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The Best Places to Buy Shoes Online, From Sneakers to Heels (and Everything in Between)

best places to buy shoes
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Updated October 25, 2023

From school to special occasions, workouts to work, shoes are a major part of our lives. It’s no wonder so many retailers offer vast shoe selections—but some retailers are doing it better than others. Whether you’re in the market for loafers to wear to the office or the best running shoes to rack up your miles, we scoured the internet to find the best places to buy shoes online so you know which retailers go above and beyond your online expectations. We considered the factors you likely consider most important, including the shipping and return policies, selection of styles, and brands, and sizes. Additionally, we considered which ones include detailed product descriptions we actually want to read and gorgeous photos we can look at all day. Let’s take a closer look.

Out top picks for the best places to buy shoes online

Buying shoes for you or your family doesn’t have to be too complicated. Use our top picks as a guide of places making it easier everyday to find the shoe styles you love.

Most generous return policy: Zappos

It’s hard to beat Zappos for ordering shoes online. For starters, it offers such a wide selection in both brands and sizes, I can almost guarantee you’ll find what you need. (Even if it’s as niche as the best golf shoes.) If it’s in stock, chances are the shoes will ship out in two days too. One of the most impressive aspects of Zappos though is its significant return policy. You can return shoes for any reason (as long as you haven’t worn them) and you’ll receive a complete refund.

What to know:

  • Size range: Varies by brand and style
  • Shipping: Free standard shipping for most orders
  • Returns: Free returns within 365 days
  • Best for: Returns for almost any reason
  • Prices starting at: Varies based on brand and style

What we like

  • Free shipping in the U.S.
  • Easy return process
  • Wide range of sizes and styles

What we don’t like

  • So much variety, it’s almost overwhelming
Most generous return policy
Zappos

Zappos

It’s hard to beat Zappos for ordering shoes online. it offers such a wide selection in both brands and sizes guarantee you’ll find what you need

Best for Nike brand enthusiasts: Nike

Whether you love Nike for its street style or its timeless sneakers, you’ll love Nike’s website. It’s easy to navigate and makes your options crystal clear, no matter what style you seek. The filters get pretty detailed, allowing you to search for specific options like men’s or women’s tennis shoes, casual sneakers, and other footwear categories. (Sign up for the free Nike membership and you’ll also get free shipping for orders over $50 and access to member-exclusive styles, among other benefits.) Not only are there multiple shipping options available, you can also arrange for in-store pickup if needed. If you find your shoes aren’t quite right, you can return within 60 days for any reason. After 60 days though, you can only return your shoes if they’re unworn. Shopping tip: Nike made our list for the best running shoes for men, best running shoes for women, best hoodies, best joggers, best sweatpants for men, best running shorts for men, best sports bras, best sunglasses for women, and best men’s workout shirts.

What to know:

  • Size range: Generally offers a wide range of sizes
  • Shipping: Standard and expedited options available for a fee
  • Returns: Free returns within 60 days for any reason, after 60 days if unworn
  • Best for: Nike athletic and casual footwear
  • Prices starting at: Varies by product

What we like:

  • Generous return policy
  • Wide range of styles and sports
  • Innovative designs not available at all stores

What we don’t like:

  • Limited to only Nike brand, which may not work for every occasion
  • Free shipping limited to Nike members, if spending more than $50
Best for Nike brand enthusiasts
Nike

Nike

Nike’s website is easy to navigate and makes your options crystal clear, no matter what style you seek

Best place to buy athletic footwear: Foot Locker

Foot Locker has been a go-to brand for years with athletic footwear and the tradition continues online too with its wide selection of top-tier brands like Nike, Adidas, and Jordan. The website's easy-to-use layout and filtering options make it a cinch to navigate through the wide range of sneakers, no matter your taste or style in athletic footwear. Plus, with its frequent promotions, exclusive releases, and collaboration drops, Foot Locker makes it an even more exciting shopping experience for sneaker enthusiasts.

What to know:

  • Size range: Offers a variety of sizes, especially in athletic footwear
  • Shipping: Standard and expedited shipping options
  • Returns: Free returns within 45 days
  • Best for: Athletic and sneaker enthusiasts
  • Prices starting at: Varies based on brand and style

What we like:

  • Free shipping options
  • Wide range of brands
  • Can find almost any type of athletic shoe

What we don’t like:

  • Must join loyalty program for free shipping
Best place to buy athletic footwear
Foot Locker

Foot Locker

The website's easy-to-use layout and filtering options make it a cinch to navigate through the wide range of sneakers

Best place to buy women’s and kids shoes: DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse)

There are many reasons to love DSW, starting with its extensive collection of designer and brand-name shoes, which means you can find a wide range of styles for almost any occasion. The website is user-friendly for browsing, sorting, and filtering, making it simple to look through the numerous choices. DSW's loyalty program provides customers with rewards, discounts, and early access to sales. You’ll also love its detailed product descriptions, sizing guides, and customer reviews so you can find the perfect pair.

