Best Affordable Shoes For Fashionable & Frugal Folks Reviewed

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
TOMS Classic
Test Winner: TOMS Classic
Amazon Link
A lot of brands, even the popular ones, and designer houses have realized that they are hurting a significant amount of people by not lowering their costs. Thus, they have decided that it’s better to build trusting relationships with their customers by introducing wide ranges of affordable shoes.

If you don’t know where to start looking, let us be your guide. This list was compiled after thorough research, and we do believe that we have gathered some of the best affordable shoes you can find today! Read on and see which pair was made just for you, or maybe even choose several at the same time!

Standout Picks

TOMS Classic
One day in 2006, the founder of TOMS Blake Mycoskie saw the troubles children without shoes go through. So, he introduced a policy where one pair bought equals one new pair donated to a child in need. With this humanitarian background, TOMS is now one of the most popular brands of casual footwear, offering affordable shoes for men, women and children alike.
Amazon Link
Sam Edelman Felicia
The Felicia from Sam Edelman is a casual ballet flat, meant to make every day you wear it just a little bit more chic. It comes in so many different color and pattern options that you will have to take a moment to decide which one works for you the best. These affordable shoes are that staple piece that we all need in our wardrobe, and they won't let you down no matter where you decide to go!
Amazon Link
Dr. Scholls Harlow
Founded by Dr. William Scholl, who has always been fascinated by the mechanics of feet and the shoes that go on them. The combination of his experience with footwear and his medical background gave birth to many innovations we can see today in their design. If you seek affordable shoes that will bring you no pain whatsoever, your journey has ended - Dr. Scholl's is the best at what they do!
Amazon Link
Converse Chuck Taylor
The Converse Chuck Taylors are one of the most iconic shoes today and have graced the feet of almost everyone on the planet. This all-star casual sneaker is a surefire way to instantly improve any casual (and elegant) outfit you may be wearing at that moment! Additionally, the Chuck Taylor belongs in the category of affordable shoes, so you can have a relaxed, urban look without putting a dent in your budget!
Amazon Link
ASICS Gel-Contend 4
ASICS is a brand well known to sports enthusiasts everywhere. Its name, ASICS, is actually an acronym for a Latin phrase meaning in a healthy body, a healthy soul. The Gel-Contend 4 has a simple design, but all the right technologies to make running super enjoyable. Be sure you will be feeling your absolute best when you wear these affordable shoes!
Amazon Link
Vans Authentic
Vans is a company started in 1966, by one eager family. Today, they grace the feet of many rebellious teenagers, quirky adults, and hip elders! Their Authentic design is an iconic look, much like the Converse Chuck Taylor, and you should not be surprised that it's found its way on our list of affordable shoes! It is cool, it is simple, and it is amazingly easy to wear.
Amazon Link
Clarks May Marigold
Clarks is a brand famous for its sensible, comfortable and affordable shoes, ones that you can wear every day for as long as you want. The May Marigold fits that description perfectly. This design is clean and classic, able to take you from the office to a dinner date with your friends and family without the need to change your footwear!
Amazon Link
Steve Madden Donddi
The Steve Madden company was founded by a man of the same name, in the 1990s. Their mission is delivering fashionable affordable shoes while still having that quirky independence about them. They offer many different accessories, ranging from jewelry to hosiery! The Donddi is a casual, flat sandal that will perfectly complement every summer outfit you have hiding inside your closet.
Amazon Link
Naturalizer Danya
Naturalizer became one of the first brands that women could look for if they craved cozy, trendy affordable shoes. They always keep up with the current trends, but their comfort remains the same - one of the very best. The Danya dress sandal draws attention to itself without even trying, which is just what will happen to you when you decide to wear them!
Amazon Link
Adidas Duramo 9
Adidas was founded by Adi Dassler and first operated from the washroom his mother used. Since then, he has been on a mission to provide athletes with the ideal affordable shoes. The Duramo 9 is a modernized running sneaker pushing you to be your best.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

The materials used to create affordable shoes can mean all the difference in the world. Depending on what you are going to use the shoes for, the kind of material used in their construction can aid you tremendously or completely bring you down.

