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Best Nordstrom Shoes Reviewed For Your Next Wardrobe Upgrade

last updated Feb 08, 2019

Nordstrom is a fashion retailer with 380 stores, spread out over 40 states and in Canada. They've provided customers with great shopping experiences and high-quality products for over a century. Some of the brands of the items they sell are Blondo, Cole Haan, Steve Madden, and UGG - and that's just to name a few.

However, these shoes come with a high cost. A large portion of their price comes from the materials and technologies used in their construction, as well as to provide for the workers and designers working behind the scenes. Yet some of these items can be found at much lower prices in other places. Though Nordstrom is a leading retailer in North America, their prices just aren't suitable for the average shoe-wearer.

To offer high-quality footwear to more people at more affordable prices, we've hunted down some of the items sold at Nordstrom, but with a more reasonable cost. Listed below, there are options for both men and women, in styles chic and casual. No more need to break the bank for a pair of kicks!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 7 hrs of research

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Cole Haan GrandPrø
94.8/100 our score
Style
94
Overall Fit
98
Stability
98
Materials
96
Value
88
Cole Haan GrandPrø
Why is it better?

Very lightweight

Versatile

Traction

Color selection

Hand-stained leather

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Cole Haan GrandPrø
Test Winner: Cole Haan GrandPrø
Researched Sources
14
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1595
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
7
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Style Overall Fit Stability Materials Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Style
94%
Overall Fit
98%
Stability
98%
Materials
96%
Value
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
$119.68
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
Style
98%
Overall Fit
95%
Stability
84%
Materials
95%
Value
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
$119.90
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Style
88%
Overall Fit
94%
Stability
70%
Materials
98%
Value
98%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
$30.00
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Style
98%
Overall Fit
80%
Stability
75%
Materials
95%
Value
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Style
90%
Overall Fit
95%
Stability
99%
Materials
90%
Value
65%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
$75.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.6
Style
98%
Overall Fit
86%
Stability
70%
Materials
94%
Value
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
$54.48
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Style
93%
Overall Fit
75%
Stability
90%
Materials
90%
Value
75%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.2
Style
70%
Overall Fit
65%
Stability
84%
Materials
98%
Value
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
$99.95
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
77.6
Style
80%
Overall Fit
72%
Stability
86%
Materials
75%
Value
75%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Cole Haan GrandPrø Cole Haan GrandPrø
  • Cole Haan Tali Cole Haan Tali
  • Reef Contoured Cushion Reef Contoured Cushion
  • TOMS Jutti TOMS Jutti
  • Ecco Soft 7 Ecco Soft 7
  • Sam Edelman Ariella Sam Edelman Ariella
  • Timberland West Haven Timberland West Haven
  • UGG Cooke UGG Cooke
  • LINEA Paolo Felicia LINEA Paolo Felicia
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Cole Haan GrandPrø

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Cole Haan GrandPrø
Style
94
Overall Fit
98
Stability
98
Materials
96
Value
88
best offer for today
$119.68
Pros:

Very lightweight

Versatile

Traction

Color selection

Hand-stained leather

Cons:

May not feel supportive

According to the brand, these men's tennis fashion sneakers retain the Grand.ØS principles of flexibility, cushioning, and ergonomics. However, it is also combined with a new and improved design that minimizes weight. Weighing at only 8.8 ounces, you'll feel like you're walking on clouds. For some, they might not feel secure and supportive, but for most, the lightweight is a pro.

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Though they are quite plain, that means they are super versatile for everyday laid-back wear. The smooth, hand-stained leather uppers have minimal tonal stitching for a simple look. Lots of colors are also offered. As for cushioning and comfort, the footbed is covered in textile for breathability, and the EVA outsole was made with Grand.ØS technology. Rubber pods for traction can be found at the heel and forefoot. All in all, these moderately priced sneakers are excellent for casual street wear.

2. Cole Haan Tali

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
Cole Haan Tali
Style
98
Overall Fit
95
Stability
84
Materials
95
Value
90
best offer for today
$119.90
Pros:

Chic and feminine

Slip-on

Supple leather uppers

Bow embellishment

Cons:

Minimal traction

Heel not durable

For women who like a polished and feminine look, there's no other go-to than these ballet flats by Cole Haan. Though Tali may look formal and put-together, their practicality means they take minimal effort to put on, and will keep you comfortable during the day. The bow at the toe has a modest style, a perfect finishing touch for office attire. Supple, "buttery" leather is used in the uppers for a rich color and a sophisticated appearance. Pair them with a pencil skirt and blouse for professional occasions, or with skinny jeans and a cozy cardigan for a casual but stylish lazy day.

