How Many Pairs Of Shoes Should You Have?

If your closet is overflowing with shoes, you may be wondering how many you can safely discard. Here is what you need for footwear.

Is it possible to have too many pairs of shoes? Only if you lack storage space. It's more likely to not have the right shoes than too many. Problems can arise when we try to use the wrong heel or style for a specific occasion and end up uncomfortable or embarrassed.

If you're trying to decide which shoes to get rid of and which ones you still need to buy, here is a general checklist that may be of help:

1. House shoes or slippers. In the Orient, people wear rubber house shoes, something like sandals or slippers, for that purpose only. The reason is to keep outside dirt from entering the house and soiling those gorgeous oriental carpets. Those who come home from work or shopping exchange shoes as soon as they enter their home. Some people here in the West do that also, but others go barefoot or wear the same shoes inside and outside. In colder climates, warm slippers add a toasty touch to tingling toes. These may be worn just at bedtime or anytime when there are no plans to leave the house.


2. Work shoes. Whatever your occupation, unless you work at the beach or swimming pool, you will likely need a pair of shoes. Heavy duty factory footwear, restaurant non-skid shoes, or sensible loafers or low heels for the office are common. These need to be kept clean and in good working condition since they may impact your job performance or others' impression of your appearance.

3. Casual footwear. Sometimes used also as house shoes, these shoes can be used for errands or recreation. They go well with informal fashions and generally slip on and off easily. Sometimes sandals are worn in the summer and a trouser boot in the winter.

4. Exercise shoes. Made of canvas or leather, these shoes must be durable and styled to suit a particular workout, such as running, jogging, hiking, or even walking. Some shoes are marketed as cross training brands, meaning they can be worn for more than one exercise type. These need to be replaced more often than other types of shoes since they wear out more quickly, and an exercising body needs good physical support.

5. Boots. Good for muddy, icy, extremely cold, or snowy conditions, heavy-duty, insulated boots are a must have item for cold climates. In sub-freezing temperatures, bodily extremities like fingers and toes are typically the first to get frostbitten. Boots help to protect feet from this problem, as long as they do not fit too tightly and cut off circulation, which is vital to keeping feet properly warm.

6. Special hobby footwear. Horseback riding boots, sports shoes for soccer, basketball, or football, and ski boots or other kinds of special fit footwear are essential for participating in these activities. Without the right foot covering or support, you may be exposing your feet to potential harm.

7. Dress shoes. Church, weddings, ceremonies, or other dress up events may require a quality design for men or a high heel for women.

For each type of footwear, special socks or feet coverings may be indicated. Insulated socks work well with boots to protect the feet against extreme cold, for example. Ask the shoe sales assistant for information about the best kind of stocking or socks to wear with a particular shoe.

If you have all of the above and more besides, you may want to consider eliminating some of those that have not been worn for a few years. Who knows, there might be another shoe store sale in the near future!

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