Textile, especially canvas, is very commonly used to create sneakers and other kinds of footwear made for warmer weather. It’s a man-made material, with cotton threads woven tightly, but with enough room for air to flow into and out as well.

Textile is super light and very elastic, so it will feel like you are walking on air whenever you wear textile footwear. It also takes on color very well, and a lot of shoemakers use this to their advantage - they create the same pair in various different hues and with plenty of different patterns. But, textile lacks durability - it will tear and sprout holes, so be prepared for that.

How can we talk about materials without mentioning leather, right? Leather is a natural material that comes from animals - precisely, leather is their skin. After the leather is cut, sewn together, checked for irregularities and similar, it gets its chance to be a shoe. The leather is very hardy, so you’ll get affordable shoes that will last you for a long while. It also helps keep water away, and if you treat it with special sprays, be sure that no water is getting in!

Leather needs breaking in, but once you do it, you will be rewarded with a world of comfort.

If you feel upset about the origins of leather, then you should be happy to know that we included affordable shoes made out of faux leather too! This is a synthetic material made to look like the real deal. It has all the great properties real leather does but without the guilt or the high price. However, it can be prone to cracking, peeling and breaking, so you should always have that in mind!

Mesh is a synthetic material often used when making footwear for a variety of outdoor activities. It is elastic, and it stretches easily no matter what you do to it. Its main purpose is to keep your feet secured in, creating a great fit. Due to the large pores present on it, it allows all the air inside, ensuring you get properly dried and ventilated, and makes it easy to regulate our temperature!

Rubber is a natural material, and it comes from tree sap. It's great for rain boots and affordable shoes created to keep water away, but it's also used to make most outsoles today. It has great non-slip properties, and many skate shoe companies use it and enhance it, giving their sneakers the proper grip and board feel. If you wear heels, be sure that rubber has your back - it will make sure you are standing no matter how steep the shoes are!

Comfort

How relieved will you feel when you discover that your new affordable shoes are comfortable as a cloud? It means that you won't have to worry about aches, blisters, pain and other issues, and it also makes it so much easier to just keep pushing no matter what life throws at you! If you wear an uncomfortable pair of affordable shoes, it will be all that you can think about, and you won't be able to focus on anything!

Ortholite footbeds are super common today and are used by many popular brands like Converse and ASICS. What makes this footbed so special is its low compression rate, how light it is and how much cushioning it provides. It breathes with every step you take and stubbornly keeps the same shape as when you first bought it. You can also remove it whenever you like, making it easy to wash it or replace it when it gets worn down.

Molded sock liners are also a way to improve comfort, and luckily for us, many brands in our list feature one. Converse uses a lightweight liner that absorbs the impact created while you walk. This relieves all the pressure from your joints and muscles, and makes it impossible for the pain to show its face!

A gusseted tongue, besides cushioning your arches, also serves one more purpose, improving comfort! It helps our feet stay where they are meant to be inside our footwear. This way you won't feel that much friction while you walk, and no blisters will form, keeping you safe from wounds and infection.

An elastic gore is a piece of stretchy material inserted to the sides, and it binds two pieces of the upper together. It enhances the fit and it makes it easy to put on or to take off your affordable shoes.

It also helps if you have high arches, and often come upon shoes that are just too tight. The gore will stretch out that part and will make it easier for your arches to adjust. The gore insert also makes it easier to break in a new pair, and it moves together with your foot, widening and shortening as you make every step.

A cloudfoam midsole resides in some of the affordable shoes mentioned here. The midsole is the part of the shoe that is sandwiched between the insole and the outsole and provides the most stability and comfort. The cloudfoam insole makes it feel like you are walking on air. It’s very light, so it won’t feel like you are shackled, and it absorbs pressure, keeping you pain-free. It has plenty of bounce and rebound, and it makes it easy to run around or just walk from point A to point B.

Style

The style of the shoe is important, and it is one of the main aspects we look for when we search for our next pair. Fortunately, affordable shoes come in many styles that have been around for ages or have been created only recently. Style can also affect the versatility of the shoe, and the occasion you can wear them to.