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The best thing about ballet flats is their light-weight, and these are no different. With polyutherate (PU) in the outsoles, the natural flexing motion of the foot is not restricted as it can be with rubber outsoles. At the same time, a full leather sock lining gives them a nice underfoot feel and the Grand.OS technology is used for cushioning. Keep in mind that since these are, after all, flats, they still won't provide enough cushioning for all-day walking on the streets. The heels are also very thin, and though they are flexible, they also wear out quickly.

3. Reef Contoured Cushion

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Reef Contoured Cushion
Style
88
Overall Fit
94
Stability
70
Materials
98
Value
98
best offer for today
$30.00
Pros:

Moulded sponge footbed

Padded jersey lining

Arch support

Affordable

Cons:

Minimal traction

Reef is a brand first founded in 1984 by two Argentinian brothers who loved beach culture and surf travel. To spread their passion, they created a brand to provide footwear for the active beach lifestyle. The men's Contoured Cushion has a name that explains its design perfectly. An anatomical footbed provides arch support, while moulded rubber sponge is used in the footbeds for ultimate cushioning.

Read more

An excellent combination of materials is used in these sandals. They've got a padded jersey lining for comfort, and a synthetic nubuck upper that keeps them lightweight and quick-drying. The toe post is made of a soft material, and the straps are wide and secure. Their major flaw is their lack of traction, however - the grooves on the outsole are very shallow and do not guarantee stability. On a better note, they are very affordable and are offered in half a dozen different colors. Overall, these are wonderful casual shoes that provide more comfort and quality than the average flip flop would.

4. TOMS Jutti

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
TOMS Jutti
Style
98
Overall Fit
80
Stability
75
Materials
95
Value
96
best offer for today
Pros:

Chevron embossed

Suede uppers

Antimicrobial sockliner

Lightweight

Cons:

Size runs small

Not very durable

TOMS is all about giving back. Their concept of One for One signifies that with each pair you purchase from them, the brand provides a brand new pair for a child in need. Besides that, TOMS also manufactures great casual footwear. These women's Jutti flats have a unique style because there is a subtle triangular shape to the sides of the opening, giving them a more unique look than TOMS Classics. Pair them with a skirt or slacks for semi-formal professional wear, or with a casual outfit for an effortless style. Lots of color options are also offered.

Read more

The uppers are made of suede and have a chevron embossed design, giving them a quirkier style. The outsole, meanwhile, is made of rubber. Though there is no traction pattern, the material is somewhat grippy and should be sufficient for formal or semi-formal wear. Inside, comfort insoles are combined with an antimicrobial sockliner for a snug fit. Some customers claim these flats are not very durable and run small in size, but they're also relatively inexpensive so the loss isn't too great.

5. Ecco Soft 7

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Ecco Soft 7
Style
90
Overall Fit
95
Stability
99
Materials
90
Value
65
best offer for today
$75.99
Pros:

Anatomical footbed

Excellent traction

Long-lace system

Fashionable chunky sole

Cons:

Very expensive

Not durable

Ecco's aim is to combine the elements of its heritage with new innovative styles and techniques. First founded in a small factory in the middle of farmland, it has now extended to provide products around the world. The men's Soft 7 sneaker is great in its simplicity and effortless style. With a contemporary design, its outer appearance is simple and refreshing. Rich, full-grain leather is used in the uppers, while its light, flexible outsole adds a contrast in color and also provides superior grip that outstrips nearly all other types of sneakers.

Read more

A long-lace closure system is implemented to ensure a secure fit throughout the day. The ECCO Comfort Fibre System is also used in their construction to provide airflow, keeping the feet cool and fresh as a result. Inside, a full anatomical footbed provides structural support and ensures the foot stays in its healthy alignment.

Unfortunately, nothing this good comes without a high cost. Though the Soft 7 has excellent features, it's also the most expensive item on our list. As well, a few customers have claimed they are not durable, and therefore not a worthy investment.

