Shoes: Why we’re so in love

‘Some’ of us have a crush whose name we dare not speak. To admit it might appear, well, shallow.

Mostly we keep schtum. But when spoken, this word seduces, like soft waves lapping a shore. Heck, it even forces a pout as it escapes our lips.

And that word is S H O E S . . . 

Shoes send us head-over-heels and keep us grounded. They’re Lady Killers and sensible friends. They’re works of art and workhorses. We can’t leave home without them.

And boy, have we got a lot.

I know this because I’ve been doing some research amongst my chums and clients.The outcome is this:

The average woman owns somewhere between 5 and 143 pairs

Proving there is no average woman. Owning between 30 and 80 pairs is fairly common.

Shoes tend to fall into these categories:

  • Those that are loved and worn to death because they are comfortable (about five pairs).
  • Those that are loved but seldom worn because ‘they kill me’ or don’t fit a lifestyle.
  • Those that are not loved or worn but ‘I might wear them one day’.

The last two categories form the majority of the average woman’s footwear collection. Most men, on the other hand, own five pairs, including slippers, and wear them all.

So why do women own more shoes than they can possibly wear? It’s simple:

It’s all about how shoes make us feel.

Unless they hurt, shoes rarely make us feel bad. One of my favourite sayings is ‘The shoes, scarf and bag always fit’. And it’s true. Shoe size rarely changes with age, or fluctuates with weight. We can usually get them on, unlike jeans or a slinky dress.

High shoes lift our mood – and our derriere. We look taller, slimmer…

It’s heaven in a shoebox; who cares if they don’t get worn..?

I, and many of my friends live in the wilds of mud-spattered Norfolk UK. My sturdier boots are well worn, and while glamorous occasions are not absent, they are not commonplace.

So why keep silly-stupid shoes, tormenting us about a life we don’t live?

My chums told me:

  • ‘Heels make my legs look nice. I flounce around in the bedroom and think ‘I might wear them one day’.’
  • ‘I thought I’d experiment with something I don’t usually wear. It didn’t work but they’re too expensive to throw away.’
  • ‘I bought them for a wedding and never wore them again’.
  • ‘They were half price in a sale and I couldn’t resist them’.
  • ‘They remind me of my first date with my husband’.

I understand all these sentiments and I’ve poked about in enough wardrobes to know we find it hard to get rid of something we paid a lot of money for, even if we never wear them.

I have four pairs of heels. I wear them occasionally and won’t be buying anymore, because, I confess, last year I got rid of 40 pairs of shoes I never wore because they were too high. Most of my footwear has a one or two-inch heel (at most). I could sprint for a bus in most of them.

Finery Claybrook block heel sided £129
Finery Claybrook block heel, square toe £129

I know I’m not alone in this need to be comfortably shod, so I thought I’d find you Spring shoes that are beautiful AND wearable. To find out more, just click on the picture captions.

Square toes and block heels are big this season. Whether spring boots, courts or mules, you don’t need to crush your toes to look elegant. I love these grey/mustard/silver slingbacks from Finery, a wonderfully creative online shop.

Next red suede ankle wrap shoes £45
Next red suede ankle wrap shoes £45

Ankle wraps are everywhere. Next shoes are really on trend this season. If you have slim ankles and can wear flats, these little red pixie pumps are gorgeous and come in denim blue as well.

Jigsaw taupe Vita boot £159
Jigsaw taupe Vita boot £159

For those days when winter boots are too heavy and sandals too chilly, go for a light coloured pixie boot, like these from Jigsaw. They look great with white jeans and a chunky spring knit.

Next nude ruffle loafers £55
Next nude ruffle loafers £55Colour is key.


Ruffles are a big trend this season and add a feminine touch to the otherwise manly loafer. These from Next are cute and in an easy-to-wear dark nude. Great for that crossover time when you’re tired of winter boots but the warmer weather has yet to kick in.

Next slingback mules in Citrine £32
Next slingback mules in Citrine £32

Coloured shoes can change the whole energy of an outfit. Turn heads in bright yellow or red. If you prefer more subtle colours, try dusty pink or nude, while soft metallics will go with anything and make your legs look longer.

Of course, before you splash your cash on new footwear, you may ask:

Will they still love me tomorrow?

Then again, you might just dive in. Feet first.


Sarah Morgan is a personal stylist based in Norfolk, UK.

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