I Love Zappos!

Gone are the days when I enjoy a shoe shopping trip. I've never been much of a shopper, but shoe shopping--that was fun. These days, I dread both clothes and shoe shopping obligations. I know MaryAlice feels similarly, so she has started to purchase clothes for her children online at Lands End. We have made a move in this directions for Christmas gifts, for some limited clothes purchases, and now think I'm going to take the plunge on shoes.

Previously I had thought that shoes were something I just had to go to the store and try on. I am incredibly particular about my footwear--I usually wear sneakers because my feet feel terrible in most shoes--and so the thought of purchasing shoes online seemed crazy. And then last year, I hunted and hunted for a pair of casual (but also somewhat dressy) brown shoes. I wanted them to be comfortable, and appropriate for both jeans and a cute skirt. After consulting with some friends, I decided to purchase a pair of Dansko's. I bought these adorable shoes at the Walking Company and have never looked back. They have held up great, and I wear them almost every day. I tossed ALL my other cold weather brown shoes, and I love how this one purchase has simplified my life. I only have one pair of brown shoes. Aren't they cute?

But there was one problem--I never wanted to wear any of my black shoes because they all seemed so uncomfortable compared to my brown shoes. I thought about it for a while, and decided to purchase the exact same pair of shoes in black! I knew my size, and I knew what I wanted, so I ordered them on Zappos. Zappos even has free shipping (and free-return shipping if the shoes don't fit!). The shoes arrived the very next day and they were $20 less than what I paid at the Walking Company!

So now my closet has only 4 pairs of shoes (brown Dansko's, black Dansko's, sneakers, and slippers). I'll refrain from sharing a picture because I don't want to make everyone jealous.

This weekend, I mentioned to Mr. Red that I needed new running shoes. He suggested a date with Zappos (Mr. Red is now ordering all his shoes on Zappos), and while hesitant, I obliged. I know Nike running shoes fit my feet well. I know my size. I went to the Nike site and figured out what type of running shoe would suit my needs best. I then went over to Zappos, and 15 minutes later I made my purchase. That's 15 minutes TOTAL.

With four children, a simple shoe errand would be almost impossible and so purchasing a new pair of running shoes requires that I either 1) pay a babysitter or 2) eat into precious family time. The Zappos experience was so amazing that I want to do all my future shoe shopping this way. The children regularly need new shoes, and I have to bring them along to measure their feet and try on the shoes. But now I am thinking of switching to Zappos for my children's shoes. Is that crazy? There are plenty of shoe sizing charts online, see here, and here. I can print-out the chart, measure their feet, and then pick something appropriate. Has anyone else gone this route?


Red, super cute shoes! I LOVE my Danskos as well. I just realized I've had the same pair for over 5 years, wear them every day, and they are holding up well! Now that's a great shoe! You may have convinced me to purchase these brown versions because I've been looking for a brown casual everyday shoe. Since we don't live in the same town, you wouldn't mind, right?! :) Mimicry is the best form of flattery.

I love the idea of wardrobe simplification. Your shoe motivation sounds a lot like Kristin's wardrobe mentality over at Small Treasures. I find her simplicity just beautiful. We could all use a little more of it in our lives.

January 25, 2010 at 8:09 AM  

I went for the brown and black matching danskos two years ago (a year after buying them in black I got the same ones in brown) and haven't looked back. I never thougth I would have the same shoes in two different colors, but how it has simplified my life! I wear either pair to work every day and change into "nice" heels if I have to go to a meeting or go to court. I love my danskos.

January 25, 2010 at 8:41 AM  

I have been doing much of my shopping on-line lately. The one problem is that my Visa was declined at the grocery store the other day. Why? It had been compromised on-line!

January 25, 2010 at 8:59 AM  

I'm a total Dansko groupie myself. My favorite are the patent leather clogs, I have one of each in black, red & navy blue.

January 25, 2010 at 9:06 AM  

Two quick comments:

1. I haven't tried Dansko shoes, but wanted to say I'm a huge fan of Born for comfort and durability. I have never liked any pair of shoes as much as the two Born pair I purchased a couple of years ago. Well worth the expense!

