This is my first review, I hope it is useful to someone.
Bodyline shoes 171 (US$33)
Before ordering, I went after Bodyline reviews, but found none on this specific type of shoe (171). Some reviews said Bodyline shoes run big, others said they were small, and most affirmed the shoe size chart provided by Bodyline wasn't correct.
I decided to measure my own feet and check size charts on other websites. The average I found was 250, and that is the number I ordered. I chose AIR shipping, which has a fixed US$10 price, and is only sent out on Tuesdays. At that time, expected delivery time was 4-10 days.
♦ December 3rd (Monday): placed order and received e-mail with tracking number.
♦ December 4th (Tuesday): order status on Japan Post changed to "Posting/Collection" (Chiba Prefecture).
♦ December 5th: "Arrival at outward office of exchange" (Tokyo).
♦ December 8th: "Dispatch from outward office of exchange" (Tokyo).
From here on I started checking the national post office website, using the same tracking number. After a few days, I got apprehensive and checked Bodyline's website. Expected delivery time had changed from 4-10 days to 7-30 days. This was probably because of the large volume of orders during Christmas time, but it only made me more anxious.
♦ December 27th: "Arrival at inward office of exchange" (Brazil).
Now all I had to do was wait for the local customs and post office to deal with my parcel, but because this can take up to 3 months and the taxes are quite high in my country (60%), I was still nervous.
♦ January 21st: My brother woke me up with a shoe box in his hands!
Yes, a box! I read a lot of reviews in which people complained about their shoes arriving in nothing but a paper package, with very little protection.
I got really lucky and my shoes came in a nice cardboard box (and customs didn't tax me!):
Just a red box with item information in a slip on top and the Bodyline logo under that.
Shoes were wrapped in tissue to avoid scuffs and had a piece of thick paper between them.
Right out of the box. Tissue paper balls inside the toe part and plastic straws with a bent tip to keep the shape of the shoes.
I was very pleased and somewhat surprised by the quality of these shoes. They are very pretty and look well-made. I didn't find any defects on them. It has those metal snap buttons under the buckles, so you don't have to undo them every time, and I was already expecting that.
However, it is very hard to undo the buckles if you want to make the straps tighter or looser. The other holes are also very small (more decorative than functional) and probably would have to be made bigger to fit the prong. Also, the buckle is a bit small for the strap, so it would leave a dent on the material.
Thankfully, the straps are pretty much the right size for my chubby feet (one is a bit loose but not too much), so I don't have to risk damaging my shoes to have a better fit. Those who are thin or have flat feet might have a bit of a problem with this.
The shoe itself fits a little big. I like my shoes a on the large size and I will wear this with socks, so it shouldn't be much of a problem. Overall this was a very good purchase, and well worth the price.
Update 02/02/2013: I wore these out or the first time, walked around a lot and gave them no special treatment. The back of my feet and the base of the toe (where the bubble toe meets the skin) were a bit hurt, but that is to be expected since I didn't break the shoes in beforehand. The shoes got some scratches and a tiny piece of black material peeled off, leaving a white dot.