Our Review of Sole SocietySole Society (located at SoleSociety.com) was launched in March 2011 as part of the fashion flash sales site HauteLook but after a few months it was eventually announced that Sole Society had moved on from HauteLook and became a completely separate company. When we first reported this news we thought this would mean there would be big changes along the way, and boy were we right!
When we put out our very first Sole Society review, they operated the same way as the rest of the shoe clubs on our site and offered a personalized approach to shopping. You would sign up, take a quiz asking you questions about your fashion preferences and then you would receive handpicked selections each month from experts based on what they felt you’d like to see.
For an unknown reason, Sole Society has moved away from this model and has gotten rid of their style quiz and expert selections altogether, which we think is a huge bummer! One of the main draws and the big reason we love these type of clubs is the fun of having a stylist choose items for you each month. We are majorly disappointed by this decision to say the least!
Now, instead of personalized selections, Sole Society instead releases one new style each and every day. Their “My Closet” area which used to be where you’d find your handpicked styles is now used as an area where you can bookmark styles you like or view styles that their team of Fashion Bloggers like the most. Unlike it’s competitors, Sole Society does not have any major celebrity backing but they do have a handful of well known fashion bloggers on their payroll who will pick out some of their favorite styles and offer some good fashion advice from time to time.
Another big change they made (for the worse!) is that not all of their shoes are $49.95 anymore. They start at this price and go as high as $69.95.
We’ll still give you our full Sole Society review and take closer look at how everything works, what the shoes are actually like and what we think of the company in general. If you’d like to read a concise summary of our thoughts, feel free to skip to the conclusion at the end.
How Sole Society Works
As we mentioned in our introduction, Sole Society has done away with personalized selections and their monthly membership requirements. They now operate more like a traditional eCommerce site with a couple of unique features. They claim to release a new style every day, however it isn’t clearly indicated anywhere on the site or in the members area what shoe was released that day. We’d really like to see some kind of section on the site where you can view that particular day’s new release.
Now that the personalized selections are gone, there is no need to take a quiz when registering. You simply become a member and can view their entire inventory of shoes right away, much like any other online shoe store. If you see something you like you can click the heart icon and it will be saved to your closet. The only other feature that makes Sole Society a little bit different from any other shopping site is their Fashion Insiders. They allow you to follow any of their 30+ fashion experts and you’ll see some of their favorite shoes appear in your closet.
SoleSociety.com Website & Shopping
When browsing the shoes on Sole Society, they provide you with detailed photos for each item along with a good description and even some tips on what kind of clothing to wear with that particular pair of shoes. Unfortunately they got rid of their member rating system for some unknown reason, so you no longer can see any feedback from members who might have already purchased an item you’re interested in.
The photo above is what you’ll see for each pair of shoes in your closet. It includes:
- High quality (and zoomable) photos of all color variations of each shoe from different angles
- A description of the shoe along with details on the heel height and whether or not the shoe runs true to size
- A note from the Sole Society fashion insiders about how to wear that particular shoe
Everything is laid out nicely and we really love how they give you some ideas on how and where to wear each item. However, they are definitely missing out on some useful features that other sites like JustFab and ShoeDazzle have. To start, there is no sizing quiz allowing members who have purchased an item to indicate whether or not they felt that shoe runs a bit small or big. This feature is especially useful because most shoes don’t run true to size and it can be very helpful to know if you’ll need to order a size up or down in either direction. There are also missing any type of rating or review system where members can leave their comments or review on an item. Adding a quick video of how a shoe looks in motion would also be a nice bonus.
Shipping & Returns
All orders shipped within the contiguous United States are shipped free of charge both ways. If you need to return an item for a different size or wish to exchange it for a totally different item you can do so free of charge. Shipping outside the contiguous US to either Alaska and Hawaii will incur a $9.00 charge. To return an item all you have to do is send it back to Sole Society within 30 days of your ship date using the return shipping label on the back of your invoice and they will issue you a credit towards another item. If you wish to receive a refund for an item you will be charged a $7.95 restocking fee.
We’ve found that shipping from Sole Society was a bit slower than anywhere else. On average, shoes arrived to us in 7 business days after our order was placed.
Sole Society Shoes!
Let’s talk about what you all came here to read… How do Sole Society shoes stack up against the competition? Starting at $49.95 and going all the way up to $69.95, they are a little more expensive than JustFab and ShoeDazzle, so most people want to know if they are really worth the extra cash. Sole Society claims that most of their shoes are real leather, however we’ve only seen a handful of shoes pop up in our closet that were actually real leather. Most are either faux leather, microsuede or fabric. Having said that, of all the shoes we’ve ordered to date, initially we’ve been very pleased with the overall quality and they look to be quite well made. We have yet to see any glue issues, loose stitches or any other initial signs that the shoes are cheaply made.
Below you can see some photos of shoes currently available on Sole Society. We wish we could include some user reviews in this section, but unfortunately their website does not have this functionality. So instead we’ve included the style notes for each pair:Timeless and casual, this coveted ballet flat features a metallic cap toe and is fully padded for comfort. It will become your go to shoe for summer and beyond.
“I am a ballet flat addict! If I am not wearing them I have a pair stashed at the bottom of my bag for when heels get to be too much. The metallic toe makes these more fun than a regular ballet flat. These would transform jeans and a simple white tee into a great look.” – Minnie Mortimer
Genuine suede mid wedge pump with a stacked heel. A sophisticated and comfortable shoe for all occasions in soft genuine suede.
“Sole Society has something for everyone, including desk-to-dinner heels and clean-lined sandals, all spot-on trendy. It’s genius!” – Marlien Rentmeester
Lace up heel with tassle trim and a hidden platform. The perfect choice for transitioning into fall.
“I love how subtle the Kilty detail is on these shoes. They are trendy but not so much that you cannot wear them again and again for years to come.” – Melissa Magsaysay
They do have a good variety of shoes overall and we’ve been happy with most of our purchases. The styles are all on point and trendy. While the quality is good, the price is still a bit high. And we’ll say it again and again… BOO to Sole Society for doing away with personalized selections!
There’s not a whole lot to complain about when it comes to customer service. They offer customer service via telephone (toll free), live chat or email. Our hold times when calling their toll free number were under 30 seconds and the customer service representatives that we dealt with were quite friendly and knowledgeable.
Aside from the actual shoes themselves, we think the next important part of an online shoe club are the extras. Sure, the shoes are great but what else are you going to offer us? Unfortunately, Sole Society is lacking in the extras department and does not offer any additional items for sale aside from shoes. If you’re looking for more than just shoes, JustFab or ShoeDazzle might be the better option.
They do at least have an area where you can invite friends to receive a free pair of shoes. For every three friends you invite who end up making a purchase on Sole Society you will earn a pair of free shoes.
Sole Society also has a fairly active Facebook Fan Page where you can find additional photos and comments about certain shoe styles. They also run contests from time to time on Facebook and Twitter so keep your eyes peeled for those for a chance to win a free pair of shoes every now and then.
Here’s what we like most about Sole Society:
- Good quality shoes in both the materials and craftsmanship
- Excellent customer service
Here’s what we feel they must improve upon:
- Better variety of shoe styles (They could use some more flashy/crazy styles!)
- Bring back personalized picks!
- More user interaction on their website such as adding sizing information and user reviews
- More perks and extras for members
Sole Society has gotten out of the personalized shopping space and moved on to a different type of model. They still make nice shoes that are of good quality, but just aren’t as fun of a place to shop anymore.