Pros and Cons of Buying Used Shoes

Not keen on buying someone else’s shoes and sharing fungus and bacteria buildup? Well you may want to reconsider buying somebody else’s shoes.

Used Shoe Market

I’ve already covered why it’s safe and possible to wear used shoes in another article.

But now I want to talk about the pros and cons.

What are the benefits of buying used shoes?

Is it possible to wear them without any troubles?

Well first lets talk about the pros and cons, then we can get into the frequently asked questions.


The Pros and Cons of Buying Used Shoes


Can sometimes get a bargain

This all depends on the market and what’s trendy at the time.

But it’s possible to get a great bargain on your purchase and then sell it later on when the market is hot.

However, even if you’re buying for the sole purpose of collecting, it will still be a great buy.

The good thing about the market is that it fluctuates up and down all the time.

Some shoes that were bought for $500 may only sell for $100.

Or what about a $250 pair of dress shoes for $20?

I mean, that is a huge bargain.

Can get shoes not available anymore

Limited edition shoes should ring a bell here.

Yeezys, Air Jordans, etc, sell out in minutes due to their limited availability.

It’s a marketing tactic.

Buy for $300, sell for $800 – $2000 right after.

Those shoes can never be bought brand new ever again, so buying them used is the only other option.

Good for the environment

Instead of going to the landfill and doing more damage to the environment, you’ll be doing something good for the sake of humanity and mother nature, simply by re-purposing something that was ready for the trash.

Oftentimes you can get a cobbler to fix it up, especially if it’s only been worn a handful of times.

The more work that needs to be done, the pricier it will get.

But usually all it takes is new midsole and looks almost brand new.


Susceptible to feet fungi

Used shoes have been worn many times before they landed in your hands.

Of course this is worsened the more the shoe was worn.

If it has only been worn a handful of times it would be alright.

But a lot of the time people don’t air them out properly and all the sweat stays in the shoe, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.

If the shoe has been worn many times before you got them, then you will be sharing foot fungus.

Eeeek, disgusting.

They’ve been molded to the previous owners feet

New shoes have not been broken in yet.

It takes multiple uses for the shoe to contour to the wearers foot.

However, this has already been done and the shoe is contoured to the previous owner.

This means it’s will likely not fit you properly, or as well as it should.

In some cases it can cause pain and discomfort.

You don’t know if the owner is telling the truth

It’s straight up easy to lie in this day and age.

Anyone can lie on the internet and say their shoes are barely worn when in fact, they have been worn every single day.

The sad truth is that we give our full faith into the seller, and then we are let down.

The shoe arrives in an easily-noticeable worn condition and maximum foot fungi.

Well you just don’t know do you?

And that’s why it’s risky buying used shoes from someone else, especially online.

If you buy in real life, at least you can see the state of ’em.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to wear used shoes?

I have done a full article on this already. My answer is: it depends on how much they’ve been worn for. If it’s clear that they have been used many times before, then it’s definitely not okay.

And that’s due to the reason I’m about to outline.

Can you get diseases from used shoes?

Wearing used shoes is not the problem.

Wearing overly-worn shoes is when things start to cause issues.

When you put your feet in other shoes that have bacteria and fungi, you may get athletes foot.

And all it takes is one little cut or scratch for an infection to start.

What are the odds of getting an infection?

If the shoe has been worn many times already, then very high.

Infections can be contracted under the nail beds of your toes, so you don’t even need cuts or scratches!

If they haven’t been worn much and still look brand new, your chances of getting an infection is low.

Is it worth buying used shoes?

It can be, as talked about earlier. You can get huge bargains that you can add to your collection, or for wearing, as long as you can see that they haven’t been worn yet!

If you’re buying used shoes for the sole purpose of re-selling them at a later date for profits, I have an article on flipping sneakers here.

How do I know I’m not getting ripped off?

You can easily get ripped off when buying used shoes online.

There are fakes everywhere and just as many bad sellers trying to make a quick buck off of unsuspecting customers.

To up your chances of getting something good for your money, spot the red flags to avoid getting scammed.

These red flags are:

  • Not much pictures
  • Stock pictures/not the actual product
  • Too many bad reviews
  • Not much information
  • Can’t answer all your questions

So should you buy used shoes?

Answer: It depends.

We’ve weighed out the pros and cons, and it appears that we have a tie on our hands.

I was leaning more towards NO for the simple fact that bacteria and fungus is not something to mess with.

But in some cases, the shoe may have only been worn for a couple of weeks.

That’s pretty good, and may not even need a new midsole.

Otherwise if you’re thinking of buying something that’s clearly months old or more, then I would steer clear from them altogether.

If it’s a sneaker, it should head straight for the bin.

On the other hand, if it’s a high quality dress shoe, a cobbler can repair it and make it look brand new!

So that’s my final opinion on buying used shoes.


You really need to know what you’re getting yourself into.

It’s so easy to get scammed these days.

When buying online, spot the red flags mentioned above.

And when buying in person, ask lots of questions, especially the age and how many times they’ve been worn.

That is the most crucial question you need to know.

And as a rule of thumb:

If they look worn and beat up, turn back and head the other way!

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