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Which Steve Madden shoes are best?

With only $1,100, Steve Madden began selling shoes out of his car trunk in 1990. Three decades later, the Steve Madden brand is known for its attention to fashion and individualistic designs that have captivated the shoe industry.

Steve Maddens are designed for men, women and children, and include trendy sneakers, sandals, dress shoes and boots. Madden isn’t considered a luxury brand, but it is pricier than mainstream brands.

For its eye-catching look and wide array of colors, the best Steve Madden shoes are the Steve Madden Women’s Maxima Sneaker.   

What to know before you buy Steve Madden shoes

What makes Steve Madden shoes distinctive?

Steve Madden shoes are designed to be worn with every outfit and express individuality. The company was founded on bold, head-turning designs that would let every person express themselves in a meaningful way. There are styles for everyone, with discounts and payment plans for widespread availability. 

Styles of Steve Madden shoes

Steve Madden makes shoes for women, men and children in a wide range of styles. 

  • Women’s shoes have the most choices, including sneakers, loafers, platforms, wedges, flats, mules, sandals and heels. Steve Madden also makes a full line of stylish boots. There are slippers and booties, too.
  • Men’s shoes include sneakers, dress shoes, casual shoes and boots.
  • Children’s shoes comprise sneakers, dress shoes, loafers, casual shoes, booties and boots.


The company uses recyclable bags in all of its retail stores and switched to recyclable shoe boxes for all of its products. It also partners with Carbonfund to help fight climate change and offers it fabric remnants to Fabscrap for recycling.

The company has made a commitment to ban fur, down, angora and exotic animal hair and skin from its products. It also uses wool from non-mulesed sheep, which have not had strips of skin removed to prevent parasites from infecting them.  The use of leather remains a point of contention for some animal rights proponents.

What to look for in quality Steve Madden shoes


Many Steve Madden shoes are made with leather, faux leather, distressed leather or suede. Leather provides excellent durability and stretches with your foot over time for greater comfort.


Many Steve Madden women’s shoes feature rhinestones. Rhinestones are made from quartz and resemble diamonds. They offer a shiny sparkle that catches the eye and makes shoes look elegant and fashionable. Designs incorporating rhinestones are among the ways Steve Madden differentiated his shoes from competitive brands.


Steve Madden sneakers come in a vast array of colors. The hues are bright and bold, and often are paired with other bold tones for a contrast that is eye-popping and fresh. 

How much you can expect to spend on Steve Madden shoes

Steve Madden shoes cost $50-$250. Most sneakers and dress shoes run between $70-$120. Suede and leather dress shoes, and some boots, run $180-$250.

Steve Madden shoes FAQ

Q. Does Steve Madden make anything else?       

A. Over the years, Steve Madden has expanded to make women’s clothing, handbags, sunglasses and jewelry. Shoes remain the largest product line in terms of models to choose from.

Q. Can you return Steve Madden shoes?

A. There is a 30-day return policy, though the shoes must be unworn. The company issues a FedEx shipping label, and your shoes must be sent within seven days of the return being initiated. They also can be returned to a Steve Madden retail store.

Q. What if I can’t afford the shoes?

A. The brand has an online resale shop as part of its website called Re-Booted, where gently used shoes are sold at a discount. It also partners with third-party payment companies to set up payment installments that fit your budget.

Q. Is there a rewards program?

A. The SM Pass program lets customers set up an online account and earn stars through purchases. This leads to discounts, free shipping, birthday gifts and entry into a monthly drawing for a shopping spree. The stars are active on a 12-month rolling calendar and expire if you haven’t used them in that year. 

What are the best Steve Madden shoes to buy?

Top Steve Madden shoes

Best Steve Madden Womens Maxima Sneaker

Steve Madden Women’s Maxima Sneaker

What you need to know: With a cutting-edge look and thick molded sole, these sneakers come in over 25 colors and patterns that are sure to turn heads.  

What you’ll love: These stylish sneakers have a Lycra and knit design with rhinestone embellishments. They are easy to put on and have a lace closure. They feature the Steve Madden logo on the side.  

What you should consider: They run at least a half-size small, and some users felt they were a full size too small.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Steve Madden shoes for the money

Best Steve Madden Child Dawes Sneaker

Steve Madden Child Dawes Sneaker

What you need to know: These stylish sneakers can be worn by both boys and girls, and are easy on the budget. 

What you’ll love: They are easy to put on and take off, with a lace-up closure and pull tab in the back. They have a textile upper and lining with a cushioned sock and flexible outsole. There are several modern patterns to choose from.

What you should consider: The size may run small for some children.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Worth checking out

Best Steve Madden Mens Proctr Oxford

Steve Madden Men’s Proctr Oxford

What you need to know: These Oxfords look elegant and can be worn for any occasion in both black and brown leather.  

What you’ll love: These dress shoes have a leather upper with a synthetic outsole. They offer a textile lining for extra comfort and include a toe cap. The shaft measures close to low-top from the arch.

What you should consider: They may run small for some men.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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