Realistic Shoe Rotation

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by RobReich, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. RobReich

    RobReich Member

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    Mar 9, 2016
    Okay, so I've been lurking around on different threads, but I can't seem to find the answer I am looking for.
    I've seen guys on here with 10, 20, even 30 pairs of shoes in their rotation, and I think that's too much.
    I'm trying to put together a good shoe (and boot) rotation, and I'm wondering how much is a good amount, without having too many, and by too many, I would definitely say having 20, 30, etc, is too much for me.
    I know it depends on my needs and my budget. I'm a student, I am fortunate to have a slush fund available, so I can buy a good few pairs of shoes.
    I'm thinking a good rotation would be to have between 4-6 pairs, I think that would allow plenty of rest between wears to give them a long life.
    What do you guys on here think? Is that enough? Why do some guys have massive collections of 30+ pairs?
    Hope you guys can help me out on this one

  2. IChen

    IChen Senior member

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    Sep 3, 2012
    4-6 is enough. Most had a lot because they like shoes and it's a hobby. Like sort of like why many women have numerous handbags.

  3. Academic2

    Academic2 Senior member

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    Jul 29, 2013
    There's no one answer. It depends on the diversity of your wardrobe, and there are many factors which will influence that (the climate in which you live, your occupation, and so on).

    If you live in a climate with little year round temperature variation and, say, you wear almost exclusively business suits, then your wardrobe (and thus your shoe collection) need be neither large nor diverse.

    If, on the other hand, you live in a place with both cold winters and hot summers, wear suits to work, odd jacket/trouser combinations on the weekend, work in the city where you patronize both upscale restaurants and your local pizza joint but spend weekends in the country where you participate in outdoor activities of various sorts, well then ...


    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016

  4. bc78

    bc78 Senior member

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    Aug 18, 2008

    This is a good answer. For example, if you wear a suit everyday maybe 3 pairs of oxfords, 1 derby, 1 loafer/chukka/monk would do.

    If you're business casual, 1 pair of black oxfords for formal events and 3-4 shoes that are some combination of derbies/loafers/boots/monks would suffice

  5. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Aug 12, 2011
    People have many shoes because they like shoes. I have ~20 pairs and its way more than I need.

    Your 'rotation' depends on your climate and habit. 2-3 pairs of shoes are more than enough if you are a student in, say, West Coast or South West.

    Size of the rotation will be bigger for those in the East Coast or anywhere with seasons, with both summer and winter shoes required.

    My suggestion would be start with Chukka, and maybe a pair of work boots. Then add a pair of semi/full brogue in light color. When the time comes for Interview or work/office, get a pair of black cap toes.

  6. cypi2

    cypi2 Senior member

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    Sep 23, 2014
    I have read somewhere that it takes a pair of shoes approximately a week to completely dry after a wear. Based on that, one pair of shoes for each day of the week seems to be like a good rotation (and it is very close to the high end of your range, 6). The types of shoes will depend on all the factors already mentioned by other posters.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016

  7. coldsalmon

    coldsalmon Senior member

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    Jun 9, 2013
    I have 6 pairs of shoes (not counting sneakers, running shoes, hiking boots, etc.):

    Black captoe oxfords - for CBD
    Black punch-cap oxfords - for when I wore my other black shoes yesterday, or when my outfit doesn't suit brown shoes
    Dark-brown adelaide oxfords - my favorite shoes which go with almost everything in CM
    Light-brown wingtip oxfords with rubber soles - for when I wore my other brown shoes yesterday, or for bad weather
    Other black captoe oxfords with rubber soles - for when I have to be CBD in bad weather (purchased cheaply)
    Cheap, crappy medium-brown oxford wingtips with rubber soles - for very bad weather when I don't really have to impress anyone

    I acquired these gradually as I felt a need for additional shoes. I would say you need at least 4 pairs to be comfortable (2 black and 2 brown), because you may want to wear black shoes or brown shoes two days in a row (thus 2 pairs of each color). Another color such as oxblood could substitute for one of the brown pairs, of course. Then there are the "bad weather beater" shoes, so that you don't have to trash your favorite pairs. I don't feel that I need any more shoes than this to enjoy my menswear hobby. Of course, I can think of a dozen additional pairs that I would LIKE to have, but with these options I always have a good pair of shoes at hand, and I don't really run into shoe-related problems. All of these shoes are Allen Edmonds except for the crappiest ones, which I got for $70 at Century 21. Altogether they cost about $2,000.

    About me, for context: my wardrobe is based around CBD for work, and by the standards of this forum I am a total n00b. I own 5 suits, 2 sport coats, and 3 pairs of wool trousers.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016

  8. Sam H

    Sam H Senior member

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    Sep 21, 2012
    It may not be a great idea to try and astroturf a rotation. If I bought a bunch of shoes at once when first buying shoes I would regret most of my purchases. If you are living somewhere in the 4-season US, think about buying a pair of shoes with a spring slant and a pair of shoes with a summer slant as it is now mid-March. Base the decisions of styling, color, etc off of how formal your life tends to be. Perhaps you could pick two pairs of brown shoes, one casual derby and one moccasin (boat shoe or penny loafer) if you don't dress businessy for the most part. If you do need more business oriented shoes, go that route. If you need to wear a business suit any time soon, budget for black cap toes.

    Buying a bunch of anything at once is risky. A shoe rotation I think is more the natural side effect of buying well made shoes a few times a year. The years add up, and no one shoe sees excessive wear so it ends up turning into high birth rate low death rate situation. Then people come up with reasoning about why a rotation is good which may or may not be relevant. Rotation because you want variety? Makes sense. Many people won't notice or care though, unless you buy very distinctive shoes that cannot be worn multiple days in a row without calling attention. Most people just wear one or two pairs of sneakers these days, in my experience (as someone in their 20s). If the point is about letting the shoes breathe...well. Maybe that's true. But it sounds a bit over protective. Your shoes aren't going to disintegrate because you wear them regularly. They will just wear in a smaller time frame because nothing else will pad their use. Furthermore, if you are going into this fresh, the shoes you buy now you will probably not care too much about being worn when it comes time to re-up on your shoes and get new ones. Which circles back to my original point that you are probably going to experience changing tastes and understanding after getting into shoes and it's better to have a few starter shoes and an organically grown collection that 6 starter shoes you are so-so about and no money to buy what you want.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016

  9. Count de Monet

    Count de Monet Senior member

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    Jun 15, 2013

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