A Shoe lovers minimalist dream
I love shoes, shoes frame my feet and shoes make me feel amazing. The wrong shoe will make me feel gross, frumpy, with short stuffy legs. The right shoe will make me feel like I'm the most gorgeous woman alive with legs for miles.
I used to have 200 pairs of shoes, in big, because of a then-partner with a shoe and foot fetish. He would buy buy and buy me shoes and I would just never wear them. I see my move to Canada as my new start. My chance to get rid of the old and invite the new. As a result, I got rid of at least 180 pairs. Gone was my supressed and trapped relationship, I welcomed in freedom.
How easy it is to fall back into the same trap. In Canada I found Taobao, a chinese shopping site with gorgeus shoes for low prices. I started building up my collection again, and I have some really pretty shoes. The fear of the daunting 200 pairs however, kept holding me back. I kept cleaning out and re-evaluating the shoes I had. Which ones did I use? Which ones could I sell for money? And most importantly; which were comfortable?
Living with a foot fetishist had taught me something huge; people don't take care of their feet! We cram them into shoes that are too small, or walk in heels every day for hours at end. We invite blisters all over our feet and don't soften the blow with the ocassional foot bath and rub down with a pumice stone. All to often I see people in sandals with massacared feet. Feet are our connections to the earth! They bear all the weight of our daily lives! We need to take care of our babies. Therefore a big decider for me is the comfort and fit of the shoe. If it doesn't fit, it has to go. If it's too tight or pinches in a weird place, it's not for me.
I have a goal. I want to own 10 pairs of shoes. 10 is the perfect number for every ocassion and the breakdown? Well:
2 pairs of pumps, nude and black
2 pairs of flats, nude and black
2 pairs of (fall and winter) boots, tan and black
1 pair of Sandals
1 pair of Gumboots
1 pair of Hiking boots
1 pair of trainers (gym, running and all that in one)
In my mind, I do love the idea of owning more party shoes, special colours and gorgeous heels but in all honesty, I don't use them enough. I don't intend to reach this list today. Although I now have all the desired shoes on my list, it will take time to say farwell to my other beloved shoes. Some I will definitely sell, never wearing them is just not a good feeling.. and most I will try to wear until they are dead, without an ounce of life left in them.
There is a downside to owning this few pairs of shoes that needs to be considered. Wear. Focusing down your shoe collection to just a few pairs means they will wear down the soles and heels much quicker. My issue here is that there are barely any cobblers where I live. It was not something that I looked for when chosing my circle of life. Each time I do want to visit a cobbler it's a 40 minute trek in each direction. Buying new shoes sounds like an easier (and way more fun) feat! However buying quality shoes will assist in this and when you're spending $10 re-heeling a $300 pair of shoes, honestly? It feels great.
Last, I want to touch on quality. As someone who used to buy $20-30 shoes with a fiery passion only to find them hard, uncomfortable or with a bad fit, the difference a quality (preferably leather) shoe makes is astounding. My flats (in fear of sounding like a ridiculous snob) are hand crafted in Europe. Their quality and the way they shape my feet is impeccable. Did I spend more than $30? Yes, yes I did. Was it worth it? Yes. 100% I will proudly wear these shoes for years and they will only fit me better and better with time. They will cradle my feet with care and joy. Sure, if I had 200 of these, it wouldn't make sense anymore, but two pairs of flats? It doesn't bother me one bit.
I did also stray from frugality with these shoes in a sense that I didn't buy them second hand. Something worth considering with leather shoes is that they will shape themselves after your foot. If you buy a pre-worn leather shoe they will have molded to the previous owners foot, which won't be ideal if you intend to wear your shoes for years to come. My flats aren't even available second hand on the North American market so there is that (do you hear all these excuses I use to spend money? Fascinating).
How do you feel about your shoe collection? Too many? Not enough? Never Enough? Just right? Style over comfort? Many cheaper shoes or a few expensive ones? Or perhaps many expensive pairs? Let me know in the comments!