Expert Tips for Buying Shoes Online

Woman shopping for shoes online with credit card in hand

How to Buy Shoes Online & Get the Best Fit with Foot Petals®

The problem with buying shoes from online retailers is knowing whether they will actually fit. Why miss out on hundreds of great styles when you don’t have to? Foot Petals® shoe cushions make it possible to wear all the shoes you want, correcting fit issues and more. Here are our expert tips on how to buy shoes online and get the best fit.

The Problem of Buying Shoes Online That Don’t Fit

Online shoe shopping can be questionable territory. You can’t check the fit, feel, or quality of the shoes, and choosing the right size feels like a guessing game. Returning shoes that don’t fit can be a hassle, especially if you ordered the pair for an event like a summer wedding and don’t have time to look for a different pair.

Need a solution to your online shoe shopping woes? Foot Petals shoe cushions help correct fit issues like shoes that are too big and common shoe problems from scrunched toes to slingbacks slipping off your heels. Whether you need a quick fix for an awkward fit or help with breaking in new shoes, use Foot Petals inserts along with the following tips for the perfect fit and shop all new styles in confidence.

woman placing ball of foot cushion in nude sandal

What to Look Out for When Buying Shoes Online

Want to hit up the latest influencer shoe trends or shop reseller apps for vintage heels? Shopping online is supposed to be easier than going in person, and it can be a great way to find exactly what you want for a lower price. Take our advice on what to avoid when buying shoes online including how to find the right size, understanding return policies, and where to shop.

1. Measure Your Feet

Feet change size and shape throughout your life. Because there is no universal standard for women’s shoe sizes, sizing can vary by brand and style. Not all manufacturers follow the same sizing chart, either, which can make buying shoes from a new website difficult.

To avoid buying the wrong size shoe, start by measuring your feet. Measure the width and the length of both of your feet, since it is not uncommon for feet to be two different sizes even by a half size. These dimensions will help you get an exact fit.

2. Use the Sizing Chart

Many sellers have a sizing chart to help buyers find their size. Shoes that are labeled “true-to-size" will correspond with the standard size chart of most U.S. manufacturers. According to this chart, a women’s size 8 shoe is equal to a foot that is just over 9.5 inches long.

When buying from an international seller, you might have to use a conversion chart to find your US shoe size. For example, a women’s US size 8 shoe is a 41 EU size and a size 7.5 in women’s UK shoe sizes. Conversion results may differ slightly among manufacturers, which is why you must measure your feet.

Tip: Should you size up if you need a half size? If the seller does not offer half sizes, go one size up from your standard size. You can fill in gaps within the shoe using Foot Petals back of heel cushions, ball of foot cushions, or ¾ insert cushion for a comfortable fit. Get all three with our complete fit essentials kit.

woman placing shoe insert cushion into brown shoe

3. Check Return Policies

Online retailers used to have a reputation for difficult return policies. Luckily, this isn’t the case anymore since most reputable brands offer hassle-free returns. Check the seller’s website for their exchange or return policy before you buy.

Some of the best places to buy shoes online have free return policies with no extra charges for shipping. You'll want to verify how long you have to return an item and other guidelines.

Tip: Avoid returning a new pair if they don’t fit right away. Some styles, like leather heels or cork sandals, take time to break in. Instead, add a removeable and reusable shoe cushion like gel ball of foot cushions or gel inserts for heels. Break shoes in with more ease using an anti-friction blister balm.

woman using anti-blister balm on heel

4. Try Before You Buy

One of the biggest trends in eCommerce is “try before you buy,” which means trying on a product before committing to buying it. Choose this option by selecting “pay later” at checkout. After the item ships, the retailer emails you when payments are due post-delivery. You can pay for the items you keep and, typically, send the rest back at no cost.

If you don’t like this method, an alternative version would be trying the shoes on in store, then buying them from the retailer’s website or a competitor. You can find cheaper prices, use online coupons, and have access to more sizing options.

5. Shop Familiar Brands

The simplest way to get the right size shoe is buying from brands you owned before. There is less of a chance of the size or quality changing. The same tip goes for when you’re searching where to buy shoes online. Familiar retailers and sellers with brick-and-mortar stores may have more accessible customer service.

Some of the largest online fashion retailers and apps offer far beyond brand name shoes. If this is the case, spend time looking at the individual product reviews as well as how the company is rated based on customer satisfaction.

6. Read Customer Reviews

Customer reviews provide real life experiences from women who bought the product you want. Look for positive or negative experiences and see if there are any common issues with quality, fit, or service.

Note how often customers returned the item or exchanged it for a different size, as this might be a sign that the sizing is off. Reviews often let you know if the shoes run big or small, which will help you determine whether to go up or down a half size.

Tip: The product description discusses the shoe’s features like whether it has good traction, the type of material, or if it’s adjustable. Along with customer reviews, this can help you determine the quality of the purchase and if you need to prep the shoes with a waterproof shoe spray or no-slip grips.

FAQs About Online Shoe Shopping

For more advice about online shoe shopping, these frequently asked questions can help guide you to the perfect fit:

How do I find the right shoe size online?

The easiest way to find the right shoe size online is by measuring your feet, and comparing those measurements to a US shoe size chart. This will give you the most accurate shoe size.

Should I size up when buying shoes online?

You should only size up when buying shoes online when the shoes run small, you plan to wear thicker socks, or the retailer does not offer a half size. Sizing up when you have wide feet only changes the shoe’s length, so consider shopping for wide shoes instead.

Is it cheaper to buy shoes in store or online?

Some of the best apps to buy shoes online offer steep discounts and sales, making it cheaper to buy women’s shoes online. Pricing can vary when shopping at the same retailer. For the cheapest cost, look for online sellers with free shipping like Foot Petals free shipping on orders $19.99 or more.

Shop for Shoes in Confidence with Foot Petals

Shopping for shoes online is easier when you feel confident in your purchase and know how to find the right size from a retailer you trust. Have your shoes and wear them, too, when you use Foot Petals shoe cushions and shoe care essentials for all your common fit issues and shoe problems.