Best Selection vs. Best Prices: When to Shop for Sandals and Boots, plum-bottom

Best Selection vs. Best Prices: When to Shop for Sandals and Boots

So many shoes to choose!

It’s August, and maybe you are heading off for some end-of-summer vacations or fun day trips. You might have a wedding coming up. And so, you head to your local shoe store, ready to buy a pair of sandals to meet your specific needs. Since the weather is hot (oh, so hot!) you are sure that there will be plenty of sandals to browse and buy. But when you get there, you have a difficult time finding the perfect thing for your exact need. The store LOOKS filled with sandals. Why doesn’t the store have exactly what you need?  

I’m going to let you in on a secret—though if you are reading this you are probably already a follower of fashion trends and I’m preaching to the choir—but when you leave your sandal shopping to the dog days of summer, you are encountering a much smaller pool of choices than you would have in April or May. This is also true of shopping for boots in January. It’s cold and snowy outside, but many of our winter boots are long sold!  

When should you shop for boots? Start looking when the weather is HOT!

Love it? Don't wait!

Customers and staff alike have grown accustomed to the ability to special order shoes from many brands, but the possibility for special orders has dramatically decreased over the last several years. The bottom line: if you see it and like it, buy it. Even if something is a blow-out best-seller, the chances to reorder are slim. This means many of our favorites sell out early in the season. 

The secret is the stock room

The sales floor is like the proverbial tip of the iceberg, with the stock room being the hulking part of the store that you don’t see. At the beginning of the summer season (back in March) for every pair of sandals you’d see on the sales floor, you’d find somewhere between 10-20 in the stock room. By the end of season (August) there may only be 2-4 pair remaining of any given style. And of course, many styles have sold out completely or the 1-2 pair left have moved into the sale room.  


The stockroom is where the real magic happens. With thousands of pairs in each stockroom, it's a shoe-lovers dream. 

Hunting season: shoe bargain hunting 

Does all this mean that you shouldn’t shop for sandals in August or boots in January? NO! This is when the bargain shopper reigns. She knows that, while many styles have been winnowed down through the season, the ones that remain are going to be on sale. You’ll often find that the trendiest styles are on sale now.

Sale shopping works best for the person who loves to hunt for a bargain but isn’t ideal for the customer with very specific needs.  

Deal or no deal?

Shopping at the end of season doesn’t mean that everything will be on sale. Some of the best-selling styles from top brands return year after year. These styles are going to be reordered to fill in next year’s inventory, so they won’t be on sale at the end of the season. The prices of these styles are not set at the store level, they are the MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price). While “suggested” implies that this is the price that the manufacturer would like to see the shoes selling for, what it really means is that it’s the minimum price for which a store can sell them. Advertise a lower price, and that brand can be removed from the store for violating the price policy.  


Some best-selling styles and brands nearly sell out, year after year! 

Biggest Selection vs Biggest Deals for sandals and boots

When will you find the biggest selection, and when will you get the biggest deals? Here’s a handy chart to help you decide when to shop. For things like loafers and sneakers, most styles flow between seasons and only go on sale if they are discontinued or sold down to just a few remaining pair.  


Biggest Selection 

Biggest Deals 


March - May 

August - September 


September – November 



Styles like loafers and sneakers are seasonless! While we're always freshening up the selection, you'll find many choices year-round.

The bottom line?  Shop whenever you want!  Whether you are looking for something very specific, or just browsing for a bargain, we will always help you find the perfect pair.

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