Photo c2008 by Valerie David.

Ferragamo shoes can be a pleasant indulgence as well as a sound investment in your feet. Salvatore Ferragamo spent his life designing elegant yet comfortable shoes, even studying anatomy to better design his shoes for arch support and balance. The family-run company still focuses on comfort and quality, keeping in place manual elements of production and personal attention to detail. Visiting a Ferragamo store can be as rewarding and therapeutic as a trip to the spa—you get personal service and unique and beautiful shoes. Learn how to buy Ferragamo shoes and find the perfect pair for your lifestyle.

Find the nearest Ferragamo store. Check the Ferragamo website (see Resources below) for locations. There are stand-alone boutiques in many cities, as well as Ferragamo sections in high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Treat yourself to a pedicure. Your pampered foot and well-trimmed nails will make the shoes look and feel better. Plus, you'll feel more confident trying on such elegant and expensive shoes—and the salesperson will appreciate it too.

Wear clothing to suit the style of shoes you hope to buy. If you need shoes for a formal event, wear a dress or skirt of the same length as your special-occasion dress to help choose the right pair. You might even take the outfit with you to help you and the salesperson match the best color and style. Shoes with ankle straps, for example, make legs appear shorter and look better with higher hemlines that expose more leg.

Wear stockings (or socks for casual shoes) or ask the salesperson for nylon peds. Stockings help your foot slide into the shoes and help protect feet from the friction of trying on multiple pairs of shoes. It also protects the shoes and preserves them for other buyers.

Shop with courtesy and confidence. Going into a designer store with shoes on glass shelves and a security guard at the door can be intimidating, but don't let that stop you. Walk right in and look for the shoes you want. Don't be afraid to ask for prices either. There's no sense falling in love with a $2,000 pair if you can only spend a few hundred. Be polite to the salesperson, but remember that she is there to serve you, no matter how much you spend.

Go up a size. Ferragamo shoes, particularly patent leather styles, tend to run a half size or size smaller than American shoes. If you normally wear a size 7 ½, ask the salesperson for shoes in sizes 8 and 8 ½ to find the right fit. Remember, comfort is more important than the number in the shoe. Try different styles of Ferragamos, as some will be tailored to your foot shape better than others.

Try on both shoes in the pair. Your feet aren't always a perfect size match, and one shoe may be more stretched out from being tried on by other customers. Be sure to put on both shoes and walk around to test the comfort of the shoe. When you're spending a lot on a pair of Ferragamo shoes, it's worth this extra step.

Look for practical shoes if you're on a budget. Splurging on an indulgent shoe might not be possible, but Ferragamo offers more versatile options to get more bang for the buck. A flaming red sequined stiletto is a striking choice for a special event, but a black patent peep-toe heel is appropriate for a variety of activities. Each style has attractive detailing that will get you noticed, so the practical choice won't be a disappointing compromise.

Shop end-of-season sales. Start looking mid-season in Ferragamo boutiques and department stores for shoes that have been discounted to make way for the new lines. Summer shoes may go on sale as early as late June or early July, as fall lines debut. These end-of-season sales can save you hundreds of dollars, scoring you a pair for possibly even under $100.

Check out discount designer online stores like Overstock.com and Bluefly. Use the search function to find Ferragamo products, and you'll discover savings on Ferragamo shoes from 20-65%. When possible, visit a store first to try on some Ferragamo shoes and find your size for their lines. If you find a pair in the store you love but can't quite afford, keep checking the sale racks and discount sites to see if that style appears at the end of the season.


If your preferred size or color isn't available in the store, ask the salesperson to have it shipped to you from another location. This is even true for sale shoes--if there's a pair in your size still left somewhere, they can get if for you. Ask for the salesperson's business card if you received good service, so you can ask for her on a return visit. Watch the mail after a visit to Ferragamo. Your salesperson may send a handwritten note thanking you for your patronage. Stay in touch with the salesperson so he'll keep you abreast of new lines and future sales. Ferragamo shoes can be purchased online from the official website, but it's best to visit a Ferragamo store first to find the size and styles that fit you best. Check out discount designer online stores like Bluefly and Overstock (see Resources below) for additional savings on Ferragamo shoes.


Look in the box before you toss it--shoes may come with replacement rubber heels that are worth keeping.