Social Question

zenele's avatar

What's up with women and shoes? Why can't we just wear out a few pairs before buying new ones?

Asked by zenele (8252points) June 10th, 2010

I read this and it only disheartened me more in my never-ending struggle with my teen daughter – who insists on “collecting” shoes.

Shoes cost a lot. Leather shoes cost a lot – and can last, ahem, 5500 years.

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49 Answers

ubersiren's avatar

Well, it’s not all women. I think it’s sort of just the trendy thing to do in recent years. I blame Sex and the City. I rather like hand bags, though I like a bargain more and will usually not spend over $15 or so on one. Maybe you can encourage your daughter to accept the challenge of finding steals instead of insisting on having the new hot pair… (yeah good luck with that).

Why do men collect video games?

perspicacious's avatar

Well, if you are paying for them it should be easy to just say no. If she is buying them with her own money, that’s her prerogative .

gemiwing's avatar

Some people juggle geese.

People collect SPAM, Jello boxes, bags, shoes, matchbooks, cereal boxes etc. People like stuff and they always want more stuff. Whenever we think we have enough, enough moves forward a bit and we try to get to enough again.

chyna's avatar

Silly man. Women can’t wear out shoes, that would be tacky. We have to have the latest style to match what we are wearing. And a handbag to go with our mood.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Women’s shoes have more variations than men’s, as do women’s clothing. Women’s shoes can also be had at a discount if one becomes a good shopper.

Jude's avatar

I have, maybe, 7 pairs. That’s all. Shoes schmooes.

chyna's avatar

@jjmah My ex-husband used to take people in my room to see all my shoes. He was mystified by them all!

I do buy the inexpensive shoes so I can have more shoes.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Men will understand women and shoes on the same day they figure out why women drive the way they do.

Dog's avatar

My current pair of shoes has paint spatter, tread worn down to flat on traffic areas and a hole where the seam has given way. I am not that into fashion.

That being said I do respect that others like to decorate themselves just like I decorate a canvas with paint.

Having four daughters I can tell you that this is an opportunity to teach your daughter a lifetime skill- budgeting. She needs to have limits and be encouraged to remain within them financially or her adult life will be one of debt and misery.

I am not sure about your country but in America as soon as a kid turns 18 they are offered credit cards. If they do not appreciate the value of what they are spending it is a recipe for disaster. I know several kids who got tens of thousands of dollars into debt buying on whim and regretted it deeply.

This is not easy for parents like us, who still see the tiny tot and want to shelter and provide but it is a key learning opportunity.

Oh- and if you decide to place a budget for her be sure to offer her opportunities to EARN extra money outside of the budget so she realizes that she is only limited by how much she is willing to do to get the shoes she desires. This puts it all in her control.

Good luck friend!

syz's avatar

I have a pair of running shoes, a pair of hiking boots, a light pair of shoes for work and a dark pair of shoes for work. And I’m female.

chyna's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Oh really? The way women drive? How about how men drive? And seriously, there are more men talking on their cell phones while driving than women.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@chyna I wasn’t referring to driving while on the phone. Actually, I was just trying to stir up a little activity. I think the collective died.

chyna's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe And I was just picking on you, a man, that drives awful. :-)

Jude's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe they’re busying, driving to work.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@chyna I’ll have you know I drive better than women shoe shop.
@jjmah This is the East coast. We’ve been at work for 2 hours. (As you can tell by how long I’ve been on here)

john65pennington's avatar

For some women, its shoes. for others, its pocketbooks. my wife has a fetish for pocketbooks. they are stacked everywhere in our house. she also likes shoes, but not like pocketbooks. she will buy a new one and use it for several days, then add it to her collection. i learned a long time ago just to keep my mouth shut about her pocketbooks and just pay the bills. its easier that way.

zenele's avatar

This has been fun and educational.

