Average U.S. Woman Owns 17 Pairs of Shoes, Says ShopSmart Poll

Amanda Seyfriend Elle magazine

Photo: Getty Images

Footwear fetish: According to a new poll, the average U.S. woman owns 17 pairs of shoes.

Here’s some news that footwear fiends will really get a kick out of: The average American woman owns 17 pairs of shoes—yet only wears three of those pairs on a regular basis.

That’s just one of the fascinating findings from a new poll featured in the April issue of ShopSmart magazine.

While U.S. gals clearly have a shoe addiction, they aren’t spending a fortune to stay well-heeled. According to the survey of 1,009 females ages 18 and up, women typically purchase three pairs of shoes a year at just $49 a pop—or, you know, roughly the cost of a buckle on a single Manolo Blahnik. Only about a third have ever spent over $100 on a pair of shoes.

So just what is it about footwear that gets women so pumped?

“Shoes never make your butt look big, you don’t have to worry about squeezing into them if you’ve put on a couple of pounds, and they can instantly make you feel sexier,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor in chief of ShopSmart, a Consumer Reports publication.

Not surprisingly, 19 percent of women said they shop to cheer themselves up, and 14 percent admitted to hiding at least one purchase from their spouse (tsk, tsk!). Fifty-one percent notice the footwear other people are wearing, yet only 28 percent put a great deal of thought into choosing the perfect pair to accessorize their outfit each day.

The report also found that 29 percent of women do their shoe shopping online—up from 14 percent four years ago—and that flats are the preferred footwear (39 percent). And whether they’re rocking Payless or Prada, 60 percent are willing to put up with a little pain in the name of fashion.

We’re pretty sure women worldwide would agree on that last one!

For more, visit ShopSmart online or pick up the April issue on newsstands now.