Why are women obsessed with shoes?

Obviously it’s not ALL women, so don’t hit me with that argument please. But it’s a significant percentage of women, indeed I’d say most women, so there.

Now men are obsessive over other things. Cars, sporting events, etc. These make sense.

Cars have engines, they are sleek, they have power, you can drive them, race them, clean them, modify them, make little models of them, take pictures of them, have sex in them. Endless, really.

Sporting events obviously have huge amounts of things going on, like team standings, player choices, management, winning, losing, strategies, fights, action action action.

So I forgive men their obsessions. I don’t have the same obsessions, but then I’m weird like that.

However women seem obsessed with shoes! But what do they do? They come in many garish colours, uncomfortable designs, and they need to match some kind of accessory. Therefore they buy 80 pairs of them.

That isn’t enough for me to comprehend this strange love for the items.


I once saw a personals ad in which a woman said that one of her interests was “wearing fun shoes.”

I don’t know what that means.

Hi, I’m Rubystreak, and I’m a shoe-holic. I admit it. I must have 50 pairs. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t buy them all new. I shop around at thrift stores and vintage clothing places and such to find the really funky ones. I have motorcycle boots, combat boots, brown lace-up boots, snow boots, Eskimo boots, patent leather boots, knee-high boots, plaid Converse high tops, running shoes, Keds low-tops, black lace-up chunky heel shoes, black slip-ons, black Doc Martens, brown lace-up shoes, black pumps, tan pumps, etc., ad nauseum… and you know what? I love them all the same!

Why the obsession? I don’t know. Sometimes a pair of shoes makes me feel a certain way. Each pair has some association with it, certain situations in which I will wear it. I like to have the perfect pair for any given occasion. Also, if I find a pair that looks really cool, and it fits, and the price is right, I will buy it even if I don’t need it. I don’t have any other vices, so I will allow myself this one guilty pleasure.

I’m female, and I don’t get it, but if personal experience is anything to go by, I think most women are obsessed by shoes because they are still trying to find a pair that are both comfortable and look good.

This pair of shoes does not exist.

Therefore, many women spend their entire lives (and most of their income) buying one pair of shoes after another looking for the Holy Grail, the pair of attractive shoes that don’t destroy your feet.

I have two pairs of shoes. One for painting and one for everything else. Both of them are my daughter’s cast-offs.
I do not understand this supposed shoe obsession either.

None of my friends do the shoe thing, but my closest friend is an insane PURSE purchaser. I know she must have over a hundred in every shape and brand.

For reference: the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. :slight_smile:

My shoes are comfortable and they look good, and I got them for $30 at Foot Locker Outlet. Why do women have such a hard time finding them?

im not a shoe freak… though I do love a good boot, and I will wear them loyally to their death.
my guess is…
buying bathing suits, dresses, jeans, etc etc can be a bummer on many women because of bloating from period… or the guilt factor from eating too late the night before…

shoes don’t eom with the same hassle.

Some shoes I own because they go with the outfit I’m wearing. The wrong shoes can bug me all day long, like when there’s something just a bit off with one of my paintings. Other shoes I own because they’re pretty or cool, to heck with what I’m wearing, those puppies are sculpture for my feet.
Poor Rubystreak, you only own fifty pairs? :wink: You’ve got me beat on the variety though. My collection is composed mainly of sandals.

I’m with you, Rubystreak. Shoes give you none of the guilt that a tight waistband does, if I’m having a bad day then I can always say, “well at least I’m wearing cute shoes”, and my S.O. truly appreciates when I wear a great stiletto.

Hey! Watch the stereotyping!

I’m a guy, and I’M obsessed with women’s shoes, too!

When I left my job last May, my boss had 125 pairs of boots, shoes, etc. Her big problem (if you can call it that) is that she WILL NOT buy open-toed shoes. A ping pong table fell on her big toe when she was a kid and she had to have the second knuckle removed.

