The sun’s out, it’s the beginning of spring, the stores are all showcasing their light, fluffy summerwear: How hard could it possibly be to find quality mid-priced, high-heeled, white patent-leather sandals?
Turns out every shoe store has its own definition of “high quality” and “affordable.” So after my whole grueling quest, I’ve decided to provide some guidance.
Marshall’s, Severance Center, Cleveland Heights
This was easy: Though Marshall’s is often a gold mine for quality underpriced shoes, they had NO high-heeled patent-leather white sandals when I went in. Sigh.
Macy’s, University Heights
Though department-store prices are normally quite high, Macy’s sales are always stellar -- especially when you augment them with the copious coupons they’re always sending out in the mail. Also, handy tip: If you happen not to be from Ohio and have a driver’s license proving otherwise, go up to the service center and they’ll give you a coupon for 10 percent off.
The selection here were plentiful and chic, including high-heeled, Carlos by Carlos Santana (the singer, it turns out, has excellent taste) closed-toed sandals with intricate side cutouts for $60 -- a bit much, I thought; shiny, round-toed, super-high-heeled sandals by Jessica Simpson (I’m sensing a musician stylist trend here) for $69; and a pair of pointy, skinny-heeled sandals by Rampage for a low, low $30 that had possibilities.
Aldo’s, Beachwood Place
The high, platform, stripper-style patent-leather heels here were great sitting shoes -- but walking in them presented problems. Nonetheless, they were super-cute and would definitely photograph well -- if I felt like shelling out $69 a pair. I didn’t.
TJ Maxx, Woodmere
Though I was mucho impressed by their selection of purses -- $70 for a cute black Doone and Bourke handbag that normally retails for $150 and an awesome red leather clutch that was selling for $10, instead of its normal 30 -- (a perfect bag as long as you don’t mind that you can’t fit anything in it), but their shoe selection left much to be desired. They had a Steve Madden wedge heel with skinny toe straps for $34.99 -- but upon closer look, the straps looked more beigeish than white. They also had white, closed-toed kitten heels by Naturalizer for $30, but the heel wasn’t anywhere close to the skyscraper height I was looking for.
DSW, Warrensville Heights
Ahh, the wonderland of white heels! There were tons to choose from, including glitzy Wizard of Oz-type heels, perfect for weddings -- but not day-to-day wear (prices: $49-$99). The same Jessica Simpson heels from Macy’s were selling for $60-65 here, and high-heeled, strappy Chinese Laundry heels were going for $50. Then I headed to DSW’s true treasure chest: The clearance rack. There I found a pair of three-inch, skinny-heeled, diagonally strapped white sandals reduced from $70 to $50. Plus, because they were on the sales rack, they were selling for 50 percent off that. Perfect!
But then I saw a pair of ruby-red wedge heels by Rampage, selling for an additional 40 percent off. And well, is it any real surprise that I spent a whopping two hours in the store? -- Rebecca Meiser