I was talking to my Professional Organiser friend Angela and she was telling me that she’d done a quick survey at a workshop she ran about how many shoes and handbags each of the participant owned. Her group averaged 55 pairs.
I often find amongst my clients there are varying numbers, from 3 or 4 pairs, to say 10 pairs, and then we may get over 50 pairs. Few are in between it seems.
So how about a little poll from my blog readers, how many pairs of shoes and boots (includes sneakers, flip-flops all kinds of footwear) do you own?
How many pairs of your shoes do you wear regularly? Do you live in a climate that requires radically different shoes summer to winter? Do you love your shoes? Do you keep buying shoes because you can never find a really comfortable pair? Do you have all different colours and styles or are many pairs similar? Why do you choose the shoes you wear?
Hmm, I probably have in the 21-40 range, not all of which I wear equally. I live in a climate with non-snowy, but cold and wet winters and super-hot summers. In the winter I wear boots more than anything else and in the summer I wear sandals more than anything else but I have inbetweeny shoes that are sometimes required. I have a lot of colors and styles.
I have lots of shoes. I said 75 to 100. May not be that many, would have to go home to count. I wear most of mine regularly. Most are work shoes – 3 to 3 inch heels. Wear them all year around in office (Melbourne). Boots only in winter. Always buy on special.
I'm in the 21-40, and I wear, if we include trainers and flip flops, about 12 pair. Most of the unworn are high end shoes, Ferragamo, Prada, etc. that either don't fit or are wildly out of style. I should take them to a vintage store, maybe, but I rather like looking at them.
Woah, that's a lot of shoes.
I have: 4 pairs of flats (different colours), 1 pair of thongs, about 5 pairs of heels (different colours and heights), 1 pair of boots, 1 pair of runners.
Living in Melbourne, pretty much all of them can be worn year round, except for thongs in winter and boots in summer.
I'm not really a shoe person. I always buy them on sale. I have enough pairs to match various outfits and various accessories, but I don't go crazy over them…and certainly don't care for them as much as I should!
All my flats and heels are work appropriate, casual appropriate and going out appropriate. That's my criteria for choosing shoes – I want them to be flexible in style so that they can be worn with any kind of style for any kind of occasion!
I have about 30 pairs of shoes. About 7 pairs I wear regularly in the winter and another 7 in the summer. The rest are specific to weather/occasions.
I probably have 50 pair. The problem is two fold. a) I'm a shoe whore. b) my field of choice does not support this.
Archaeology is boots and more boots and the occasional pair of sandals. I own three pairs of boots (a pair of docs, a pair of winter boots from when I was in PA, and work boots). I own one pair of running shoes, threeish casual sandals, and the rest are heels. I need nice shoes to teach in, so I have three or four sensible heels. I have several pairs for nicer events, and three or four from various formal events that I've been too. I need a brown short and I'll be happy with the heel collection.
I'm also really rough on shoes. I really need new boots, and new sandals. The heels are rotated so often that they don't get worn out.
I would say I'm pretty much like Eve – several pairs in seasonal rotation, and a bunch more that go with specific outfits/colors, like my sunshine yellow flats. 🙂
Two years ago I put all my shoes into shoe boxes and was amazed at how many pairs I had, how similar some of them were and how few times I'd worn many of them.
I was always looking for the perfect black pair and never found the right ones (the bought a few)It wasn't until I read your blog entry re how your shoes should match your hair colour that I realised why black always looked wrong (I am blonde).
After a huge cull I have around 15 pairs. Mostly I wear a pair of neutral coloured Merrells, very comfy. I am a SAHM living on the Gold Coast and they suit my lifestyle perfectly.
I've got close to 20 pairs of shoes but only wear 3-4 regularly.
I have 40 pairs of shoes. 20 pairs of sandals (we have long summers and I love sandals), 5 flats, 5 heels, 2 boots, and the rest are clogs and sneakers and such. I wear about 7 pairs on a regular basis. I'd love to have just 10 pairs of perfect, very versatile shoes (I've found a few) and wear those over and over. I buy too many shoes that don't get much wear for one reason or another.
interesting post! once I had a guy friend tell me I had a "hell of a lot" of shoes and I was kind of offended.
well I live in a city where the temperature varies between -30C in the winter and +40C in the summer.. I counted 22 pairs including my house clogs and 6 pairs of flip flops! (they are a common gift from my brazilian family)
I recently had a clothing swap and got rid of all my redundant shoes, but considering that for 6 months of the year I can only wear boots, i'm doing pretty good with 5 pairs (including rain boots)
Ooh, I am definitely in the over 50 range. I am afraid to count. And most of my shoes were lost in a move and so at least half of my shoes are newish. I can tell you that no matter how many I have it isn't ever enough.
