While it is perfectly normal to want to look like you’re wearing an over-the-top expensive pair of shoes, there is no need to dip into your savings and disappoint your bank account for some boots or pumps. Instead, you can easily find quality footwear for cheap, which will last you a long time. The main disadvantage, though, is that sometimes, cheap shoes can look, well, cheap. If you feel like you can’t exactly pinpoint the reason for it, we’re here to help. These five features are the rivals of any pair of shoes looking sophisticated and expensive.
1. The shoe is too shiny
While genuine leather looks great in classic colors (black, white, and tan), it does not look that good once you get into the bold-color territory. Although there is a place and time for bright blue pumps, you should go with suede (or even faux suede, for that matter) as it holds color well. Colorful leather will end up looking like a piece of plastic on your feet, and faux leather will look even worse.
2. There’s too much faux leather
Yes, there are many benefits to choosing faux leather instead of the real deal for your shoes, but a high-quality expensive look is not on the list. Faux leather (especially in brown) never looks and feels as good as genuine stuff. The more fake leather there is on your shoe, the cheaper it will look. If you can’t (or don’t want to) buy a pair of knee-high leather boots, go for a short bootie instead or choose something in faux suede.
3. There’s too much hardware
No matter how you look at it, good hardware can’t be faked, and it is hard to get done right on a budget. Even the most perfect pair of shoes can be ruined beyond repair with some buckles, studs, and zippers. Try to go for cleaner-looking models with not a lot going on. Remember that less is more when it comes to inexpensive footwear. If you still want some hardware on your boots, make sure it’s not too shiny and doesn’t overpower the shoes’ design.
4. The platform is too high
Regardless of the price point, shoes without a platform tend to look chicer than the hoove-like hidden platforms. They, however, also tend to be a tad uncomfortable. If you can’t find a shoe with no platform that works for you, choose something with a smaller platform (nothing bigger than half an inch) and use gel insoles for some extra support and comfort in the toe area.
5. There’s just too much going on
When it comes to embellishments, they are the first thing that can make your shoes look cheap even if you dropped a good coin on them. The problem is, they are hard to get just right. When you look at a crazy statement shoe, choose your favorite detail and then pick a simple model with that one detail. If you want something shiny, go for metallic leather instead of a bunch of rhinestones. If animal print is your speed, choose shoes that feature one print all over rather than the ones that feature a whole lot of colors and textures.
You don't have to spend a million bucks to look like a million bucks. Remember that high price does not necessarily equal quality, style, and chic. When you're out (or online) shopping for shoes the next time, be sure to keep these signs of cheap-looking footwear in mind.