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How to Buy Sneakers Online

Updated on January 26, 2013

Everybody Wears Them

This time of the year people are throwing out the old and finding the new. While there are linen sales, underwear sales, and so on there is one thing most people need more than anything. Tennis shoes have been apart of the American wardrobe for a long time.

What you use them for has changed as much as anything. However, with the rise of internet shopping- it has been commonplace for people to order the sneakers online.

While this sounds daunting, I have done it several times. With the right information and perspective, you can easily purchase a new pair of tennis shoes sooner than you can go to the department store and buy them.


Things You Should Know Before You Buy

Your Shoe Size: This is a no brainer but for many people, including myself sizes vary between brands of athletic shoes. Not only that but if you are ill or have lost wait- your shoe size can fluctuate as well. The best way to determine your shoe size is listed below courtesy of

  1. Get a piece of paper large enough to trace the outline of your foot on, a pencil, and a ruler or measuring tape.
  2. Trace the outline of your foot keeping the pencil perpendicular to the paper
  3. Draw parallel lines which intersect with the widest areas of your foot. You should have a rectangle, not a rhombus, not a trapezoid.
  4. Measure the length and width of your foot in inches.
  5. Use the chart below to convert your two measurements from inches to find your actual shoe size. I've included size charts for men and women in the U.S. and abroad here but you can find similar charts online for women and international sizes.

The Intended Purpose of the Sneaker:

  1. Athletic shoes are no longer one shoe for all purposes. There are different types and styles to suit your lifestyle and activities. If you are looking for running shoes, make sure you look for shoes for running. If you want shoes to walk in, there's a walking section.
  2. With that in mind you also want to know how much you plan to use the shoe. If you want them to last a long time, you might want to consider paying more for better features.
  3. Also, you want to know what kind of support is offered for the type of shoe you plan to buy. If it has little or no support, you may not be able to wear it for long periods of time- for instance, an 8 hour work day where you're on your feet alot.

Picking A Brand

Now this may sound easier said than done but different brands are known for different features. Also, if you have sustainability concerns you may want to know what each company is about.

  1. Nike- Quite possibly the largest sneaker retailer worldwide, Nike has gone high tech recently, teaming with Apple to provide fitness apps for the iPod, iPad, and iPhone. Certain sneakers also sync with your iPod to provide maximum support and encouragement.
  2. Puma- Not as big as Nike, Puma recently has changed its marketing and sales to reflect sustainability. Shoes shipped online come in recyclable bags for multi-use.
  3. Adidas- Athletes and rappers have helped give a 21st century boost to the iconic fitness brand.
  4. Converse- Chuck Taylor's company have recently been mired in struggle after going through bankruptcy and being purchased by Nike. Don't worry- you can still get your high-top chucks made to order.
  5. New Balance- Quite possibly the only athletic company to keep its production operation in the states.
  6. Reebok- Everyone knows them as the Pepsi to Nike's Coke and that's just about right. They have several endorsements with well-known athletes. And also they have been known for providing philanthropic support to causes such as Avon's Walk for Breast Cancer.

Sites to Explore

There are many shoe sites in addition to each company having its own store. Depending on your needs, you can choose which to use.

Sears: If you go to the Sears homepage and click on Clothing Shoes and Jewelry, you will see the tab for athletic shoes. From there, you will be directed to a page that showcases different types of sneakers for the whole family.

Amazon: One of the premiere online retailers for just about everything also has a knack for including great deals for tennis shoes. You can shop by brand, gender, or sport.

JC Penney:If you go to their shoe page, you can find athletic shoes under each gender and age group (Men, Women, Children) and go from there. They also have a favorite brands section that includes Nike and Converse.

Kohls: They have an athletics section as well. In addition, they have featured brands from such companies as Adidas, Asics, and Nike. You can also specify the price range you are looking for.

Adidas:Once on the site you can go straight to the sneaker page for Men, Women,or Kids. Or if you are in search of a bargain, you can click on sale to find discounted pairs of sneakers.

Reebok: After you are on the homepage, you can go straight to the tab for Men, Women, Boys, or Girls and select the type of sneaker you are looking for or go to the main page and go from there. They also have a classics section for their most iconic sneakers.

Nike:You can go to the store page for Nike and again according to who you're shopping for (Men, Women, Kids) you can go to the type of shoe you are looking for.

These are only a few sites you can explore for online shopping, but this gives you an idea of what is possible to find online.

