How many shoes does a minimalist own?
Minimalism isn’t about having the absolute least amount of stuff that is humanly possible. It’s humanly possible to never leave the house ever and just go barefoot inside all the time. No shoes and no socks.
No, minimalism is having what you need and no more. And it doesn’t exclude collections, though hopefully it can help you to reconsider the importance of having stuff for stuff’s sake. Some people have large shoe collections. It’s okay to love shoes. To be a minimalist who loves shoes only means that you take excellent care of the shoes you have and you only collect shoes you wear and that are comfortable and meet your needs. I am not particularly into shoes, so it is easier for me to detach from shoe-mania and stick to what I know works. For me, this means good arch support and no high heels. For you, it may mean something completely different.
Recently, I had a friend visit my apartment. We had talked briefly about my minimalist lifestyle and she was flabbergasted that I had so few things. She joked (or perhaps it wasn’t a joke) that everything in my whole apartment was less than she had in her bedroom. She was amused, and then she looked on in almost-horror when she saw my shoes. “Those are all. The shoes. You own,” she said.
If I remember correctly, I had at least ten or twelve pairs of shoes when I initially purged my wardrobe. As of this post, I own six.
- Brown heels: I haven’t worn these in months, and they survived the purge because they “go with my brown dress pants,” which I also haven’t worn in months.
- Brown sandals: I have been wearing the brown sandals while the weather has been warm (even with black clothes, since I didn’t get around to replacing my black sandals that died).
- Walking shoes: I wear these for exercise or days I will be on my feet a lot.
- Black boots: I will definitely wear these when the weather gets cooler, as I wear them with dresses and leggings as well as with pants (casual or dress). They are also very good and reliable bug-killing shoes.
- Converse (Black hi-tops, blue low-tops): Upon wearing these, I noticed immediately how old and worn out both pairs are, and I plan to replace them both with one pair of Converse slip-ons in black or grey. These are not the most versatile or practical shoe but they make me happy, and that means they still deserve a spot.
My ideal minimalist shoe-drobe could be attained with the following five shoe criteria met:
- Walking/running shoes with good arch support for walking and other exercise (check!)
- Sandals with decent support that can be worn with dresses, pants, or shorts in the summer
- Casual flats (ideally Converse low-tops, possibly slip-on)
- Waterproof boots with good traction that will keep feet dry and warm in rain and snow (maybe a pair of big colorful rain boots that are actually comfortable)
- Boots that can be worn with dresses/leggings or casual/dress pants (check!)
- Bonus footwear: Orthotic inserts for my flat feet to get arch support
And perhaps these three as well, if needed:
- Flip flops (for beaches, pools, potentially funky shower stalls, etc.)
- Proper winter boots (in the event rain boots don’t cut it in the winter)
- Flats that I can wear with dresses or pants if sandals would be too cool, boots would be too warm, and Converse would be too casual (these are in the “optional/situational” pile because in most circumstances I would likely wear the Converse anyway — I wore low-tops at my wedding!)
How many pairs of shoes do you own? Do you have a favorite shoe you recommend?