The Six Essential Shoes

Well, I’ve finally figured it out. You need six pairs of shoes. No more and no less (unless you live in a warm climate; then you can live with less).

I used to own 25 pairs of shoes. I was actively adding to that collection before my house burned down (this was a long time ago). I think there were even two boxes of new shoes that burned in the fire while I was away. I remember that was a relatively new phenomenon and I was an enthusiast. Those poor shoes I ordered didn’t fit. They were waiting to be returned but they never got the chance.

Minimalist Shoe Collection.png

You don’t need 25 pairs of shoes. You only need six. Or at least, I only need six, and I’m hoping that if you’re reading this, you are looking for a minimalist (but not severe) solution to the question how many pairs of shoes do I need?

This is my answer.

Of course you can live with less. And if you really enjoy shoes, you should feel free to have as many as you want. But I’ve discovered that these are the six types of shoes that work to make my wardrobe complete.

Each of the image-links below are affiliate, which means I may be paid a small percentage if you buy through the link (at no cost to you). However, I support your shopping your closet, second-hand, or however you want to do it. If you do choose to buy through these links, thank you in advance for supporting Simple Living Toolkit. Finally, I have not personally tested the shoes I’ve linked to. They are simply examples of the styles of shoe I’m talking about. I tend to buy my shoes locally. I guess I learned my lesson about online shoe-buying and am still a little burned (ha!) from losing those Zappos shoes in the fire.

  1. The Waterproof Slip-On

    They really love a waterproof slip-on here in Ukraine (where I’m currently living). Most households here are shoe-free, which means when I get home I take my shoes off and put on some clean slides. If you show up at the gym here without your slip-ons, you will likely be scolded.

    The waterproof slip-on is your Croc, your flip-flop, or your slide. It’s something you could wear to the beach or the gym. Vitally, it’s a shoe you can easily wash and drip-dry. It’s a workhorse that protects your feet and keeps them clean and off the floor.

  2. The Snow Boot

    If it doesn’t snow where you live, you can skip this one. But if it’s cold, keeping your feet warm is a must. Once my feet get cold, I get grumpy, and I do not de-grump until my feet are warm. I bought my snow boots a full U.S. size larger than I normally wear. This allows for wearing thick socks and some wiggle room which is important for warm toes. Must be waterproof and handle icy sidewalks well.

The Warm Slipper

Can you tell yet how important warm feet are to me? This is another one you can skip if you live in a warm climate. But if you live somewhere it gets cold, warm slippers will keep your feet happy. When the weather is warm, I wear my slip-ons in the house (or just socks), but when it’s cold, I want something more.

4. The Walking Sandal

The walking sandal is a flat you can wear all day. You can walk for miles in it. It could be an open-toed sandal or a closed-toe sandal. The point is that it’s comfortable and it keeps your feet breezy in warm weather.

5. The Running Shoe

For me, it’s a running shoe. For you, it might be a tennis shoe, a hiking shoe, a gym shoe, or a walking sneaker. Whatever your active sneaker of choice is, this is where it fits. I tend to wear running shoes with a lot of outfits (running or not) so I choose a dark neutral color.

6. The Lifestyle Choice

This one’s for fun! It’s the unique-to-you choice. Could be a fun pair of heels, dancing shoes, or something that fits your particular lifestyle. If you live on a muddy farm that sees a lot of rain, this could be a pair of muck boots. If you’re a cowgirl, this would be a pair of cowgirl boots. If you’re a city dweller, like me, it might be a pair of booties. Your choice.

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