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The Shoe Quality Test

While comfort varies from woman to woman, quality is something that is a lot more universal.

So what makes a shoe of superior quality? How do you tell quality shoes from cheap ones? Here are some simple pointers that you can look out for next time you go shoe shopping!

  1. You know the saying; it’s what is on the inside that counts. True for shoes too. Stick your hand inside the shoe and check for how the insole is stuck, is it wrinkled and bumpy or smooth? Also check for added cushioning on the ball of the foot and heel. All tell-tale signs of shoe quality.
  2. This one is easiest to spot – check how the upper is lasted and the outsole is attached. Rough edges, wonky seams, glue sticking out at the base – warning bells must go off in your head.
  3. You know it’s always a good idea to walk in the shoes before you buy them. But not just to check on comfort and fit, but also to hear the noise the shoes make on a hard surface. Jarring click clack or squeaky sounds are a dead giveaway for bad quality soles.
  4. Stitching is another easy to spot test for good quality shoes. Wayward sewed lines are an indicator of amateur workmanship. Also check for stitch density. As a general rule, an adult shoe should have at least 8-10 stitches per inch.
  5. This one is normally used for high-heeled shoes. All you have to do is simply tap the back of the shoe to see if it rocks. Typically, if the shoe rocks more than 2mm in one direction or the other, the shoe is unstable and poor quality.
  6. Footwear should be flexible, especially when buying flats of any kind. You should be able to twist, bend or otherwise contort a shoe to a certain extent with relatively little effort and without damaging the shoe. Shoes that are too stiff will be uncomfortable to wear. This is also my fav way of judging quality of a rubber outsole.
  7. Other easy to spot signs are zippers that do not move smoothly through the track, barely secured embellishments, crooked and badly secured heel tips and stick-on insole brand labels.

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