The average woman owns 21 pairs of shoes including nine pairs she never wears, research reveals today.

A study carried out of 2,000 women found that amongst the shoes in a typical women’s wardrobe there will be four pairs that have never been worn, and five that she’s only worn once.


The study, which tracked women’s love of shoes from the age of 18 to 60, also found by the time they reach their mid-forties, women will have splashed out around £6500 on shoes.


A spokeswoman for DUO Boots, which commissioned the study, said: ”The stereotypical image is that women have hundreds of shoes, but the research shows this isn’t the case.


Interestingly almost half of our shoe collection goes unworn – we end up wearing our comfiest shoes most often, whilst our impulse buys barely see the light of day.


“It’s always fun to treat yourself to a gorgeous pair of heels, but the results highlight that these may not be the wisest investment in the long term.”

The research also showed that women own an average £354 worth of unworn shoes, with stiletto heels named as the worst culprit for gathering dust.

And for one in ten women, flip-flops and wedges were also amid shoes that never leave their boxes.

Many unworn shoes were bought for a one-off occasion, said four in ten of the women polled, so were never worn again.

Whilst over a third confessed to buying shoes they didn’t need because they were on sale.

Sheer discomfort is the main culprit for back of the wardrobe relegation, as over half of women admitted to buying shoes that pinch their feet or are too high to walk in.

Amazingly, a massive 61 per cent of women even said they own ‘sitting down’ shoes which they hope to wear out for dinner or another ‘sitting’ occasion.

And there were other reasons unworn shoes stick around, as three in ten women owned up to keeping shoes that look beautiful in the wardrobe.

Over one in eight women said they like to show off a pair of expensive shoes despite never wearing them, whereas a fifth of absent-minded women confessed they forget they have them.

And it’s nostalgia that also drives women to hoard shoes, as one in ten said a certain pair reminds them of a good time in their life.

Over a third claimed they bought more shoes in their youth, with 27 the average age at which they were most footwear-obsessed.

The poll revealed that the twenties is a woman’s most shoe-hungry time due to less financial responsibility, a higher interest in fashion and a job with more disposable income.

When asked which events need new shoes, the majority of women claimed they buy the most shoes when there is no reason for it.

But they also listed parties, nights out and friends’ weddings as events for which a new pair is more than necessary.

The survey revealed the most worn shoes in a woman’s wardrobe were humble ballet pumps, sneaker shoes and sandals, as well as flat and heeled ankle boots.

The spokeswoman for DUO boots ( said, “Essentially, good shoes are ones you can walk in. Most women will agree there is nothing worse than walking or dancing in shoes that are agony – it can completely ruin a night out or important event.

“Though it might be tempting to take a risk on a pair that pinch, your feet will thank you later if you take the time to be more choosy.’’

‘’Many women struggle to get shoes and boots to fit properly. At DUO we offer 21 different calf fittings and three different width fittings to ensure a fit tailored to each individual woman.”

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