How to Value Vintage Shoes

Do you have an old pair of shoes that you would like to learn more about? Have you inherited your Aunt’s shoe collection and think it may be worth something?

Fashion & Vintage

Girl standing on leaves wearing white vintage shoes

As the world of vintage fashion collecting continues to gain momentum following current trends of nostalgia and revisiting the past, people are looking to expand their collection into the realm of accessories. Vintage enthusiasts and shoe lovers alike can now find great enjoyment in what vintage shoes have to offer. Whether it is their connection to a romantic bygone era, their association with a notable figure in fashion, or their sheer aesthetic appeal, it is easy for one to find themselves captivated by vintage shoe collecting. To find out how to value vintage shoes, keep reading!

Brand and model

The first thing to do when attempting to seek the value for your vintage pair of shoes is to determine its make and model. Just as the case with modern fashion products, there are certain brands that are more sought after by collectors and potential buyers than others due to the intrinsic market value of their name. Also the era that a pair of shoes was made in will influence its worth. 

Many people seek shoes that are representative of a certain era in history. The t-strap pumps and sandals of the 20’s and 30’s, lace-up open-toed alligator skin heels in the 40’s, the stiletto heels and pointed toes of the 50’s, mary janes and zip-up knee high boots of the 60’s, platforms and disco inspired embellishments of the 70’s, the emergence of shoe designer magnates like Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin in the 80’s and 90’s, and everything in between - the scope of fashion history is broad enough for anyone to be able to pick out a favorite era.

assortment of vintage shoes and shoe making supplies

Material

The material of a pair of shoes will also greatly influence its worth. While exotic leathers such as alligator or snake skin will be worth the most, followed by regular leather, other materials such as velvet or satin can be valuable as well. However that is not to say shoes made out of synthetic materials are entirely undesirable, as typically what most people are going after is a combination of style, and condition.

"Your shoes will not necessarily be worthless if they do bear any visible signs of wear and tear, however the closer to like new condition they are in, the more monetary value they will have."

Condition

As is with the case with any collectible item, taking account for the quality of the pair of shoes is crucial in determining its value. Your shoes will not necessarily be worthless if they do bear any visible signs of wear and tear, however the closer to like new condition they are in, the more monetary value they will have. It is important to observe the shoe thoroughly, including making sure the inside, and soles are intact, as well as ascertaining that any hardware such as zippers or buckles are functional. Even if there is damage to your shoes that is easily reparable, it is always safer to contact a professional before making any changes to your vintage items.

If the condition of your shoes is accounted for, the next important aspect to take into consideration is its rarity. If a shoe is rarer and sought after amongst the vintage fashion collecting community, some allowances may be made for compromises in it condition.

Appraisal

As with any other collectible item, the most crucial step to take in determining the most possibly accurate estimate of value for your vintage shoes is to consult an expert in the field and seek professional appraisal. This is the only way to avoid error as much as possible, as even the most resolute and thorough amateur is prone to making mistakes. Seeking valuation will provide you a definite answer for any questions you may have regarding your vintage shoes; luckily there are professional appraisal and valuation services available here at Value My Stuff, so you can be on your way to attaining an estimate of value in no time!

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