Skip to Content

How Many Shoes Should You Have in Your Closet

TBF’s Repost Series, republishes top content from our archives. This post first appeared in Feb 2007.

Dear Budget Fashionista:

How many pairs of shoes are considered too many? I have about 50 pairs in my closet right now and I would say thats quite a bit. I would like to hear everyone’s thoughts on how many pairs of shoes they have in their closet as well as how many pairs are considered too many or “a lot” ?


At any given moment, I have 15 pairs of shoes in my closet. Not a lot for someone who’s into fashion, but that’s because I recycle my clothes quite often and because of my strange big feet, I have to spend more money on shoes than any other clothing item.  Plus I actually WEAR, all the shoes in my closet.

Remember the key to a good shoe wardrobe and a good wardrobe period is QUALITY, not QUANTITY. As women, we wear the number of shoes in our closet as a badge of honor, yet, we don’t WEAR most of them. I betcha you only wear like 10, maybe 15, of your 50 pairs of shoes and the others are long forgotten. I say sell them off, so you can fully enjoy the ones you actually wear.

To be honest, you really only NEED five pairs of shoes:

  • Pair of Tennis Shoes/sneakers
  • Pair of Black pumps
  • Pair of Sandals  (with a strap that strategically covers your “problem” toe)
  • Pair of Black or Brown boots (midcalf to knee high that you could wear in the snow or rain and still look fabulous)
  • Pair of Flats(or shoe with a slight heel if flats are uncomfortable)

Obviously most of us aren’t going to have just 5 pairs of shoes in our closet.. so here’s some other shoes you should have as “shoe wardrobe stretchers”:

  • Pair of Sexy Shoes (i.e stilletos, peep toe, red patent leather, whatever)
  • Pair of Wellies or Snow Boots (cause let’s face, sometimes it’s just too cold (or rainy) to be cute
  • Pair of cheap Trendy Shoes (bright neon, extra pointed, jelly, you get the picture)
  • Second Pair of Boots (especially if you live in the midwest, northeast or northwest)
  • Pair of Brown Heels
  • Pair of Trendy Sneakers (so you can look cute while you shop)
  • Pair (or two) of Flip-flops ( they’re just so practical)

How Many Pairs of Shoes Do You Have in Your Closet?

Get Budget Fashionista in your inbox!

DIY Diamond Hoop Earrings
← Read Last Post
The Five Best Beauty Products Under $5
Read Next Post →


Thursday 19th of January 2017

Heh, I'm also replying late. It's just an interesting discussion.

I have about 12 pair right now. Personally I allow myself to have several of a particular category--some basic/neutral and others more colorful or interesting.

Let's say you go through a pair of flats every year. You can buy just one pair in a basic color (black, for example) and wear them for a year then replace them. Or you can have a black pair and a leopard pair and alternate between them, replacing them after two years.

Either way you're buying a pair a year (on average) but in the first scenario you only ever get to wear black shoes. The second scenario gives you variety.

Of course if you have a ton of shoes you might end up with storage issues, so you need to find a happy medium.

I also find that having a few extras ends up being more frugal overall, because if one pair starts to wear out I can wait for a sale to replace them. It doesn't become an urgent need like it would if they were my only shoes.

Catherine Brock

Thursday 19th of January 2017


I love your point about how having more than one option allows you to wait for sales! That is so true. When you are desperate (like your only pair of heels got stuck in a sidewalk grate and broke), you will undoubtedly spend more.

Thanks for sharing!



Monday 12th of December 2016

Anything above 30-35 pairs of shoes is boderline obsession.

I am replying late but i had to..

Catherine Brock

Tuesday 13th of December 2016

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by!

Anna Tsatoke

Monday 19th of October 2015

I am beginning to feel ridiculous...I have over 130 pairs of shoes...which I always buy because of my weight...since I can't find stylish clothing. However, I am 59 and my sons tell me I buy inappropriate styles for my age... I love the bling, which was not out in my day... you younger ladies get all the fun stuff... can break all the rules and still be stylish... some of my shoes... I have not worn... seeking some special occasions which never comes... and the heels have gotten higher than when I first brought I need to let go...and get rid of some shoes.....


Monday 1st of July 2013

5 pairs of shoes? Seriously???? Shoooo...I have 5 pairs of sneakers alone (for different activities). I live in a region that has 4 seasons, so 5 pairs would be impossible. It is true that I seem to wear the same 5 pair all the time. But, that doesn't include formal events you need formal heels, job interview you need dress heels, snow storm you need snow boots, etc. I am ashamed to admit I own 50 pairs. I sold and donated about 50 more over the past 3 years. I am very frugal, and never realized I had so many- and that apparently, according to these studies, I am abnormal! I blame it mostly on the fact that I buy and buy and buy pairs until I find a pair that is super comfortable, then wear it everyday. Heck, my husband as 50 pairs of shoes too- and I think he is straight! If he can, I can too! :-)


Tuesday 2nd of July 2013

That's a good point-- the seasons can also affect the number of pairs you own! And it's good that you're selling/donating those pairs you don't wear. Shoes are made for walking, not for displaying ala-shoe museums. =)

Fit Chick

Tuesday 30th of April 2013

Would proffer that most women buy shoes to feel pretty/elegant/stylish, etc. Save your money, go to the gym, lose a few pounds and enjoy the bragging rights. It's easy to spend money and the whole world is designed to separate you from your hard earned dollars. Don't be a marketing-prone lemming. Get on the treadmill!

Comments are closed.