Need ideas for simplifying SHOES! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 08-23-2006, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have 18-20 pairs of shoes. I think I would like to cut way back on them. I tend to buy really cheap shoes and then have lots of them. I'm considering investing a little more but only having a few pairs. Most of the time I'm in sandals or tennis shoes. On Sundays we go to church. I always wear a dress or skirt on Sunday mornings so I have shoes to go with those (in the summer can be sandals but in the winter I have to wear something that will go with tights or hose). The problem I run into is: it seems like there's not one or two pairs of shoes that will go with every church outfit I have. Some go with black, some with brown, etc. Maybe I'm worrying about that part of the outfit too much though. Dd wears the same pair of shoes to church every week regardless of the color of her dress! Maybe I could learn something from how I'm dressing my daughter!

Anyway, I know I always need a pair of tennis shoes. But do I really need to keep the old ones "just in case" I end up painting or hiking or something? (We rent so there's no painting going on these days; just an old habit from when we were renovating our house I guess!). I'm thinking just having 1 good pair of tennis shoes is plenty. (And if we ever buy a house that needs painting again I can go get a pair of those $3 canvas shoes at walmart to wear while working! ).

When it comes to sandals, I have 3 or 4 pairs. I have yet to find a pair that looks great with everything (including skirts) and is comfortable enough for everyday wear. This is where I could really use some advice on specific brands (and where you find them). I can't afford to spend a ton but I do have my birthday coming up next month and will probably get some money then.

Then there's winter church shoes (flats of some sort usually, because I hate heels!), shoes to wear with jeans, etc etc etc.

I want to purge but I'm having trouble figuring out what I would get rid of!!!

What's your shoe collection look like, and what brands do you recommend?
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#2 of 14 Old 08-23-2006, 02:39 PM
 
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I have closer to 10 pairs of shoes and have been weeding a lot recently. I've found that since I don't really wear heels, I'm able to get away with a combination of sandals, boots (dress and winter), and tennis shoes.

My basic foot wardrobe:
1 pair brown leather sandals (good for skirts, shorts, pants, dress or casual)
1 pair black leather sandals (for skirts/dresses)
2 pair sport/Teva type sandals (only 2 because I forgot a pair and had to buy a second for a long vacation)
1 pair black dress boots (wear with jeans, dress pants, etc)
1 pair brown clog type shoes (jeans, cords, also skirts)
2 pair tennis shoes (1 new for sports, 1 older for weekends, painting, etc)
1 pair winter boots (yeah, I'm in Wisconsin)
1 pair of slippers

I do have two more pairs of sandals. One white I wear a lot, one red needs repair. I like having some cheap, flipflops sometimes. Depending on where I live hiking boots (both high and low top) are very important to me too. But, these shoes are not in regular ciculation so they can be storred.

ETA: You asked about brands. My brown clogs are LLBean. I bought them used and they've lasted me 6 years. I'm considering Dansko as replacements but they cost 2x as much. My brown leather semii-dress sandals are Tevas so I can walk for miles/hours in those! They're 6 years old. My black boots are Payless, I've had them 4 years or so and they get lots of compliments but will be replaced this winter. Although I'm on a 'buy quality so it lasts' kick, I think comfort is the most important.
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#3 of 14 Old 08-23-2006, 04:16 PM
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i just trimmed back my shoes as well.

when i had suits, i had these shoes:

burgandy heels
navy heels
brown heels
brown loafers
black loafers
black heels
natural/neutral heels
lavender loafer-style slides
plaid sling backs
black sling backs
gold evening shoes
black evening shoes
high heeled black boots (western style)
high heeled high black boots
mid heal high brown boots
black clogs
blue sandal clogs
running shoes
rock climbing shoes
regular tennis shoes
zoris/flip flops
white, strappy, dressy sandals
red strappy sandals
black heeled zori-style
black flats
black, dressy/jeweled zoris
hiking boots
hiking shoes (light hiking)

ok, so, first thing i did was toss away any shoes that were too worn out to be wearable or repaired. second, i pulled out the shoes that i hadn't worn in months or years (even though they would fit with the seasons past). those were donated to charity.

next i categorized the shoes:

dress shoes
casual shoes
boots
athletic shoes

then, i catogorized the categories:

dress shoes: suits/work, church/events
casual shoes: 'sporty' and 'dress casual,' completely casual
boots: athletic, casual wear, dress wear
athletic: sport specific (i just laid them out so i could see them)

then, i looked at my lifestyle:

1. i'd stopped working in an environment where i needed suits. So, i looked at my suits and chose my favorite ones. I kept these so that if i had an event to go to (wedding, etc), i have something to wear. I kept three suits: navy, beige, and royal blue with black detailing.

so, i chose from the dress shoe pile things that would work. I kept the nude/natural, navy, and black evening (i only wear that suit in the evening) shoes.