What to know:

  • Size range: Offers various sizes and wide-width options
  • Shipping: Free shipping on orders over a certain amount
  • Returns: Free returns within 90 days, unworn
  • Best for: Designer and brand-name shoes
  • Prices starting at: Varies based on brand and style

What we like:

  • Tons of variety for women and kids
  • Great sales and discounts
  • Multiple return options

What we don’t like:

  • Small men’s shoe selection
Best place to buy women’s and kids shoes
DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse)

DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse)

The website is user-friendly for browsing, sorting, and filtering, making it simple to look through the numerous choices

Best place to buy designer shoes: Nordstrom

Nordstrom offers a carefully curated selection of premium footwear brands, ranging from luxury to everyday styles for men, women, and children—so you can find a wide selection for a wide range of tastes. But what really stands out is its hassle-free return policy, attentive support, and personalized recommendations. Even though it caters to higher quality, you can still find discounts and deals for name brands. Nordstrom’s site also provides detailed product information, including high-quality images, customer reviews, and sizing guides to help you with your decision-making.

What to know:

  • Size range: Offers a range of sizes, including extended sizes
  • Shipping: Free standard shipping and returns
  • Returns: Free returns with no time limit
  • Best for: High-quality and designer shoes
  • Prices starting at: Varies based on brand and style

What we like:

  • Detailed descriptions
  • High-res pictures
  • Generous return policy

What we don’t like:

  • Limited sale items
Best place to buy designer shoes
Nordstrom

Nordstrom

ranging from luxury to everyday styles for men, women, and children—so you can find a wide selection for a wide range of tastes

Best for budget-friendly choices: 6pm

6pm stands out for online shoe shopping thanks to its wide selection of discounted footwear from well-known brands, perfect for budget-conscious shoppers. The site’s focus on offering deals and sales on a regular basis means customers can find quality shoes at significantly reduced prices. It also has a simple and organized interface, so browsing through the extensive amount of shoes is seamless. The platform has clear product descriptions and sizing information to help with making more informed purchasing decisions for men’s, women’s, and kids shoes.

What to know:

  • Size range: Varies based on available inventory
  • Shipping: Standard shipping and occasional free shipping promotions
  • Returns: Free returns within 30 days
  • Best for: Discounted shoes and deals
  • Prices starting at: Varies based on brand and style

What we like:

  • Numerous discounts
  • Wide variety, including specialty sizes
  • Can shop for the whole family

What we don’t like:

  • No product reviews online
  • Limited selection, based on stock availability
Best for budget-friendly choices
6pm

6pm

The site’s focus on offering deals and sales on a regular basis means customers can find quality shoes at significantly reduced prices

Best for the latest athletic shoe styles: Finish Line

If you love popular brands like Nike, Adidas, and Puma, you and your entire family will love Finish Line. The retailer puts an emphasis on exclusive releases, limited editions, and special collaborations that cater to sneaker enthusiasts and collectors. You’ll also find Finish Line includes detailed product pages, including high-quality images, customer reviews, and sizing charts, so you know exactly what you’re purchasing. The store's consistent updates on the latest trends and its loyalty program benefits offer a rewarding shopping experience for sports and streetwear enthusiasts.

What to know:

  • Size range: Offers various sizes, particularly in athletic footwear
  • Shipping: Standard and express shipping options
  • Returns: Free returns within 45 days
  • Best for: Athletic and sneaker options
  • Prices starting at: Varies based on brand and style

What we like:

  • The latest styles and designs available
  • Huge selection of athletic shoes and sneakers
  • Free shipping available

What we don’t like:

  • Most styles are over $100
Best for the latest athletic shoe styles
Finish Line

Finish Line

The retailer puts an emphasis on exclusive releases, limited editions, and special collaborations that cater to sneaker enthusiasts and collectors

Best for affordable trendy styles: ASOS

ASOS offers trendy fashion finds for men and women and it comes through with its shoe selection. It offers a diverse collection of footwear, such as sneakers and sandals, while catering to a wide range of styles, sizes, and budgets. The platform also offers trendy and affordable options, so you can find something that fits your taste and wallet. ASOS includes detailed product descriptions, including multiple images and size guides to make it as easy as possible for your selection.

