Monday, February 12, 2007

Shoe Slash Shocker!

Here's some more fun stuff from ShopSmart magazine: a "Shoe Showdown!"
They took 4 pairs of almost identical black pumps, hid the labels, and had wearers rate them on comfort, fit, construction, and style, and asked them to guess which ones were the most expensive. So, did they find that you get what you pay for? Kind of!
The winning pair of shoes were $495 Manolo Blahniks, which were judged to be the best made, comfortable, and stylish. The runner up was a $69 pair from Nine West, which had some complaints about their construction but were judged to be "cuter" than the Blahniks. Steve Madden at $99 and Fioni/Payless at $20 were the losers.
Here's one comment that made me laugh: of the Nine West shoes, they said "Cushioning materials came apart in our hands after we cut the shoes in half." So if you're buying shoes based on their cut-in-half-ability, don't go to Nine West. And can you imagine them subjecting the Manolo Blahniks to that test? The moment they did it, every 20-something publicist in Manhattan probably experienced a collective shudder of grief just like Ben Kenobi in the first Star Wars movie when Darth Vader blew up that planet...

And one more interesting item from the magazine-- in an article rating bargain fashion websites (recommended were,,,, and, they dismiss "" as a "Sad Site." The name is clever but the idea is kind of weird-- for a monthly membership fee of $9.95, you can rent a variety of handbags. Sounds like a good idea at first, as you might want to use a cute bag once or twice with a particular outfit without having to own it forever, pay for it, and fit it into your closet. But the downside is that you have to pay an additional weekly or monthly fee per bag rental, which can be up to $275, and there are waiting lists for the most popular bags. I suspect that if you really want to use a fashionable bag for only a short time, you'd be better off just buying it and then selling it on ebay, but I haven't actually analyzed both scenarios-- does anyone else have any info?


Bitty said...

I love the Shop Smart magazine! I wish they'd start selling subscriptions.

I don't have any figures on the Bag, Borrow, or Steal scenario -- it doesn't seem cost efficient to me, though -- but I did blog about it a long time ago...

Anonymous said...

I though bagborrowand steal was a terrible idea when I first heard it on the for shoes, anything goes as long as i can walk and my feet aren't feeling tight

makingourway said...


The Shop Smart magazine article begs a gender issue:

What puzzles me is the quality of woman's shoes (in general).

Men's shoes seem more comfortable and last years, however, they are often much more expensive.

I fine pair of men's shoes might run $250, but they last 6-10 years. The better makes are also quite comfortable.

Why can't women enjoy this benefit? What are the marketers missing? What am I missing?

Regards, makingourway