Shoes Make the The Lady

Carrie bradshaw shoes In Sex & the City, Carrie Bradshaw spent every last dime she owned on a pair of Manolo Blahniks. In real life, this curly hair freelance writer (that would be me!) hasn’t bought a new pair of shoes since last summer’s strappy heels. And if I’m going to live like my inspiration – and sure, she’s a “fictional” character, but whatever –  then I need to step up the shoe buying.

In fact, if I want to live like most women in the United States, I better start purchasing more shoes. According to a new survey by ShopSmart magazine, women own, on average, 17 pairs of shoes, although they only wear three pairs on a regular basis. The survey found that more than half of all women own more than 10 pairs, while 13 percent of women own more than 30 pairs.

Average shoe purchasing doesn’t even come close to Carrie Bradshaw’s shoe obsession – women usually purchase three pairs of shoes a year and spend $49 each, with 31 percent spending more than $100 on a single pair. Um, Manolos are $600 and up for one pair. I’m starting to see now that Sex & the City really was a fictional show…

But, there is something to this shoe thing. Carrie Bradshaw or not, it is a bit of an obsession. Shoes aren’t impacted by winter weight gain, a bad hair day or a sleepless night. And they can instantly make you feel sexy. I don’t know about you, but I’m lovin those odds.

ShopSmart also gives us other yummy shoe trend stats:

  • Women are turning to online retailers in a big way for their shoe needs – 29 percent of women purchase shoes online, which is a huge leap from earlier years.
  • For type and style of shoe to wear – 39 percent of women prefer flats, although a quarter of women have worn heels 4-in. or higher. Ouch.
  • 48 percent have had a shoe-related injury, 35 percent of women had an evening ruined by an uncomfortable pair of shoes, and 24 percent have fallen because of their shoes. And that, ladies and gentleman, is why we carry a second pair of comfy shoes in our purse.

Armed with this info and ShopSmart’s handy tips on finding great shoes, I’m off to shop. I mean, I do have to find a way to match my idol Carrie Bradshaw’s shoe obsession…

So, is it true? Do you own 17 pairs of shoes or more? Tell us about your shoe needs here!

-Heather Strang


  1. Is there a word count limit to these comments? How appropriate that you ask about our shoe NEEDS. In fact, shoes are my exception to the "buy local" proclamation that I am attempting to live by. Some memories are relived through pictures or even smells. I remember what shoes I wore (or the ones that someone else wore and caught my eye). Some of my fondest memories are shoe shopping with my Mom. One of the hardest moments in my life was cleaning out her shoe closet (100+ pairs) after she passed. It was like old photos – only with matching purses. Earlier this year, it took me longer to choose the perfect shoes than to find my mother-of-the-bride dress for Sarah's wedding. My love of shoes has evolved over the years and at this stage, I celebrate the fact that, although I may be too
    "old" to wear so many of the runway fashions of my earlier years, I can still pull off a killer shoe statement. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. It's not a bad obsession to have. It probably could be, but I don't own any Manolos (yet). In closing, I have a gift for your readers… *whispering*… the DSW clearnace color dots %off change on Sunday mornings. Love your blog, Heather. Great post. Thanks!

  2. Retail therapy is at its best when shoes are involved. Shoes won't let you down if you had too much cake over the holidays. Shoes are the ultimate feel-good purchase.
    I have over 300 pairs of shoes. I can tell you where I purchased each pair, when and why. You already know from my last blog post ( that I have fallen and hurt myself because of my shoes. Once or twice I might even have put a new pair next to my bed because I did not want to stop looking at them. More than once I have re-watched Sex and the City episodes to check out the shoes and then went out and bought identical ones.
    Heather, this post could not be more spot-on.
    Shoes are great to sell, fun to buy and are a great retail booster. In Berlin, the most successful stores in the swanky Mitte area are shoe shops. Shoes might very well be retail's secret weapon…

  3. 300 pairs?? Maya, you are amazing! Do you have a favorite pair?

    I completely think that shoes are retails secret weapon and more designers would do well to create fashionable (and comfortable please!) shoes.

    Maybe we can create some change here… :)

    BTW – LOVED your blog about your shoes and falling and such. I read it right after I wrote this one.

    -Heather :)

  4. Becky,

    LOVE the memories that shoes bring up for you. And THANK YOU for the shoe shopping tip. I am so inspired to do more shoe shopping after all of this. I'm heading to DSW this Sunday.

    And girl – that's another benefit to shoes – no matter our age – they are ALL age appropriate.

    No Manolo's for me yet either – but I'm putting them on my Christmas wish list… :)

    Thanks for the great comment!

  5. every time i go shopping, i beeline to the shoes department. comfortable or not, i go for style. i think the average woman/girl owns at least 50 pairs. i own more than 100 pairs and i still, sometime, can't find the right shoe to wear. i'm going shopping for shoes again.