Wedges, pumps, heels, flats, boots, flip-flops, sneakers, slippers. And so on. The stereotype that women have larger shoe collections than men may have its roots in the fact that women have more shoes for occasions that require dressing up, while men tend to have a smaller number of such shoes.
According to a 2006 poll by Time magazine, the average American man owns 12 pairs of shoes, while the average American woman owns 27 pairs. About 60 percent of men own less than 11 pairs of shoes, but 82 percent of women own 11 pairs or more.
A survey of 40 students at Northwestern University shows similar results, although college students of both genders appear to have fewer shoes across the board. In addition, the survey reveals that women have a larger number of shoes for special occasions that they wouldn't consider wearing on a daily basis.
A few of those students opened up their closets and talked about their shoe collections.
“What you see here is about half of what I own. I have a lot more at home. I tend to have a lot more heels and wedges because I know I’m short, and it helps to have a couple extra inches. All the shoes are important because they compliment the outfit in some way. ”
“My shoe collection is sort of drab, but it’s conservative. I don’t like to physically stand out, and they can blend into anything. They’re all really practical. Really, I just want shoes that will last a long time, and I think these do that.”
“I have so many pairs of heels. I just think they’re fun and it’s nice to have a bunch of different colors and styles. Of course, I only wear them for special occasions, which are pretty rare.”