Why are women obsessed with shoes?

It’s funny, I don’t care about clothes all that much, but I do like a good pair of shoes.
I have terrible bunions and must be on my feet a lot, so scoping out the right shoe has evolved from a hobby into an obsession.
Being comfy yet looking halfway stylish is not easy for someone with short, wide-load feet. Riekers, Mephistos, Eccos, I’m always out there checkin’ em out.
My stiletto days are long gone, but I identify with what JayElle says–“Well, at least I am wearing cute shoes.”

because wearing a pair of trainers makes you feel different than wearing 4 inch stiletto heels.
i have TINY feet. UK size 2 1/2, US 3, EU 35.
and very high arches, so my feet fall out of heels if they don’t have ankle straps.

so i would love to be obsessed by shoes, but they don’t make enough nice ones in my size.
i have to be grateful for whatever i find.

You may or may not want to hang around with Andrew Dice Clay, then.

I cannot explain it, either. My wife and her sisters, though, boy do they love shoes. My wife must have at least 100 matching pairs and all the same size. I don’t get it. Some of them she has never worn since she brought them home. These must be hypothetical shoes, worn only when using the subjunctive.

When her shoes threatened to take over an entire walk-in closet, I purchased multiple racks of shoe organisers and even installed them on her side of the closet. N’importe. She just bought more shoes.

I’ve heard this before: women subconciously like to shop for shoes and purses more than some other items because they always fit, and are seen as “completing” a look, being that “final touch.”

insert generalizing disclaimer here
that done, i’ll say men like cars/sporting events etc because they like to fiddle with toys/games etc.

women like shoes/clothes etc because they like to fiddle with their appearance.
insert flame retardant statement here

In my experience. This is why women obsess about shoes. Because when two or three women are together, all other things relatively equal, the guy goes for the girl with the great shoes.

I like shijinn’s answer. That makes sense to me.

AbbySthrnAccent’s answer doesn’t hold true in my experience, but then my experience is somewhat limited.

Personally, I subscribe to several of the theories above: having comfy feet can make your day, and when your feet hurt, life is miserable. Since women have a greater variety of clothing styles in their closet (in general) than men, they end up with more shoes to cover the clothing spectrum. With guys, there are less options: you have your oxfords, you have your loafers, you have your athletic shoes, and if you’re really fancy, you have your wingtips. In winter, you have your boots, and in summer, your sandals. Men’s shoes generally come in fewer colors, most of them neutral (except for the athletic shoes), so men will have outfit-appropriate shoes with much less effort. And that’s not even taking the heel height issue into considerations.

An additional issue: probably more than half of my shoes don’t get worn at all, or hardly ever. Many are from before a rather severe leg/ankle injury 6 years ago, and my ankle is screwed up such that most of them cause me varying degrees of pain if I’m on my feet for more than an hour or so. Many were given to my mom, who wears the same size, but I’ve saved some dress shoes for those occasions where I have to look nice but won’t be on my feet much, and others are just waiting for a good home who wears a U.S. size 6-ish (Mom didn’t like all of them).

Oh, and shoes are waaaaaay cheaper than cars, plus they take up less space. And you don’t need to insure them.

Women and their shoes is not an obsession! It is a matter of coordination.

I have a couple of hundred pair, and I just threw out 2 great big garbage bags full of old ones. I just bought 5 different pair of black shoes today. I think at least 200 pair of shoes is the minimum any gal requires - else ----- she needs shoes.

First of all, there are summer shoes, and winter shoes. Women cannot wear summer shoes in the winter, nor winter shoes in the summer.

There are heels and flats. casual high heel, dress high heel, casual flat, and dress flat. You need different lengths of heels -1 inch, 2 inch and 3 inch heels, there are open toed, pumps, ankle strap, mary jane, casual, moccasins, sling, platform, suede, mules, sandels, boots with heels, boots with no heels, etc. etc. etc., not to even mention special kinds of shoes like bridal shoes, prom shoes, square dance shoes, etc.

Some shoes only go with one outfit. Some outfits require a 1 inch heel, or 2, or a 3 inch heel - depends on the outfit. I found that with my winter clothes, shorter skirts require higher heels to look right.

You cant wear the same kind/style of shoe with a skirt, casual dress, fancy dress, business suit, jumper, jeans, pants, or a pants suit - each different type of outfit takes a much different kind of shoe.

… and then you have to get the right color in each style listed above. You cant wear red shoes with a yellow dress, or green shoes with a blue skirt, or business heels with an evening dress.

You can also buy ornaments to put on the shoes, in different colors. Womens shoes are fun, and pretty. Finding just the right pair of shoes to wear with a certain outfit, is a great feeling.

I dont think any male can understand women and their shoes.

I also dont think guys have any sense of coordination and the ability to match, nor do they need to.

