When I was 19 I had a pair of leather sandals (much like the ones in the picture) and a pair of dark green Doc Martens, and rarely wore my other shoes: a pair of imitation reef sandals, a pair of slippers, and a some old black army boots that I wore to work (I was working in a cleaning job.) That was all I needed.
Then the sandals wore out. And I bought a pair of joggers so I could walk to work from where I was housesitting. Then I started my teaching prac and needed appropriate shoes. Then I was bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding. Then I needed shoes to go with a dress to wear to the races on Melbourne Cup Day. Then I had a job where I was on my feet all day and needed a good comfortable pair of shoes. And then and then and then.
Ten years later and I have four pairs of high heels, one low heel, two sandals, a pair of joggers, black patent knee high boots, black leather mary jane style shoes, a pair of loafers, thongs (flip-flops?), sandshoes, another cute little pair of mary janes with butterflies on them that I love but they hurt my feet (I bought them on Ebay and think I’ll sell them again), a pair of slippers (possibly the same pair I had ten years ago), and my green Docs (yes, I still have them). And last week I threw out two pairs of shoes that had fallen apart. A couple of months ago another pair of shoes fell apart and I threw them out, I sold my seldom worn Chuck Taylors on Ebay, and I have another pair of shoes sitting in my pile of things to sell.
I love going into shoe shops and looking at the cute shoes and the funky shoes. The problem is, the shoes I really like cost a lot of money. And my foot is a little wider than average, and not all shoe brands make half sizes, and even then some don’t fit. And I don’t have places to keep nor occasion to wear most of the shoes that I see and like. And remember those days when I just had two pairs of shoes I wore everywhere... I loved that. And when I think about it, it’s actually not that broad a range of shoes that I actually like. I (mentally) screwed up my nose at shoes that my sister had bought recently, and I do that with a lot of shoes in the fancy shoe shops. It’s just that the shoes I love seem to outshine all the ones that I’d never dream of wearing.
My ideal minimal shoe wardrobe contains high heels, low heels, a comfy-wear-anywhere slip-on shoe, a comfy flat sandal, a pair of shoes I can go walking in, closed in shoes for the cooler months, and a pair of thongs. Bonus luxuries would include my knee high boots, which I only wear a handful of times a year because it is rarely cold enough (I bought mine for 99c on Ebay because I couldn’t justify the expense of a new pair), and another pair of coloured shoes - high or low heels, sandals, mary janes, doesn’t matter - because that would add a little more variety and help keep my clothes to a minimum.
If I could only have two pairs of shoes? Black leather mary-janes and a comfy brown slip-on thong-style shoe.
I don’t really need all the shoes I have, I just thought that I because I love shoes, and collection of gorgeous shoes would be a good thing to have. The truth is, I love having a small range of comfortable shoes. And it isn’t shoes that I love, it is a particular style, into which shoes often fall.