To cut down on clutter and to keep things simple, I chose some time ago to limit myself to shoes that were (predominantly) one color. My choice was black since black shoes were what I already wore most often.

Despite these efforts, I still have nine pairs of shoes. This may not seem excessive for one person, but here’s how it breaks down:

  1. Casual Sneakers – I wear my casual sneakers with jeans and khakis. Sometimes to work or while lifting weights.
  2. Running Shoes – My running shoes are on my feet on cardio days (in the gym or otherwise).
  3. Casual Oxfords – I wear these shoes to work during the spring and summer.
  4. Leather Boots – Boots go to work during the winter and fall.
  5. Dress Shoes – I also have a pair of dress shoes for the rare occasion when I need to wear a suit or want to wear something more formal than my oxfords.
  6. Sandals – I was a bit of a river rat in my youth, so rafting sandals keep my feet cool in the summer. (These might be the least necessary shoes I own.)
  7. Flip-Flops – I wear flip-flops at the beach and when I need to run outside momentarily.
  8. Climbing Shoes – Obviously, I take these to the climbing gym.
  9. Slippers – It’s possible that these shouldn’t be on the list, but they do take up space in my closet.

On occasion, I think about buying a pair of cowboy and/ or hiking boots, but I’m not sure I need them. And I tend to ask myself, “How many pairs of shoes does one guy need?”

The answer may be as many as he regularly wears. However, that doesn’t work for my dress shoes. I can’t remember the last time I wore those.

The bottom line is that shoes can be pricey. So, it’s worth purchasing them thoughtfully. And it’s a lot easier to keep your closet organized if you only own a few pairs of them.

photo: Mark Rabe