Switch up your shoes this spring

UNIQUE SHOES. By shopping at local thrift stores, flea markets, outlet malls and searching around for collections, you are all but destined to find your perfect pair of shoes. For part of my own collection, I found $4 basic black converse, green lightning Doc Martens, Vans’ Sandy Ling green embroidered flowers and some white vans with red flowers for $40. By pinpointing your perfect pair of shoes and not settling for anything less, you’re sure to build up a unique shoe collection in no time. Photo By Alice Brookston

Article and photo by Alice Brookston, Editor-in-chief

With thousands of different kinds of shoes in the market, it’s hard to pick which is the best for you, let alone find a pair of unique shoes. Fortunately, over the years I’ve found different ways to acquire unique, and even cheap shoes if you’re in the market. 

First off, one of the best ways to find more interesting shoes is to look in the clearance section. Most shoe clearance sections have “leftover” shoes, with many really cool finds. Additionally, they typically sell at much cheaper prices.

The outlet malls in Petaluma also are a good place to look for new shoes, namely Vans, Converse and sometimes even Doc Martens. Flea markets, such as the Sebastopol and Santa Rosa markets that happen every Sunday, and thrift stores, also provide many options, with most of the shoes being reasonably well used. As long as you throw them in the wash before wearing them you could find yourself with a new pair of shoes for less than $5!

Now, what to look for is where things get more fun. Don’t settle for a pair of shoes you only sort of like. Finding new unique shoes won’t happen immediately, so waiting it out for your perfect pair is your best shot. Furthermore, don’t be scared to get out of your comfort zone and try out a pair of shoes that are less basic than your typical pair. Different doesn’t always mean bad, and it’s a good way to find your own identity through your outfits. 

When searching for your new shoes, first, decide what color(s) you’re going for, maybe something that will match your typical outfits, your favorite color or something to get you out of your comfort zone. Next, decide what style of shoe you want: low-top, high-tops, sneakers, boots, etc. Finally, although this is optional, pick some sort of pattern you may like such as floral, flames, checkered or just a solid color. With all of these possibilities in mind, finding your perfect new shoes will be much easier.

Additionally, seasonal collections are a good option for finding new shoes on the market, although they do typically cost more than the average pair. For example, Vans recently released the Sandy Liang collection which has many floral-themed shoes, whereas Converse recently released a Valentine’s day collection which has many heart and kiss-themed shoes. Brands such as Doc Martens are also typically releasing new collections including floral docs and green lightning docs which are sure to spice up your shoe collection.

With all these shoe shopping tips in mind, hit the stores, markets and malls and find the perfect pair of new shoes that best fit you.

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