Shoe shopping has never been a strong feature in Cairo’s retail scene. Let’s face it: the shoes available around town tend to be either inexpensive and badly made or gorgeous and bank-breaking. Add to this dilemma the fact that the urban jungle of Cairo likes to eat new shoes for breakfast makes shelling out half a month’s salary for the perfect pair even more devastating.
Luckily, the shoe situation in Cairo has been slowly improving along with the rest of the city’s retail options. There are now a select few shops where cute and affordable shoes can be obtained– this is one urban trend that we can’t wait to see more of.
69: Although known primarily as an edgy clothing boutique stocking fairly pricey items, the 69 secret is its stock of amazing and reasonably priced shoes. We love the selection of on-trend sandals, ballet flats and heels priced around 200LE. The best time to stock up is at sale time; head there now to pick up cute sandals at great prices that will still be stylish next summer. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for winter footwear: affordable boots and patent pumps? Heaven!
Club Aldo: Not to be confused with international shoe chain Aldo, this shop is the Cairo fashionista’s dirty little secret: everyone shops there; but few will admit to doing so. If you ask us, there’s nothing wrong with wearing a bargain shoe loud and proud– as long as it doesn’t look like one. Shopping at Club Aldo requires making strict distinctions between copied trends done well and copied trends gone wrong– stick with the simplest models in the best-looking materials for optimal results. Club Aldo’s wide selection of sandals, flats, pumps and high heels are priced from just 50LE to 200LE. The shoes can often trick even experienced shoppers into making impulse buys; so tread carefully.
Khan El Khalili: Laugh all you want, but we think this market may just be the new place to head to for dirt-cheap shoe shopping. Yes, parking is a hassle, vendors are annoying and a lot of effort needs to be put in to produce results; but if you can look past these issues, we can guarantee that a respectable and affordable pair of shoes awaits you in Khan El Khalili. We particularly like the Moroccan-style leather shoes in a variety of colours from black to orange for less than 50LE. Look for the plain ones that are virtually indistinguishable from your basic ballet flats and will probably last longer, or opt for the flashier patterned varieties. Next time you find yourself short on cash and in need of new shoes the Khan is your place– what’s the worst that could happen?
Shoe Room, Maadi: Tucked away near Maadi’s Grand Mall, with numerous other locations in Mohandiseen, Nasr City, and New Cairo to name a few, Shoe Room offers affordable sandals, flats and a few heels along with a surprising collection of beach bags and accessories. While the offerings at Shoe Room are not always appealing, regular visits can yield results in the form of cute and cheap footwear. We suggest procuring your entire repertoire of beach accessories from this shop: the beach tote bags are surprisingly stylish, while the casual sandal selection is the store’s main strength. With prices starting at just 50LE, Shoe Room is worth checking out on a regular basis.
Shoe Express, Obour City: A little out of the way for some shoppers, but still a saviour for inhabitants of New Cairo; Shoe Express in Obour City is a reasonably priced shoe haven offering a good selection of footwear for both men and women. With prices starting around 80LE and rarely exceeding 350LE, plenty of good deals can be found at this shop. We like the casual flats and sandals for daily wear and tear; and we suspect that a reasonable pair of evening shoes could be found with enough patient searching. Just remember: not all affordable shoes are created equal; so be careful not to be seduced by cheap price tags into buying hideous footwear.
Tata Tio:With branches around Cairo, Tata Tio is one of Cairo’s fastest-growing local shoe retailers. Offering a wide range of styles from sandals to boots and bags, affordable and attractive options are ripe for the taking. We love Tata Tio’s great sandal selection, which features replicas of the latest seasonal trends from oversized jewels to gladiator heels. They also have a solid collection of evening shoes and bags to choose from. It goes without saying that some of the models on offer at Tata Tio are huge misses, but the amount of great finds are a pleasant surprise, with prices starting at 100LE.