shoe samples

If you are going to buy shoes, follow these instructions strictly.

Shoes are one of the most common products purchased by consumers. In the following report from the Consumer Portal, we detail the main aspects that you should know before purchasing.

We buy shoes frequently, since they are elements that are a basic part of our clothing and suffer continuous wear that leads to their periodic renewal.

Therefore, it is important that we take into account the prior information that the seller must provide us before purchasing it.


types of footwear

For the purposes of what is contemplated in the regulations, footwear will be understood as those products with soles intended to protect or cover the feet, excluding the sale of used shoes, individual protection shoes and toy shoes.

Therefore, the following will be considered as footwear: Flat or high-heeled shoes, ankle boots, boots, sandals, espadrilles, sneakers, sports shoes (heeled, skates, skiing), dance shoes, or orthopedic footwear, among others.



Footwear is a type of product that has a special labeling which should provide information on the three component parts: upper, sole and lining - insole. The composition of the footwear must be indicated by pictograms or textual indications that designate the materials from which they are made.

In the case of the upper, the labeling specifications will not take into account accessories or reinforcements such as trims, ankle protectors, decorations, buckles, ears, eyelets or similar devices.

The label shall provide information on the material that is the majority, at least, in 80% of the surface of the instep, lining, insole and the volume of the sole. If no material represents at least that 80%, information will be provided on the two main materials that make up the footwear.

The labeling information must appear on the footwear, at least, in one of the articles of each pair. The label may be printed, glued, stamped or on a support attached to the product.

The dimensions of the pictograms must be large enough to facilitate the understanding of the information they contain. At points of sale, a sign explaining the meaning of the pictograms will be displayed in a prominent place, close to the footwear items.



Below, we detail the main pictograms that make up the different parts of the shoe.

instep pictogramInstep: It refers to the part of the shoe located on the outside of the structural element that is attached to the sole.



insole liningLining and insole: It refers to the element of the shoe that is formed by the lining of the instep and the insole of the sole, which constitute the inner lining of the shoe.



sole pictogramSole: It is the lower part of the shoe, which is subjected to wear by friction and which is attached to the instep.



There are also pictograms that refer to the materials with which the shoe is made:

leather pictogramLeather: This pictogram defines that the shoe is composed mainly of leather, a term that generically defines leather and animal skins that retain their original fibrous structure more or less intact, and that are tanned in such a way that they cannot rot. If the leather or tanned skin has been disintegrated into fibrous particles, it cannot be considered as leather. If the surface is covered by a coating layer, it may not be thicker than 0,15 millimetres. If the mention "full grain leather" appears, it means that the leather retains its original grain, as it appears after the removal of the epidermis.


coated leathercoated leather: This pictogram will refer to footwear that is made of leather, but that contains a coating layer that exceeds 0,15 millimeters, although it must never exceed a third of the total thickness of the product.





textile pictogramTextiles: This pictogram will be included in shoes whose main composition is natural, synthetic or non-woven textile material. Among the textile materials covered by the regulations are wool, alpaca, cashmere, animal hair or horsehair, silk, cotton, linen, hemp, esparto grass, polyester, vinyl, textile glass and other types of synthetic fibers.




other materialsOther materials: This pictogram brings together all the other materials, such as plastic.






Consumer rights in the purchase

Keep in mind that, when buying footwear, you have the same rights as in any other type of purchase. Therefore, know that:

  • You have the right to a ticket or invoice as proof of sale. Keep it, as it will be very useful in case you have to make a claim.
  • If you buy footwear online, you have the right to withdraw from the purchase, that is, to return the product, within 14 calendar days. The right of withdrawal is free, although the return costs may be borne by you, if the seller informed you of this prior to the purchase. That is why it is important to read the general conditions, especially with regard to conditions of withdrawal, return or delivery times, among others.
  • If you buy footwear in a physical store, find out about the return policy, since they are not obliged to accept returns, unless the product is defective.
  • If the shoe turns out to have a manufacturing defect, know that, like other products, the guarantee is three years, and during the first two years it will be the seller who has to prove that the defect was not already at its origin. Manufacturing defects can be considered if the sole comes unstuck in the first days of use or if it is badly sewn, however, in the case of footwear it is easy to confuse it with the usual wear and tear that this type of product wears, so it is not easy enforce the guarantee. For this reason, we recommend that in the event of premature wear or breakage, go to the seller as soon as possible, providing the purchase receipt, to try to negotiate a repair, replacement or even a refund of the amount.



If you have a problem with the purchase, you can file a claim, either in person, at the Municipal Consumer Information Office closest to your home, Consumer Service Office of the Community of Madrid, or through internet.


Updated August 29, 2023