Are used shoes expensive? (5 hidden facts EXPOSED!)

Across the globe, people are taking interested in used shoes and the number of buyers and first-time users is on the increase. 

We decided to find out from a survey whether used shoes are expensive or not.

Are used shoes expensive, let’s find out together!

Are used shoes expensive?

Used shoes are generally not expensive compared to the new ones because of several factors such as reduction in quality as a result of wearing them, unappealing to some, safety concerns as well as perception of the people. 

However, some used shoes are expensive and in rare cases cost more than new ones due to some factors such as their scarcity, discontinuation, the personality that used the shoe in the past and the materials.

Therefore, understanding whether used shoes are expensive or cheap depends on certain factors that need to be put into consideration first to avoid misleading some people.

Why most used shoes are not expensive?

  • Not brand new

Used shoes are cheap because they are not brand new which appeals more to people.

People generally prefer to have their shoes new from the box which is exactly opposite from what you get in the used shoes market.used shoes market.

Because someone has already used it and decided to get rid of it is the main factor why used shoes are not expensive.

  • Value depreciation

Another factor that makes used shoes less expensive is the fact that their value has already depreciated.

A shoe that cost about $250 a year ago has to be sold as used for much less than that because even in the current market price for a new one, it will still cost less than the initial selling price of $250 as a result of new ones, fading trends among others.

When you buy new shoes and wear them only one time, the value is going to be a lot lower than it is.

  • New shoes in the market

Shoes are like the phone industry where different products are introduced to the market throughout the year by different companies trying to get the attention and loyalty of customers.

The availability of new shoes also causes the prices of the older ones to start decreasing even if they have not been used by anyone.

This also results in falling prices of used shoes because of the availability of new ones at a reasonable price.

  • Absence of warranty

Some shoe brands have some sort of timeframe in which their shoes will not develop issues and if you found one in yours, then you are at liberty to take it back to them and let them address it without losing a penny.

However, almost all used shoes have already passed the warranty period that the manufacturers set aside and even if they are still within the period, reselling them to a third party voids that warranty which makes them cheap.

  • Need for repairs

Some used shoes need repairs or have already been repaired by a cobbler before they become available in a thrift store for other people to buy them.

A shoe with a repair history is like a phone that has been repaired in the past, most will lose their value significantly to be able to stand a chance of getting interested buyers.

Safety concerns

Another factor making used shoes less expensive is the safety concerns some people have about used shoes.

Many people are sceptical of getting bacteria as a result of buying used shoes because they don’t know if the person who used the shoes in the past has one.

Although bacteria can’t survive for more than forty-eight hours in a dry shoe, many people are still wary about it.

Moreover, there are various ways to disinfect your used shoes to put your mind at ease.

  • Wear and tear

Used shoes are cheap because they have been worn by an individual in the past before deciding to sell them which means that they are already subjected to the possibility of wear and tear.

  • Discounts

Used shoes are also cheaper because of various marketing strategies adopted in selling them such as discounts, promos and special offers capable of enticing a potential customer to buy a pair.

  • Shorter lifespans than new ones

Used shoes also have shorter lifespans than brand-new ones of the same quality.

If a brand new Espadrilles will last you two years then a used one of the same brand will last you probably a year or less because another person has already used the shoe.

You can’t know how many times the previous owner used the shoes before putting them up for sale.

  • Not appealing to the rich

Used shoes aren’t appealing to the rich in society.

The majority of the users of secondhand shoes are lower and middle-class families who are trying to save some money for other needs of their families.

Because the attention is from the lower class in their society, most of the shoes have to be cheap for the consumers to afford them.

  • Donated

Some used shoes already in the market for sale are not a result of the owner looking for ways to have extra money in his pocket.

Some of the shoes are donated either to charity or to a humanitarian sector using small fees as charges and the proceeds of the sales will be channelled into doing something better for society.

Are some used shoes expensive?

On the other hand, it is important to point out that some used shoes are very expensive in the market due to several factors that We are going to find out below.

  • Rare

Some used shoes are very expensive because they are rare and only a few exist in the market.

Just like Rolex and other expensive cars that manufacture a limited number of products that make demand higher than the supply which increases the value, the same is true for some rare shoes.


Some used shoes become expensive because they have been discontinued by their producers and people have no way of getting new ones because they don’t exist in the market which forces them to look alternatively into purchasing used ones at a high price.

  • Need for auction

Some used shoes are sold on an auction basis especially if the shoes have a significant historical value that people want to buy and keep like art.

A shoe used by a famous person such as sports legends or pioneers is sold very high.

  • Value still intact

Some used shoes are expensive because they retain their value without depreciating.

If a shoe retains its value in the market due to the quality, material and reputation of the manufacturer, many people will still go and buy it.

  • Brand perception

Another reason why some used shoes are expensive is because of the perception people have of the brand.

The more people see a brand as trustworthy, luxury and class, the higher the value of their products.

Which used shoes are the top expensive ones?

Air Jordan 13 “Bred” — $2.2 million (2023) Michael Jordan used basketball shoes during the 1998 NBA finals and was the record-breaking used shoe in the world.

A well-used shoe belonging to Apple founder Steve Jobs was sold for $220000 a few years ago.

The Birkenstocks were not only well used, but it is not in good condition for someone to use except to keep them as an artefact.

Many expensive shoes are auctioned which costs several thousands of dollars.


Generally, used shoes are not expensive to buy as a result of the following factors:

Not brand new.

Value depreciation

New shoes in the market.

Absence of warranty

Need for repairs.

Safety concerns.

Wear and tear


Shorter lifespans than new ones.

Not appealing to the rich.


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