The Manual - How to buy shoes

Our essential guide to buying the perfect pair of shoes. Whether you're looking to invest in a smart pair for a wedding or new job, some low-key boots or a pair of trainers for the summer, we've outlined what you need to think about before you go rushing in and buying the first pair you see.

When it comes to dressing, it doesn't matter if you don the best suits, the most beautifully cut trousers or the sharpest shirts. If the shoes are wrong, you're stuffed. Thankfully, Jim McFarland of McFarland's Shoe Repair is here to give us the inside track on how to buy shoes. Take note.

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Wear the right socks. If you wear a thick pair of  crew socks when trying on a smart shoe, you'll only buy a pair that's too big.

Get sized by a professional using the Brannock Device. Your shoe size can change so it's best to be accurate.

Buy in the afternoon. Your feet swell to their largest as the day progresses, and it's better to buy a pair of shoes that are a little too big than a little too small.

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Check the inside. If the inside of the shoe has no lining and the grain of the leather is exposed, the shoes won't last as long.
Walk around the store when trying them on.

Don't wear them outside. Take a night or two to wear your new shoes around the house. As long as the soles haven't been worn away by walking outdoors, many shoe stores will allow you to return them in the event that you change your mind.