Sneakers are the most comfortable shoes. They come in many different shapes and sizes, made out of any material imaginable. Some brands have reimagined sneakers completely, and have added fashionable details or heels and wedges to them, making them appropriate for fancier occasions! The heel defeats the casual purpose of them though, but if you like the sneaker style and want to wear it all the time, then those are for you!

Slip-on canvas shoes are simple, casual pairs that can be matched with almost anything in your closet. They are light and super comfy, made to be worn when the weather gets warmer. However, they are not so durable, and won’t keep the cold out.

Sandals are the best choice for summer shoes. They usually have straps, with or without buckles, and open sides and toes. They can feature a heel or a wedge, but they can also be flat. They can be a casual shoe, or even an evening shoe, depending on the number of details it sports.

Booties are short boots that are made for autumn. They only cover your ankles, and can keep you warm, but not too warm. They can also be either casual or formal and can be made out of many different materials. They are very versatile, and will help you look chic when the rainy seasons roll in!

Durability

The value of the shoe is also determined by how long it will last. Who even wants to spend money on something that will break apart in a day? So, we looked for affordable shoes with a long lifespan, to make sure you get the most out of your choice!

The lifespan of a shoe is determined by the material it’s made out of. Leather has the hardiest properties and lasts the longest, but it’s not good for warmer occasions, and it can be quite heavy sometimes. Textile, on the other hand, is super breezy, light as a feather, and bends just like your feet do. But it falls apart very fast, and tears with just a slight force.

The construction of the shoe also plays a role in its durability. If one pair was simply glued together, without a care in the world, it would fall apart so fast that you wouldn't even notice it. If, however, there are strengthening stitches and even welts, the pair might just outlive you!

When you're trying to gauge the durability of your new affordable shoes, think about these points: whether you want quality materials, or whether or not the footwear is constructed well. Find a balance between these and you should have no problems coming home with a long-lasting pair of affordable shoes!

Versatility

Versatile affordable shoes are the dream; that dream might seem unachievable, but trust us it’s not so hard. Many items we mentioned are very versatile, and you will be able to wear them for many occasions. Their color and their style decide this.

If the designs have vivid hues scattered all over their upper, or if they have various patterns everywhere, you won’t be able to pair them with many outfit choices. However, if they have a neutral, earthy tone - such as black, brown, navy, grey, nude, taupe - you’ll have an endless number of options to match with your personal style.

The style of the shoe affects this too. If you have towering stilettos with feather details, we doubt you will be able to wear these to many different occasions. But if you have a classic sneaker, you will have endless choices and will be rewarded with very versatile affordable shoes!

Our Favorites

1. TOMS Classic

Where to buy
Amazon Link
TOMS Classic
Amazon Link

One day in 2006, the founder of TOMS Blake Mycoskie saw the troubles children without shoes go through. So, he introduced a policy where one pair bought equals one new pair donated to a child in need. With this humanitarian background, TOMS is now one of the most popular brands of casual footwear, offering affordable shoes for men, women and children alike.

This slip-on is their classic silhouette, the iconic casual shoe. Its upper is made out of textile, in so many color choices you wouldn't believe, making them very versatile. An elastic gore sits near the opening of the slip-on, making it even easier to slide your feet inside. The insole is suede, known for its soft touch and luxurious look. Besides looking fancy, it also cushions your feet, making your life easier.

A latex insert acts as arch support, aiding people with flat feet and keeping the pain away. The liner of the TOMS Classic comes in many vibrant colors, being a nice surprise when you slip out of these affordable shoes. The outsole is just one piece, made out of mixed rubber, giving you just enough grip and traction.

Amazon Link

2. Sam Edelman Felicia

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Sam Edelman Felicia
Amazon Link

The Felicia from Sam Edelman is a casual ballet flat, meant to make every day you wear it just a little bit more chic. It comes in so many different color and pattern options that you will have to take a moment to decide which one works for you the best. These affordable shoes are that staple piece that we all need in our wardrobe, and they won't let you down no matter where you decide to go!