Sneaker Shopping

Have You Ever Purchased Sneakers Online Before?

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Coupons and Discounts

Here are a few sites and places that you can get discounts from before you purchase your sneakers. This is a site that was recommended to me by a family member and ever since I have been diligent in looking for coupons from them before online shopping. Sometimes, they even have deals for in-store purchases. However, they generally provide discounts for stores so if you plan to go through a retailer, I would peruse this site.

AAA Members: If you are AAA member, you already know that you can get great discounts for retailers. Reebok Outlets, Payless ShoeSource, and Kohl's Online are just a few places you can get a deal at.

RetailMeNot: Similar to Coupon Cabin they have discounts for several well-known retailers.

Hopefully these tips will help you find the best pair of sneakers online. Happy shopping!


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    • Alecia Murphy profile imageAUTHOR

      Alecia Murphy 

      5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I'm glad you found this useful. Thanks rajan!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      I've never bought shoes online but after reading this I know how to measure the foot size and I'll try to check out my size.

      Voted up and useful.

    • Alecia Murphy profile imageAUTHOR

      Alecia Murphy 

      5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Hi Tillsontitan,

      That's a good idea- I didn't think of trying shoes on in the store then ordering online if you have specific issues but it makes sense. Thank you for coming by and commenting!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      I've purchased shoes and boots online for others but only a few for me. I have lots of foot issues and really need to try them on. What I'll do is go to a store and try them on so I know which ones fit, then order them online where they're cheaper.

      This hub is very helpful and gives some sound advice.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Alecia Murphy profile imageAUTHOR

      Alecia Murphy 

      5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Hi Glimmer Twin Fan,

      I agree- it's so easy to do it and I love it now. Thanks for coming by!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      5 years ago

      I love buying my shoes online. I know what brand I use and what size I am so I can usually find a great deal with free shipping. Good idea for a hub.

    • Alecia Murphy profile imageAUTHOR

      Alecia Murphy 

      5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thank you TheKemist!

    • TheKemist profile image


      5 years ago

      not a bad little hub!

    • Alecia Murphy profile imageAUTHOR

      Alecia Murphy 

      5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thank you teaches12345 for coming by and commenting!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      My hubby buys his shoe online and is very satisfied with the shoe quality and service. I like the idea of tracing your foot on paper to check your shoe size. Interesting post.

    • Alecia Murphy profile imageAUTHOR

      Alecia Murphy 

      5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Hi Michelle,

      Thank you for coming by and commenting!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Really useful tips here Alecia, this hub will be a great reference for many online shoppers!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      I love all these tips and the way you made it online friendly...what would make it difficult to buy shoes online would be the lack of guarantee of size. Sharing.

    • Alecia Murphy profile imageAUTHOR

      Alecia Murphy 

      5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Hi Alocsin,

      Yeah I think that is a good policy for anyone to have. Thanks as always!

    • alocsin profile image


      5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      One nice thing about Reebok's is that they have free shipping both ways. So you can order a couple of sizes, try them out and return the one that doesn't work for you. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • Alecia Murphy profile imageAUTHOR

      Alecia Murphy 

      5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Hi Shin_rocka04,

      I understand where you're coming from. I haven't used Nike ID but I've heard about it. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!

    • Alecia Murphy profile imageAUTHOR

      Alecia Murphy 

      5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Hi Sunshine,

      If I had a store 10 minutes a way, I would definitely go there as well. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!

    • Alecia Murphy profile imageAUTHOR

      Alecia Murphy 

      5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Hi Jeannie,

      I understand what you mean. It would be good to buy a brand that you are familiar with and go from there. That's an easy way to start buy sneakers online. In the end, it's about what's comfortable for you. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!

    • shin_rocka04 profile image


      5 years ago from Maryland

      I haven't shopped at a department or retail store in a while for kicks. Either boutiques or online stores. A lot more choices, better customer service, and you'll stand out because not a lot of people will have those pairs. NikeID is a good spot if you want to customize your own shoe (colorways, your name/stitching, etc).

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I've never bought shoes or sneakers online. Probably never will since my Skechers store is only a 10 minute drive. I am a Skechers fanatic. Your hub is convincing though, with your fab tips and suggestions!

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 

      5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I am so nervous about buying shoes online. Maybe I need to get over my fear though. I always wear the same size Nike shoes, so I should buy one of those pairs of snazzy bright yellow Nikes online. Thanks for the advice!


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