A Mile in My Shoes

Americans and their shoe collections: Do women really own more shoes than men?

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.

Vasiliki Valkanas

“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. ”

Artistic heels
Sparkly heels
Edgy heels

Artistic heels


Sparkly heels


Edgy heels


 

Mark Davis

“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.”

Black shoes
Red running shoes

Black shoes


Red Running Shoes


 

Alexandra Becker

“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.”

Shower shoes
Hip-Hop shoes
Sweater boots

Shower shoes


Hip-Hop shoes


Sweater boots


 

Robel Worku

“I like white and black because I don’t like having to think about my shoes when coordinating my outfits every day. I wear a lot of Hawaiian shirts and different things like that, and black seems to match with everything.”

Black Nikes
Style vs. Comfort

Black Nikes


Style vs. Comfort