When I started my Shoe Challenge this year, and started collecting all of your shoe totals, I was reassured to find that my own shoe collection (currently sitting at 71 pairs) wasn’t particularly out of the ordinary: sure, there were a lot of people with fewer shoes than me, but there were also lots of you with many, many more pairs, so I figured that while my collection is just a little bit on the extravagant side, I wasn’t too unusual in my shoe-buying habits.
Apparently I was wrong about that, however, because according to the results of a poll released this week by ShopSmart, the “average” amount of shoes owned by women over the age of 18 is… 17 pairs. Now, while I haven’t bothered to actually work it out, I suspect the average for readers of this site is a little higher than that (When I was adding Shoe Challenge participants to the member’s list, I felt like the average number of shoes was probably somewhere in the mid-twenties), although that result is probably a little skewed, given that people who read this site are much more likely to have a higher than average interest in footwear, but the statistic that really interested me in this poll, is this one:
Of those 17 pairs of shoes, most of the women surveyed admitted to wearing ONLY THREE PAIRS on a regular basis.
And that right there is why I started my Shoe Challenge last year. I can well believe that most people out there are only getting regular use out of a small percentage of their shoe collections, so at least those of you taking part in this year’s challenge can take comfort in the fact that you hopefully won’t be one of those statistics. In the meantime, here are some more shoe-related stats for you, all from the same survey:
- Almost a third (29%) of American women buy shoes online, a significant increase from four years ago when only 14% were buying shoes online.
- Over one third (39%) of those who have purchased shoes online have made a return.
- Nearly one-fifth (19%) have gone shoe shopping to cheer themselves up.
- Although the majority of women (86%) are up front with their spouse or significant other about their shoe purchase, 14% admit to hiding at least one purchase.
- Over one quarter (28%) feel shoes are an important part of their outfit indicating that they put a lot of thought into selecting them each day. Plus over half of women (51%) typically notice shoes other people are wearing.
- For everyday footwear, women prefer flats as 39 percent of women indicate that it is the preferred heel height. Only 8 percent of women wear heels over 2 ½ inches on a regular basis.
- Despite a preference for flats, one quarter have worn heels 4” or higher on at least one occasion.
- Forty-six percent of women have bought an ugly pair for comfort, but more women are willing to tolerate pain for fashion—60% vs.49%—than they were in 2007.
- Women take precautions for the pain as 61 percent have carried a second pair of shoes to a party or event to change into.
- Forty-eight percent have had a shoe-related injury (blister, break, sprain, etc.).
- Thirty-five percent of women had an evening ruined by an uncomfortable pair of shoes.
- Twenty-four percent have fallen because of their shoes.