I've Got 99 Problems And My Shoe Collection Is 1 (Or 31, If We're Being Accurate)

The average female wears only one quarter of all the shoes she owns. Turns out I'm just a statistic. I THOUGHT I WAS SPECIAL.
Publish date:
August 28, 2013
shopping, shoes, excessive shoe collections


Us women, with our frivolous lady wombs making us do silly things every now and again, apparently wear only 1/4 of the shoes we own. ONE QUARTER! That's ridiculous! Why would anyone buy a ton of shoes and then only wear a mere 25% of them? That's frankly stupid. Thank GOD I'm not that wasteful.


I hadn't really considered my shoe collection until I read research from a money saving website that revealed that of the 2,332 British women surveyed, 86% had at least one pair of totally unworn shoes in their closet. I was like, HELL NO. Why? Why buy shoes you won't wear? That's just pointless. If I wanted to waste money, I'd go and spend £120 on chucking jagerbombs down my throat in London, like I did last weekend like a complete idiot, because I thought I was a baller (I'm not. I'm still not getting over this).

I laughed away to myself at these brainless money wasters, safe in the knowledge that I only bought shoes when COMPLETELY NECESSARY. Hell, I hadn't bought any for at least a month! And I HAD to buy those because I didn't have any mint green shoes and I really needed a pair to go with this dress I got for a barbecue. See, necessary.

Then, a little niggle wormed its way into my thoughts. Hadn't I bought that pair of black heels for a wedding, then decided they were too high to wear? Ah, yes. But I'd sent them back! Wait -- no I didn't. I forgot. They're at home. Ah.

I decided to go home and check, to really see how many pairs I actually have, and how many I wear on the reg. The results were shocking. SHOCKING!

Turns out, I am one of those people. I hadn't even realised. I had been going about my business, casually chucking on a comfy pair of flats in the morning, while TENS OF PAIRS of poor, neglected shoes languished under my dresser. There were shoes I'd bought and forgotten to ever actually wear, covered in a thin layer of dust. Imelda Marcos I'm not, but it turns out I am one of those people I smugly laughed heartily at, who only wears around a quarter of the shoes they buy.

My shoe wardrobe looks a bit like this:

  • 1 pair black low heeled boots. I wear these to death in the Autumn with tights.
  • 1 pair black low heeled boots.....because I might need a spare while the others are being reheeled, OBVIOUSLY.
  • Ugg boots. Worn to death over Winter.
  • Flat black tasselled loafers - current shoe of choice. I wear these probably 98% of the time.
  • Sparkly silver flat sandals. Worn a lot, because, sparkles.
  • Leopard print sandals. Worn a fair amount over the the summer.
  • Blue Converse. Worn them LOADS.
  • White Converse. Yep, these have had a fair few outings, too! This is going so well! I'm totally proving the statistic wrong!
  • Cream wedges. Worn quite a lot.
  • Flat gold sandals. Worn three times.
  • Cream tasselled cowboy type boots. Oh yeah. Wore them once then realised they're completely the wrong size. Decided to sell them. That was 7 months ago.
  • Black heels from Aldo. Worn twice. If I wear them I look like a giant who has a limp.
  • White pumps. Worn a couple of times, then they fell apart, because they were about 50p from Primark.
  • Black Topshop heels. Worn three or four times. Covered in mud, because I'm rubbish.
  • Mint green TOMS. Worn twice.
  • A pair of Nike Lunar Swifts that are fucking rude but I have worn them twice because trainers make me feel like I'm at school again, crying in PE.
  • White fancy low heeled shoes that I LOVE but have worn about three times due to PAIN.
  • White wedges from ALDO, old old old.
  • Black ASOS heels. Never worn. Too high.
  • Orange high shoes with cork heels. Never worn! Ever. Because where am I going to wear orange shoes?
  • Leopard print red stilettos. Never worn. Can't walk in them at all. Totally forgot I even had these.
  • Red leather stilettos. Never wore these, either! I bought them at the same time as the leopard print ones. They are absolute MURDER to walk in.
  • Pink jellies from Office. Never worn, bought them in the sale then realised that they were the most uncomfortable things I've ever worn, ever. I like looking at them though! So that's OK.
  • 9 different pairs of flip flops in various states of decay.

Right. That's 32 pairs of shoes, of which I probably wear 3 or 4 pairs predominantly throughout the year, and with 5 pairs completely unworn at all, ever. I am quite clearly guilty of being a shoe magpie, a hoarder of sorts who seems to buy nice looking shoes for a variety of reasons, only to rely on a few pairs to get me through. I don't even want to think about how much money that little lot has cost me. Eugh.

The thing is, I am a stickler for comfort. I love my flats, and will choose the comfiest pair in most situations. The fact that I have all these lovely pairs of heels, wasting away, unworn and unloved, makes me sad. I need to start wearing them, man!

The very idea of wearing high heels all day at work kind of makes me die inside, though. Even though I'm sitting down, I want to feel like I can just skip out of the door at a moment's notice, to hop on down to the shop with ease and comfort. Heels hurt! Heels are a COMMITMENT!

I've decided to step out of my shoes comfort zone. I'm going to try and wear a different pair of shoes every day until there are none left to wear. My feet will probably bleed, I'll swear a lot and I'll potentially break a few bones. But hey, at least I won't have wasted money! I won't be a statistic! Well, I will, but NOT THIS ONE!

Make me feel better, people. Tell me all about your shoe collection. Tell me about those completely unwearable purchases that are sitting looking at you, making you feel guilty. Maybe we could do an xoJane Shoe Swap! GET AT ME, SHOE LOVERS.

I'm on Twitter, talking about what telly I'm watching: @Natalie_KateM