6. Sam Edelman Ariella

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.6
Sam Edelman Ariella
Style
98
Overall Fit
86
Stability
70
Materials
94
Value
80
best offer for today
$54.48
Pros:

Glamorous

Adjustable ankle strap

Material options

Open toe

Cons:

Discomfort when walking

Not stable

Next up are some pretty heeled sandals with a pretty name. Ariella by Sam Edelman has a sexy yet sophisticated design, seemingly created with minimal effort. Depending on how you dress them, they can be worn for partying and for semi-formal occasions like weddings, dinner parties, and graduations. The sleek stiletto design is Parisian-inspired, and the thin heel gives a look of feminity and elegance.

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Three types of upper material are offered with Ariella: there's soft suede, glossy patent leather, and also lightweight mesh. There are various colors to choose from, with sparkly options amongst them for some extra glamour. The thin toe straps and open toe give them a contemporary vibe, and the ankle straps add to their look while also rendering their fit more secure. The heel is 4 inches tall, which is not ideal for walking or all-day wear, and some customers claim the thin straps cut into the foot. We recommend you not to wear them for too long at a time in order to avoid discomfort.

7. Timberland West Haven

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Timberland West Haven
Style
93
Overall Fit
75
Stability
90
Materials
90
Value
75
best offer for today
Pros:

Convenient zipper closure

Anti-fatigue

Synthetic leather footbed

Minimalist

Cons:

Costly

Size runs large

In the last few years, Timberland has blown up thanks to their stylish and practical boots. Inspired by their New England heritage, the brand continues to grow with their focus on the outdoor lifestyle - whether that's into the woods or on the streets. These particular men's boots have a timeless style perfect for the autumn season. The premium leather uppers are stitched and perforated to be fashionable and practical at the same time. On top of that, their slight heel gives them a polished appearance.

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Don't let the laces fool you. They look classy, but a zipper can be found on the side for a more convenient closure system. An anti-fatigue technology targetting those on their feet for long hours are also used in these boots. It is built into the midsole and works through a geometric cone support that provides cushioning shock absorption, and energy return with every stride. Soft synthetic leather covers this for a nice underfoot feel. Though they are on the costlier end of our price range, that's to be expected since they are boots rather than sneakers or feels like the majority of our other picks.

8. UGG Cooke

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.2
UGG Cooke
Style
70
Overall Fit
65
Stability
84
Materials
98
Value
94
best offer for today
$99.95
Pros:

Indoor and outdoor

Wool lining

Low-profile sole

Suede uppers

Cons:

Size runs small

The brand UGG sells sheepskin boots, and are well-known because of their classic women's model that was trending some years back. However, their men's products are just as excellent in quality, and don't receive the attention they deserve. The Cooke slip-on loafer for men has tons of great qualities. Though plain, they are practical and are sure to keep the feet toasty during the chilly months.

Read more

The combination of materials ensures you get the best of all worlds with these loafers. Suede is used in the upper to make them soft and flexible. The lining is made of UGGpure, a signature textile made from 100% wool to feel like genuine shearling. The wool regulates temperature, keeping you warm while also wicking away moisture to keep the feet fresh. The low-profile outsoles are also designed for both indoor and outdoor use. They're also quite affordable. The only con is that their size runs small, so make sure to order larger than you typically do.

9. LINEA Paolo Felicia

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
77.6
LINEA Paolo Felicia
Style
80
Overall Fit
72
Stability
86
Materials
75
Value
75
best offer for today
Pros:

Convenient zipper closure

Color selection

Stable wedge heel

Good for streetwear

Cons:

Size runs small

Expensive

LINEA Paolo is a brand specializing in women's fashion footwear, paying attention to trends, detail, and also comfort. Their products range from high fashion to casual chic - and the latter can be used to describe the Felicia wedge bootie we have up next. A sporty sole is combined with a cool street style, resulting in a unique casual look. Their heel measures around 2 1/2 inches, with around 1 inch of platform height. The wedge style is great because it provides much more stability than most shoes.

Read more

The round toe box allows the toes to wiggle and is quite comfortable, while their side zip closure ensures easy-breezy on and off. The pack pull-tab facilitates it even more. Their lining is made of leather, their uppers made of leather, suede, or nappa. As for color options, there is more than a dozen to choose from, including unique ones like blush, butter, and toffee. There are even embroidered and camouflage options. Though they are quite expensive, their simple style and practical sole mean they can be worn often, meaning you can make the best out of your purchase. They also fit one size small.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Style

In the past, footwear might have served the sole purpose of keeping the wearer safe from sharp rocks and rough terrain underfoot. But nowadays, it's become a part of fashion. It's always good to keep up with what's trending and step out with the freshest looks. If that's not your thing, then it's alright, but it's still good to be confident with how you look.

