Review: Dream Pairs

I was gifted the Dream Pairs shoes–all of which I selected–featured in this post, but I was not obligated to write this review nor was I asked to include any specific messaging. All opinions are my own.

If you’ve ever shopped for shoes on Amazon, Dream Pairs might be a familiar name that stands out in a sea of not-particularly recognizable brands. Unlike its third-party peers, many of which offer a confusing assortment of products, Dream Pairs sells shoes–just shoes–at a reasonable price point; even its name ties in to its products, lifting it above the jumbles of letters that some sellers try to pass off as branding.

It’s even made the leap to the physical world: the brand’s first brick-and-mortar store opened in the Bronx last fall, with 20 more stores set to open across in the U.S. in 2024. Dream Pairs’s own e-commerce site is also fully built-out, with an impressive collection that expands on the core styles that you can find on larger platforms.

From everyday loafers to playful heels to cozy slippers, Dream Pairs’s designs are “safe,” insomuch that they rarely veer into the avant-garde. But most styles have a slightly trendy touch, just with a focus on comfort and affordability.

I recently picked out six shoes from Dream Pairs’s fall and winter collection to review. I wore them as much as I could over the last four weeks to expose quality issues, but all six styles remain in good condition at time of post. I will update this post if I encounter any quality-related issues in the future.

On fit: I have slightly wide feet but mostly wear medium width (M) sizes in casual styles and sandals; I upsize or take wide width (W) shoes in boots and sneakers to allow room for thicker socks.

The size range of Dream Pairs women’s shoes runs 5-11 in medium width for most styles. While Dream Pairs offers wide widths in a dozen styles, all shoes reviewed in this post are in medium width.

Dream Pairs Chain Closed Toe Fur Lined Mules

I am more than eight years late to the trend, but I finally got the hype around furry mules. The quality of Dream Pairs’s take on the trend is fair for the price ($44.99): the faux-leather upper is reasonably pliable and doesn’t have that telling sheen in darker colorways which exposes some artificial leathers; the faux fur lining, which is on the sparse side, covers the entire footbed–it’s not as plush as UGG boots, but this detail makes the shoe immediately comfortable. I was also pleasantly surprised by the gold chain accents, which suit the round toe well.

The length is on the short side so upsize if you are are in between sizes.

Le Specs Armada 54mm Cat Eye Sunglasses • Zara Striped Knit Sweater in size S (past season; style code: 0/5536/025/104/03) • Gap Boyfriend Jeans (current season here) • J. Crew Encore / Ethel Trench (past season) • Saint Laurent Mini Manhattan Crossbody BagDream Pairs Chain Closed Toe Fur Lined Mules in Black

Dream Pairs Pointed Toe Stiletto Knee High Boots in White PU

It’s easy for white leather boots, especially ones in a knee-high length, to come across as glaringly bright or bachelorette costume-y. But I really wanted to love these Dream Pairs boots, as its shaft fit my athletic calves well and the classic silhouette is easy to style–sadly, the “vegan leather” simply looks too plasticky up-close (though you can’t really tell in photos). They are certainly a decent novelty item if you need a pair for a themed event. But I also can’t stop wearing them, despite their flashiness; they add a splash of drama to an outfit, and sometimes my outfits really need that extra oomph.

I upsized in this style, as I do for most boots, and the footbed fit well when I wear them with Smartwool Hiking Heavy Crew Socks. I recently added these more casual Knitted Lug Sole Over-The-Knee Boots in off-white to my cart, and expect those to be well worn in the spring.

Dream Pairs Faux Fur Lining Knee High Riding Boots in Brown

Lace-up riding boots look so cool, but I can’t always muster the effort it takes to put them on. So what I like most about these Dream Pairs riding boots–other than the cozy pile lining–is the full-length inside zipper, which enables easy-on and easy-off. They also have a perfectly distressed finish that would anchor floaty floral dresses once the weather warms. While the faux leather uppers are not going to wear as well (or look as good up close) as full-grain leather, it would be unreasonable to demand more of a <$60 shoe.

