high tops, sandals,metallic heel sandals


Shoes are my favorite clothing item. Their form is restricted by their function, and all good shoes should be built to be walked in (although this does not always seem to be the case). And yet, there is such an incredible variety of shoes, and they are  often  so representative of their time that shoe people can guess their decade at a glance. It was just Shavuot, the Jewish holiday celebrating a bunch of things including the receiving of the Torah, the wheat harvest and cheese cake. We read the Book of Ruth, which is attached to this holiday.  It turns out when Ruth’s husband-to-be  got the go ahead to buy back Ruth’s fortune (and marry her as part of the bargain) the act was signified by the removal of a shoe. See how important shoes are? No wonder I am fascinated.

I don’t just love shoes, I love to thrift shoes. I realize it is not for everyone. It grosses some people out. I get that – thinking too much about other people’s  feet in your shoes is disturbing.  Thinking too much about most anything – where my salmon dinner came from, the toxins in our drinking water, global warming, I really sort of freeze. Or I go thrifting and get a cheap thrill out of finding someone else’s discarded shoes.

Some shoes are just classics and don’t date as easily as most shoes. The cowboy boot is one of them. They may go in and out of trendiness but a good cowboy boot is never totally out of fashion. I found these red snakeskin Tony Lamas sitting on the shelf at my favorite charity shop. When one of the other thrifters saw I had taken them they said “Oh yes, they are nice but I couldn’t find the size.” That was lucky for me because I found the size and it was my size. Tony Lama was the son of Italian immigrants and the brand has been going strong since the middle of last century. One intersting thing I have learned thrifting is that there are a lot of great Italian cowboy boots.

Most thrifters come across shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo eventually. I have found and sold at least 8 pairs, but these linen Varas have stuck around in my closet. I like the unusual material and the wood heel. I don’t wear them much and am often afraid they look a bit too old lady on me, but I haven’t yet decided to give them up.

On the other end of the spectrum are these Fluevog Mini Bebe Mules. John Fluevog is a Canadian designer that has a cult following for his unique and comfortable shoes. I was pretty surprised to find these, but Fluevog is not as well known in Israel as in North America. I have only worn them at home when we have had guests, but they are a fun conversation piece!

cowboy boots, Vara pumps, mini bebe mule
Tony Lama, Salvatore Ferragamo, John Fluevog

When I consider shoes for re-sale I look for shoes that are in new or nearly new condition. These three will help me finance my thrifting:

high tops, sandals,metallic heel sandals
Paul Green, Chie Mihara, Giuseppe Zanotti

They are also designers worth knowing but I will save that for a future post!

Do you, or would you, buy second hand shoes?


  1. Serene

    I love this post! I’m a shoe fiend myself! The great thing about shoes is that they always fit…..if I gain a few pounds my shoes don’t turn on me and refuse to fit like my jeans do! I found two pair of Ferragamo shoes the other day for $7 each. I passed because it didn’t look like they were selling for what they have in the past on ebay. I try to keep my costs to a bare minimum when it comes to selling. You’ve found some fabulous treasures there! Hugs to you girly! Serene

    1. Jaime

      Serene you are my thrifting soul sister! It is difficult to leave beautiful shoes behind but you are right – it is ridiculous to buy more than can be used or sold. Ridiculous but tempting! Thanks for your sweet comment!

  2. Helen

    I love the Paul Green sneakers, and went looking at their website and now want to buy a pair. What is the comfort level on this brand? I have not bought shoes without first trying so am hesitant, but think they will fill a wardrobe hole and I love the look. I am enjoying your blog and your style.

    1. Jaime

      Thanks Helen! I understand Paul Green sneakers have a real following and they look very well made. I would be wearing them but they are size 9 (I think) and too big! They do have that little something that makes them seem nicer than other similar sneakers. If you decide to order, find an on-line store that accepts returns.

  3. ladywone

    As always a love write up. Thank you for the history and details you have provided, so very entertaining. My friends call me the master thrift-er so it is very logical that I also thrift shoes. I have seem may great pairs along the way. But I long ago gave up hope to stuff my feet into a size 7 when I am a size 11. I have rather large flat fussy feet U.S. 11e and so this makes it challenging but, not impossible. One gem that I stumbled across was a brand called P.F. Flyers. Almost exactly like converse but with more support for my fussy feet wider toe box so my feet would not rub. You know that feeling you get that rush of excitement then you move slowly toward your score in the hopes that no one else will pick that item up before you get to it. We call that a scoregasim new with tags sitting in the shoe section my size. I swear the clouds parted and angles started to sing. Well, I rarely find shoes in my size but I always stumble across P.F. Flyers and now I am a true fan. I even paid full price for a brand new Cherry Red pair with black soles or they are divine.

    1. Jaime

      Ladywone if I ever come across a pair of P.F. Flyers in your size (or anything else that looks good) I will snag them for you! Thanks for your terrific comment. Hope you have lots more scoregasms soon!

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