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Used shoes: why buy them, and why not (in our opinion)

There are those who see a huge opportunity that others wouldn’t seize even under torture. What? Put yourself in the shoes of another. Literally.

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«Buy them» or «never»? This is Hamlet’s doubt. Because if it’s true that the second-hand market is on the rise and buying clothes and bags second hand it’s easy and fun, when it comes to used shoes the matter is a little more complex and you need to pay attention to some factors, primarily that footwear is not chosen only with the eyes, but with the feet (and also with the heart, if we have a DNA à la Carrie Bradshaw).

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On the other hand, according to Alyson Lutynski, area manager of the stores Buffalo Exchange in New York, shoes are now one of the chain’s best-selling used categories, from sneakers to the latest trends, from comfort to high heels. And sales show no signs of slowing down also because if the deal is good, you can also get the model worth thousands of euros at a (much) lower price.

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Besides your wallet, the environment naturally also thanks you. For the award-winning American journalist and author Tansy E. Hoskins «66.6 million pairs of shoes are produced not every month or every week, but every single day» with devastating repercussions for the Planet. Economic blunder or virtuous choice, on thebusiness “in its shoes” the world today is divided in half: those who add to the cart and shoe rack without problems and those who use shoes, never in life. Here, then, are the two points of view compared.

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Because I don’t buy used shoes

By Ilaria Perrotta, contributor

Let me start by saying that I am one shoeaholic (second the Urban Dictionary, it is anyone who owns more than 60 pairs of shoes) so much so that for the wedding proposal my future husband asked me for my foot and not my hand, giving me some beautiful peep toe in black satin (the theme of my wedding, obviously it was shoes in all sorts of ways). But that’s why, although sometimes she’s quite enticed, I don’t buy them second hand:

  • Since I was little my mother told me that, like mascara and lipstick, It’s best not to wear another person’s shoes because, having taken the shape of those who wore them before, it is not healthy for the feet and posture. This fashion lessons atavistic triggers warning mode within me at the mere thought of being able to buy a used shoe. The years pass but I remain a good little girl. I won’t go everywhere, only to Heaven or at least Oz. But with new shoes, maybe even glittery.
  • The hygiene question: You don’t have to be a doctor to know that shoes are the perfect places for fungi, which need moisture, heat and darkness to thrive, to thrive. And even if perhaps, not so much in the markets but especially online, you can find models complete with guarantees of having been worn only once, I know that I wouldn’t feel comfortable anyway.
  • Last but not least, Cinderella motivation romantic: never had a diamond for a best friend, but many shoes yes. Always, Mary Janes and ballerinas first, heels of all heights then (and now very many flat shoes, especially after the birth of my son) are made of the same substance that dreams are made of. I wouldn’t like to think of having someone else’s feet on my feet.

Getty photo

Glasshouse Images

Why do I buy used shoes

By Giorgia Olivieri, contributor

For many years I was one of those who sneaked into the shoe shop and then, although single and without having to answer to anyone, hid the box of that purchase in the house accompanied by feelings of guilt. I thought a lot about this compulsion, without finding answers that perhaps didn’t interest me much. Then I changed or perhaps my feet and my wallet simply changed (freelance journalist is not such a profitable job, I say this to avoid any misunderstanding) and the second hand it has become one more possibility. So this is why I, instead, purchase used shoes without problems:

  • First of all I live in Bolognaa city that focuses on the themes of vintage and consequently of sustainability she arrived before the others also thanks to the famous one Montagnola, one of the most famous markets in Italy where you see many Italian designers doing research among the stalls. So nothing is taboo, as long as it is one bazza as they say in Bologna, it’s a bargain. I remember that in 2006 a New York they were selling beautiful, very used boots on the street, with those beautiful worn pleats from the 70s or 80s. I fell in love with them but they cost too much. In Montagnola I found two for the price of one pair, they made me feel like those girls portrayed by Scott Schuman on the streets of the Big Apple, it was the golden years of street style and of The Sartorialist. Now I can’t wear heels anymore and with great regret those shoes are there collecting dust even though I could sell them without problems. However, unlike others, I cannot sell memories even if worn.
  • As I said before, it is an economic fact. If I find a nice pair of designer shoes at a bargain price in a flea market, why leave them there? I take them home, disinfect them and usually take them to the shoemaker to refresh. In years of vintage shopping and second hand, I didn’t see a mushroom, so for me the hygiene issue is not a deterrent. However, I would like to point out that the shoes I purchase are in good condition and without stains: the fit of another Cinderella is often invisible. Especially if you wander around the charity markets in the upper-class neighbourhoods: wealthy women make the economy go round more than me and they get tired of their purchases quicker.
  • And then it is a matter of style. I don’t like what everyone has. In terms of taste, I’m stuck with 90’s and I like that a garment has that allure, original though. After all these years, even the cornerstones have changed design, shape and smell. I, on the other hand, want to go back to those times, to Tod’s with the rubbers, yes moccasins lived, at Clark’s essential. In short, I like walking through the twentieth century. On the real one though and not on a pale imitation.

Giorgia Olivieri collaborated

Source: Vanity Fair

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