What to know:

  • Size Range: Varies
  • Shipping: Standard and expedited shipping options
  • Returns: Within 28 days
  • Best for: Trendy men’s and women’s styles
  • Prices starting at: Varies based on shoe

What we like:

  • Numerous budget-friendly options
  • Fun and fashionable styles
  • Clear, compelling pictures

What we don’t like:

  • No product reviews
  • Minimum $7 for shipping
Best for affordable trendy styles
ASOS

ASOS

It offers a diverse collection of footwear, such as sneakers and sandals, while catering to a wide range of styles, sizes, and budgets

Best place to buy shoes for the entire family: Famous Footwear

Famous Footwear is another excellent choice for online shoe shopping thanks to its extensive selection of well-known brands and styles for the whole family. You’ll find browsing a breeze thanks to its extensive categorization of styles and sizes, which means you can find the right shoe and size with ease. Famous Footwear's regular promotions, discounts, and rewards program offer significant savings on quality footwear so you can purchase shoes for the entire family and still afford groceries afterward.

What to know:

  • Size range: Offers a variety of sizes for the whole family
  • Shipping: Standard and expedited shipping options
  • Returns: Free returns in-store or $7.95 return by mail
  • Best for: Family footwear shopping
  • Prices starting at: Varies based on brand and style

What we like:

  • Huge selection of styles and sizes
  • Numerous promotions and discounts
  • Hassle-free in-store returns

What we don’t like:

  • Must spend $75 for free shipping
  • Returns by mail cost $7.95
Best place to buy shoes for the entire family
Famous Footwear

Famous Footwear

You’ll find browsing a breeze thanks to its extensive categorization of styles and sizes, which means you can find the right shoe and size with ease

How we selected the best places to buy shoes online

We started by reading through numerous customer online reviews. We also compared multiple retailers and their shipping, return, and exchange policies to find the most flexible and generous options. Finally, we made sure each selection had a variety of shoe options, to appeal to the largest number of people.

What to keep in mind when buying shoes online

Buying shoes online comes with its own set of challenges, so what should you think about as you’re selecting an online retailer?

Product selection and variety

Choose an online store with a wide range of shoe styles, sizes, and brands so you have more choices and can increase the likelihood of finding the perfect pair—no matter what occasion you’re shopping.

Product quality

You need quality shoes for comfort, durability, and overall satisfaction and reputable online retailers offer genuine, quality products. They also provide detailed descriptions, materials, and customer reviews so you can feel confident in your purchase.

User-friendly website or app

A well-designed website or app with easy navigation makes the shopping process smooth and enjoyable. A clutter-free interface makes it easy to search, filter, compare, and purchase your shoes.

Accurate sizing information

Proper sizing is a must for comfortable shoes. Websites that provide accurate sizing guides, customer feedback on fit, and recommendations for conversions between different sizing systems can help you avoid the inconvenience of returning shoes that do not fit properly.

Customer reviews and ratings

Reviews from other buyers give insight into product quality, sizing accuracy, and overall customer satisfaction, or let you know what to avoid.

Return and exchange policies

Flexible return and exchange policies give you additional peace of mind in case the shoes don't fit or meet expectations. If the policies aren’t clearly listed, your best bet is to try another retailer.

Shipping options and costs

Transparent shipping information, including estimated delivery times and costs, can help you plan accordingly so you’re not disappointed with the shipping timeline. Don’t forget to factor in any shipping costs, which should be transparent. You may have other factors to consider, including customer service options and additional discounts. .

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What's the most reliable place to buy shoes?

This is a matter of opinion, but Zappos is widely known as one of the most reliable places to buy shoes due to its extensive selection, excellent customer service, and free returns within a generous timeframe. Plus, the company offers a diverse range of brands and styles, which means you can likely find almost any type of shoe you seek.

How do you know if a shoe will be comfortable?

There are numerous factors worth considering when choosing a comfortable shoe, whether you’re buying online or in-person. Factors such as arch support, fit, cushioning, and width are all major components. But don’t forget the materials, flexibility of the shoe, and the amount of room you have in the toe box are also important. If you buy shoes online, make sure you choose a retailer with a generous return or exchange policy, so you can easily select another option if the first one doesn’t work out.

How do you measure your shoe size?

To measure your shoe size accurately, first place a piece of paper on a flat surface and stand on it with your heel against a wall. Mark the longest point of your foot and the back of your heel on the paper, then you can measure the distance between these marks using a ruler. Use a sizing chart to convert this measurement into your corresponding shoe size. Remember to consider width options for a comfortable fit too.

Can you return shoes you have worn?

It depends, but most retailers have specific return policies generally requiring shoes returned in an unworn and resalable condition. If it looks like the shoes were worn or show signs of use, it might impact the option to return them. The best advice is always to check the retailer's return policy before you wear the shoes.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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