2. Elena, if you're worried about using your credit card online, one suggestion would be to buy pre-paid Visas and use those for your online purchases. Then, if anyone somehow gets your information, they can only spend up to what the balance on the card is and not create a huge mess for you to take care of or compromise your credit!

January 25, 2010 at 10:38 AM  

I have fallen in love with another online shoe website: endless.com It is associated with Amazon and I love all the ways you can search for shoes, their prices, and the free overnight shipping!

January 25, 2010 at 12:01 PM  

I also love my brown Dansko clogs and wear them all the time, although they don't seem to be as popular down here in TX as they were up north! Zappos is a great website (so is Endless) - I definitely don't enjoy in-store shopping anymore, especially when it's so hard to find a comfortable and nice-looking shoe these days!

January 25, 2010 at 1:47 PM  

Has anyone tried to order online shoes for their children?

I'm going to check out the endless sight for my next purchase.

And Elena, most sites take paypal, and easy way to avoid compromising your credit card (although I admit I only use paypal if I don't trust the site).

January 25, 2010 at 1:51 PM  

Red....Believe it or not, I was going to post on Dansko shoes! Betsy told me I would love them (I also wear running shoes all the time). I asked for some for Christmas and LOVE them! I think I may have to ask for a pair in black for my birthday!

I order all shoes for me and the kids online. We order kids shoes from New Balance (nbwebexpress.com) b/c we need XXW (fat feet here!) and they are cheaper than stride rite and in several cases have held out for all three boys. They have a chart that you can print out and have your kid stand on to see what size they need. It is almost always right, but they do have free returns and I have sent them back once to get a different size. With free returns, I never will have to brave a shoe store with 3 toddlers again!

January 25, 2010 at 2:10 PM  

Red, I have bought Pedipeds for Maria because I knew her basic size and I also knew that I could return for free if they didn't fit. Pedipeds are flexible, so I knew that they were generally the correct size.

I usually buy kids' shoes at Stride Rite, and go when they're having a big sale. I know that they're pricier than other stores, but not by much actually, and they last for a while. My kids own one pair of sneakers and one pair of dress shoes, so I think that it's worth the money. I don't mind shopping for kids' shoes because I only have to go to one store and I know that they'll have what I need. And if not, at least they've been fitted and I can order online!

January 25, 2010 at 3:05 PM  

First time commenter, but I have long loved this blog. (I live in Richmond and am "real life" friends with the gals of the Richmond blogging contingent.) After this post, I felt I had found my kindred spirit. (: I had the exact same experience (ie not being able to shop with children, find shoes that I could wear for casual or with a skirt, no endurance, let alone patience, for clothes shopping, etc.) I got the same shoes a year ago in the wine-red color at Zappos. I felt like it was a little more versatile as I could wear it with black or brown. I love my old Danskos (the traditional style I had worn everyday for three years), but I really love the feminine touch of my new Mary Jane style. I second the recommendation of these shoes!

January 25, 2010 at 4:23 PM  

Since we all enjoy talking about Danskos (hmmm, do you think we can get them to send us a promo, j/k) a further question: What color/style socks do you wear with them? Since switching from only running shoes, all I own are low cut athletic socks and 3 pairs of black socks that I usually wear with boots. Maybe I need to do a sock change, too.

January 25, 2010 at 6:10 PM  

That is so funny, I was just going to ask you where got those brown shoes I have seen you wear to co-op. In college I had a similar pair and wore them out.

Buying on-line does make things so much simpler. I have birthday money I set aside to buy a new pair of brown shoes, that was October -so I agree. It is very hard to get out. Amazon Prime membership has been a real help.

The kids' shoes I buy at Olly, and take advantage of their points system. At the moment, I have $30 worth of coupons. Sticking with one brand is simpler too.

Side note to Red- If you do need to go out, I can watch the kids for you so you don't have to pay a babysitter. Just call, don't e-mail ;-) Other moms have helped me out in a pinch with free babysitting, so it is nice to pass it on.

