Apparently, the average British woman owns 20 pairs of shoes, eleven of which she barely wears. The total value of the average lady's shoe closet? £720, or around $1,189. That means about $660 worth of shoes are sitting idle. Women buy an average of eight new pairs each year. All these are the results of a survey conducted by an insurance company — perhaps, if closets seem like enough of an un-tapped market, we'll all be the targets of ads for shoe insurance policies in the near future. Goody.
It doesn't surprise me at all that many women own multiple pairs of shoes that they rarely, if ever, wear. As with clothing, shoe sizing is inconsistent (sometimes even within the same brand), and fractions of an inch make all the difference between comfort and pain. It's not even just a high heels issue: I currently own two pairs of black flat loafers, because they go with more or less everything and something about the loafer just works for me. One pair, the pebbled leather pair, have been re-soled twice, despite only being a year old. The other pair, the plain leather pair, are three years old but look brand new and mostly get worn while I'm taking out the garbage or popping across the street to buy milk. A long series of insoles and orthotics have all failed to make them truly comfortable enough to walk a long distance in; they rub my heels and give me blisters and feel like they're about to fall off, anyway. And that's what I get for buying plain sensible black shoes made by a reliable, un-fashion-able "quality" brand! It's enough to make a lady want to buy the black and gold platform wedges or the leopard-print booties or the 4.5" snakeskin heels with five buckles. At least those are fun.