Cheapest but Best Shoe Brands in the World

Cheapest but Best Shoe Brands in the World

Footwear is indispensable to our daily routines. Whether we are going to work, attending a social gathering, or simply running errands, having the right pair of shoes can make all the difference. While some high-end shoe brands are known for their impeccable quality and aesthetics, they often come at a steep price that may not be affordable for everyone.

However, there are many affordable shoe brands that offer great style and quality without compromising on comfort or durability. In this article, I will delve into some of the cheapest yet best shoe brands in the world that cater to different tastes and preferences and that everyone should know about.

What Makes An Affordable Shoe Brand Great?

What Makes An Affordable Shoe Brand Great?

When looking for an affordable shoe brand, you want to ensure you get decent-quality shoes at a good price. Here are some factors that make up a great, affordable shoe brand:

  • Quality materials – The shoes should be made of decent quality leather, rubber, or synthetic materials that are durable and long-lasting. The soles should be thick enough to provide support and traction.
  • Comfortable fit – The shoes should fit true to size and feel comfortable. Removable insoles, padding, and arch support add to the comfort.
  • On-trend styles – Affordable brands should offer stylish options in step with current fashion trends, giving you variety.
  • Budget-friendly pricing – The shoes should come at wallet-friendly prices, avoiding expensive designer brand price tags.
  • Good reputation – The brand should have positive reviews from customers that speak to the quality and value of their shoes.

When an affordable shoe brand checks these boxes, you get stylish footwear you can rely on while staying within your budget.

Best Affordable Women’s Shoe Brands

Ladies looking for comfortable and cute shoes at low prices have many solid options. Here are some of the top picks for women:

1. Payless

This popular brand needs no introduction. Payless ShoeSource offers fashionable women’s shoes, including sandals, sneakers, boots, dress shoes, and more, at highly affordable prices across various categories. You can reliably find shoes under $30, with many pairs costing even less. The variety of stylish shoes that won’t destroy your budget makes Payless an excellent choice.

2. Aldo

While not the absolute cheapest brand, Aldo offers good quality and on-trend women’s shoes at budget-friendly prices. Their shoes range from flats and sandals to boots and heels in many styles, textures, colors, and patterns that follow current trends. With most shoes under $100, Aldo is an excellent option for affordable fashion footwear.

3. Blowfish Malibu

This California shoe brand offers laidback, casual shoes for women that are both cute and comfortable. Known for their easy slip-on shoes like sandals, espadrilles, and flats, Blowfish Malibu’s shoes range from $30 to $60 typically. With good arch support and durable construction, their affordable shoes hold up well too.

4. Steve Madden

Steve Madden brings trendy fashion shoes and accessories to the masses at reasonable prices. Riding the latest waves in footwear style, you can count on Steve Madden for affordable boots, heels, sandals and more ranging from $50 to $100. The quality materials and construction make these fashionable shoes a solid value buy.

5. ShoeDazzle

ShoeDazzle makes online shoe shopping easy, with new styles added monthly for members. For a monthly fee, you can choose a stylish pair of shoes customized to your taste for just $39.95. ShoeDazzle offers many coveted looks for under $40, from pumps to wedges, ankle boots to flats.

With these brands, women don’t have to sacrifice style or comfort to save money on shoes. Payless, Aldo, Blowfish Malibu, Steve Madden, and ShoeDazzle prove you can have both.

Top Affordable Men’s Shoe Brands

Just like women, men also appreciate stylish shoes without emptying their wallets. These affordable brands below cater to men looking for comfort, quality, and good value in their footwear.

1. Vans

Known for their iconic slip-on and lace-up canvas shoes, Vans has grown into a lifestyle brand loved for their comfortable and durable kicks. Their classic styles cost around $50, while collabs and limited editions cost $80. Vans are the perfect laidback and cool, affordable shoes for men.

2. Converse

From classic Chuck Taylors to new interpretations, Converse is another legendary shoe brand offering timeless canvas sneakers for under $60. Converse shoes have stood the test of time as a great affordable option, durable, and easy to pair with any outfit.


ASICS is renowned for its patented gel cushioning systems seen across its athletic and lifestyle shoes. Their footwear consistently provides excellent comfort and support. While ASICS flagships cost over $100, their older season clearance shoes can be grabbed for under $60.

4. Skechers

Known for their comfortable and ergonomic designs, Skechers has a diverse range of lifestyle and performance shoes starting around $50. With options like slip-resistant work shoes, walking shoes, casual sneakers, boots, and more, Skechers offers quality at reasonable prices.

5. Clarks Originals

This offshoot of the Clarks brand focuses on reintroducing and modernizing their most iconic shoe styles in leather and crepe soles. Made with quality materials, their desert boots, Wallabees, and other classics cost $100 to $150, on affordable for leather shoes.

While not exhaustive, this list highlights some of the best options for men seeking affordable, high-quality shoes from reputable brands.

Why Are These Shoe Brands So Affordable?

