Can you go somewhere to try them on and then if the prices are so much higher, order them online?
I've found, if you travel to a store to look at or try on the item you have the cost of fuel. If you pay shipping, and then have to pay shipping to return the item, and then shipping again for the new item.. Well, pretty soon it isn't much cheaper to buy online. Some places have a restocking fee.
Also, online shopping doesn't really help the local community....as no local payroll, no local business license, no brick and morter or property taxes, often no sales tax collected.
Now, if you can't find the product locally then there isn't much choice but to buy online.
Again, I've found that a size x from one manufacture is different that the same size from another manufacture, and I'd expect to return shoes several times to get the right fit.
My mother would order stuff from the sear catalog back in the early 60's and in those days it took months to get the returns credited. She quit doing it.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.