January 25, 2010 at 7:44 PM  

I have bought shoes for my kids at Zappos, I usually buy several pairs and then return the ones that don't fit. We have had good luck with it. Our mall Stride Rite carries only the super trendy styles, so I always strike out and leave there frustrated. I like that at Zappos I can get plain boys loafers, mary janes, etc. Also, they get to you so fast it is almost scary!

January 25, 2010 at 8:02 PM  

You all are inspiring me to shop more online for my kids' shoes. We go to a local shop that carries everything from Stride Rite to New Balance and always end up paying at least $50/pair for new shoes. As Kat said, though, I don't mind the expense when my kids only have one pair that they wear into the ground along with a pair of church shoes. I think I'm going to try Zappos to buy our next round and see how it goes. Online buying over braving the store with three kiddos, I'll take any day!!!

January 25, 2010 at 8:12 PM  

B-Mama and Karen--feel free to purchase these shoes. Imitation is the best form of flattery. I have talked sooo many people into buying these shoes. They are so comfortable and cute. Even Gus's therapist went out and bought them (haha!).

Tex--I had to do a sock switch because like you, I only owned white crew socks--not ideal! I bought about 8 pairs of fashionable socks in grey, brown, and black and all three look adorable with the shoes.

And seriously, I think both Dansko's and Zappos owe us bigtime for the plug we are giving them. Free shoes all around ;-)

January 25, 2010 at 9:30 PM  

I love Zappos so much I am on Zappos VIP which is free overnight and free returns like the regular.

I really do love them for my shoes.

I go to our local shoe store for Jack's shoes because I love them and it is a great experience, however they don't have everything we need (like we need really good rainboots since they get worn everyday and I'm picky since I've had tons of pairs crack). So I use Zappos for those things and like Alice I just order a few pairs and return what doesn't fit. It's great. The Kamik brand rainboots are awesome if anyone else's kids where rainboots constantly. I probably do half and half local vs. Zappos.

Here is my Dansko question. I love mine, BUT my ankle turns in them from time to time and it happened once while I was holding Jack (he was bigger) and I'm paranoid about it now. That and it is embarrassing to be tripping that often.

Anyone else have that problem?

January 26, 2010 at 2:47 PM  

I haven't yet made the leap of faith to buy shoes online. But I'm willing to try. I hate shoe shopping because I wear a 10.5 which, unfortunately, is a very difficult size to find in the stores, and I'm a little nervous about spending upwards of 60-125 dollars for a pair of shoes. So my questions are

Is the jump in price from say Payless or DSW worth it?

And if anyone else wears an odd size, are they true to size and comfortable?

January 26, 2010 at 5:05 PM  

I've had my ankles turn with my danskos too. I still wear them b/c I like them so much. It usually happens when I'm rushing, so I figure I just need to slow down a bit.

January 26, 2010 at 10:08 PM  

I love shopping for shoes with my nieces. I have a favorite shop that I go to and it makes shopping for shoes easier than usual. I hear my friends complain about how shopping for shoes can be so stressful, but with that store, there's a wide array of different styles and designs. My nieces are also familiar with what their sizes are in that particular store. with other stores, it's always trial and error and that can take a lot of time.

January 27, 2010 at 4:56 AM  

In response to the question about spending up for Danskos, I would say that it is totally worth it. I now buy shoes only when my shoes wear out, not when something cute looks cheap at DSW. As a result, I have comfortable, practical, functional shoes for all occasions and a streamlined closet, and even though I buy more expensive shoes, I spend less on shoes. I have had my danskos for 6 years and they are still in fine shape, though I do not wear them everyday, so others might wear the soles more quickly.

January 28, 2010 at 7:11 PM  

I have been thinking about new brown shoes for awhile and noticed this post the other day. I wanted to let y'all know about the cutest shoes of my life that I just discovered: SoftSpots Aster. From what I have seen at their website, they have an abundance of very cute, slightly retro shoes that are beyond comfortable. I hope this helps you Builders (and readers) in your quests for the perfect shoe!

January 31, 2010 at 9:33 PM  

Newer Post Older Post Home