Closet Tour: Shoes, Revisited

Let’s talk shoes again! I’ve come a long way from even a couple of years ago when I finally made it from 17 to 11 pairs of shoes. Now that I’m down to seven, I can’t imagine what 17 looked like.

However, I have moved to a much warmer climate where sandals are basically okay all year round so that makes a big difference.

So let’s dive in!

My most necessary shoes

For everyday shoes, I have one pair of Saltwater Sandals (I seriously can’t recommend these enough). I’ve worn them almost every day for the past year, and they’re holding up quite nicely.

I also have a pair of pink sparkle TOMS – I wore these for my wedding two years ago, and they’ve got some major toe holes. I’m going to keep wearing them until I decide what to spring for next. I’ve got my eye on Keep shoes, a conscious, vegan, local LA shoe brand.

For the rare dress occasion, I have three pairs of heels. I could probably get by with only one (or even zero) of these shoes, but I really like the option of heels. I have a sandal-ish pair, a black penny-loafer style, and a grey pointy pair. I’ve had all of these heels for over eight years.

And of course, my running shoes. The red pair is pretty run down and I don’t actually need those anymore, but I keep them on hand in case I somehow find mud in Los Angeles.

The benefits of paring down

What’s been really nice about this journey to pare down on my possessions is that I’ve learned what I really need – and what really makes me happy.

Turns out, shoes don’t make me happy. They might make you happy though! To just reiterate what I’ve said a million times: simplicity is subjective. Make it your own!

I haven’t felt a need (until now, with the hole-y TOMS) to add to my shoe closet in quite a while.

And another thing…

I know I’ve been quiet on this blog for a while, but I just wanted you to know I’m not gone! I’m working on a passion project that I’ll be sharing sometime this summer. 

Yes, it will be fun. No, it won’t cost you money.

Happy Friday!


One Pair of Boots

All winter, I’ve been dreaming of a pair of sturdy, multi-purpose leather combat boots. I want to replace a couple of pairs of shoes with just this one pair of boots, so this has been a decision I’ve not taken lightly.

Last month, I  took the leap and purchased an inexpensive pair of faux-leather boots from Amazon – not exactly what I had originally intended but the price tag (of about $25) seduced me into buying.


They arrived one month ago yesterday, and I haven’t worn any other shoes since (other than running shoes). These boots have already made it through a rough month of work and play and I’m thrilled with how the experiment is progressing.

I wear them with both dresses and jeans, and since my office isn’t ultra-formal, they’ve been fitting in just fine. My feet are warmer and drier than they ever have been (I’ve spent the last year and a half wearing cute – but flimsy – fabric floral boots. I walked holes through the soles of two pairs.)

I think it’s about time for me to revisit my shoe “collection” and take out some of the pairs that these little workhorses will be replacing.

I know this has been a simple, single-track post, but I wanted to give you a glimpse into what I’ve been trying to simplify these past few weeks! What is your main “simplicity focus” at the moment?



Giving Old & Unneccessary Shoes the Boot

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.

My Shoes

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?