Timely post! I just did an actual inventory of my closet (spreadsheets were involved) and was horrified to realize I have 85 pairs of shoes. I felt like I should be on the "Hoarders" show.
I realized that part of why I have so many shoes is the exact reason you wrote: I can never find a really comfortable pair. So I keep buying hoping to find something that works. Then the flip side to this is that when I do find a pair that is comfortable, I buy multiple colors.
I own 25 pair of shoes, including boots. I live in a mediterranean climate, i.e., most of the year it's hot. I don't like to expose my ugly toes 😉 so I own lots of closed-toe summer shoes, pumps, mules etc.
I try to switch between higher and lower heels but I dislike completely flat shoes although I own ballet flats. I prefer a medium heel but I have high heels, too.
When I was younger my shoes were high and crazy but now I buy more "dignified" shoes.
I love boots but have little occasion to wear them. If I could, I'd buy more shoes… but I have cured myself from the shoe bug of my younger years.
Shoes can make or break an outfit and they say a lot about a person. Show me a worn pair of shoes and I can see a lot of his/her characteristics in the shoe. See or imagine – but shoes take on the shape of our feet and the feet carry the body so the shoes really reveal a lot.
Well, I'm gobsmacked, I would have said I had only about six pairs but turns out I have 14! Mind you, that includes three pairs of trainers and two pairs I've never worn because they kill me but they were expensive so I haven't recycled them. OK, I know what to do!
I wish I could wear high heels, but I have problems with my left foot and ankle and although I can wear a low (1.5 inch max) heel for a few hours, anything more and I'm in serious pain for days afterwards.
Handbags are more important to me than shoes. I have about eight, of which my favourites are a large scarlet leather bag and a khaki canvas and leather cross-shoulder bag.
I'd say I have about 30 pairs of shoes, too… Flip Flops and sandals for summer, knee-high boots in various neutrals for winter, and then of course sneakers in various colors and a variation of dressy shoes and high heels. Sneakers I wear year-round (except when it's snowing), flip flops in summer and boots in winter. But I think I have so many shoes because I have quite the specific taste but not a lot of money. So everytime I see a reasonably priced (well below 50$) pair of shoes I really like (and that fit, I'm not that crazy yet! ^^), I go for it! I'm not one of those people who can throw away things they haven't looked at for a year in their closet… I frequently find new loves among things that have been hanging in my closet unnoticed for years 🙂 And concerning the shoes, I wear 80% of them frequently. The remaining 20% consist of shoes which are completely worn down and don't look too good anymore, shoes that are really dressy and wait for occasions (they do roll around, but not so frequently) and 2 or 3 paris that were indeed impulse buys that I don't really liked on second thought.
At the moment I have more shoes than clothes for them to accessorize – 37-40 pair. I live in a place with four extreme seasons, so I have sheepskin boots, and numerous sandals, too. I change over the shoes as well as clothes in spring and fall.
Since shoes are always my reward to myself (for personal goals met, etc.), I'm just a pair or two shy of 70. The way I see it, 1 black dress + 14 pairs of shoes = 14 different outfits. 🙂 Even with a fairly high #, I still have a few holes, for example, I still don't have the perfect black slingbacks. The Manolo's I tried on a few years ago just can't be beat so I think they'll be my reward for hitting my goal weight. Soon!
And several of these were cheaper quality and bought as poor substitutes for higher quality shoes. A mistake I haven't made in several years so these will be recycled out as I get the nicer ones I should have in the first place.
I wish I were in the realm of 21-40 because I'm certain I'd have some 'fun' shoes, not just functional and sensible. I also live in Melbourne…freezing winters and scorching summers.
My current dilemma? Sandals. My boss gently and politely pointed out that my sandals do not conform to the school dress code of close toe and proper back. I need sandals, or I'll spend all summer kicking them off the minute I enter a classroom (also against policy in Term 1 & 4). I'm off to investigate the options this evening.
Now I'm stumped. Just read the reader comment saying you think shoes should "always" match your hair color. I could not find the post where you wrote about that but I did find one about dressing in a column where you say:
"Always make shoes darker than your pants if you don't have a colour that blends exactly – so black shoes work well with a darker blue denim."
