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Average woman's wardrobe home to £400 of abandoned shoes

3rd May 2011 Print

The average British woman owns nearly £400 of shoes they never or rarely wear, research by The Co-operative Insurance reveals.

The findings reveal that while women in the UK own an average twenty pairs of shoes, eleven of those pairs will remain hardly worn.

And while many pairs will be neglected, most women will continue to fuel their shoe habit, buying eight new pairs of shoes a year.

According to the survey, a pair of shoes will cost the average British women £36, meaning they clock up an annual average shoe-spend of £288. And 10% of the 3,000 women surveyed will spend at least £600 a year on shoes.

Lee Mooney, Head of Home Insurance at The Co-operative Insurance, said: "It's staggering to think about how much the average woman's shoe collection could be worth. The research shows just how much most women will spend on their footwear every year, and not only that, but how much many will spend on shoes they don't actually wear.

"Whereas a few decades ago shoes may have been considered an indulgent purchase, it's now the norm to spend a considerable amount of money on them every year. It's easy to forget the value of items like this when assessing the value of your household contents, but in case the worst happens it's worth making sure they're properly covered by insurance - particularly for those who have expensive shoes in their collection."

The research also shows that most women will wear a pair of shoes for three years before binning them, although more than a fifth can't bear to part with their footwear, with 21% admitting that they never throw old shoes away.

The age-old adage that retail therapy provides an endorphin rush is also confirmed, with more than a third of women (37%) agreeing they buy shoes to cheer them up. Other reasons women buy shoes are to go with a new outfit (52%), to stay on trend (18%) and to fuel a shoe obsession (10%).

The findings also reveal that a surprising number of women will spend their cash on ill-fitting shoes, with nearly a third (31%) admitting they've bought a pair of shoes that were the wrong size for them, just because they liked them.

And while more than half of women (55%) keep shoes stored safely in their wardrobe, one in five (22%) are more disorganised, keeping them in the living room, scattered around the house or even in the car.