Quilted Ballet Pumps - Spend vs Splurge

I just love getting emails from my friend Claire, whom I met via Mumsnet initially and then got to know really well via this blog, and although we've not ever met in real life, we are indeed kindred spirits. Of that there is no doubt.
Today's email from Claire was about her new Russel & Bromley nude pumps. She had scrimped and saved for these and was over the moon about finally owning them. Her budget didn't stretch to the same shoes in black but luckily for Claire, in her hunt for black ones, she spotted a familiar pair in Next and photos just had to be taken owing to the striking similarities between the two pairs...

Black Quilted Ballerinas - Next
Charming Nude Ballerina - Russell & Bromley 

  • Both shoes are leather and leather lined.
  • Both have double stitched quilting.
  • Both have flexible rubber soles.
  • The only visible difference is the gold tag.
  • The Next ones are £40, R&B ones are £155

Now before you state the obvious that one is black and one is nude, the point here is more about the fact that the look so similar on every other way. The R&B ones are available in black but the Next ones are not available in nude. If you are looking for less expensive nude ones, Claire found a different pair in Next at only £26..not as comparable to the R&B ones but not bad nonetheless.
Next Nude Leather Ballerinas
Claire's Spend vs Splurge Conclusion.......'if you can afford the R and B then great but I
struggle to see any difference between them and the Next ones...yes, time may tell....the leather must be a better quality. Here's hoping it's at least £100 better!' 

So, over to you think it's worth paying for quality? Or would you rather have two or three less expensive things instead?

UPDATE: (3 weeks on) Claire admits to me that the Next ones are cutting her feet still but the R&B ones are like slippers... :)


  1. I love the additional detail on the bow on the R&B ones
    I <3 designer shoes even though I know I am paying for the name the majority of the time, I therefore limit the amount of designer shoes I purchase but regularly treat myself to bargain 'copy' ones that look very similar to the designers!!
    Ruth - Room31

  2. LOVE Next shoes for the value and style but always cut the feet off me! Has this problem with about 4 pairs :(

  3. I've learnt from experience that a high price tag dosen't always guarantee comfort so I'm happy to buy similar styles for less!Love the nude pumps:)
    ~Anne xx

  4. omg that's amazing... I also adore the little disc on the R&B pair and there's something very elegant about the toe shape. I guess for everyday use, it's worth the splurge, but for occasional wear I'd def go for the cheaper ones.

    My new motto is invest in the things I use lots, preferably daily!

    Nic x

  5. I love the detail of the gold disc on the designer pair. I prefer to buy shoes from a retailer specialising in shoes, as that way I find you get better quality. I love Next for clothes and homeware.

  6. Generally I prefer to pay money for shoes (particularly winter ones) as there's nothing worse than having sore feet! Having said that, I paid €200 for a pair of boots in Dune last October and they're now leaking. Highly unimpressed ... there will be words on the subject with Dune as you can imagine!

  7. I love both pairs. Not sure which I would choose, not familiar with the brands.

  8. I would always go for comfort. I would gladly pay twice as much for comfort quality.I find Clarks hard to beat for style and comfort.

  9. Anonymous19:50

    Adorable pumps!

    Emma x

  10. I'm with your friend, Claire. When it comes to shoes, I gladly fork out more. Most of my shoes have lasted 10 years and still going strong. Mind you, I've picked up most of them on sale but there are a few that I'd paid full price for. I'm a ballet flats addict. I used to own 7-8 pairs of Repetto flats. Eeek. I gave a pair to my 9 yr old god-daughter who wears the same shoe size as me. Double Eeeek. And a couple more to my mom.

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  13. They do look the same, but I'd agree that I have a pair from Next and they were never as comfy as a pair of sling backs I had from R and B that felt like they were made for me!! Sigh..... X

  14. I need some nude/pink ballet pumps - off to check them out.
    I love a ballet pump in the Spring/Summer and can't wait to start wearing my (large) collection again!

  15. Wow there is hardly no difference and they both look equally comfortable x

  16. It's a difficult one because I have very expensive shoes but also have cheap shoes and although I would normally say go for quality with something classic (I have a pair of Bloch ballet pumps I bought from net a porter years ago still like new) it certainly sounds to me as if these two comparisons could have been made in the same factory just like Jigsaw bags are made in the same place as Prada.

  17. Anonymous07:46

    interesting & helpful post. Thank you for adding the PS about how they fit/comfort. So often things "look" great but for me it is about how they fit, the comfort and the (in the case of clothes) material. Sometimes there is a reason why some items are more expensive.

  18. If you had asked me this question 15 years ago I would of gone for spurlge simply because I could afford to! However, fast forward 15 years & now being a Mama of 2 on a budget I'd have to say spend! The R&B ones do look gorgeous though & if I really really wanted them Id do the same as your friend Claire & scrimp & save for them! Ax


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