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On-trend shoes for less

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From espadrilles to cork-bottom wedges, to brights and stripes and colorful solids. Oh, and don’t forget the tribal prints. It is possible to be stylish and on-trend with the season's shoe fashions, all while not breaking the bank. While department store prices on the latest shoe styles can run anywhere from $60 to $120, stores such as: Ross, Target and Payless provide comparable offerings at far lower price points. Think like a bargain-hunter in order to find a great new pair of shoes for under $26. Check out the selection within these stores.

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At Ross, you will find department store brands including: Steve Madden, Franco Sarto, Guess, BCBG Max Azria and Nine West - with pricing up to 70% lower than retail. Lining the shelves of Ross’ shoe department are patent neutrals; an array of wedges, including cork, espadrille and fabric-covered heels; stylish flats; colorful brights, and plenty of neutrals. It’s a breeze to find the cutest trends there for $25.99 and under; however, take heed to Ross' website and visit often and as early as possible, for the best selection. The deep discounter also advises it's customers to grab it when you see it. (See the slideshow for actual shoes and pricing.)

Target provides is own private label shoe lines of Merona, Mossimo and Xhilaration. Within the $14.99 to $24.99 range, there is a wide variety of styles which are similar to those of national brands. Platforms, thong flats, wedges and nautical-inspired deck sneakers are available in metallics, bright hues and patterns. (Refer to the photo slideshow for some of Target’s options.) The platforms, thongs and wedges are reminiscent of current Nine West, Guess and BCBG brands. On the casual side, check out the Sperry Top-Sider look-a-like deck shoes in metallic and navy.

Long known as the leader of practical, low cost footwear, Payless has turned its focus towards fashion-forward offerings, knocking off nationally-branded and boutique shoes for the past six years. As a result, you can easily find doppelgangers of the latest Jessica Simpson and Steve Madden platform and wedge pumps. Thong sandals similar to those of Nine West and sky-high sandals reminescent of Guess shoe styling can also be found. Payless runs frequent sales, and these look-a-likes - pictured in the slideshow - can be picked up for pricing as low as $7.

If you are in need of a serious shoe update, keep the above stores in mind. You can surely find tremendous styling options for little money, whether you decide to go for the national brands or private labels. Mix-it-up and keep an open mind. No one has to know where you purchased your latest shoe find.

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