5 Popular Designer Shoe Styles: Get The Look Without the Price!

Do you ever see shoes that you love, only to discover they are a designer brand and way more than you wish to pay? There are a few pairs of shoes that I’ve stalked over the years, hoping for a fabulous sale or a miracle. Usually the fancy designer brands don’t go on sale and on the rare occasion that they do, they are normally out of my size or still more than I really want to spend.

Every now and then, if it’s a purse or pair of shoes I’ve been wanting for a very long time, I’ll save up and buy them. I did that last year when I purchased my very first pair of Gucci shoes. I had been drooling over their iconic Horsebit Loafers for quite a few years. I finally treated myself to a pair right at the end of winter last year.

Do you have a pair of shoes or a purse that you saved up to buy for a special occasion or just because you’ve always admired or wanted to be a part of the history and story of the brand? That’s how I felt when I bought these shoes. Gucci loafers are iconic and I wanted just a tiny bit of that history in my own closet. Plus, I love how they look! They also make them without the green/red web, love those, too!



As much as I do love buying the occasional iconic “will-keep-forever-and-have-them-resoled” pair of shoes, sometimes I just love the style of a shoe. As you know from THIS post, I’m totally against buying counterfeit fashion, but I have no problem buying a shoe or purse that’s been inspired by a popular brand, as long as it’s not claiming to BE that brand.

Today I’m sharing some of the styles I’ve come across recently that were probably inspired by a designer brand, but are much easier on the pocketbook. I’ve purchased two of the five that I’m sharing, one last year and one last night.

(Click the name of any shoe to access it online)


Gucci’s Marmont Pump is super popular. I’m not sure of the history behind this style, but I get the impression it’s been around for a while. Anyone know? It reminds me so much of a pair of shoes I had back in high school, especially with the chunky heel.

I really love this style and the height of the heel. They look like they would be super comfortable and I could see wearing these with either pants or a dress. The cost for the Gucci brand is $750.

Gucci Marmont Pump $750



It also comes in a suede version for the same price, available here: Gucci Marmont Pump .  It’s hard to see the “foldover fringe vamp” in this photo, but it’s there.


The Budget Friendly Version

I found a similar shoe (minus the gold GG) for just $99.95 available here: Loafer Pumps. Only thing missing are the gold GGs and I’m not too crazy about a brand logo being that prominent anyway.




I’ve been lusting after a pair of these darling Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flats for a while now. I see folks wearing them everywhere online, but just can’t bring myself to pay $495. I have a feeling I’d only wear them on special occasions like Christmas Day or to a party or dinner out with friends. They are velvet and just not something I would wear on a regular basis.

Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flat $495.00


The Budget Friendly Version

I just ordered these last night after reading all the great reviews. They are also velvet just like the Charlotte Olympia shoe. They should be fine for those occasions when I’m in the mood to wear a fun shoe. And ya gotta love the price, only $44.99! You’ll find them here: Velvet Kitty Flat (Shoes) Update: I found these run a bit big. I wish I had ordered about 1/2 size smaller, so you may want to order 1/2 size down.



Though I’m not a fan of winter, I love the clothes and shoes that go with the season. A few years ago I came really close to purchasing these Sorrel boots. I stalked them for a bit, but never purchased them since they were $179.

Sorrel Joan of Arctic Waterproof Snow Boot




The Budget Friendly Version

I was thrilled when I found these a few months ago. The reviews looked great so I ordered them in both the black and brown color. They are available here, ranging from $30-$63 depending on the color you choose: Waterproof Snowboot

Snow Boots



I fell for Valentino Rockstud shoes when I saw how great they look with jeans. It’s taken me a while to warm up to the idea of wearing heels with jeans, but I really do like how they look, especially if the shirt that’s paired with the jeans is a bit dressy. Unfortunately, I can’t justify spending $995 on shoes that would rarely ever get worn. If I wore heels a lot or worked in a position where I would be able to wear these, I would be tempted to buy a pair because they are a classic Valentino style that never, ever goes out.

Valentino Rockstud T-Strap Pumps $995



When I went on the Property Brother’s cruise last November, I noticed Jillian Harris from the TV show, Love It or List It, was wearing a pair. See how cute they are with jeans!

But guess what? She’s not wearing Valentino’s, she wearing a similar style that was available at Nordstrom last November and cost much less. I loved them and linked to them in that previous post about the trip, but sadly they are no longer available.

Jillian Harris Speaking at Sailing With The Scotts Cruise


The Budget Friendly Version

But these are and they do look pretty similar. They are only $69.95 and are available here: Rockstud Pumps


If I ever do splurge and treat myself to a pair of Valentino Rockstud shoes, this is the style I’d most likely go with because I like the lower heel.

