What is it with women and shoes?

I’m a woman and I don’t get it. I purchase a few pairs a year to replace old worn out shoes - one professional, a few casual, and a rugged pair of sandals that I’ll wear the entire summer - and all of these purchases (excluding the sandals) are from stores like Payless where I don’t have to spend more than $20 for the pair. Yet I walk through stores like Macy’s and find shoes for over $100 - and people are actually buying them! There is a stereotype that women have to have lots of shoes to match their outfits and I just don’t understand it. I dress nicely but what I have on my feet is the last thing I think about when getting ready for the day. Why are some people willing to spend so much money on such a small part of their style?

As a guy, I have to say that shoes are a huge part of my style, and I gladly pay over $100 for a pair.

But the ones I have go with everything, so there.

I can’t speak for all women, but I’ll tell you why I like 'em. They’re a way to look good, and, best of all, my shoe size isn’t likely to change if I gain weight. With clothes, there’s that problem, so shopping for shoes is better.

Nothing worse than cheap shoes. They are bad for your feet and don’t last long. At least when it comes to men’s shoes.

Yeah, is $100 a lot to spend on a quality pair of shoes? Granted as men, we have the luxury of purchasing shoes at are relatively fashion proof, so the investment makes a lot more sense.

I think in part it’s because of standardized sizes. I can tell I’d hell of a lot rather go buy myself shoes (size 6 1/2) than clothing (size ???).

Some people like things you don’t like. Some people value things you don’t value.

Didn’t there used to be more material in a women’s shoes?
Maybe I just never looked at them until a short time ago. I was a little surprised that they were all a bunch of straps for the most part.

This is true of women’s shoes, too. And they often hurt like hell if you wear them for long.

I wear those Vibram Five-Fingers foot glove things most of the time and I get a fair number of comments/questions, mostly from women. Why are women looking at my feet?

Okay, so quality, style that doesn’t change with weight, more expensive shoes fit better. All good answers, thank you.

Now I have a few follow up questions. Since people have said that more expensive shoes fit better does that include heels? I’d love to wear them but every time I put them on my feet kill. Is that something you get over with time or do women just put up with it?

Also, how do they justify charging so much for a sandal with such a little amount of material? Is it because of brand? I’d love to know, it’s got me really curious.

I buy expensive shoes, but in classic styles. This is because they last a long time and are MUCH more comfortable to wear. A $20 pair of Payless shoes may last 3 wearings and still look well, which means after 15 wears I’ve paid for my $100* shoes and also looked and felt better the whole time. It makes much better financial sense to do things this way; it a philosophy I apply to any major purchase.

If I’m buying trendy shoes I spend a lot less, but I still buy shoes that don’t hurt my feet because, well, having hurt feet sucks. Also, I concur with other posters that nice shoes are something I can enjoy no matter what my size is. I just lost some weight and my pants don’t fit. But my shoes still do!!

*I actually spend a good bit more than $100, but whatever. The point stands

More expensive high heels hurt a lot less, because they are designed so much better. Even if there isn’t a lot of material, they pinch less, look good longer, and are more comfortable. If you find that you can’t wear heels because they hurt your feet, and all you’ve ever worn is cheap shoes, I would really recommend trying nicer shoes. It makes a HUGE difference.

The shoes I wear to work in are, by my lights, expensive. I’m a baker so I never really sit down on the job. My feet used to kill me at the end of the day.

A co-worker recommended a certain brand of shoes at a particular store. The place is rather high end, but they have full leather really quality footgear. And a pair for work lasts for years if I take care of them. I’ve never gone back or regretted spending $130 for those shoes, as my feet have proper arch support and they don’t feel like clubs on the end of my legs when the workday is over.

But like the OP, I only have a few pairs of shoes. One for work, one for dress, and a couple pairs casual, one of which is athletic shoes. And they are all flat, even the dress shoes. What I don’t understand about women is why some of us put up with high heels.

It’s especially true for heels. Occasionally, you can find some good heels on the cheap, but if you plan on wearing them a lot, you need to drop some money so you don’t end up crippled. An $80 pair of heels is going to feel MUCH better on your feet than a cheap pair of Payless heels.

The key thing with heels is construction-- a well constructed shoe is going to distribute your weight differently than a cheap shoe that throws it all on the ball of your foot, crushing your toes.

My recently-acquired fiancee is one of those whom the OP is referring to, and she shared with me this secret: when women check out men, shoes get a lot of focus. So men: upgrade your shoes. It will pay off.

I asked a woman about the shoe thing once, I was assuming it was all about the way the shoes looked on her, but in her case she said she just liked shoes. It’s like me and power tools, I don’t have to use them to want them.

Even if a woman has fat stumpy legs, the right shoes and dress will make her look sexy. Looking sexy is cheap at $100.

My mother said the reason why she purchased ‘expensive’ shoes, is because usually only the more expensive ones came in different widths and lasts. This way she was able to find a shoe that would fit her perfectly; including heels, as opposed to wearing a shoe that kinda fit and caused her problems.

I don’t get the shoe thing either. I only have a few pairs of shoes, a couple pairs of loafer-type shoes, one pair of athletic shoes, a couple pairs of sandals. I have weird feet, they’re extremely narrow and one foot is flat. I have trouble finding shoes that fit and feel good, so when I do I’m willing to spend a little more.

Shoe shopping is not a fun experience for me, trying on many pairs and having none of them fit. I sometimes joke that the boxes fit better than the shoes.