8 Ways to Get Popular Sneakers For Cheap

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Adidas Falcon: Adidas.com

I’ve always loved sneakers but collecting them got too expensive, so I had to stop. However, my recent diagnosis of Raynaud’s Syndrome has been a good excuse to start getting more, since I now need to keep my feet warm with layers of socks. High heels no longer cut it during cold weather, so I’m usually wearing sneakers whenever possible (there’s always a bright side to all things bad!).

Hunting for bargains has is a favorite pastime between Jun’s family and mine, and so I was proud to have unwrapped a pair of brand new Adidas Falcons this past Christmas, courtesy of Jun’s brother (thanks, Miles!). During December Adidas had them on sale for only $50, so he snagged the exact pair I wanted in my size!

This brings me to the main topic of this post: I always buy sneakers on sale, even Jordans. While some sneaker snobs might jump to the conclusion that I’m buying fake shoes or cheaper remakes of popular style, I can assure you, I’m getting the real deal.

Years ago, I used to stand in line with friends for the newest Jordan, the next Yeezy. I’ve staked out at my computer to purchase a pair of Yeezys (when they were harder to get). What I learned about collecting shoes is that ultimately, it is a very expensive hobby that most people simply can’t afford.

Fortunately, there are a few different ways to get sneakers for less than retail price. Just like collecting shoes, finding deals is also an art form that requires patience and a bit of time. Here are some of my most tried and true tips for purchasing shoes.

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#1: If you’re a woman, you’re likely able to shop in the youth section

I wear a size 7 in Women’s sneakers, which is a pretty average size for women. This translates to a 5.5 in Youth sizing. So if you’re around there, chances are, you’ll be able to shop in the Youth section. Youth-size shoes are significantly cheaper in price compared to Men’s sizing, and are still a few dollars cheaper than Women’s sizing as well. Jordans usually run for about $169 in Mens, but I can snag them for $129, and that saves me $40 off, even at retail price. And if you wait a few months, they’re bound to drop even lower in price! Being patient usually allows me to get them around $90 or so.

Bonus: Because the majority of sneaker collectors are men, you’ll have an easier time finding the latest colorways in smaller sizes!

#2: Try the shoes in-store, but shop online

We all know well enough that the most popular shoes from big companies like Adidas and Nike hardly ever go on sale in-store. This is why I choose to make most, if not all of my purchases online. However, what good is the shoe if it doesn’t fit? Visit a local retailer in the shoe style you’re interested in, and regardless of the color they have in-stock, try it on anyway. Once you know your true shoe size, make the purchase online.

Bonus: You don’t have to fight people in-store or stand for hours in line!
Additional Bonus: Not all sneakers fit the same. It’s super important that you try on the shoe in-person before buying!

#3: Always look for coupon codes

Online retailers always have promotions going. If you’ve never shopped on a certain website before, chances are, they may even have a coupon just for creating an account or subscribing to their email newsletter. Try searching for coupon codes online, and try punching them in at checkout.

Additionally, if you don’t have the Rakuten CashBack Browser Extension, you need it! Clicking this button before you checkout allows you to collect cashback from thousands of popular retailers online. Once your balance adds up, you can get your cashback check deposited into your bank account!

Bonus: Sometimes coupons can stack! You never know until you try.

#4: Try online outlet streetwear retailers

Websites like Karmaloop and Caliroots specialize in streetwear clothing and footwear for outlet prices. These stores are my favorite outlet stores online, and I’ve snagged some pretty nice sneakers from each one.

#5: If you’re not picky about color, you’re more likely to buy them on sale

Some colorways are more coveted than others, which means that the less popular colorways are likely to go on sale. If you’re not particular about color and just want the style, then you have more sale options available to you. 

#6: Try finding some major sneaker deals at Ross

My boyfriend’s brother has so much luck finding sneakers at our local Ross store. His latest pick-up: Adidas Samba snow boots normally priced at $250, for $20! He also recently bought my boyfriend a pair of Nike Air Command Forces for $65, normally $200. Another great steal!

#7: Wait until the end of the season

People always flock to buy the latest colorways as soon as they are released. I used to do this out of excitement, but the more I continued that habit, the more money I wasted. It’s always a great feeling to be able to own the latest sneakers, but it simply isn’t worth the potential savings to get them at the time of release. After a few months, new colorways come out, and retailers will put the older ones on sale. Unless it’s a limited edition, chances are, you’ll find a retailer who will have that color in your size.

One of my favorite websites Sneakersnstuff has end-of-the-season and mid-season sales often. In fact, they’re having a mid-season sale right now!

#8: eBay will carry the classics if you don’t mind a pre-owned pair

Last year I was on the hunt for a pair of Jordan Retro 4s in the Military Blue colorway. The Retros were released in 2006, and they never graced store shelves again after they sold out. I saw them on eBay going for around $400, and almost gave up my pursuit. However, after digging through more eBay listings, I snagged a pair of gently used ones for $130. Of course, in Youth sizing this would have been the price brand new – but since this was a rare colorway, I still saved a lot of money compared to the others that were up for sale.

Additionally, eBay now prides itself as one of the best places online to get new drops, exclusive colorways, and limited releases – both pre-owned and new. If you lucked out the first time and have FOMO, you can get a second chance on eBay.

There you have it! I’ve done all of the above and had some great finds. What have you tried so far that’s worked for you? Let’s chat in the comments!

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  1. Lilly
    / 9:12 am

    I’m a girly girl and my mom won’t let me wear heels. What brand would be best for me? I was thinking Converses, but I dunno.

    • The Baller on a Budget
      / 1:13 pm

      Adidas Superstars and NMDs are super chic and can be worn with girlier outfits! Nike Air Max 90s are great too.

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