MissAusten's avatar

I don’t really care about shoes or handbags or pocketbooks or whatever you want to call them. My shoes get worn out completely before I’ll buy new ones, and then I lean more toward comfort than anything else. So, I can’t help explain the shoe thing because I’ve never understood it myself.

meagan's avatar

I’m not big on shoes. Hangbags are a different story.
But once you’ve got a few good pairs, leave it at that. I’ve got two pairs of leather sandals that seriously look good with anything, and are perfect for summer. They are the loves of my life.

nikipedia's avatar

Here’s my hypothesis: shoes can be good for women’s self esteem. In a society that tells women that you are worthless if you are not beautiful, many women are constantly trying to find ways to be more attractive—to work out more, to eat better, to find just the right makeup, to find the perfect outfit. It’s not vanity: women are subtly convinced from day 1 that they have no value without beauty.

So women go shopping to buy clothes trying to win the beauty arms race. But the ideal body type is virtually unattainable, so in the process of trying to become beautiful by buying the “right” clothes, women are reminded of their immutable physical flaws. You go to a store, try on an outfit, and realize that you’re too short or too tall too fat or too gangly and no outfit can change that.

This is where shoes come in. You can’t have the wrong foot. There are thousands of shoes that make you look cuter, and it’s almost impossible for a shoe to throw you into a frenzy of self-hatred the way a bad pair of pants can.

So I think women buy shoes to feel more beautiful. It’s a low-risk, high-payoff shopping strategy.

SmashTheState's avatar

Women’s fashion, at least in the West, is about sex and submission. Because we live in a patriarchy, submissiveness in women is rewarded with material success, while dominant behaviour is punished. Clothing for women is all about demonstrating this submissiveness, either by hilighting their sexual receptiveness (by accentuating breasts and buttocks) or by hobbling a woman to highlight her physical weakness (sometimes literally, as with high heeled shoes).

The feet, of course, are a special case. The three locations where sex pheromones are released are the armpits, the groin, and the feet. This is why foot fetishism is so common. The associations between the foot and sex are quite strong. Women’s shoes are designed to be painful, awkward, and highly visibly incapacitating. Owning many pairs of shoes is, for a woman, like a slave owning many pairs of beautiful, gold-plated shackles, all of them covered in painful spikes; it tells the bourgeoisie that this slave accepts her shackles and considers them beautiful, and is therefore no threat to the status quo. Of course, whether the slave truly feels this way is another question entirely. It’s possible it may simply be protective camouflage. Nevertheless, the female obsession with shoes is simply a highly visible, socially-acceptable form of public foot bondage.

Jude's avatar

I blame Carrie Bradshaw.

Aethelwine's avatar

Like @MissAusten, I’ve never understood this either. I hardly ever look at the shoes that people are wearing. I hate to be judged by the clothing that I wear, so I try not to judge others. I notice eyes and facial expressions, not shoes.

I own one purse, a pair of flip flops, a pair of sandals, one pair of snow boots, one pair of nice shoes for going out and a pair of tennis shoes. Just what is needed, nothing more.

Jude's avatar

The blond is my kinda girl.

I like women who are femme, but, own no more than 10 purses.

Merriment's avatar

I’ve been a shoe collector in my youth and I bought less expensive shoes so as to better support my addiction. I think some of it was about feeling conspicuous if I didn’t have just the “right” shoe for the outfit. In other words it was a lack of self-confidence that made me over function. I’m over it now.

The older I get and the more my feet hurt, I realize that what I want most from my shoes is classy comfort. So now I spend more per pair but only own 8 pairs that I really, really love.

I own a total of 3 handbags…brown, black and a funky retro cloth purse.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

I absolutely HATE shopping for shoes. Almost nothing is comfortable, so when I do find a pair that I can wear, I wear them until they fall off my feet. Then I procrastinate for a little longer, and finally will go shopping for shoes again.

Jude's avatar

Ah, goils..

ava's avatar

ummm, hello…we need a pair to go with every outfit…and you can madke the same old outfit look like a new one with a different pair of shoes! let’s get with the program here folks…it’s time to prioritize! New shoes for the win!

ipso's avatar

I gave my girlfriend a hard time as she walked in the front door with an armload of shoe boxes. She smiled and said something about the 100x more I spend on motorcycles, tools, and carbon fiber bicycles. Strange how easy men can slip into selective memory.

