Manolo Blahniks vs. Cheaper Shoes

The shoes on display at this Manolo Blahnik boutique are quite stunning. You can easily spend a small fortune here. Anywhere from several hundred to thousands of dollars.

To find out if high-end, expensive shoes are worth the high price, Consumer Reports ShopSmart rounded up more than a dozen eager employees to try out three different pairs.

Mandy Walker with Consumer Reports says, "We covered up all the labels so the women couldn't tell which were the less expensive pairs of shoes and which were the expensive ones."

The shoes included a $30 pair of Mossimo's from Target, $69 heels from Nine West, and this $575 pair from Manolo Blahnik.

The women walked a defined course twice a day for a week in each pair of shoes. They filled out a ballot each time.

Most of the women thought two pairs looked and felt pretty good, but not the $30 pair from Target.

Tester Cathy Cotters says, "I was holding onto the wall when I was walking around the building testing them."

Tester Lisa Gill explains, "These shoes were the most uncomfortable of the ones that we tested."

To size up how well each shoe was made, ShopSmart did the unthinkable… cutting the shoes in half!

Mandy Walker with Consumer Reports says, "Overall the Manolos were a better-made shoe. The materials they were made of were superior, and many of the women liked the styling, too."

However, in the blind tests more women thought the $69 Nine West shoes were more comfortable! ShopSmart says the smart money move with high heels - make fit the deciding factor.

"Determine the style you want, what your budget is, and if they feel good when you walk around in them, buy them!"

Consumer Reports ShopSmart says good leather heels need special care. It's best not to wear them two days in a row. That gives the shoes time to dry out. And forget wearing them out in bad weather! One step in a puddle with oil, gas, or road salt and you can ruin them.


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