You may remember an episode of Sex In The City when Carrie Bradshaw realized that she had spent a house deposit on shoes and potentially had nowhere to live. Then in an opening scene of another episode Carrie wanders towards a hip street market narrating,
“I was looking for a 5 dollar vintage dress to go with my new 500 dollar shoes.”
Carrie seemed to use her high heels as the center of her wardrobe and she saved elsewhere on clothes and accessories. For example she teamed high heels with vintage dresses, funky cheap accessories from outlets stores or paired them with casual shorts and overalls. Carrie created her own style that started at the heels.
So, to borrow the Sex and the City’s rhetorical narrating tone:
Could Carrie Bradshaw have it right after all?
Can shoes actually be a smart investment?
The survey says!
Let’s look at the facts. As reported on ABC via a ShopSmart magazine article studies suggest the average number of shoes owned by a woman is around 17 pairs. Interestingly this survey suggests that if a woman has 17 pairs of heels at any given time, she only wears 3 on a regular basis. Why would that be? – Discomfort!
According to a UK study by The College of Podiatry, the average woman spends one hour and six minutes in her heels before her feet begin to hurt and one in four women have danced barefoot in a bar or nightclub for this very reason.
That’s crazy, you buy cheap heels and kick them off because they kill your beautiful pedicured feet and usually don’t wear them again. The only time we ever saw Carrie barefoot was when she walked from the bed to her expensive shoe closet (or twice when her shoes were stolen).
So let’s do some shoe math.
Let’s say our deals on heels shoe-addict spends $680 for the year on 17 pairs of cheap high heels averaging $40. But she only wears three of those pairs regularly and basically wastes the other $590. So Sad!
Now the shoe investor’s mind works it in a different way. I (I mean “she”) would buy 1 pair of lovely Jimmy Choos or Manolo Blahnik at around $600 and then maybe buy two pairs of filler heels at DSW for an average of $40 each. You following me girl?
Let’s go macro for all my “with it girls.” Our high heel investments are like wine they get better with age. In 5 years’ time you can have five pairs of designer heels that you wear constantly all while feeling like a million bucks. Say no to cheap shoes that you have delivered to the local landfill every year. So not cool!
By spending more per shoe, but buying less shoes overall and keeping your budget the same, you are investing in footwear for now and the future. Although you’re spending more money up front, believe it or not you are getting great deals on heels.
Still not convinced?
Here are some other reasons why you should invest in designer heels or handmade high heels.
Discerning people know fabulous shoes. I had a friend who worked in an exclusive club in New York where the billionaires try to dress down and blend in, while wannabes line up at the door in their knockoff clothing. He said you always look at the quality of the woman’s shoes to know if she’s important. True story!
High heels are not just about fashion. You can walk tall knowing that you are caring for your feet and spinal health or staggering with blisters and damaging your spine. Rising rates of foot problems and heel problems are increasing around the world because of cheap heels.
I have one friend in her early 30s whose physiotherapist has banned her from all heels which is a real pity. In her 20s she didn’t have the money for designer heels, now she does, but she has damaged her spine.
A lot of ‘vegan’ shoes label themselves ‘ethical’, but they are actually nothing more than plastic. This means they are produced with dangerous chemicals and are environmentally unsound products. They will not last as long as leather and they’ll end up… you guessed it… in landfills.
The safest heels are hand-made from trace-able sources, and that usually means designer heels. Take care of those beautiful feet and buy high heel shoes as an investment not a momentary adrenaline rush that will lead to serious pain (in the foot and the bank account). The choice is yours!