Out of college my roommate purchased an amazing ~$400 pair of wingtips. They lit up the room. I asked him how could he possibly spend so much on shoes – his reply was epic:

“I don’t make enough money to buy cheap shoes.”

zenele's avatar

@ipso I agree: and I have used that paraphrase much of my life. I always wear good quality shoes – I like Timberlands and Clarks, personally. I’ll by Nike running shoes for my son. My shoes will last years – some 10–15 years and going. And look fine.

But why 50 pairs is what I was asking!!!!

ipso's avatar

I hear you. I am exactly the same with t-shirts. I have 2 pair of pants and 150 t-shirts. I also have maybe 2000 individual tools (e.g. a single socket). I just find that every time I start thinking about women’s shoes I’m forced to realize I too have these “issues”. So to me it’s not a woman thing, or a shoe thing, or a woman’s shoes thing – it’s a human obsession thing.

zenele's avatar

@ipso You are fired from this thread. Next.

chyna's avatar

@zenele Would you like to know how many Boyd Bears I have? Actually, I lost count.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@zenele I collect mugs. I even have one from a Starbucks in Hiroshima.

zenele's avatar

@Dr_Dredd Now that’s cool. Any particular mug your holy grail?

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Actually, the Hiroshima one is the coolest, in my opinion. But the mug I drink from every day because I think it’s cute is one that has pawprints on it and says, “Bark less, wag more.”

Neizvestnaya's avatar

It could be a learned consumption. My grandmother had a room where the closet was shelved for just shoes and bags, it was glorious for a little kid to behold and even better to play with them. As I aged, I collected vintage shoes for fun and modern shoes for work. When my budget afforded then I’d buy as many pairs as would strike my fancy but these days I choose very carefully and do a lot of price hunting. Gone are the days of having over 100 pairs of shoes but I know deep in my little heart that it’s possible for me to go there again. It’s not just about celebrating feminity, I happen to fancy riding styled boots alongside heeled strappy sandals. I also don’t hobble in my heels, I’m one of a lucky few who can easily stride in my heels rather than clop, teeter or scuff. So there. Gimee them shoes!

YARNLADY's avatar

I am totally clueless when it comes to clothing, including shoes. I have rarely owned more than 5 pairs of shoes at a time, even while I was working. I did have three expensive pair of dancing shoes during my Square Dance days.

A few years back, I found a sale on canvas deck shoes, and I bought six pair of them for less than $20 – total. I am now down to the last two pair, wearing one pair at a time until it wears out. I have one pair of driving/walking shoes which I got for half price a few years ago, and a pair of good quality moccasins. That’s all.

FutureMemory's avatar

@zenele What’s up with women and shoes? Why can’t we just wear out a few pairs before buying new ones?

I always thought you were a dude.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Oh my, this question reminded me to google velvet maryjanes like the kind I used to buy in Chinatown, a pair in every color I could find :)

Seek's avatar

@nikipedia has it, except for the “you can’t have the wrong foot” thing. Though, having strangely-shaped feet is much more uncommon than having a body type that doesn’t match that of a supermodel.

Shoe shopping makes me cry. I don’t own many shoes.

zenele's avatar

@FutureMemory – Had I phrased it They – I might not have gotten the kind of responses I was aiming for. I tried both: with they is seemed to me like just another chauvenistic rant and attack on women and their shoe-buying, driving, etcetera.

So I chose the royal we. But hey: if you need to me to be a woman…

Merriment's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – I hear you on the strangely shaped feet. A good friend of mine told me how much trouble it was to find shoes and I didn’t understand. Then we went shoe shopping together and she showed me how every shoe made her flat feet look enormous. And she had smallish feet!

FutureMemory's avatar

@zenele I figured that’s why you phrased it that way. I was just fuckin’ with ya :)

zenele's avatar

You gotta stop messin with my head.

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