Valentino Rockstud Patent Leather Flats $975



The Budget Friendly Version

I can’t get over how similar these are to the Valentino Rockstud shoes! They aren’t leather at only $18.33, but they have good reviews. They come in a lot of different colors/styles. They are available here: Rockstud Flat




You’ve seen my red Hunter boots in some previous posts. I bought those a year or two ago and love pulling them out on rainy days.

Flag Pillow, Black Bench, Red Hunter Boots


Hunter Boots are normally around $150 for the pair, and well worth it.

Hunter Boots $150



The Budget Friendly Version

But if $150 is a bit out of your budget, I found them in several colors and for a better price here: Hunter Wellington Boots  $96.99 + $14.99 shipping. That’s a savings of around $38…not too bad!

Do you have a dream shoe that you’re stalking? If you could buy any shoe, what would it be?



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  1. I don’t have a dream shoe. I can’t wear high heels and much as I love the snow boots, we don’t get snow in our part of Australia. My secret wish list is about Louis Vuitton handbags in the monogram pattern. I was lucky enough to be given one a few years ago and have another one on my dream list.

  2. Susan, on a couple of trips to NYC, I hit the shoe sale at Bergdorf Goodman and scored a beautiful pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes. I love shoes and have bought some beautiful ones in Paris and Florence! Thanks for the tips! Pam @ Everyday Living

    • Pam, Ooooh! What style did you get of the Manolo Blahnik? They have some gorgeous ones! Are the prices a bit better in Paris & Florence? I once purchased a Burberry bag online from Harrods and it saved me $200 (even after paying shipping) buying it online there, as opposed to buying it on the Burberry website.

  3. Linda Page says

    I had lunch today with friends and one lady had on the kitty cat shoes. I’m sure it was the lower priced one’s. The shoes are so cute.

  4. I’m afraid my shoes must be comfortable for my knee problems first and foremost. I used to wear the pretty knock-off shoes and heels but after 7 knee surgeries including a replacement that I had to have done 4 times there is no way I can compromise on comfort. I do, however, love the designer handbags but not the price tag so I often stalk look alikes. I do try to stick to leather though as they last forever. You’ve bought some beautiful shoes though Susan!

  5. You mentioned a few weeks ago “crushing” on a pair of floral rain boots. They were available through Amazon. I fell in love with them & HAD to order a pair. They are lovely & I’m so very happy with my purchase! They do run a little small though. Now, I’m waiting on some cool, rainy weather so I can wear them! Thanks, Susan, for a great blog!

    • Thanks so much, Dayna! Oh, I love rainboots because you can have so much fun with the patterns. Which ones did you get? Joules is another company that makes the really cute rainboots! They also make great rain coats.

  6. Ohmygosh, Susan, I’m in a shoe coma here! The shoes you’ve shown are all gorgeous and while the kitty flats are absolutely adorable, I think my overall favourite is the suede Gucci Marmont pumps. Yum! If I could buy any shoes, I think I would go for a pair of black Christian Louboutin pumps … those red soles just make my heart go pitty pat! Thanks for a fabulous and fun post!

    • I’m slightly obsessed with those, too! I would love to own a pair of the CL shoes, probably flats since I don’t have many occasions to wear pumps. The pumps are stunning, though!
      A few years back I found an adorable pair of brand new flats on ebay that the seller was selling because they wouldn’t stay on her feet. I tried them on, walking on the carpet in my guest room (when it still had carpet) and had the same issue, couldn’t keep them on. Fortunately, she excepted returns, but I’d still love to add a pair of CL’s to my closet one day.
      BTW, if you buy a pair of CL’s one day, you probably already know this, but there are a bunch of different ways you can protect the red soles to keep them looking nice. There are a couple of shoe places here in Atlanta that will also add a protective sole over the part that gets scratched up. Also makes them less slippery.

  7. The English seem to have a way with making high quality outdoor gear. Maybe it’s because they do a lot of hunting and riding. I have a pair of Wellies that are close to 40 years old and still going strong. You can also find some great outdoor English apparel at Dover Saddlery.

    Have a Great Week !

    • They do! Plus they have to deal with all that rain they get throughout the year. I bet they get lots of opportunities to wear their rain boots. Thanks for the tip, Leigh…will check Dover Saddlery out!
      Another company that has some really cute boots is Dubarry of Ireland: http://www.dubarry.us/ I was stalking those a few years ago and discovered we actually have a few stores here in Atlanta that carry them. I never did go look at them, I think I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to resist once I saw them! 🙂

  8. I love the loafers!–classic. I have been a shoe fan, since I first saw Dorothy click her red heels together. But polio left me with a pesky limp, so I am not able to wear heels at all. However, I have a huge Pinterest shoe selection and imagine myself wearing every stiletto pair I pin. If we come back in another life, I will be the tall, voluptuous woman with perfect legs and wearing Christian Louboutin’s highest heels. (Oh, and as a grandmother, I carry a huge purse with supplies, so in the next life I will sport a tiny fashionable purse, containing only a tissue, my driver’s license and a Chiclet.)

