A hugely important element to buying shoes online is having the ability to return or exchange them if have a defect, don't fit, or just don't look the way you thought they would.
While most online shoe stores will offer some kind of return policy, don't take it for granted. Know before checking out that you'll be able to return the "new condition" shoes for any reason.
Of course, if you're willing to take a chance on a deeply discounted pair of shoes, you might decide to buy without a return policy. But you still need to know what your return and exchange options are before buying.
Also, find out in advance whether or not you'll have to pay the return shipping fees if you do need to make a return or exchange.
Need Your Shoes in a Hurry? Check Shipping Times
If you absolutely, most certainly, must have a particular pair of shoes by a certain date, I strongly recommend buying them in person, or ordering them far enough in advance that you have other options if your shoes don't ship in time.
This is not some hidden code implying that online shoe stores don't ship in a timely fashion. In fact, most of the shoes purchases I've made online have arrived in record time, but why take any chances?
Again, know the shipping policies of the online shoe store you're dealing with, and check to see if the item you're ordering is actually in stock. If it is backordered, this could add weeks to your delivery time.
As long as you deal with reputable online shoe stores and pay attention to the details mentioned above, buying shoes online is a great way to save time and money; and to give yourself the most options when shopping for footwear