I went up half a size in this style to wear with thicker socks; but these shoes required no break-in period and were immediately comfortable.

Dream Pairs Lace Up Knee High Boots in “Black Knitting” (featured in this post)

These knee-high boots with stretchy knit detailing are my favorite of the six styles that I am reviewing here. Comfort and cool lace-up accent aside, I love how I can pull these on and be out the door in seconds. And the heavily lugged platform soles help keep feet dry from smaller gray slush puddles; but this shoe is not fully waterproof, so avoid wading through taller bodies of water in it.

These shoes fit very slightly large to size, especially in the calf. If you have narrower calves, these might not be a good fit.

Quay Australia Honey Cat-Eye Sunglasses • J. Crew Cable-Knit Turtleneck Sweater-Dress (past season; similar here and here) • Zara Padded Vest in Black (past season; style code: 0/8073/248/800/02) • Madewell The Transport Shoulder Crossbody Bag: Box Leather Edition (reviewed here) • DREAM PAIRS Knee High Boots in Black/Knitting (size 7.5)

Dream Pairs Slip on Faux Fur Lining Slippers in Grey

As a slipper connoisseur, I had to try at least one of Dream Pairs’s offerings. All six available colorways of this slip-on slipper are lined with the same mousy gray faux fur, which creates a harsh contrast between the lining and the upper, except for the slipper in grey that I show here.

Apart from the somewhat clashing color combination, this shoe is easy to like: it was immediately comfortable, on account of the lining, which is cozy if not as plush as real shearling insoles. And they saved my feet on a recent trip, when the only other shoe I packed–a pair of stiletto-heeled leather boots–decided to torture my feet, so I ended up wearing these slippers everywhere outside of work appointments. They’ve held up well despite being put to work on treacherous terrains.

The fit is a smidge wide, but is true to size is other respects.

Dream Pairs Laurence Chunky Heel Thigh High Boots in Black

One of my favorite ways to wear mini skirts or shorts in cold weather is to pair them with thigh-high boots, which sufficiently tames the look and invites fewer “aren’t you cold??” comments. While these Dream Pairs thigh-high boots with faux suede uppers lack the suppleness of real suede leather, the faux fur lining and block heel make this shoe exceptionally comfortable to wear–I walked about five miles in them in one go without issues. The shafts also stay up well and aren’t prone to slouching.

Some potential issues to consider: 1) the back tie is too long so you may have to cut them to size as I did and 2) the shaft is pretty inflexible so those with wide calves may find these to be an uncomfortable fit. The shoe otherwise fits true to size for Dream Pairs so I went up a half-size to leave room for thicker socks.

Because this shoe is easily packable–the uppers are pretty thin–I can see myself adding this to my travel wardrobe for cooler-weather getaways.

Dream Pairs‘s core value proposition lies in its ability to translate leather shoes with synthetic materials, and selling them at approachable prices, often at 1/3-1/2 the price of contemporary shoe brands.

While I was generally pleased with the value that Dream Pairs shoes offer, it is important to note that faux leather naturally lacks the suppleness and durability of full-grain leather. Even with this understanding, I will still avoid lighter polyurethane leather options which accentuate creases and PU texture.

As their price points are extremely reasonable for the range of styles, sizes, and colorways offered, I think Dream Pairs would be best for those who want to try trends without investing heavily in them.

Do you own Dream Pairs shoes?

Hi, I am Elle!

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  1. KL wrote:

    Thanks for this comprehensive review post, you’re one of the few bloggers who will say negative things about items they’re gifted to review (the majority just omit reviewing pairs that they didn’t like as much). I appreciate the honesty about the pros and cons of various styles, even if the shortcomings don’t show up in photos.

    Posted 2.6.24 Reply
    • Elle wrote:

      Thank you for the most generous reading of this review. I think honest reviews help both consumers and brands–some people can live with faux leather and others won’t touch it, so I don’t really see the point of underplaying potential flaws. Glad you feel the same. <3

      Posted 2.6.24 Reply
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    Thanks for this comprehensive review post

    Posted 2.18.24 Reply