The Ultimate Guide to Buying Shoes on Amazon in 2024

With over 15% of online shoe sales happening on Amazon, it‘s no wonder why so many shoppers are turning to the ecommerce giant for their footwear needs. But the vast selection and low prices come with risks if you aren‘t a savvy shopper. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know – from spotting fakes to nailing the perfect fit – to confidently buy shoes on Amazon.

Huge Selection, Unbeatable Prices

Amazon offers one of the widest selections of shoes available online, with over 30 million pairs sold in 2020 alone. Major brands like Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Aldo, and more are available at prices that often beat the manufacturers‘ own websites.

ShoeAmazon PriceNike.com Price
Nike Air Force 1 ‘07$90$100
Adidas Superstar$80$100
New Balance 574$80$85

With free shipping and returns for Prime members, Amazon makes it easy and affordable to stock up on shoes for the whole family.

Spotting Fakes Among Third-Party Sellers

While Amazon sells many shoes directly, over half come from third-party sellers. This opens the risk of counterfeits making their way onto the platform. Fake Nike sneakers in particular are a huge problem, with over 60% estimated to be inauthentic despite Nike not selling directly through Amazon anymore.

Here are the red flags to watch out for when buying from a third-party seller:

  • Generic product images instead of official brand photos
  • Missing logos, uneven stitching, cheap materials
  • Vague or misleading product titles
  • Reviews focused on delivery, not product quality
  • No indication of sizing consistency or fit

Third party sellers AnnsDeals and Carla Harris consistently have shoes listed well below MSRP that upon further inspection are obvious fakes.

Tools for Vetting Sellers

Luckily there are tools available to scrutinize third-party sellers more closely:

  • Fakespot – Analyzes reviews for credibility and fraudulent patterns
  • ReviewMeta – Identifies suspicious and inconsistent review activity
  • Seller support sites – Looks for validity complaints and issues with a seller
  • Google reverse image search – Checks if product images are used elsewhere online

Running sellers through these validation sites will help determine if their offerings are trustworthy or likely counterfeit.

Safest Bet: Buy Shoes Sold and Shipped by Amazon

The easiest way to guarantee shoes purchased on Amazon are authentic is to filter search results to show products Sold By Amazon.com. Although selection is more limited, you have Amazon‘s guarantee against receiving counterfeit goods.

Amazon also has some of the strongest protections against fakes of any major online retailer. They invest over $700 million annually in anti-counterfeiting and remove over 3 million fake products. While not perfect, their detection systems are far superior to many other stores.

I personally will only buy shoes Sold By Amazon now, after receiving two pairs of very obvious fake Adidas sneakers Fulfilled By a third party seller last year. The peace of mind is worth the smaller selection.

Navigating Amazon‘s Return Policies Like a Pro

One perk of buying shoes on Amazon is the generous return policy. Here are the key details you need to know:

  • 30 day window for returns on new shoes (no wear and tear)
  • Free return shipping with prepaid label provided by Amazon
  • Full refund once the return is received and processed
  • Prime members get extra time for returns depending on item category

Compare this to Zappos‘ year long return window or Nordstrom‘s eternally lenient policy and Amazon falls a bit short. But among major general retailers, they offer above average flexibility and convenience for shoe returns.

Just be sure to carefully repackage shoes in original box with all inserts and accessories for return. I recommend adding additional padding in the shipping box to prevent damage in transit back to Amazon.

Sizing Tips and Tricks

Fit is crucial with shoes. And nailing size without trying on in person poses challenges when shopping online. Here are my top tips for getting the right fit when buying shoes on Amazon:

  • Refer to brand-specific size charts – don‘t rely on general conversion charts
  • Read reviews focused on sizing and fit for the particular shoe
  • Check enthusiast forums and communities for feedback
  • Order 2 sizes if between sizes or unsure, then return what doesn‘t fit
  • For athletic shoes, consider going 1/2 size up from typical
  • Prime Wardrobe allows you to try on and return what you don‘t keep

Also be sure to pay close attention to width sizing for styles that come in standard, wide, extra wide, etc.

While it takes some trial and error, with a bit of research and handy return policy you can dial in your proper shoe size on Amazon.

Buy Shoes Fearlessly on Amazon

For an enormous selection of top brands at great prices delivered right to your door, Amazon is hard to beat for shoe shopping. Just be an informed customer, leverage Amazon‘s protections when possible, and rely on their returns if something doesn‘t work out. Follow this guide and you‘ll find incredible deals on shoes for every occasion – running, work, dress, casual, and more. Happy shopping!

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