Women dont wear different shoes for guys - we do it for ourselves, and because shoes must match what we are wearing, and doing, or we dont feel right.

A guy has it simple and easy, he only needs one black dress shoe(you would think he would be able to at least keep his one dress shoe polished), and one athletic shoe. Guy dont have to worry about his shoes matching his outfit, since the only outfit he ever wears is a shirt and pants, and guys dont wear different colors.

Men wear scruffy looking shoes, something a women would never do.

I dont think mens shoes are “fun”, nor do I think guys think mens shoes are fun. I never hear any guys saying what a great time they had going to a dozen shoe stores or asking his buddies to go shoe shopping together for fun.

I’m female and I hate shoes, I have a high instep [arch] and lumpy heels, so I can never get shoes that don’t cripple me - well aside from what we Irish call runners, that’s trainers to the Brits and sneakers to the U.S.A’ers

Quote: Men wear scruffy looking shoes, something a women would never do.

Looks down: boobies - check.
Naughty bits - still girly.
Looks at shoes - scruffy, scruffy … and scruffy.

Uh-oh. Something’s gotta be wrong somewhere! Anyone know a good surgeon?

Here’s another non-shoe-obsessed female checking in. I have my scruffy sneakers, 2 pairs comfortable semi-dressy “work shoes”, 2 pairs less-comfortable dressy “Sunday shoes”, a couple of pairs of Sunday sandals for summer, and a couple of pairs of miscellaneous shoes that I rarely wear because they hurt my feet. I hate, hate, hate buying shoes, and when I manage to find a comfortable pair, I keep them until they’re absolutely worn out (and in the case of sneakers, sometimes a good bit longer than that). I am mystified by the willingness most women show to wear hideously uncomfortable shoes.

Shoes can complete an outfit. There are times when I just throw on a pair of jeans and a t - put on some kicky shoes (like my open-toed black & white floral patterned sneakers from Talbots) - and I feel like I put some effort - like I actually have a look going.

Shoes can make me feel sexy - I love strappy shoes, although until recently I couldn’t wear them - feet were too wide. Now, since I lost weight, I actually went down a shoe size - and it’s strappies ahoy!

Shoes can just be plain fun - put different pairs of shoes with different outfits can influence what other accessories go, and it sparks my creativity with my clothes.

I have had women compliment me on my shoes - and I compliment them. I did have one guy say I had tiny feet. They aren’t that small, though - 5 1/2.


I love buying shoes, basically, as some have already noted, because they always fit, you are never too fat/short/etc for your shoes. The funny thing is, I hate shopping for clothes in general, and I’m about the least fashion-conscious person I know. Who would guess I own at least 30 pairs of shoes?

But see, each pair has a unique pupose, I don’t have two of any “type.” Let’s take a look at just the “boot” subgenre of shoes in my closet.

Snow boots
hiking boots
Riding boots (paddock style)
Riding boots (tall boot style)
Super hero boots (knee-high, heeled, and silver)
Doc Marten boots
Dressy ankle-high boots
Ski boots :slight_smile:
“Spare” old hiking boots I keep in the trunk of my car for emergencies

9 pairs, no overlap in function.

I own a bunch of different pairs of shoes for the same reason I own several different jackets, several different shirts, etc: because they’re good for different things.

1 pair extremely worn 2nd hand army boots, probably not from the same pair: comfy, good to wear when painting or hiking, and bloody cheap (I think I paid like two bucks)
1 pair black snow boots: $20 at Mervyn’s, they have an awesome “I can kick your ass” look, and I can wear them to work, but the upper’s separating from the sole ‘cause they’re really cheap.
1 pair blue tennis shoes (/“trainers”): for the gym.
1 pair low-top boots with 2" chunky heels: good looking enough for job interviews, comfy enough for an 8 hour shift on my feet, waterproof.
1 pair knee-high boots with 4" chunky heels: because I have nice legs and enjoy being 6’ tall from time to time. Also waterproof.
1 pair Easy Spirit sandals: Comfy, easy to put on, stylish.
1 pair men’s sandals: Also comfy, but they wear at my heels a bit and make my feet look big if I wear them with shorts.
1 pair strappy black velvet 4" heels: Bought for homecoming in high school, subsequently worn on stage as Lady Macbeth, I love these things for their memories.

I hope to acquire some Dr. Scholl’s sandals and Land’s End Trekkers soon. Different shoes for different situations, and often different outfits. Since almost all my shoes are black, it’s not really a matter of matching them to anything visually.

I tend to buy a pair of shoes, wear them into the ground, buy the next pair (with the exception of running shoes, dance shoes, and shoes needed expressly for a specific outfit for a specific occasion for which I will pay no more than $15 for - or make do with shoes that don’t match.)

But then, I have huge, flat feet. Shoe shopping is worse on my ego than bathing suit shopping.