SVdP

In May I spent a week vacationing in New Hampshire. I only had one opportunity to check out the NH Thrift stores but I finally found the slippers I had been searching for.

5-4-14 Prtsmith GW $8.46

At $5.99, they were about a quarter of retail, and they were new in the box!

By August I was no longer paying much attention to the shoe rack but this pair of NEW hiking boots for $14.99 grabbed my attention on August 18th.


Similar ones on L.L. Bean’s web site retail for $120.

On August 29th I found these Teva sandals in a roadside FREE box.

Teva 8-25 FREE

On October 25th this pair of new looking Mary Jane type flats by Sketchers was $5.99 at Value Village. (I had a coupon)

10-25-14 VV $10.39

On November 13th this pair of New Balance All Terrain 441s came home with me from Value Village for a mere $5.99. They retail for $55.00

$5.24 New Balance

That’s 8 pairs of footwear for only $44.95. I’m feeling pretty proud of myself.

For the longest time I wouldn’t even consider second hand shoes. I feel safe wearing other recycled clothing (after I’ve washed it) but putting my feet in other peoples shoes gives me the HeeBee GeeBees. A friend who had just purchased shoes from St. Vincent de Paul told me she sanitized them with Lysol. It wasn’t easy but I eventually warmed to the idea of second hand shoes too.

I haven’t always been so successful. I once bought a pair of what looked like new (or nearly new) rubber boots only to find the rubber had deteriorated to the point that they couldn’t be saved. I patched them with Shoe Goo but one leak after another showed up. With cold wet feet I finally tossed them into the trash.


Another shoe failure was a pair of Champion Mary Jane flats that I got from Deseret Industries. Though they looked pretty good at first glance I didn’t notice that one heal was “wonky”.

shoe purchase mistake

Walking in them threw me off balance and made my back hurt. Since then I always wear a potential shoe purchase around the store for several minutes before making my discussion to buy.

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