Seventy-one pairs of shoes. That’s the answer to one of my most frequently asked questions (The others: “If my husband’s grandfather’s dog’s sister’s auntie was a ginger, but I have black hair, do you think my children will be gingers too, and can I drown them in a sack if they are?” “Will those boots you wrote about in 2007 fit me, do you think?” and “Can I buy three of these dresses, please?”). It’s usually followed almost instantly with, “And what do you actually DO with all those shoes?” To which I always answer, “I thread them all onto a piece of string and wear them around my neck, obviously, what do other people do with shoes?”

I bring this up because I’ve been asked The Question a couple of times recently, and only found out the answer myself last night, when I decided to actually count the damn things. (Counting shoes: not as interesting as you might think, kids! Bit like counting sheep, actually…) Seventy-one pairs, not counting running shoes, and wellingtons, and those ancient ballet flats I really should throw out, but God, they’re so comfortable, maybe I’ll just give ’em another week. I’ll be honest: I thought the magic number would be higher than that, and my first reaction was “Wow, that’s hardly any! I’m really letting the shoe-blogging side down, here, must buy some more!”, but of course, seventy-one pairs of shoes IS quite a few, I suppose. Well, a few more than “a few”, hmmm?

I just realised this post sounds like it’s building up to some kind of dramatic “I’m giving up shoes for Lent!” type of declaration. But, er, it isn’t. For one thing, being a complete and utter heathen means I don’t have to give up ANYTHING for Lent (which is awesome, especially when other people give up chocolate. It leaves more of it for me.), and for another thing: AS IF. So I’m not giving up buying shoes. I am, however, going to start trying to wear them all more often, rather than just that same pair of tan peep toes (summer) and black boots (winter) all the time. Then I will …well, then I will probably buy some more.

“Why shoes?” is always the next question in this particular conversation. To which I say: why not? I can’t claim that shoes are the answer to world peace, or that they have shown me the meaning of life, or anything deep like that: I just like them. Always have, right from the moment I slipped on a pair of those toy “high heels” once childhood Christmas, and probably always will. Shoes are fun. You never have to worry about whether they’ll make you look fat, or clash with your hair. They last for years (many of the pairs in my collection are pensioners in shoe-years), you don’t ever have to iron them, and they’re good to look at. What’s not to like?

Anyway, hopefully this answers the burning question on at least two people’s lips this week. And I have to admit, it’s nice to get a question I can actually answer for once, rather than the usual stuff about “ginger” babies…

  1. I see… 1, 2 , 3 pairs of Louboutins. I give you my sincere congrats for that (apart from the obvious I'm super jealous, that is). 71 pairs of shoe doesn't seem to be too much. No number of shoes seems to be too much, come to think about it 🙂 Now, i'll throw a really hard question to you: how many individual tubes of mascara do you have? I know now you'll be counting till tomorrow (i'm evil, i know :))

    P.S. I seem to have some trouble posting comments when i fill in my website…

  2. I once counted mine while doing a huge clean up and ended at 101 pairs but I've bought a couple pairs since.. 😀 and REALLY don't ever want to count them again:))) love the purple louboutins btw;)

  3. The REAL question is … which pair are your favorite? (By looking at this picture, my favorites are, surprisingly, not the Louboutins, but the black Pradas with the rosette on the glorious peep toe!)

    1. I don't think I could pick a favourite pair! Those Pradas aren't actually black: they're a deep purple/aubergine colour which is really unusual, but doesn't really photograph well, unfortunately. They're also the most comfortable pair of heels I own 🙂

      1. Those are the ones that caught my eye, and yes you can tell they're purply colour.

        I always say, you can't have too many pairs of shoes, unless they start cascading out at you when you open the front door…

  4. The term 'too many shoes' is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard! Given the endless possible combinations of event/location/weather/mood I believe all woman should have a large collection to choose from. Unfortunately for me, my husband has limited my collection to 25… or at least that's what he thinks. Ha! He is always saying, "if you buy a pair you have to get rid of a pair." That is how so many of my shoes have turned into Anne Frank and go into hiding.

    My name is Jasmine and I am PRO SHOE! Now who's with me?

  5. Saying one can have too many shoes is like saying one can have too many books! (they both do the soul good, in one way or another) Let us know when you reach 100!

  6. I haven't got as many pairs of shoes as you – I think I have about 30, but I have about 100 dresses so I can understand (I don't plan to give up buying dresses, either!) I'm curious – how many pairs of shoes does Terry own? My man owns 3 (1 pair trainers, 1 pair boots and 1 pair of dress shoes.) He also has one pair of flip flops for the beach. He never judges me with shoes but just can't understand it – to him his 3 pairs seem decadent!
    .-= Roisin´s last blog ..Did I really do remarkably badly, Holmes? =-.