My hair is a dark honey sort of reddish blond. I happen to like shoes in the lighter range – though they're not as easy to find as black – but what about showing a beige shoe beneath black pants? What about when I'm wearing black or dark brown or navy tights? And I wear boots a lot, only one pair of which is light, a bluish gray.
I like the sometimes option of having the shoe color punctuate the outfit but if I did it all the time I would feel it was getting to be a trademark. What is the bad thing about blondes wearing black shoes?
and, BTW, though I think nude shoes are beautiful, I'm not sure I like the look-quick-and-you'll-think-I'm-barefoot effect.
Vildy – I would never say that you 'always' have to wear any colour in particular! It's just an option, you can do what you like!
Shoe and hair colours go because of the 'visual grouping', wearing shoes similar in darkness or slightly darker than your trousers work as it helps to create a column of colour.
But of course your personality will always be the thing that makes you choose the shoes you do, if you want to wear an alternate colour do so and make a focal point of your feet, really no 'rule' is hard and fast, these are just some guidelines and suggestions.
50 shoes? wow. and there are children dying of starvation every day.
I really love my shoes and shoes in general. I live in Spain so I need different shoes for summer and winter. I use them all.
Great topic! I'm in the 11-20 range, and I do need different types for summer/winter. Essentially, I only wear the ones which are comfortable. I find it hard to know in the shop, so, I confess, I find I donate almost-new shoes more often than I'd like.
Struggling to be Stylish is now The English Organizer. Please visit me at englishorganizer.com.
Not including the doubles and triples? About five, maybe six, and that includes my athletic shoes!!! I'm big boned so I've got high arches, high insteps, and a wide foot. Shoe shopping is not fun and most of the time I don't bother (oh, did I mention my cankles?) because I know I'm not getting my hooves in there. Boots barely do up past my insteps a lot of the time. Thank god I'm only a size 9, otherwise I might have real problems!!!
I tend to buy in quantity and colour when I find something that fits and is comfortable, so the actual quantity of shoes is probably about 15 or so, but that's doubles, triples and quadruples (I have four extra pairs of Dunlop's now out of production KT-42 athletic shoe and the pair I'm currently wearing should by rights already be in landfill).
Pacific Brands (Grosby, Dunlop, Hush Puppies) and Portland make the best shoes for wide feet, from my experience. Occasionally, Payless surprises – I bought a fab pair of pull on ankle boots there for $50 (leather!!!) that I wore until one of the soles split. I was absolutely shattered to throw those out, my heart aches just thinking about them now, they looked great under pants/jeans and were comfortable to boot. Sob!
You should do a blog. I laughed at your humour and writing style.
My feet used to be a size 8 across the board. Now they are a 7 and sometimes neither fit, the 7 to small and the 8 too big. So alas that perfect looking shoe with the right heel height goes back on the shelf and the search begins again. Shoe shopping can be a hazard to your health; add to that the cool, disinterested sales assistant who stands by nonchalantly and doesn’t assist. Gone are the days when they measured your foot, and its width and had many options to chose from.
I’m always wanting to organise my shoe section of the wardrobe, not because it isn’t neat but because its boring, bland and nondescript. But have you ever noticed its easier to find something to go with black shoes than anything else? So, I fall back into the old mold. After reading others answers I went and took a count of my shoes and found I have 18 pairs.
1 black & 1 neutral sandal
1 black & 1 neutral classic boot
2 pair black winter heels
2 pair black summer heels
1 pair black mid calf boots
1 pair red ankle boots
1 red loafers
brown ankle boots
my tango shoes and dancing shoes
Pretty boring, practical but useful
But then again to have exciting and colourful shoes would mean I would need clothes to suit and on another note regarding shoes I wish they would bring half sizes back and width fittings.
I’m with you on the black shoes! I’m in the US and we have half sizes and different widths available. I’m always on the lookout for narrow 7 1/2’s. Got my black ankle boots at a thrift store for $6–never worn! I like the minimalist approach to wardrobe building.
I know I’m 6 years late to the party, but I have to report that I have 4 pair of shoes, because I just got rid of a pair of brown pumps that I have never worn. So, I have black ankle boots, black sneakers, hiking boots, and a nice pair of black pumps. My $1 disposable flip-flops for wearing around the house don’t count as shoes, because I can put them in the washer with the dog blankets.
It works with my short-waisted, longer legged body, because all my pants are mostly black. Any moss green pants go with the sneakers or the hiking boots. It’s all good!