2. i then turned to my casual pile of shoes. I thought about which ones i wear most and why. I realized that many of the shoes that i'd kept were actually really uncomfortable or i only wore occassionally, and some of the shoes were 'doubles' in a sense (like multiple kinds of zoris or strappy sandals). So, i went through and i pulled out the ones i wear most (favorites) and got rid of doubles (donation bin!).

3. next, i turned to boots. i put the hiking boots into the athletic group and then looked at the 3 pair left. i decided to keep two of the pair, and donate the other because i wore it less and it was slightly out of style (even though i still liked them, i was also findnig them increasingly uncomfortable for me).

4. finally, i looked at the athletic shoes. again, i donated 'doubles' of anything, but also organized them as to how often i use them--which is pretty much daily/weekly.

After this process, i went through all of them again and streamlined down to those i wear most. currently, i do have a few doubles, but it's getting better. this is my current inventory:

navy pumps
natural pumps
black evening shoes
high heeled high black boots
mid heeled high brown boots
sporty casual pair (sketchers)
sandal clogs
brown strappy sandals (new this year)
silver zoris (new this year)
silver flats
running shoes
rock climbing shoes
trail shoes (i donated the hiking boots).

so, i now have 13 pairs and my new brown sandals are nearly worn out as are the silver zoris. i may replace both pairs with a single pair of 'light gold' or that fleshy-gold color for next year. then, i'll be down to 12 pair.

and getting lighter.
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#4 of 14 Old 08-23-2006, 04:18 PM
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oh, and regarding brands, most of my stuff is 'higher end' stuff but i buy them at places like DSW.
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#5 of 14 Old 08-23-2006, 08:47 PM
 
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My feet are very hard to fit, so I might have fewer-than-average shoes in large part because I can't find any! That said, I own:

1 pair casual sandals
1 pair sneakers
2 pairs loafers, one of which is beaten all to hell for work projects
1 pair dress sandals
1 pair dress shoes
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#6 of 14 Old 08-23-2006, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been thinking about it some more, and I think the main reason I am desiring to work on the shoes is because I have quite a few pairs, but very few that I LOVE, KWIM? There's some that are very cute but when I try them on with my clothes, they don't look right, or are uncomfortable. And then there's the cheapy tennis shoes that STINK (and I just washed them too!).

I think I need to just get rid of anything I haven't worn in a while and make a list of the kinds of shoes I actually need and start looking!

Keep the replies coming though. I enjoy reading about everyone else's shoe collections!
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#7 of 14 Old 08-24-2006, 12:16 AM
 
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ITA with the "too many shoes" thing! When we moved I totally re-evaluated what I actually needed...now that my feet have grown since baby and now I'm a SAHM.

So I went through my wardrobe first and got rid of all the clothes that were old, stained, didn't fit, didn't look right or otherwise needed to go...
Then, I pulled all of my shoes out of the closet and out of their boxes....and I was ruthless. I tried everything on with the appropriate outfits and walked around in them for awhile. If they weren't comfortable they went...
I had three boxes: Keepers, Consignment store and Goodwill.

I had about 42 pairs of shoes, as my feet hadn't grown (before baby) since 8th grade (and I'm not that hard on shoes) and now I have...16 pairs.
This is what I have left:
brown/black leather flip flops
Silver Birkenstocks
rubber flip flops
Crocs clogs
Converse slip on sneakers
Keen lace up sneakers (brown with black)
Simple brown leather slides
leopard print clogs (brown with black)
black flat boots
brown suede mocassin boots
metallic bronze round toe pumps
red metallic dress shoes
black velvet dress shoes
brown suede Uggs (a necessity here in MN)
embroidered indian slippers

I made sure that my dress shoes were versatile enough to wear with everything that I have that's dressy.
I try and have casual shoes in black and brown (usually buy the same style in each color)
Then I make sure my other shoes work with either black or brown.

