#StuffCheck: How Many Shoes Do You Own?

by Wen Lee   |   March 1, 2013

Stuffcheck Shoes

The other day I came across a survey reporting that the average American man owns 12 pairs of shoes, while the average American woman owns a whopping 27 pairs. That would make the national average about 19 pairs per person. Wow! Really?

Well, this statistic surely does not describe me. I've never considered myself a "shoe person" or fashion maven. I don't even like shopping very much. After giving it some thought I guessed that I had maybe seven or eight pairs of shoes. To prove it, I dragged out all my shoes — and took the photo to the left.

Grand total: I own 15 pairs of shoes.

I couldn't believe it. 15 pairs! Crawling about on my hands and knees in the back of my closet, I pulled out one pair after another in surprise. Oh yeah, those boots. And these. They were on sale. Sheesh, I forgot I still had these. Hiking boots, sandals, dress shoes, running shoes.

The worst part is, out of the 15 pairs I only wear two of them on a regular basis. The others I wear maybe once or twice a year. I found a couple pairs that I haven't worn since college. Sigh.

How did this happen? How did I end up with two identical pairs of sandals (umm... for back up?) and a pair of virtually unused sneakers that I've held on to for 10 years (dang, I'm getting old)? This is pretty wasteful — not just because of money spent and natural resources consumed, but because I'm underutilizing perfectly good pairs of shoes that someone else could appreciate.

Millions of people around the world have no shoes at all while the average American has nearly 20 pairs each. What's going on here?

It's time for a Stuff Check. I've decided to clean out my closet and give away my excess shoes. How about you? Sometimes we don't know how much stuff we have until we pull them out and take a look.

How many shoes do you own? Send us your photo!

Post your photo on our Facebook page or tweet it to @newdream with hashtag #StuffCheck. Along with the photo, tell us:

  • How many shoes you own & your city and state
  • Any thoughts or surprises about your shoe collection

Click here to view all submitted photos!

Click here to view all submitted photos