I recently read an article by Consumer Reports that shared the best online resources for shoe shopping. Although it is not all encompassing (and doesn't include a lot of the sites I typically frequent), it does a great job of outlining what to look for.

Best for Hard to Find Sizes
Jildorshoes.com starts with size 4! They carry some designer brands in sizes that will fit just about everyone. Standard shipping is $8 and you pay shipping for returns (up to one year). Great selection.

Best Stored-Based

At ninewest.com, you can search by heel size or price and the site includes a lookbook, trends, and scene & heard areas. The limitation is in the brand, obviously, but if you know your size from visiting a local store, online buying is made simple. Standard shipping is $7 and you can return at your local retail store (up to 30 days). Good selection.

Most Family Friendly
Onlineshoes.com provides complete family outfitting. The site is a breeze to navigate through and shoes are displayed nicely, with clear indication of clearance items. You can search by "occasion" - for example for kids, you can select playground, school or celebrations. There is also an eco-friendly shoe category. They guarantee the lowest prices. No shipping fee; though, you pay to ship back (returns taken up to 90 days). Great selection.

Best for Trendy Shoes at Good Prices
Piperlime, a Gap Inc. shoe store, has more brand names than I had anticipated. There are over 100 of the most fashionable shoe brands, including Tahari (my boots are there!!), Taryn Rose, Via Spiga and Donald Pliner. The site is nicely edited to suit the styles most relevant. Smart searches save you time - example, "office shoes," "hot trends," and "shoes to wear with dresses." No shipping fee and free shipping on returns (up to 60 days). Great selection.

Best Bargains
Smartbargains.com carries brands you actually want to buy like Kate Spade and Michael Kors. And they carry narrow - thank you! However, they don't always carry the latest styles with the widest variety. Shipping is $9.95 and return shipping is $8.95 (up to 30 days). Good selection.

Best for Dressy Shoes

carries dress shoes and even dye-able shoes for weddings. And styles such as Delman and Baby Phat. There are a variety of sizes, from 5 to 12 - and if they don't currently carry your size, provide your email address and they will let you know when your size comes in. Shipping is free, as well as returns (up to 1 year). Great selection.

Best Selection

No surprise, Zappos.com has the best selection, with almost 5,000 pairs of shoes. They even have a couture collection with designer labels such as Sergio Rossi, Giuseppe Zanotti and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Shipping is free, as well as returns (up to 1 year). Excellent selection. Tips:
  1. Stick with brands you know and love - and you know fit. And utilize the free shipping sites!
  2. When you receive the new shoes, try them on a carpeted surface so the bottoms don't get scuffed in the case you return them.
  3. Keep all original packaging.
  4. If the shoes don't fit, send them back quickly to avoid potential complications.
  5. To catch the greatest bargains, sign up for email updates.

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