Women own over 25 pairs of shoes on average. At the same time, they have more foot problems compared to men because of high heels. Some 90 percent of women in the United States buy shoes that are not their shoe size. Women often buy shoes and boots that are too small. In fact, women’s feet have grown over the centuries. During the 17th century, the average size was 5 – 6 while 1/3 of women today wear size 8 or 9.
Over 95 percent of women say that they only buy shoes when they can afford it. One in ten women has hidden a shoe purchase from their partner or spouse. Moreover, 30 percent of women don’t have enough storage space for their shoes. About 2/3 of women regret one or more shoe purchases, but the average woman purchases 4 – 5 pairs of shoes a year.
There was no difference between women’s and men’s shoes in Europe until the 18th century. It was only in the 19th century when the first right- and left-footed shoes were produced. High heels were made for practical reasons in the Middle East. They were made to protect the feet from the hot sand.