  7. As a person who will probably never own Louboutins, my question is – are they better heels?

    Is a pair of Louboutin or Prada heels more comfortable than Office/Faith price range shoes?

    I've often wondered, I'd be interested to know.

    1. It's hard to say, to be honest – I don't think you could really give a definitive "all designer shoes are more comfortable than all high street shoes" or vice versa, because it depends on the shoe and what you're used to. With that said, my Prada peep toes are more comfortable than any other peep toes I own, but I only have one pair, so I can't claim that's the case for all shoes by that brand – I don't expect it is, somehow! I really think it depends on the shoes: 5" heels aren't exactly going to be what most people would call "comfortable" regardless of who made them!

      1. Yes- I think to be honest I'm just not a high heels person any more! But I've heard that Manolos and that ilk do spend a lot more money engineering a better fit.

        Thanks Amber, love your blogs

  8. I did count my shoes/boots once and I think it was around the 60+ mark…but I've since charity-ed some, bought some more etc etc!! Onwards to 100 I say!

    My Q will be, how do you store them all??! I did have mine all boxed but for some stupid reason got rid of a lot of the boxes as I thought they took up too much room, then I realised a big shoe mountain was not good so had to scrounge boxes again.

    There's a spare alcove in the bedroom so I'm contemplating asking hubs if he'll build/buy a storage thingy so I can display the nice ones….they don't go out much so it'd be nice to see them!!!

    1. Some are in boxes, some are on shelves, some are just a mad jumble at the back of a closet. Our house is roughly the size of a shoebox itself, and we have hardly any storage space at all, so they basically have to be crammed in wherever I can fit them. It gives me hives just thinking about it.

  9. At the last count I had 50 pairs of shoes not counting boots, trainers or flip flops and instantly felt that it wasn't enough and that I no longer need feel any buyers remorse!

    I have 4 shoe racks at the bottom of my wardrobe but it really isn't ideal as I can only easily access a few pairs and I usually end up throwing them back in willy nilly anyway. The dream would be to have the shoe closet Big builds Carrie in the SATC movie!

  10. I feel so teenage and inadequate… (laugh) The majority of my shoes come from secondhand stores- cheaper that way- and the fanciest pairs I have are Fioni slingbacks and Talbots flats. 23 pairs, counting my tall boots for riding. (Yes, I'm a horse lover- just got my very own baby girl! So excited!)

    My question- your shoes seems to be all heels, do your feet ache, or are you used to it by now?

    1. They're not all heels – just the ones in this photo 🙂 I've never had problems with wearing heels, though, so I do have a lot of them: basically any shoe will hurt your feet if it's a bad fit, doesn't have good arch support or is worn for a long period of time.

  11. I love the pictures… and I envy you the black studded Louboutins, would kill to have those. (not really 🙂 )

    I have around 146 pairs of shoes… and the most comfy in my opinion are the Dolce&Gabbana. They sure know how to make a good, comfortable but sexy high heel – something about the structure inside! Then comes Prada, very good indeed. (except for one pair of ankle booties which are KILLING me every time, but I adore them)

    The worst are Fendi. They have no idea how a feet works.

    Love your blog, love your shoes!

    1. Well, I've challenged myself to wear every single pair of them within the next year, and will posting photos over at Shoeperwoman, so they will all be duly documented! You're right, though, I really need 294 more pairs! Shoe shopping!

  12. That's a fab photo of you and your shoes! Onwards to 100.

    I counted a few years ago and I was already in the 80s, so I must be over 100 by now. And yet I always wear my same favorite pairs–need to break that habit. I've been planning to give away or sell about 10 pairs of shoes but I just haven't gotten around to it…

  13. I agree with fellow shoe-owners: how is it that we always end up wearing the same favorite pairs?? I forced myself to wear my newest Dior spectacular shoes – a true deal, 89 euros at yoox- and it felt reeeeally good. Then again, the climate here in Milan doesn't help – even the pavements are not sexy shoe-friendly (heels stuck in between the stones).

    Amber, any idea where I could find those studded Louboutins? Some site that eventually ships to Italy? Since you browse so much ….. (and yes, i know that you're not a store or Joan Rivers, lol)

  14. I think i am close to 100 myself 🙂 and i keep all of them displayed, since i moved and i have more space. Before that i was the same: wearing 1-2 pairs of favorite shoes everyday. But now, walking past my entire collection every day, i am much more tempted to wear them!

    Now question: if i challenge myself as well, to wear all by the end of the year, including the new additions, what happens if, say, i buy a pair of sandals in december 2010 (it happens, you know!)? Considering the weather, i won't be able to wear it till end of January 2011… Oh ! I know, i will just book a last-minute holiday to Maldives and wear them there :))
    .-= Dana´s last blog ..Purple =-.

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