The blog Shoewawa writes, “According to a recent study, women are more likely to remember the first shoes they purchased then the name of the first person they kissed.”
The study, published in The Daily Mail, caused a ripple around both the science and shopping blogospheres. Possibly the first time that’s ever happened.
“Ninety-two percent of women could remember the first pair of shoes they bought, whilst only 2 in three could remember the name of the first person they shared a smooch with,” Shoewawa posts. “Ninety-six percent of those surveyed regretted throwing out a pair of much loved shoes, whilst only 15% of those regretted dumping a boyfriend.”
BlogCatalog added these numbers: “Statistics show that about one in two women own more than 20 pairs of shoes – with 8% having more than 100 pairs in their wardrobes. One in every 5 women admits spending a whooping $1,000 on shoes each year.”
In 2008, The Daily Mail estimated that “Shoe-mad women will splash out more than £33,000 on footwear over a lifetime, according to new figures.
“Each year, women treat themselves to eight pairs of new shoes, and with each pair costing an average of £65.88, that adds up to more than £527 every year – or £33,204 over a lifetime.” (That’s $852 U.S. dollars annually; $53,333 spent in a lifetime. Hey, it costs roughly a quarter million to raise a child, and shoes won’t tell you they hate you and wish they’d never been born. Just sayin.)
But enough about what we spend; back to why we spend it. “Experts say women’s fondness for fabulous footwear comes from positive feelings associated with purchasing new footsie covers. Women also remember the special occasion for which the shoes were purchased and anchor the shoes to the experience,” says Rev. Roy’s Blog. The good Reverend adds, “Do women love shoes more than men, probbably not.”
But women do love shoes more than many things. A 2008 blog discussion posed the question, “Why do women love shoes? Ladies, help us guys understand. What is this phenomenon all about.” Responses included, “They’re fun to wear, they make our legs look great, they compliment our style, their expensive and fun to buy” and “I love buying shoes more than buying jewelry.”
But there were also some non-shoe-lovers: “I don’t like shoes. I prefer motorcycles” and “90% of the time I wear the same pair of flat black shoes that I bought at WalMart for something like $13 a few years ago (to replace a similar pair that wore out).”
To the biker I would answer Harley Davidson makes some very cute boots. To the Wal-Mart shopper I would suggest, just once, a trip to a non-big box shoe aisle. That’s just me, though it seems I’m not alone in both my personal love of shoes and my desire to share the obsession.
Six months ago, before the More-women-remember-their-first-shoes-than-first-kiss study emerged, Associated Content writer Madeleine Francis listed “The Top Ten Reasons Why Women Love Shoes so Much.”
It’s a good list, a practical list. Variety, style and durability number among the reasons. But my favorite reason is number 10: Friendship. “If diamonds are a girl’s best friend than shoes are a woman’s best friend,” Francis states. “Shoes will always be there for her. They will never shun her or treat her wrong. They will never try to steal her boyfriend or call her fat. They will never let her down. The bottom line is a women needs as many of these friends as she can get.”