The upper of the Felicia is completely made out of leather, ensuring you get a durable, hardy flat. The leopard print option is specific, because its upper is calf fur, bringing its luxury to a new level. Their slender silhouette slims your feet down and makes them look dainty and cute.

The binding around the opening prevents these affordable shoes from collapsing and makes the fit great. A cute bow with metallic tips sits on top of your toes, awakening the frisky side we all have hidden inside. The micro heel provides us with stability, and makes it easier to walk around!

Amazon Link

3. Dr. Scholls Harlow

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Dr. Scholls Harlow
Amazon Link

Founded by Dr. William Scholl, who has always been fascinated by the mechanics of feet and the shoes that go on them. The combination of his experience with footwear and his medical background gave birth to many innovations we can see today in their design. If you seek affordable shoes that will bring you no pain whatsoever, your journey has ended - Dr. Scholl's is the best at what they do!

The Harlow is the tiniest, cutest ankle bootie that will spruce up anything you wear. The very first thing you will notice about them is their wedge. It’s 3.5 inches high, giving you more than enough height, but since it’s a wedge, it won’t be as troublesome as regular heels; wedges are much more balanced and provide equal distribution of your weight throughout the shoe.

There is no zipper, but an elastic gore resides where a zipper would be, making it easy to slip into them. The upper is synthetic, made to look like opulent suede. The laser cut details on the heel make these affordable shoes look urban and trendy. The round toes make your feet look dainty, and they match any outfit you can come up with to the tee!

Amazon Link

4. Converse Chuck Taylor

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Converse Chuck Taylor
Amazon Link

The Converse Chuck Taylors are one of the most iconic shoes today and have graced the feet of almost everyone on the planet. This all-star casual sneaker is a surefire way to instantly improve any casual (and elegant) outfit you may be wearing at that moment! Additionally, the Chuck Taylor belongs in the category of affordable shoes, so you can have a relaxed, urban look without putting a dent in your budget!

The upper of the Chuck Taylor is made out of canvas, which comes in many different hues and with various recognizable patterns. Their rubber sole is their giveaway, the white color flashing in the sun, with the colorful lines breaking the monotony. Their patterned bottom provides enough grip and slip-resistance that you could walk upside down.

The sock liner inside the Chuck is an excellent addition, as it is molded and very lightweight. It also ensures you get cushioning that protects you from the impact when your feet hit the ground. The gusseted tongue on these affordable shoes makes them cozy and snug and the lace-up only improves the fit.

Amazon Link

5. ASICS Gel-Contend 4

Where to buy
Amazon Link
ASICS Gel-Contend 4
Amazon Link

ASICS is a brand well known to sports enthusiasts everywhere. Its name, ASICS, is actually an acronym for a Latin phrase meaning in a healthy body, a healthy soul. The Gel-Contend 4 has a simple design, but all the right technologies to make running super enjoyable. Be sure you will be feeling your absolute best when you wear these affordable shoes!

The upper of the Gel-Contend is 100% mesh, breathing with every step you make. The cushioned tongue and heel make it easy to secure your foot and they also soften the blow on your arches. The Rearfoot Gel Cushioning system, from which the sneaker got its name, absorbs all the impact force and allows for a smooth run!

A soft sockliner graces the inside of these affordable shoes, but it can be removed and you can insert whatever you like. The sockliner is a ComforDry - besides providing cushioning, it also wicks moisture away, making it impossible to sweat and create bad odors and grounds for infection!

Amazon Link

6. Vans Authentic

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Vans Authentic
Amazon Link

Vans is a company started in 1966, by one eager family. Today, they grace the feet of many rebellious teenagers, quirky adults, and hip elders! Their Authentic design is an iconic look, much like the Converse Chuck Taylor, and you should not be surprised that it's found its way on our list of affordable shoes! It is cool, it is simple, and it is amazingly easy to wear.

