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"It was such a good deal so I figured I'd give them a shot"

mr monty

Distinguished Member
Apr 12, 2002
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It was such a good deal so I figured I'd give them a shot"

I don't know how much money I've wasted on shoes with that approach?
Here's what I wish I would have started doing many years ago:

1) Have no more than 10 pairs of dress shoes
Note: 10 is what works for my lifestyle.

2) All dress shoes would be high-end RTW or bespoke.

3) Sell or give away less quality shoes and replace them with high-end shoes as your
budget allows.

4) Already have more than 10 pairs of high end shoes? Pick your favorite 10 and sell the rest.
* Sold over 25 pairs during the last 18 months and rarely got less than what I paid.
Although a couple of times I got less than what the shoes were worth.

4) Wear all your shoes. If a years passes and you didn't wear a pair, sell them and then replace.

5) Maintain a shoe fund of $400-600. It's not hard to find shoes that retail for $1K+ for less than


Distinguished Member
Feb 19, 2007
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Is 10 pairs alot of shoes? I have 6 and I think thats plenty.

Mr. Moo

Boxercise Toughguy
Nov 25, 2008
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Originally Posted by dragon8
Is 10 pairs alot of shoes? I have 6 and I think thats plenty.

I sell a good bit of my shoes because I like them to look worn-in and when I have near 10 pairs some simply don't get worn enough so they go.


Distinguished Member
Mar 25, 2008
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I agree with the OP, in general very sound advice although I'm not convinced that the optimal number is ten pair, twelve seems more like the magic number.


Timed Out
Timed Out
Jun 12, 2010
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There was a thread floating around here a few days ago asking to name your top five pairs of shoes and I thought the responses were interesting, as you'd expect on SF any consensus was fairly broad IIRC.

I agree with the general sentiment of this OP in that quality trumps quantity in almost every case.


Stylish Dinosaur
Dubiously Honored
Supporting Member
Sep 18, 2007
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I did pretty well for about 10 years with the following rotation:

Black wing tips -quality RTW English
Brown cap toes- quality RTW English
Brown loafers- quality but not expensive USA
Boat shoes- USA

Over the years I added in a plain black oxford and brown suede cap toe. Both were quality but not high priced.

I rotated wearing them. Polished them about every two weeks. Had them resoled and rehealed many times before replacing them with something new.

It was nice, however, when I was able to buy a larger assortment. But I don't think I dress any better because of it. And, when I travel, I still seem to go back to the same 2-3 pairs of shoes that are comfortable and versatile.

You don't need bespoke to have quality, good looking and long lasting footwear. Bespoke is very nice, especially if you want something unusual or have a hard to fit foot.


Distinguished Member
Jan 18, 2010
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My number is slightly higher but I agree with the spirit. If I'm not wearing them on a regular basis, they get sold.

I'm in the market for the brown Carmina punch cap oxfords when Armoury restocks in my size, and then I think I'm done with shoes for a while.


Stylish Dinosaur
Nov 15, 2010
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I have to agree there is no optimal number (different for everyone) and agree that if the shoe doesn't get worn get rid of it. I personally am in a casual dress environment and i prefer boots (few cool sneakers are ok too). Currently i have 5 in rotation that are good quality and its enough for now... and i avoid buying things i wont wear.

Side Note: I think we should all update this thread once a year on our shoe buying numbers


Distinguished Member
Jan 14, 2007
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I'm on a fairly similar plan.

Current Stock

Brooks Made in Portugal Jodphurs - Brown Pebble
EG Brown Monk on 888 w/ medallion cap
EG Chestnut Penny w/ counter stitch
EG For RLPL black Whole Cut
Brooks Peale Brown Cap toe
AE Black Punch Cap
AE CHili Punch Cap (slightly large - E width - need to get rid of)
Ferragamo Tramezza Burgundy Cap toe w/ Medallion
Cal Harris Brown pointy plain toe
Brooks brown/canvas spectator (for summer sear sucker)

Casual Shoes:
Varvatos Brown Longwing
Ted Baker brown made in Portugal Military Style boot w/ green highlighted medallion and commando sole
Grenson Brogue boots in Chestnut
Loake for CT Black Chelseas - need to replace because of corrected grain getting bad (hopefully w/ some RM williams)
Alfred Sargent for Lands End tan suede chukkas w/ crepe sole

I need a new pair of burgundy penny loafers (maybe AE or Alden). I have a pair of Brooks that I need to sell b/c the vamp is too low for me. But after that and a new pair of black chelseas, I'll only be replacing the AE caps and the Harris with better shoes when I find them super cheap.


Senior Member
May 22, 2010
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A factor that comes into play is how much wear and tear you put on them.
Someone who takes their shoes off the second they get into their office is only going to have to worry about the asphalt from their place of work until they reach the car. Then they park in the garage and take them off the second they get thru the door.

I have 8+ pairs of dress shoes and 6 pair of sneakers, but I am on my feet all day, I constantly add to shoes to my rotation to save on wear and tear, and account for the time that one or two pair will always be away getting repaired, heeled, or getting polished.


Senior Member
Jan 31, 2009
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Sound in principle but not meaning to brag, think I must have got 30 to 40 pairs of dress shoess in rotation.

If you try to get shoes in different finishes (black, brown, grey, green, orange, blue and everything in between, like in JL's museum finish), in different styles (monkstraps, DB monkstraps, triple monkstraps, wholecuts, brogues, derbys) and different skins (suede, patent, box calf, pebbled calf, croc, kangaroo, snake, shark, toad - no kidding), its hard to trim down the babies to 10.

I also find that if I want to sell my shoes, I would have to sell the ones in pretty good condition and have to keep the crappy ones for myself. Which kind of defeat the purpose of culling the population. So these days, I try to buy those in new or almost new condition.


Distinguished Member
Aug 25, 2010
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I think in terms of getting the most wear out of shoes (rather than the reasons of a shoe connoisseur), 10 pairs of bespoke or ridiculously high end RTW shoes (e.g. lobbs) is a bit of an overkill.

I don't believe you'll get that much more wears out of each of them compared to, say, 5 pairs of shoes that retails about $350-$500 bought half price. The premium paid for the upper high end shoes are mostly details and that extra few percentages on quality.

My sneakers I wear on weekends cost me $20 a pair and I've had them for about 4 years so far and still holding up fantastically well.

Just saying...

Don Carlos

In Time Out
Timed Out
May 15, 2009
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And the same principle applies to most categories of clothing. It's time honored advice to give away, or sell, any items of clothing you haven't been wearing for over 6 months. Or call it a year, to account for seasonality.

But your preemptive approach, as implied by the thread's title, is even more important: refrain from buying stuff you don't need. Never buy something just because it's on sale. Down that path lie remorse and regret. Instead, only buy to cover an actual need: a gap in your wardrobe, as actually felt, and not as convinced by a sales or promotional message.

I can't tell you how many useless-to-me items I have purchased impulsively, all because someone or something convinced me on the spot that I needed them. Silk boutonnieres, spectators, crazy pants in pastel palettes, heavy tweed jackets (I live in LA!), and so forth. The rule of thumb I now follow is this: if it's an actual need, you'll have identified it on your own, and you'll have been feeling it for quite some time.

An ounce of prevention, as they say, is worth a pound of cure.

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