Summer: crafty mama to 2 little girls and wife to Bob
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#8 of 14 Old 08-24-2006, 12:30 AM
 
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Since I won't wear shoes that are uncomfortable at the end of the day, I don't have many shoes either. I have:
brown dansko clogs
brown rough leather birks
green double strap chacos
hiking boots (these double as snow boots)
"tennis" shoes
flip flops
black and tan Born (I dont' know how to make the funny "o") lace up shoes
I also have a pair of high heeled boots and a strappy black heel that I never wear but keep "just in case".

I do have a few dresses that I NEVER wear because I don't have shoes to go with.
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#9 of 14 Old 08-24-2006, 01:11 AM
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I have:

1 pair birk clogs (brown) I wear these mainly in the summer
1 pair birk sandals (brown)
1 pair merrell sneakers/hiking shoes - I almost never wear these.
1 pair merrell mocs (black) I wear these mainly in the winter
1 pair knee high snow boots (I can't remember the brand)

I dress very casually, if I ever *need* dressy shoes I usually borrow them.

I love shoes, but I live in a tiny apartment and hate clutter, so I finally got firm with myself and purged! My DH has more shoes than me now
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#10 of 14 Old 08-25-2006, 12:48 AM
 
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I find that white, black or even brown would go fine with blue, but I don't wear blue, other than blue jeans. . . . .

I think I need more shoes, but here's what I've got:

1 pr flip flops - white
1 pr flip flops - purple
1 pr purple sneaks
1 pr pink sneaks
1 pr of gorgeous, very NOW! Aldo black all leather platform pumps
1 pr moc style loafer with cut out / detail "holes"
1 pr black slide sandals
1 pr yellowish slide sandals
1 pr brown dress kitten heels
1 pr waterproof boots, calf length and not terribly dressy, but kind of hot, as in warm and waterproof, can be worn to work but too warm indoors
1pr black suede aerosoles platforms

I mostly wear white, or black pants, even cream colored pants, and at the moment have no dresses, 'cause all the dresses I seem to buy, don't flatter me at ALL. I got rid of them. I do have skirt suits in lavendar, black, and battleship gray. I have pant suits in white and cream. I'd like a pair of red low heels (not flats or kitten heels).

I also seriously am in need of a black leather bag, but my luxury want is a Louis Vuitton bag, my mother gave me an old LV purse of hers, but it fell apart. . . .
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#11 of 14 Old 08-25-2006, 12:59 PM
 
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Wow, 42 pairs of shoes??! Some complex shoe classifying systems too!

These are my shoes:

Black Birkenstock sandals
Brown Birkenstock sandals
Brown Crocs : (I wear them for gardening, at the beach etc... not for fashion!)
Brown Champion running shoes
Fuschia moccassins with blue beading
Beige Native winter boots (moccassin-style but warm and waterproof!)

That's it! And it feels like the perfect amount for me, although I am planning on getting a pair of Birkenstock clogs this fall.

 Grateful midwife and peaceful mama to three blissfully birthed, amazing children: dd (10)dd (7) and  ds (5).
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#12 of 14 Old 08-25-2006, 04:03 PM
 
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my shoes:

1 pair crocs (They alleviate a lot of my health problems. I wear them at all times in the house and have not yet worn them out of the house, because I think they are tacky.)
1 pair black dress shoes
1 pair brown dress shoes
1 pair Vans sneakers
1 pair athletic walking shoes
1 pair waterproof flip flops (beach, pool, showers)
1 pair straw beaded flip flops for skirts
1 pair brown casual shoes for wearing with jeans
1 pair black casual shoes for wearing with jeans


Yikes. That is a lot. It sure doesn't seem like a lot until you put it on paper. I can't imagine having any more that that. I have friends who have 50 or over 100 pairs!
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#13 of 14 Old 08-25-2006, 05:07 PM
 
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Wow! I have 1 cheapie pair of flip flops from Walmart, one pair of church shoes, and one pair of tennis shoes. All of maine are from Wally World LOL!
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#14 of 14 Old 08-25-2006, 05:17 PM
 
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I threw out or gave away most of my shoes after my dd1 was born. Right now I have:

1 pink sequined pair of flip flops (Old Navy--2 yrs old)
1 pair black sequined ballet flats (handmade in India from one of those carts at the mall 6 mos old)
2 pair sneakers (1 good--Montrail trainers, 1 cheapo no-name pair)
1 pair black satin heels (2 yrs. old)
1 pair brown loafer-ish shoes (2 yrs. old)
1 pair black stacked-heel ankle boots (5 yrs old)
1 pair slippers (4 yrs old)
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