Who would have thought people would buy shoes for reasons other than to wear. Today, there are thousands of collectors who buy shoes purely for display.
Vintage shoes from the early 20th century are slowly becoming one of the biggest collectibles of 2013. Shoes made earlier than that are extremely rare to find and condition is usually not very good. These shoes were also made in very small sizes compared to today.
Another era that is highly collectible are shoes made between 1950 to 1979. These are retro styles and even disco shoes are hot by collector standards. Platform shoes are a shoe to keep an eye out for.
One of the most important components in shoe collecting is the shoe maker. Prices can vary depending on who designed what. Gucci, Schiaparelli and Kenneth Cole all made high end vintage shoes. If you see them for a few dollars don’t hesitate to grab them.
Lastly and sometimes most important to keep an eye is color, shape and condition. Bright colors with nice detailing and made of a high quality fabric are important. The better the quality, the more likely the item will remain in good condition.
Don’t be afraid to clean shoes or re-glue or stitch them. Heels are where most of the real damage can occur. If it is wooden and repaired it is obvious and that will bring down the value tremendously.
Original boxes add value as does matching handbags. A complete set of a bag and shoes often commands thousands of dollars. They must match exactly with the same materials and coloring. If one of the two has faded colors, the value drops
Celebrity look alike shoes are very popular to many collectors. If a celebrity endorsed them or wore a similar pair at a highly visible event, the value instantly rises.
If a shoe, like a clog, was the first one made of a new era or kind it is sought after just like the rookie card of a baseball player. The first of its kind is always high in value.
A quick look at eBay showed that someone was asking over $2,000 for a pair of vintage Handmade Gianni Versace men’s black leather dress shoes. The seller had several offers, but was not given the value of these beauties. You can’t go wrong with an original Versace shoe.
The highest price vintage pair of shoes I found on eBay were Miguel Nieto vintage 1950’s unique silver pumps with rhinestones and silver heels. The seller was asking $4,500 for them. It had missing stones and the condition was just fair with some damage. But, the rarity makes them a good item for a collector.
Other high cost items in the category were boots and sneakers. Sneakers is really a category all its own. Boots can often be boots that you wear in the snow, boots made for style or cowboy boots. Each has qualities that there is much to learn about.
I suggest starting out with the style you prefer whether it is boots, sneakers, platform shoes or patent leather shoes. An overall book you can start with is “Warman’s Shoes Field Guide” By Caroline Ashleigh. It’s illustrated and has a good price guide to go by.
So, if shoes are your thing, think about making it more than a fashion statement. Make it a part-time hobby than you will know more about why you chose those shoes.