I have worked my way down to 11 pairs of shoes! When I arrived at 17 (seriously, I had to make big cuts to get to 17), I was met with surprised reactions from ladies around my age – are you serious? I have at least 30! I can’t imagine having only 17 pairs.
Now, looking at these 11, I’m in awe at how many this still is. In fact, there are a few of the shoes in the photo above that I will not be replacing once they’re worn out. From now on, I’m only intending to buy shoes that last forever (or close to that – those green flip flops are at least ten years old and they’re still one of my favorite pairs).
Being young and female, I feel that there is a huge expectation for me to be constantly open to adding new shoes to my wardrobe (a small survey shows that women own an average of 20 pairs of shoes). I feel that cutting down this far is unheard of in “normal” social circles (although I’ve found a huge online community of minimalists that would say otherwise). But the energy I get when I walk into my closet with plenty of room to breath is unmatched.
While my paring down does come with a sacrifice (less diversity and a slightly more plain personal style), it’s been teaching me a valuable lesson in want vs. need.
Questions to ask yourself when getting rid of shoes
Shoes can be a difficult possession to part with for some, so I’d like to share some of the questions I asked (and will continue to ask) myself while reducing my collection.
- Have I worn this pair more than once? Seriously, I had to ask that. Several times.
- Is this pair comfortable enough to spend an evening standing in? If not, they’re gone. Shoes aren’t as cute if you’re carrying them around in your hands and going barefoot.
- Is this a quality pair that I can see lasting a long time? I kept some lower quality shoes, but have vowed to not replace them once they go.
- Can I walk normally in them? Can I move quickly in them? Call me crazy, but I like to know that if I needed to, I could run away from potential danger.
- Is this pair entirely useful? Does it have many applications? I like to know that I can wear the same shoes for an interview as I would wear to a party or to a casual coffee date. I think I have two of those pairs – and if I wear them right, no one would know I use them for all of the above.
I wanted to share this with you all today to get your reaction – how many shoes do you own? Or, a better question might be how many shoes do you actually wear?