She’s getting married in July and already has 3 pairs of shoes PURCHASED to choose from, when the time comes. I have no doubt that she will buy more.

AND she LOVES Coach purses. Goes to Tennessee once a year to hit the outlet and has 20 or so of those.

I’m a woman, and I get the idea of having the perfect pair of shoes for an outfit. I’m just not all that concerned about it myself.

In our house, my husband has more shoes than I do. He has three pairs of what I think are identical boots, and he claims every single one of them is different. I made a big mistake and last time he wanted to go shoe shopping, introduced him to Nordstrom. FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS later he had three pairs of new shoes. I’ve never spent more than $40 for a pair of shoes in my life, and wear the same pair of loafers nearly every day.

Previous to marrying my husband, I dated another guy who had a huge thing for shoes - 40 pairs or more.

I don’t have alot of shoes, mostly because I can’t afford to. However, if I could, I would have many in my closet. The reason is that the style of women’s clothing does not match all shoes. If you have a cuff on your slacks, you need to wear loafers (In my idea of style). Wide leg slacks need a chunkier shoe. Short skirts can pretty much go with anything, but a longer skirt has it’s own shoe depending on taste of the wearer. The point is, a woman’s shoes complete her outfit. Since women have so many options in dress, she has to have many shoes.

Yes, well, that’s a different question entirely to the one I’m asking.

I can do this in my shoes, too. In fact there are a couple of pairs that my husband likes me to wear for just an occasion :smiley:

I’m a woman who lacks the “shoe obsession”, but I can see why some women might have it… Let’s look at how shoes stack up to the characteristics of cars as put forth by GuanoLad

Are some shoes sleek? Yeah, definitely.

Do they have power? Well, maybe, yeah.

Can you drive/race them? Obviously not. Okay, two down.

Can you clean/modify them? Yeah, sure.

Make little models of them/Take pictures of them? Yeah, though I dunno why you’d want to. The same thing, however, goes for cars.

Can you have sex in them? Heh. Let’s not head in that direction, hmm? :wink:
So, you see, shoe obsession isn’t any more or less logical than a car obsession. Not that that says much.


There’s more variation in women’s clothing than men’s, IMO, so a larger variety of shoes to complement the larger variety of clothing is needed. I haven’t counted after tragically parting with several pairs, but I had about 65, and I’m probably down to 40-50, counting flip-flops. Sometimes I STILL don’t have the right shoe for an outfit I want to wear.

I had a reasonable number until moving to New Mexico and increasing the sandal population in my closet by about 1000%.

Also, the women’s styles change faster, so more pile-on staying updated. I also like the wasteband theorem. I get a boost from wearing my pink patent leather Doc Martens regardless of how I think the rest of my outfit looks on me on a given day.

Ah, fizgig, but the styles change faster because women demand it. And women demand it because they’re obsessed with the idea that style should change. And that clothes should match in that particular stylish way.

It’s a mad craze, and I’m mystified by it.

I’m the least stylish or trendy person ever. I’m 33 and I dress like I’m 25 trying to be 18, and yet don’t fit in to any of those generations anyway. I just wear whatever, I don’t care what other people really think (though I do wonder about it sometimes)

But women are absolutely crazy over it, and yet it can’t be to attract men as most men don’t pay one whit of attention to women’s shoes (except for the similarly obsessed men) so it must be some other reason.

Or maybe there’s no reason, it just is, and always has been, and will always be.

At this present time, I have more pairs of shoes than I have ever owned in my entire life! I have 1 pair of runners, 2 pairs of sandals and 1 pair of scuffy-type-things-that-look-OK-with-a-skirt. Oh, and a pair of R.M.'Williams’s that have seen through the last five years, and will do for at least for another 10 yet. They cost me $2.50 at the Op Shop. and I spent another $15 getting them re-soled.

In my previous life, I owned just ONE pair of shoes, and they did me summer and winter. My Rossi boots wore out after 10 years, but I reckon I got my money’s worth.

I’m a sheila.