  9. Hi! The site 6 pm has the Sam Edelman version of the Valentino studded shoes. They are $70. I think I also saw a pair in limited sizes on the Lord and Taylor site.

  10. I truly understand shoe stalking, sometimes bordering on obsession. Some years ago when I was in Chinatown in San Francisco, I saw these embroidered Chinese slippers that I fell in love with but unfortunately none in my size. Here it is years later and one day it occurred to me to check on Amazon, since they sell just about everything, and lo’ and behold they had all kinds, in lots of pretty colors, and in my size. I am loving them for around the house.

  11. I was going to suggest the site 6pm also but Kathy beat me to it. They carry Hunter, Sorrel and Charlotte Olympia at big discounts. I’ve ordered many times from them and have had no problems at all. Take a look.

  12. Jill from Southern New Hampshire says

    Ooh, I think I’m going to order the velvet kitty flats you ordered! I work in advertising as a copywriter, so I’m going as Jill Kittens (a play on my last name) the Copycat for Halloween at work, where dressing in costume is a big deal on the 31st! The shoes would be the perfect complement to my cat ears, collar with bell and tail. Not sure if they will arrive in time for this Halloween, but worth a shot. Thanks for the find!

  13. I have shoes I have never walked in., with my first pay check in 1966, I bought a pair of Orang patent leather with a mother of pearl buckle on the toe, they were in a flood, since then I have probably bought a thousand pairs! I know I know I have a problem, but wait, I went into the attic which I haven’t been in since 1992, and half of the boxes, mostly from the 1970’s were gone! I dearly loved those shiney red 5 in heels that I only wore while sipping tea on the sofa. Mystery solved, my son who sells this and that on line., took them and sold them! FOR A PROFIT! Very retro he said ,sold like hot cakes! And hands me a stack of money. Did you cry? You ask? Nope, took the money and bought more shoes, don’t tell my husband, suede booties in many many colors. I am giddy with excitement! Orange suede shooties look good on me I must say, and the purple boots, my mother would have loved, she was a purple person. Sorry I have to go I have to change into my red boots, and take a walk around the Mall. Carry on Ladies, ” Life’s to short to wear Beige”

  14. Mary Semeit says

    Love your blog! Have you heard of Tieks? My girlfriend LOVES them – she says they are very comfy, but they don’t look all that supportive. The reviews I have read rave about them. The price point is a little above what I would spend. Thanks for sharing your favorites.

    • Thanks, Mary! I’ve never worn them but I purchased a pair that I think was in a style called “Love” for my dil. That’s what she wanted for her birthday this year. After she had worn them off and on for a few months, the leather started to kinda peel in places, I think around the toe area. She called them and they offered to replace them suggesting she buy a different color/style. She was sad to not get the same style again but they were worried the style she had gotten before would peel again. Maybe they’ve had issues with it or something. So she ordered another color. That was just a few weeks ago so we’ll have to see how the new pair holds up. When this was going on, I did a search to see if anyone else had had issues and I did find some blogs posts where folks mentioned having some problems, but they all said that the customer service at Tieks was good. Google for “reviews of Tieks” or “problems with Tieks” and I think you’ll be able to find the blog posts that I read when this was going on with my dil’s shoes.
      She does love them and feels they are very comfortable. I haven’t tried them because it doesn’t look like they have a lot of support, but maybe they do. I also don’t typically like shoes that are stretchy, they tend to cut into my skin and leave marks. Again, these may not do that, I haven’t tried a pair. My dil does love them, though.

    • Mary, little update…I just heard from my dil and she loves the new pair of Tieks she just got. She said they are even more comfortable than her previous pair. She likes them so much, she’s planning on getting another pair in another color.

  15. Susan, just wanted to let you know that Hautelook has Sorel shoes and boots on sale today for up to 56% off. Take a look. https://www.hautelook.com/events/133350

  16. Jill from Southern New Hampshire says

    How do you like your kitty flats, Susan? Mine took a while to arrive from China, just as the original shipping estimate indicated, and they are just like the picture. Thanks for the tip!

    • I really like them, the only problem I had was they are about 1/2 size too big. I bought some padded thingies that you can stick on the back of a shoe, but haven’t tried them yet. They were so inexpensive, I didn’t want to go through the hassle of trying to exchange them. The shoes are adorable though, just wish they were a bit more true to size. Did your’s fit okay? I can’t get over how much they look like the Charlotte Olympia shoes. I love the look of the Olympia kitty flats, but never wear those type shoes enough to justify the expense, so I was thrilled to find these.

      • Jill from Southern New Hampshire says

        I’m usually a 6 ½ and bought the 6 (the closest they had) which fits fine so they definitely run roomy! We’re throwing an 80th birthday party at our house this weekend for my father-in-law, so I’m thinking of wearing them then since I’ll be on my feet (paws!) all afternoon.

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