How Many Pairs Of Shoes Is Too Many? A Detailed Look

We all love shoes. Who doesn’t get excited when they buy a new pair to add to their collection? But at what point does your shoe obsession start to seem a little excessive? If you’re wondering how many pairs of shoes is too many, you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s a quick answer: While there’s no definitive number for when a shoe collection becomes excessive, more than 50 pairs often signals it’s time to pare down. The average person owns 12 pairs of shoes, so anything significantly over that could be considered overkill.

Factors That Determine a Reasonable Shoe Collection

Your lifestyle and needs

When considering how many pairs of shoes is too many, it is important to take into account your lifestyle and needs. Different activities and occasions require different types of footwear. For example, if you are someone who enjoys running, you may need a couple of pairs of running shoes to rotate between to prevent wear and tear and allow them to properly dry out between uses.

On the other hand, if you work in a corporate environment, you may need a few pairs of dress shoes to match with different outfits. Assessing your daily activities and wardrobe requirements will help you determine how many pairs of shoes are necessary for your lifestyle.

Available storage space

Another factor to consider is the amount of storage space you have for your shoe collection. If you live in a small apartment with limited closet space, it may not be practical to have dozens of pairs of shoes.

However, if you have a spacious walk-in closet or a designated shoe storage area, you may be able to accommodate a larger collection. It’s important to remember that proper shoe storage is essential to maintain the longevity of your shoes.

Storing them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and keeping them organized will help extend their lifespan.

Ability to care for shoes properly

Caring for your shoes is an important aspect of maintaining their quality and prolonging their lifespan. If you have a large shoe collection, it’s crucial that you have the time and willingness to properly care for each pair.

This includes regular cleaning, conditioning, and storing them in appropriate shoe bags or boxes. It’s also important to consider the cost of maintaining a large shoe collection. Some materials may require special cleaning products or professional services, which can add to the overall cost.

Assessing your ability to care for your shoes properly is essential when determining how many pairs of shoes is reasonable for you.

Signs You May Own Too Many Pairs of Shoes

You have to get creative with storage solutions

If you find yourself resorting to unconventional storage methods for your shoes, such as using shoe organizers in every nook and cranny of your home or even dedicating an entire room just for shoe storage, it may be a sign that you own too many pairs.

While it’s important to have adequate storage for your belongings, constantly having to find new ways to accommodate your shoe collection can be a red flag that it has gotten out of control.

You’re hiding purchases from others

Have you ever felt the need to hide your shoe purchases from your family or friends? Maybe you’ve started having packages delivered to your workplace instead of your home, or you’ve started sneaking new shoes into your closet without anyone noticing.

If you find yourself resorting to these tactics, it may be a sign that you’re owning too many pairs of shoes.

You have too many unworn shoes

Take a moment to assess your shoe collection. Do you have pairs of shoes that you’ve never worn or have only worn once? If so, it’s a clear indication that you may own too many shoes. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying new shoes, but if they’re just sitting in your closet collecting dust, it might be time to reevaluate your shoe-shopping habits.

According to a study conducted by Statista, the average American woman owns 19 pairs of shoes, while the average American man owns 10 pairs. However, it’s important to note that these numbers can vary greatly depending on individual preferences and lifestyle.

Having a love for shoes is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as it doesn’t become excessive and start affecting other areas of your life. If you can relate to any of these signs, it may be time to declutter your shoe collection and focus on quality over quantity.

Remember, it’s better to have a few pairs of shoes that you truly love and wear regularly than a closet full of shoes that never see the light of day.

Downsides of Owning Too Many Shoes

Cluttered living space

One of the major downsides of owning too many shoes is the clutter it can create in your living space. With each new pair of shoes, the available storage space becomes more limited, leading to a disorganized and chaotic environment.

It can be frustrating to constantly search for a specific pair of shoes among the sea of footwear. Not only does this make it difficult to keep your living space clean and tidy, but it can also cause unnecessary stress and frustration.

Wasted money

Owning a large number of shoes can also lead to wasted money. With each new purchase, you are spending money on items that may not be necessary or practical. Shoes that are rarely worn end up being a waste of financial resources that could have been used for more important things.

It’s important to consider whether each new pair of shoes is truly needed and will be used regularly before making a purchase.

Difficulty properly caring for shoes

When you have a vast collection of shoes, it can become challenging to properly care for each pair. Shoes require regular cleaning, conditioning, and maintenance to ensure they last as long as possible. With too many shoes, it becomes difficult to give each pair the attention and care it deserves.

Neglecting proper shoe care can result in premature wear and tear, reducing their lifespan and forcing you to replace them sooner than necessary.

Tips for Paring Down Your Shoe Collection

Go through what you already own

When it comes to reducing the number of shoes you own, the first step is to take inventory of what you already have. Start by gathering all your shoes in one place and categorizing them. This will give you a clear picture of how many pairs you actually own and what types of shoes you tend to gravitate towards.

As you go through your collection, ask yourself if you really need multiple pairs of similar shoes or if there are any that you haven’t worn in a long time. Be honest with yourself and consider donating or selling the shoes that you no longer wear or need.

Establish a shoe budget

Managing your shoe collection becomes easier when you set a budget for yourself. Determine how much you are willing to spend on shoes each month or year, depending on your financial situation. This will help you prioritize your purchases and prevent you from buying unnecessary pairs.

By sticking to a budget, you’ll not only save money but also learn to appreciate the shoes you already have.

Implement a one-in, one-out policy

To keep your shoe collection in check, consider implementing a one-in, one-out policy. This means that for every new pair of shoes you bring into your collection, you must get rid of an old pair. This policy helps prevent your shoe collection from growing uncontrollably and forces you to carefully consider each new purchase.

It also ensures that you only keep the shoes that truly bring you joy and serve a purpose in your wardrobe.

Remember, paring down your shoe collection is a personal journey. It’s not about depriving yourself of the things you love, but rather about being mindful of what you truly need and value. By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a more curated and manageable shoe collection that brings you joy and satisfaction.


We all love buying shoes, but an overabundance can create clutter and lead to wasted money. If your collection is edging into excessive territory, take some time to honestly evaluate your needs and pare it down to a reasonable number.

Focus on quality over quantity, and your feet—and wallet—will thank you.

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