Should You Buy Secondhand Shoes?

When it comes to shopping for clothing and footwear, many people are now looking to secondhand items in a bid to save money or do their bit for the environment. By choosing secondhand over new, you will be helping to reduce carbon emissions and save resources such as energy and water. In terms of affordability, used items usually cost less than buying brand new. But while buying secondhand clothing is acceptable for most people, there are some who have a completely different opinion when it comes to secondhand footwear. Why is this though? Is it true that you should never wear anyone else’s shoes? If so, wouldn’t that mean buying secondhand shoes is a big no no?

Why Are Some People Against Buying Secondhand Shoes?

The biggest problem that most people have with secondhand shoes is the fact that there is a risk of fungus and bacteria being spread. There is no denying that shoes can become a warm, damp environment in which bacteria can spread. However, the experts at shoe deodorant manufacturer ShoeFresh say that provided used shoes are in good condition and look as though they have not been worn too much, they should be okay. They also recommend spraying them with a shoe deodorizer to help eliminate odors and prevent the spread of bacteria.

The health risks associated with wearing secondhand shoes are actually quite low, but for those with a compromised immune system, secondhand footwear should be avoided. This is because these individuals have a diminished ability to fight infections.

Things to Look for in Secondhand Shoes

Obviously, you will not be buying shoes that look worn and dirty but there are things to look out for to ensure you are getting a good deal. Firstly, you should make sure the shoes are in good condition. A pair that looks very worn will be unlikely to provide the comfort and support that you need from your footwear.

Many people will sell shoes that they have worn a couple of times because they do not find them comfortable, or they no longer like the style of. This means that you can get a really good bargain if you look carefully. You should check the sole of the shoes to see how worn they are. If the heel is worn down on one side, it is an indicator that the shoes have been worn quite a bit and it might be best to avoid them.

The Benefits of Used Footwear

As mentioned, there are benefits to buying secondhand shoes, not least of which is the lower price you can expect to pay. Many people can nab designer shoes that for one reason or another are not suitable for the original buyer. You can get these at a fraction of the price the original buyer paid.

Another huge benefit is the fact that you can find shoes that are no longer available in stores or online. This is particularly good when it comes to limited edition shoes such as sneakers (although sometimes these can fetch a much higher price than you would expect due to them no longer being available to buy brand new).


Although some people avoid buying secondhand shoes for fear of contracting a fungal infection, the chances of this are low. Furthermore, there are things you can do to minimize the risk, such as cleaning the shoes and spraying them with a shoe deodorizer.

If you want to save some money and do more to help save the environment, then buying secondhand shoes is a great idea.

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