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The Obsession Of Shoes

Shoes can become an addiction with some people just never having enough of them. With more and more designer brands now available, this can become an extremely expensive business. So, how many shoes does the average person own and what do they spend on them?

Author: Carl Fraser
Date: Apr 28, 2011 - 2:49:29 PM

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Shoes can become an obsession with some people just never having a sufficient quantity of them. Now that more and more brands are readily available, this can become a very costly business. So, how many shoes does the average consumer have and what do they spend on them?

Recent surveys vary in their results, however the statistics for women's spend on shoes are pretty easy to find. Not so easy is that of men, with no definitive reports on how much the males spend on footwear during their lifetimes. This indicates that the shoe-buying addiction is mainly a female-based phenomenon.

Most surveys agree that females spend around USD $54,000 on shoes during their lifetime. That's around GBP 31,000. The average price of a pair of shoes is $49, which would indicate that the collection of footwear is primarily quantity-driven than a quest to own the single, most expensive pair.

There have been several notable exceptions to these figures. One of the most famous being Imelda Marcos, the former First Lady of the Philippines. While much of the population of her country live in poverty, she owned a shoe collection of around 3,000 pairs. A museum has now been opened to display these.

A more recent high-profile shoe fan is the romantic author Danielle Steele. She is rumoured to own over six thousand pairs of shoes, double that of Ms Marcos. Steele, who has sold over 600,000,000 novels, is supposedly a huge fan of Christian Louboutin. With her own personal fortune estimated at over GBP50 million, it is thought that her shoe collection alone us worth in the region of GBP2 million. Louboutins 'killer heels' are her favourite, and reports say that it's not unusual for her to walk out of the Louboutin store with in excess of 80 pairs.

Christian Louboutin has seen sales of his shoes soar recently with high-profile fans such as Jennifer Lopez, who even write a song called Louboutin as a tribute to the designer. He estimates that there are three thousand women 'super fans' who each own around five hundred pairs of his shoes.

Aside from the rich and famous, the austere times we're living in at the moment may be having a small impact on people's footwear buying habits. Four years ago it was estimated that women own an average of 19 pairs of shoes each. However, this has been reduced slightly to an average of 17 pairs being purchased last year.

A limited decrease like this is very unlikely to dent the long-term buying habits of consumers, with shoes becoming more and more popular and ever-more available. The internet means you can now get a pair of designer-shoes delivered directly to your door, without the need to venture outside.

However, for many consumers, especially where designer shoes are concerned, owning the shoes is just part of it. The entire purchasing process is something they enjoy. Travelling to a city centre, visiting boutiques and exclusive shoe shops, and leaving with the all-important carrier bag containing their treasured purchase is all part of the experience and not something that can be replicated by having an anonymous brown box delivered to your door.

Regardless of trends in fashion, the footwear industry looks like it will always be popular and the trend for buying womens shoes will only increase further.

View all articles by Carl Fraser

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