Shoe prices vary wildly, especially when comparing budget brands to luxury labels. But why can some brands offer quality shoes at such affordable prices? There are a few factors at play:

  • Lower manufacturing costs – Brands like Payless and Vans manufacture shoes in lower-cost countries, which reduces expenses.
  • Minimal marketing budgets – Affordable brands funnel less money into huge celebrity/athlete sponsorships and rely more on word-of-mouth.
  • Streamlined designs – Many affordable shoes have simple tried-and-true designs using common materials that cost less to produce.
  • Direct-to-consumer sales – Some brands sell directly through their own website versus through wholesalers and retailers to reduce markups.
  • Higher sales volume – Large production runs result in lower per-unit costs. Popular, affordable brands sell high volumes, which improves efficiency.

By controlling costs in their operations and avoiding expensive frills, these brands create quality shoes that retail for accessible prices their customers appreciate.

Making Affordable Shoes Last

Cheap shoes may seem disposable and low quality, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some tips to make affordable shoes last longer:

  • Use shoe trees – Keeping shoe trees in your shoes when not being worn preserves the shape and absorbs moisture.
  • Rotate your shoes – Switch up which shoes you wear day-to-day to allow them time to air out and retain their structure.
  • Brush suede/nubuck – Use a brush to lift the nap and remove dirt on suede and nubuck leather.
  • Apply protector spray – Spray leather and canvas shoes with a protector to guard against stains and water damage.
  • Check soles – Add adhesive sole pads to worn outsoles to renew traction and prevent cracks.
  • Stuff with paper – Lightly stuff shoes with tissue paper when storing to retain shape.
  • Clean regularly – Wipe down vinyl and leather shoes when dirty and wash cloth shoes when needed.

While affordable shoes likely won’t last a lifetime, properly caring for them will ensure you maximize their lifespan and get your money’s worth from each pair.

Top 5 Cheapest Shoe Brands

Top 5 Cheapest Shoe Brands

And for those truly looking to save, here are 5 crazy cheap shoe brands where every pair is under $20:

1. Walmart Athletic Works

Walmart’s athletic shoe line offers basic performance designs in most sports categories for just $15 to $20. While limited in style, they get the job done.

2. Costco Kirkland Signature

In addition to value bulk shopping, Costco’s Kirkland brand has shoes, including canvas slip-ons, for only $12.99 a pair.

3. Payless American Eagle Flex

Payless also offers their American Eagle Flex line of basic slip-resistant sneakers from $15 to $20, which is great for restaurant workers.

4. Old Navy

Old Navy regularly has inexpensive flip-flops, sandals, slippers, and casual shoes for adults and kids, usually priced under $20.

5. Primark

This European budget fashion chain sells a variety of trendy shoes for men, women and children starting at just $10 a pair.

While the quality and longevity may not compare to pricier brands, these rock-bottom options prove anyone can afford a pair of shoes.

Avoiding Disappointments When Buying Affordable Shoes

To make sure you get a good pair of shoes when buying low-priced footwear, keep this advice in mind:

  • Set realistic expectations – Affordable shoes likely won’t have premium materials and construction.
  • Check user reviews – Look for brands with overall positive feedback on style and fit.
  • Know your sizing – Try the brand in-store first before buying online to ensure proper fit.
  • Inspect quality – Check for things like glue residue, loose threads and flimsy materials.
  • Consider care needs – Some fake leathers and fabrics stain and deteriorate faster.
  • Check return policies – Buying from a retailer with free returns can ensure you get your money back if you are unhappy.
  • Avoid trends – Classic silhouettes look better for longer than bold, fast fashion styles.

Shopping for bargain shoes takes some caution. Armed with these tips, you can confidently find affordable shoes that look great and make you happy.


Q: Are cheaper shoe brands bad for your feet?

A: Not necessarily. Affordable brands use lower-cost materials and manufacturing, but many still utilize proper foot support, cushioning, and structure. However, improperly sized and very low-quality shoes can potentially cause issues for some.

Q: Should you buy used shoes to save money?

A: Buying used shoes is risky unless you know the full history of use and can thoroughly inspect their condition. Used footwear tends to conform to the prior owner’s foot and lose structural integrity faster. It is best to buy new, inexpensive shoes for health and hygiene.

Q: Will cheap shoes need replacing more often?

A: Yes, affordable shoes likely won’t have the same longevity as more expensive leather dress shoes. But they can still last over a year with proper care. Set expectations and budget accordingly.

Q: Are inexpensive shoe brands unethical?

A: While some very cheap shoe brands have faced criticism over working conditions, most reputable affordable brands follow fair labor practices and oversight today. Do some research if ethical manufacturing is important to you.

Q: Where can you buy discounted shoes besides big box stores?

A: Online retailers like 6 pm and Zappos offer affordable shoes year-round. Department store sales are good sources, too. Signing up for brand emails can also alert you to private sales and coupon codes.

Finding Your Sole Mate: Cheap Shoes Done Right

They say shoes make the outfit, but pricey footwear shouldn’t break the bank. As outlined here, there are many solid shoe brands that offer affordability, quality, comfort and style in perfect harmony. Payless, Vans, Skechers, Aldo, and other reputable brands are highlighted to prove that just because they’re inexpensive doesn’t mean they’re low quality.

Armed with savvy shopping advice, anyone can build a versatile shoe collection on a budget. he importance of a good pair of shoes to make an impression cannot be overstated, as good shoes allow us to stand tall, walk proud, and face the day with confidence, leaving a lasting and positive impact on those we encounter. Don’t be afraid to try these affordable and best shoe brands in the world to find your sole mate!

Author: Brielle Walker

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