At the border, entering the "country" of Transnistria. Photo taken December 8, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Have you ever bought footwear online?

We never have. Until now, that is!

As our regular readers know, we do a lot of hiking when we're traveling. That means we put a lot of miles on our hiking boots, and we don't only wear them for hiking. When we're traveling, we travel very light which usually means that we only have one other pair of footwear with us, and that's usually a pair of sandals.

Anyhow, my current pair of Merrell hiking boots are starting to look a little worn, and there's actually a split in the leather on one of them. The soles still have a few miles left on them. But we won't have much opportunity to shop for new ones before we get to Korea and I wanted a new pair by then.

We're totally sold on the Merrell brand for hiking boots. They're expensive, but with the miles we put on them this is where we feel it's better to have some quality. It's not all about price...it's about value.

So I started shopping online. Obviously a good place to start was Amazon, but unfortunately the Canadian version of Amazon doesn't have nearly the selection that is available on the U.S. version. And sometimes us Canadians can buy from the American Amazon website, but then we have to deal with exchange rates and shipping and possibly duty and border issues.

In keeping with our mantra of "never buy anything at full price", I found a pair on sale at www.canadianfootwear.com for $129. Regular $169, I think. For Canada, that's a pretty good price.

Merrell hiking boots are usually priced between $149 and $209 depending on the style.

Anyhow, it's free shipping in Canada and no provincial sales tax. So the tax is only 5% instead of 10%.

But, if they don't fit or there's any other problem, we have to pay the shipping to return them. That's the only hesitation I have with buying footwear (or clothing for that matter) online. My current pair of Merrell's are size 10.5 and I'm almost certain that my last pair were as well. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Have you ever bought footwear online? Would you?

By the way, for Americans, the Amazon.com website has a huge selection of Merrell hiking boots available, and at some good prices. We would totally recommend them, and we have a LOT of hiking experience with that brand.

You can see the selection here... Merrell Hiking Boots

Oh, I spent the first hour this morning doing some more travel planning. We want to make it to Puerto Escondido this year to visit with the young Mexican family that we are friends with. This is the family you so generously supported last February when they needed some financial help.

Anyhow, Puerto Escondido is about 1,300 kms south east of Puerto Vallarta where the motorhome is and we don't really want to drive all that way. So I've been waiting for a flight deal. But Puerto Escondido just has a small airport and the only way to get there is from Mexico City. VivaAerobus has a sale on right now with flights from Mexico City to Puerto Escondido priced at about $75 each way per person. I haven't booked it yet, but I think I'm going to. This way, we only need to find a cheap one way flight from either Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles to Mexico City and one of them is sure to come up.


16 comments:

  1. We just bought our first shoes online. It turned out good. We both like the New Balance shoes... we previously bought our first pairs on clearance for hiking in the desert. $12 each!) We recently tried on the styles we liked at a local store and snapped a pic of the box label with style, size, width etc. Then we waited online for a sale from the same store and had a coupon to apply too. Both Steve and I got them, about 55% off the price in the store. Free shipping. Not too bad!

    KarenInTheWoods and Steveio
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    1. It certainly helps when you are able to try on the shoes first and know how they feel and exactly what size you need. Glad that your experience turned out well for you. Ours should be good too, Kevin has had Merrell's before so hopefully the sizing will be the same as his other ones.

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  2. I bought my first pair this past spring! And I don't regret it on bit. I wanted a very specific type of shoe for walking and beach and kayaking. And I'm cheap! I found exactly what I wanted at Amazon.com (one who would ship to Canada - the same pair were $60 more in Canada!) The shoes were only about $60 including shipping and taxes so I figured if they didn't fit then it wasn't a huge loss - I could give them to someone. I bought them not expecting them to last long but so far they are holding up well and they are pretty much the only shoe I've worn the entire summer. I'm into the 'barefoot' experience and so shopping online was the most cost effective way to try something new. I get tons of compliments because they are original and not available here. I'll be buying more of the exact same shoe for next year. I've also bought my kids shoes online, but again, minimal commitment and I could return them to the store in the mall at no cost.
    Here's what I bought:
    http://www.amazon.com/Vivobarefoot-Womens-Ultra-Pure-Crimson/dp/B008K9A77Y/ref=sr_1_17?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1407946591&sr=1-17

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    1. Sounds like you got yourself a good deal there, especially if they are ones that you wear all the time. They look comfy and I could be interested in them but I am trying to find a pair of sandals that I can wear for walking around towns but could also double as a pair to wear with a skirt for a bit of a "dressier" occasion.

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  3. What sandals do you like to travel in?

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    1. Normally a comfortable pair of decent flip flops. Last year in Cape Town I bought a nice pair of decent quality sandals that I could wear in town for wandering around, and we do lots of that but they were also a pair that I could also wear with a skirt and get away with them looking have decent, unfortunately I have already worn them out. Now I am on the look out for a new pair!

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  4. I've been doing it for years with no problems at all. So much cheaper. It does help if you have tried that particular brand on and know your size. Go to a store to check it out and then just order online.

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    1. Good to know your experience has been a positive one as well. Agreed, it does help if you can try on the item first at a "real" store and then order it online.

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  5. I was fit for my walking/running shoes in a running store, and purchased them there. Then checking on Amazon, found them at no discount, but had no sales tax. So the next time I get the same shoe, I will go through Amazon to purchase them.

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    1. That works providing that the same shoe is still on the market. I was lucky with my last pair of hiking boots because I got the exact same pair but Kevin wasn't so lucky. He did still get a pair of Merrell's but they were a different style. Hoping that the ones he purchased online will fit the same as both the previous two pairs did.

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  6. I don't know if they have the same deal for Canadian customers, but zappos.com ships to US addresses for free and offers free returns too. I love this site as they have many reviews and a huge selection of all kinds of shoes. My husband and I have each ordered a pair or two from them before and have not had to return any, yet...we both wear difficult sizes (12 or 13 EEEE for hubby, 7 Narrow for me) and have a hard time finding shoes that fit us well and are comfortable, so buying online without a free shipping/free returns would be risky.

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    1. Thanks for the link Emily, we did look at the site but at the moment didn't find any fantastic deals, not to say that they don't have them, they just don't have any on the items that we are looking for. I didn't look to see if they ship to Canada but we will keep our eyes on the site any time we are looking for something else and see if they have anything at the time. It certainly is nice to have a store/site that sells shoes for hard to fit feet though.

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  7. I've never ordered online, but I'll be watching to see how yours turn out. We like Merrells too.

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    1. You can be guaranteed that we will let everyone know how it goes, good or bad.

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  8. So far I haven't, but that may soon change. Like you and Ruth, John and I travel light. We're going to the UK and Europe for 6 months this winter and need a second pair of shoes. We know exactly what brand and style we want, but with stores carrying less and less inventory ordering online may be our only option. We'll be waiting to hear how it turned out for you!

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    1. With us it's a lack of stores in which to purchase these shoes. Kevin hasn't been to Swift Current since the end of June so he can't even try any on. Since he has had Merrell's twice before and he knows how they fit and they were both the same size so he is pretty confident that these will fit and be comfy too.

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