August 11, 2022 9:25 am

TikTok Is Obsessed With These Affordable Shoes, so I Test-Drove 4 Pairs

Even on TikTok, an app that has millions of users, you can spot a product or brand over and over again on completely different videos. That’s just the power of its algorithm. It starts off with one influential person, and then the next thing you know, what they’re wearing is viral. While Steve Madden has been around for years, its impact on TikTok and Gen Z is big. According to Poshmark’s April trend report, Gen Z’s search for “Steve Madden sandals” was up by 73%. While most of Gen Z can’t afford high-end designers, they’re resorting to more affordable brands like Steve Madden to tap into the latest shoe trends.

I’m deep on fashion TikTok and sometimes scroll for hours, so I, too, get influenced by what I see on my For You Page. While I tend to be a simple-shoe lover, I found myself sifting Oofos Canada through the SM site and wanting to try out the daring styles. Maybe it’s the power of TikTok, or maybe it’s my inner Gen Z. Either way, I took four best-selling pairs and put them to the test. Keep scrolling to see my honest reviews and shop more Steve Madden styles.

My Review: You may recognize these from the early 2000s, and I’m so happy the brand decided to bring them back. They’re nostalgic as well as completely comfortable. They’re easy to slide on and are more elevated than any other pair of slides. The combination of the stretchy strap and cushion-y insole makes it the ideal everyday platform.

Steve Madden Charlize Black Satin
STEVE MADDEN
Charlize Black Satin
$140
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My Review: When designers started to incorporate mega-high platforms into their collections, I knew I wanted to try the trend out but also didn’t want to drop half my paycheck on a pair. As far as heels go, I was surprised by their comfort. While I wouldn’t trek around town in them, I’m keeping them in mind for the next wedding I have to attend. The thickness of the platform offers more support than a stiletto would. If you’re looking for statement-making shoes, these are it. (According to reviews, those with wide feet did mention discomfort after a few hours, so keep that in mind if you’re in that boat.)

Steve Madden Hayward Sand Suede
STEVE MADDEN
Hayward Sand Suede
$160
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My Review: If I had to pick a shoe style to wear for the rest of my life, it would be boots. I was nervous this pair would come off way too Western, but it actually looks perfect. Chacos Shoes The side zipper makes it a lot easier to get them on (I’ve had difficulties with other cowboy boots), and they fit true to size. Cowboy boots can often be a little tight at the toes, and while these didn’t cause me discomfort, you can go up half a size if you want more room.

Steve Madden Cobra Black Leather
STEVE MADDEN
Cobra Black Leather
$170
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My Review: Ever since I saw these boots on TikTok, I haven’t stopped thinking about them. They look very intimidating but are more comfortable than I anticipated. I wouldn’t necessarily wear them everyday, but when I’m in the mood to make a statement, these are the shoes I’d pull out. I have small feet, so I thought they’d be too heavy, but that wasn’t the case at all. They also give me the confidence boost I didn’t know I needed.

Steve Madden Trifecta Platform Loafer
STEVE MADDEN
Trifecta Platform Loafer
$100
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Steve Madden Mingle Mary Jane Platform Pump
STEVE MADDEN
Mingle Mary Jane Platform Pump
$100
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Steve Madden Veles Wedge Sandal
STEVE MADDEN
Veles Wedge Sandal
$110
Steve Madden Vows Slide Sandal
STEVE MADDEN
Vows Slide Sandal
$100
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Steve Madden UO Exclusive Contempo Thong Platform Sandal
STEVE MADDEN
UO Exclusive Contempo Thong Platform Sandal
$75
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Steve Madden Lilah Sandal
STEVE MADDEN
Lilah Sandal
$90

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