For those who are into fashion, footwear with a subtle unique touch is the best way to go. A unique detail such as an embroidered upper or a bow makes you stand out from the crowd, while its subtlety would make sure you're not too eye-catching. What's more, they can be worn more regularly than shoes that are all-out strange and can be paired with more outfits.

But if you're not that into fashion or don't want to invest so much effort into footwear fashion, opt for a neutral look instead. There are plenty of high-quality shoes with minimalist silhouettes that can be worn with nearly anything. The versatility is great for streetwear in particular because they can be worn every day without getting old. As for colors, pick a neutral tone like grey, white, black, or brown that can be worn with all sorts of colors. Navy and burgundy are also good options.

Overall Fit

Poor shoe fit can cause discomfort as well as long-term foot issues. Some examples are dorns, calluses, stress fractures, and even plantar fasciitis. All these unpleasant things can be avoided by simply watching out for the right fit, starting with shoe size.

Size is tricky when shopping online because you can't try them on. Some footwear also runs small or large, meaning they are slightly smaller or bigger than the typical shoe of that size. In that case, it's important to read product descriptions and customer reviews to find out the adjustments you should make to your own shoe size before purchasing a pair. Also, ensure to keep up-to-date measurements of your own foot. The measurements can be used to compare with company sizing charts.

Toe room is also crucial. Toes are there to keep us balanced when walking and standing, so their comfort is imperative in ensuring comfort as well as maintaining stability. A round toe design is ideal because it leaves enough wiggle-room. For sandals or heels, an open-toe design is excellent. A pointed design, though more sleek and fashionable, could cause squished toes and even bruising.

If you're afraid that the footwear you ordered online won't fit perfectly, don't worry too much because there are ways you can turn the situation around. Too-large shoes can be made comfortable by using removable insoles, and too-small ones may stretch through time depending on their material. Or, you can choose shoes with laces and adjustable straps as opposed to those with zippers and that are slip-on, which cannot be adjusted in fit.

Stability

Staying stable is key for walking comfort as well as for safety. When footwear allows you to stay balanced, it eliminates the strain your foot would otherwise exert in an effort to make you feel stable, also reducing foot fatigue. In addition, it is less likely to slip, fall, and get injured.

The outsole is the main determining factor for stability. Always ensure the outsole provides enough traction and grip. Deep grooves in the form of geometric patterns are ideal because they allow for multi-directional stability. Exaggerated zigzag patterns are also good. For streetwear, super effective traction isn't as important as when hiking or exploring on different terrains, but you should still make sure the bottoms of your shoes aren't completely smooth.

Heel is also important. To the ladies out there: high heels might be glamorous and all, but we all know they aren’t stable. The higher the heel, the less stability, and the higher the likelihood for slipping and falling. The ideal heel height is two inches or less because enough balance is provided for relatively safe walking and discomfort is minimized. Also take advantage of the chunky heel (also called block heels) trend: these heels provide more surface contact with the ground, thus keeping you more stable.

Materials

Shoe material determines style, flexibility, durability, and breathability. It’s what physically makes up the shoe, as well as what determines nearly all of its features. The brands mentioned in our list are all reputable brands, and so classic high-quality materials are mostly used.

Leather is commonly found in the uppers. Leather is essentially animal hide that's been preserved. The most common animal hides are cowhide, box calf, and cordovan, all of which have highly practical features. For one, leather is naturally breathable since it is an animal's skin. Moisture and excess warmth from the feet are kept from accumulating inside the shoe. What's more, the tanning process in leather production uses chemicals to ensure the animal hide is supple and durable.

Suede is also made of animal hide, but it is the inner surface rather than the outer. In other words, it is the underside of leather. However, it's not just leather turned inside-out - a method is used to remove the upper grain from the suede, which then becomes thinner and more pliable. It is also slightly fuzzy and feels soft to the touch. Unfortunately, suede is not as sturdy as leather, but it has a much more elegant and delicate appearance which is excellent for both women and men.

Synthetics are also used. The word 'synthetics' refers to man-made textiles like vinyl, polyurethane, and patent leather. The biggest advantage of synthetics is their light weight and water-resistance. They also provide good cushioning and are relatively inexpensive. The downside is that they are not very durable or breathable.

