Men's Edition: Online Shopping

Macy’s announced that it will be testing self-service systems in its shoe departments and at its beauty counters. Customers will now have to find their own shoe sizes and test makeup without an expert’s help. For me, Macy’s is a hub for high-end clothing and houseware with an abundance of sales reps to answer any and all questions. With their on-going decline, I began reflecting on how much retail has changed in the past couple of years. men's shopping

Growing up in the East Village/Lower East Side in New York City, my family had two options for buying new clothes. We either walked down Broadway from 14th Street to Canal, browsing from store to store, or spent entire Saturdays at nearby clothing outlets. These days I try to avoid all clothing stores as much as possible. I wondered if shopping online for boots would help free up more time and money.

I’ve always been hesitant with online purchases as I like to try things on before I buy. But, I decided to take a chance first with shoes.

Working in a school I tend to stay traditional with what I wear, and while I have some simple and effective Timberland hiking boots for bad weather, they’re too bulky to complement my business attire. I own many pairs of Cole Haan shoes and sneakers, but I wasn’t really impressed with their boot options. Their prices were too high and the styles didn’t seem durable in bad weather.

timberland boots

My old Timberland boots 

I took a break from online shopping to check my Facebook feed, where I noticed a ad. Although I've never heard of the company, I took a look at what the site had to offer. They have an interesting origins story, but I was more interested in their price point and styles. I wanted simple black boots that would withstand rain, sleet, and snow - while at the same time look sleek for work or the occasional meet-up with friends. I also wanted a pair of well-crafted boots that would last more than a year and could be repaired by a cobbler when needed.

black president boot

Boots from

I eventually settled for the black “President” boot and purchased them in early December of last year for $200. Reading customer reviews, I figured ordering my normal size would be fine and was reassured that many customers had no hiccups with their return or exchange process. Four months later, the boots have developed character with minor creases and stains. They have exceeded expectations in the snowfall we’ve had since December. I’ve received some compliments but mostly, it’s given me confidence knowing I won’t fall on ice and look good.

Do you shop online?

Can you recommend other online stores or sites for shoes?