The Vans Authentic is the ideal casual sneaker, the style of skaters and everyone feeling a bit outside the norm. Their upper is completely canvas, colored in various shades. The stitches give it sturdiness, so they will outlast regular canvas sneakers, and will even survive tricks and ollies if you decide to take them out to the skate park.

Five white eyelets decorate the upper, with white laces going through them, securing your feet inside. The chunky white rubber defines the outsole, and the waffle pattern makes these affordable shoes instantly recognizable.

Amazon Link

7. Clarks May Marigold

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Clarks May Marigold
Amazon Link

Clarks is a brand famous for its sensible, comfortable and affordable shoes, ones that you can wear every day for as long as you want. The May Marigold fits that description perfectly. This design is clean and classic, able to take you from the office to a dinner date with your friends and family without the need to change your footwear!

The May Marigold has an upper made from genuine leather, something we don’t see very often in affordable shoes. It has elastic inserts in the sides for an accommodating fit, and the linings are made from a combination of fabric and leather for a soft, breathable ride. The May Marigold amps up the comfort levels with the Ortholite footbed, amazingly cushy and antimicrobial, as well as a sculpted heel that keeps you elevated but stable.

The May Marigold may not win many style points, we’ll admit to that. However, if you are not interested in any of the current trends and rather wish for something that can go with any outfit and that will last for quite some time - and keep you comfortable too - then this Clarks design is a perfect choice!

Amazon Link

8. Steve Madden Donddi

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Steve Madden Donddi
Amazon Link

The Steve Madden company was founded by a man of the same name, in the 1990s. Their mission is delivering fashionable affordable shoes while still having that quirky independence about them. They offer many different accessories, ranging from jewelry to hosiery! The Donddi is a casual, flat sandal that will perfectly complement every summer outfit you have hiding inside your closet.

The upper of the Donddi is faux leather that comes in three neutral hues, making them a great versatile pair. The wide toe strap makes sure your feet don’t slip down and covers your toes just a little bit, still giving them the chance to bask in the sunlight.

The ankle has a buckle closure, making it adjustable - these affordable shoes will fit perfectly even when you swell up later in the day from walking around. A short heel with a rubber bottom offers some support and adds traction so you stay balanced.

Amazon Link

9. Naturalizer Danya

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Naturalizer Danya
Amazon Link

Naturalizer became one of the first brands that women could look for if they craved cozy, trendy affordable shoes. They always keep up with the current trends, but their comfort remains the same - one of the very best. The Danya dress sandal draws attention to itself without even trying, which is just what will happen to you when you decide to wear them!

The upper is faux leather, giving you all the good that leather has to give, but without harming animals. The strappy vamp design adds flirty tones to the sandal, showing off your skin just enough to tickle the mind. A slingback strap with velcro makes it easier to put them on, and later to secure your feet in them, preventing them from slipping out.

The N5 contour helps immensely with comfort because it was made to match the anatomy of your feet, providing relief to the points that suffer the most pressure. The three and a half inch heels (combined with the platform) add grace to your gait and make you elegant. The outsoles of these affordable shoes are rubber and non-slip, adding even more balance and stability to the sandals.

Amazon Link

10. Adidas Duramo 9

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Adidas Duramo 9
Amazon Link

Adidas was founded by Adi Dassler and first operated from the washroom his mother used. Since then, he has been on a mission to provide athletes with the ideal affordable shoes. The Duramo 9 is a modernized running sneaker pushing you to be your best.

The upper of the Duramo 9 is a combination of mesh and rubber, giving you breathability while the construction is strengthened, and your soft feet protected. The mesh also makes it very flexible, bending while you run and allowing your feet to roll naturally.

A midfoot TPU cage supports your arches, and an Ortholite footbed wicks moisture away and keeps you cushioned. A cloudfoam midsole is a lightweight solution for extreme comfort. The Adiwear outsole on these affordable shoes is chunky, stands out, and offers the ultimate slip protection and durability!

Amazon Link

Sources

  1. Ortholite Editors, OrthoLite Benefits, Informational
  2. Meridio Band, Hair-on-leather?, Informational
  3. Comforting Footwear, Leather Vs. Synthetic, Blog