If the Shoe Fits, You Still Probably Don't Need It

table of shoesOn average, women own 17 pairs of shoes and spent, again on average, $49 on each pair, according to ShopSmart Magazine, a publication published by the company that produces Consumer Reports.

But here's the recessionary twist: Just four years ago, women owned 19 pairs, so they clearly are shopping less for shoes to decorate the closet. By the way, 13% of all women own more than 30 pairs of shoes, not counting athletic shoes. That's a lot of shoes.Why so many?

Well for one thing, shopping remains a feel-good recreation for those who can afford it. There is nothing less painless to buy than shoes, except for maybe handbags. You don't have to take off your clothes or get naked in front of a dressing room mirror for shoes. All you really have to do to shoe-shop is have clean feet and maybe wear a pair of socks without holes in them.

But apparently we now even prefer to try on our shoes in the privacy of our own home. Almost a third -- 29% -- of all women are buying their footwear online. Places like Zappos.com have made it easy with free returns and exchanges. And return we do; almost 40% of shoes bought online are returned. People, you really do have to try them on.

As for some other fun foot facts: Women prefer flats (39%) and only 8% wear high heels on a regular basis. Almost 50% admit to buying an ugly pair of comfort shoes and when they do wear heels, 60% carry a second pair to change into.

ShopSmart offers a bunch of tips on how to find a great fit and avoid shoes that look or feel cheap. We have but one: Check your closet first and then ask if you really need that 18th pair.
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