Leather, suede, and synthetics are only the most common materials. Knowing the pros and cons of each, you can now go ahead and pick what would best suit your style and your needs.

Value

No one wants to spend their entire budget on footwear - but with some of the prices that are out there, it can sometimes seem inevitable. It's true that certain models or brands are ridiculously cheap, and some prefer to stick with those. However, in the long run, the price tag is based on quality.

Cheap shoes might make you spend less now, but more later. These shoes are usually made from simple processes with mediocre materials. They might be stylish and practical, but within months they will show signs of wear. Soon enough, you'll have to get yourself another pair. Expensive shoes are priced as they are because they were made with higher-quality materials (such as leather or suede, as mentioned earlier), and perhaps with more advanced technologies. As a result, they tend to be much sturdier. Some can be worn for years with no problem.

If you continuously buy cheap footwear, you might spend more than if you had just purchased a pair of expensive, yet durable shoes. What's more, you would have wasted time and effort on running back to the store every few months. For shoes you know you'll wear often, such as fashion sneakers or ballet flats, we highly recommend you spend the extra pennies.

On the other hand, cheap shoes aren't all bad. For instance, if you need a fancy pair of stilettos for a specific event, purchasing expensive and durable ones wouldn't make sense. You won't be wearing them more than half a dozen times, and won't be able to benefit from their sturdiness. With cheaper shoes, however, you can wear them and stuff them into the back of your closet without guilt. It's all about what the shoes are intended for and how much money you want to spare.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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#1
Style
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expert tips icon
The Good Ol' Days

On their very first day of business, Nordstrom sold $12.50 in shoes! Back in 1901 that was a lot of money!

Striking Gold

Nordstrom, the founded for which the store was named, struck actual gold in Alaska. This was the trip that funded the founding of his store.

Other Factors to Consider

Durability

Durability is always a nice bonus, if not a must-have, for your shoes. It allows them to be worn for longer without wearing out, letting you make the best out of your purchase.

This criterion depends on material and construction. As we mentioned, leather is the sturdiest material option, though synthetics are also alright. The most common kind of wearing-out that can happen to a shoe is the outsole peeling off, which can be avoided with a stitched-on sole rather than one that is glued. Last but not least, a good, responsible manufacturer behind the product is crucial as well.

Color

You always want to make sure that the colors you wear look good together. If not, no matter how stylish the clothing, accessories, or shoes look on their own, the overall picture just won’t look good.

Popular footwear is often offered in dozens of different colors, with both neutral and eye-catching options. This is ideal because it gives you a wide selection, and you can make sure what you purchase fits your style exactly.

The tone of the color is affected by the upper materials. Materials like leather and suede give the color a rich quality that is incredibly elegant for more formal occasions. Synthetics, on the other hand, tend to have a glossier quality that makes them more suitable for casual, fun occasions. However, don’t let anything stop you from experimenting with your own style!

Bottom Line

The retailer Nordstrom has provided quality products for a long time, but their prices are their ultimate downfall. Thankfully, their items can be found at much cheaper prices if you know where to look. With our more affordable list of top ten shoes, we hope to bring high-quality footwear to more people, for less.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What's the story behind Nordstrom?

a:

In 1901, Wallin & Nordstrom was first opened in Seattle by Carl F. Wallin and John W. Nordstrom. Twenty-two years later, they opened their second store. The retailer has grown and developed enormously in the years after that. Today, there are around 380 Nordstrom stores in the US and Canada.

q: Which is better, leather or suede? ​

a:

Both are high-quality and have a rich texture, but what’s better is subjective to your needs and preferences. Leather is sturdier while suede is softer and more elegant. We recommend you consult our criteria section for more details.

q: How much traction do I need for everyday shoes? ​

a:

If you wear them daily, chances are you’ll encounter different types of indoor and outdoor terrain, so the more traction, the better. You don’t have to go all out - a multi-directional traction pattern that’s not too deep should be enough.

q: Are fashion sneakers athletic? ​

a:

Fashions sneakers are exactly what they sound like - for fashion. Though their support and traction are enough for streetwear, they are not suitable for actual physical activity. For those purposes, opt for a pair of trainers instead.

Sources

  1. Liam Mannix, Expensive Shoes Worth It?, Opinion
  2. Houghboy, Get a Grip!, Informational
  3. Melody Grossman, What is Suede?, Informational
  4. Shoe Passion, Leather, Informational
  5. Bespoke Unit, How Shoes Should Fit, Guide