In college I owned one pair of (generic) sneakers and one pair of (Teva) hiking sandals at any point in time. In graduate school I added (generic/bass/stonefly) brown or black loafers and (generic/stonefly) nice black sandals. (The Stonefly were an investment in the last year when I was on the job market.)
Most of my professional adult life I’ve been content with one usable pair of brown sandals, one pair of black sandals, one pair of black maryjanes and one pair of brown semi-dress shoes. All pretty expensive and extremely comfortable European varieties built for wide feet like my own.* Eventually I added hiking boots, for you know, hiking (though they would also get repurposed for things requiring tennis shoes). I would justify spending $100-$200 on a pair of shoes by only buying shoes every 5 years or so.
I don’t know if it’s just my feet heading into middle-age, or the heady feeling of having two salaries, but I’ve now got more shoes. Not like crazy Imelda Marcos shoes, but now I have a choice about whether to wear (naot vs pikolinos) maryjanes or (pikolinos) half-boots or even (super cheap target) canvas sneakers if I need a pair of black shoes. It used to be if I was wearing something that required black shoes I’d check the temperature and pick the maryjanes or sandals. Similarly for something that required brown shoes. Now there’s choice.
I even got a pair of New Balance sneakers, which I think is my first name brand pair of tennis shoes ever**.
I’m losing more of my frugality/minimalist cred.
I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not.
Grumpy Nation, tell us about shoes and frugality and minimalism and cred (or the opposite!).
* I also usually keep one pair of completely worn out black flats and sandals of either color just in case that I didn’t count as part of the 4 pairs because they really should have been tossed. There have been a few occasions where I was glad to have kept them when my main pair needed to dry out (or be found).
** (with the exception of the Kinney Saddle Oxfords I had to wear in kindergarten as part of the uniform. I don’t know why I remember that; it must have been a big deal for my mom. I remember regularly polishing the white parts with white shoe polish. I also had a really great pair of brown sandals that year that we bought in Mexico– the first pair that ever actually fit my wide feet.)