A freelance writer who can't resist good food and exploring new places. Visit my blog at www.travelchook.com
Published October 30th 2013
Wine, Cheese and Shoes
Finding a great shoe is like finding treasure or luxuriating in a fluffy bubble bath - bliss. But instead of hitting the pavement all day working up a few blisters in search of the elusive find, I suggest making an evening of it. Prepare a cheese platter, open a bottle of wine, and spend an evening online shoe shopping in a relaxed indulgent manner.
This is the activity that keeps on giving; after the fun of browsing the latest shoe beauties online from all over the globe, it is a thrill knowing the chosen ones will soon be perched on your very own shoe rack. Let's face it, half the fun is in the admiring, fondling and fawning over these selected treasures.
I will admit I've got shoes I've never even worn, but I have received so much pleasure from owning them that they were worth every cent. Yes, I know that is crazy, nuts, insane, whatever, but hey, these shoes are a thing of beauty just like an ornament or painting - I love to look at them.
Image by Tim . Simpson on Flikr
Whether it is show stealing stilettos, comfortable flats, sexy boots or strappy sandals, online shoe stores have made looking for the perfect shoe a breeze. Just take care to set your dollar limit and stick to it so you can shop without guilt (or only a small amount).
One thing I love about online shoe shopping is that when sales are on, the only thing you need to do is walk from your bedroom to your computer to snag a bargain. Queuing is for people with too much time on their hands. I refuse to queue and then have to pay for it.
I investigated online shoe shopping options that ship to Australia, and came up with a list of five of the best, where you can be sure to find the perfect stiletto, low heel, flat or boot to suit.
Boasting a unique combination of sparkly stilettos and fiery flats, Shoe Envy leaves no stone unturned in its quest to provide glamorous, sexy and eye catching heels. With names such as Jungle Princess, Midnight Sparkles and Blue Lagoon, this online Australian shoe store is there to assist you in being the envy of all your friends.
With different price categories to suit a variety of budgets and many different search functions such as search by price, size, and shoe type, the online store makes online browsing fun and easy.
The On Sale section features a changing selection of shoes which are sometimes heavily discounted. One of the best things about shopping online at Shoe Envy is that postage is free! They also offer a ten percent discount off everything all the time for becoming a Red Carpet Member (free).
If the shoes arrive and the style and colour is wrong Shoe Envy will exchange your purchase and send the replacement pair at their own expense, so there is no need to panic if you get it wrong.
Shoe Envy is animal friendly and their designer shoes don't use animal materials.
Shop Style will make you drool. It links Australian shoe shoppers in to all the big brand designer names such as Jimmy Choo (for a credit card workout) who are now shipping to our shores. Nothing is worse than searching Italian or London online shoe stores to find they don't ship to Australia.
By searching through Shop Style you know when you find the perfect piece for your precious feet that it can be delivered here. When you click on your favourite designer shoe, the site links you to the relevant online store that delivers it to Australia and you purchase it there. Besides Jimmy Choo, you will find shoe brand names such as Valentino, Manolo Blahnik, Dr Martens, Versace and Christian Louboutin.
Although this online shoe catalogue is shoe heaven, it also has the added bonus of providing catalogues for clothes and bags you may have difficulty finding anywhere else in Australia.
I love Boston Babe for their wide range of unique and gorgeous wedges. However, they do stock all types of shoes including boots, stilettos and flats.
They have sections for items on sale, new arrivals and coming soon sections. There is a very good online magnifying glass so you can inspect the shoes very closely, and they have a fantastic range of colour options.
Boston Babe promote themselves as having the coolest, most up to date shoes from all around the globe including many of the worlds fashion hot spots such as Paris and London, and their catalogue reflects that.
Although you can buy online direct from them, they also list locations of their physical stores all around Australia for those who love to try before they buy.
The Iconic online shoe store stocks men's, women's and kid's shoes, as well as clothing. The best thing about this store is that you can buy shoes for yourself, your partner and the kids (if you have them) all at the one place.
With a variety of search facilities to assist your shopping experience, and a plethora of brand names, shopping is effortless. Free shipping is available for orders over $50 to major cities, while fees apply for delivery areas outside major cities (at the time of writing).
Shoes can be returned as long as they are unworn, unused and with original tags and packaging.
FSW Shoes stock ankle and knee high boot, flats, and love stilettos in classic styles and colours. They also offer a range of handbags.
They have a large range of flats, but take care to check the comfort levels as they vary substantially. Personally, when I buy sandal flats, they need to be very well cushioned for maximum comfort and FSW do stock some of these types. Avoiding the 'I borrowed them from nana' look can be challenging, but FSW has some cushiony flats that don't look like nana's hand me downs.
Image by hankinsphoto.com
Between all these online shoe shopping stores and catalogues, it would be impossible not to find a pair of dreamy shoes that will have you reaching for the plastic.
If you still prefer to shop with your friends, just triple the cheese platter, exchange the bottle of wine for a case, get out the laptops and have your own shoe shopping party at home, saving your feet in the process. You can thank me afterwards.