How Many Pairs Of Shoes Should A Man Own? (Find The Answer)

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It’s tempting to indulge in buying new shoes whenever you spot a pair you like. The question arises: do you genuinely need another pair, or are you simply adding to your collection? So, the dilemma emerges: ‘How many pairs of shoes should a man own?’

The answer is not straightforward, and certainly, there isn’t a universal magic number that applies to every guy. Taking that into consideration, I’ve outlined a range of the number of shoes you might need to own and factors to consider in determining your ideal number of pairs.

How Many Pairs Of Shoes Do You Need?

When determining the ideal number of shoes, consider your daily footwear preferences and whether you engage in sports. This led me to the following conclusions:

  • Formal Wear and an Athletic Life – 7 to 14 pairs of shoes
  • Formal Wear and no Athletic Life – 5 to 11 pairs of shoes
  • Casual Wear and an Athletic Life – 7 to 14 pairs of shoes
  • Casual Wear and no Athletic Life – 5 to 11 pairs of shoes
How Many Pairs Of Shoes Should A Man Own

If your job requires dress shoes, you’ll need a least between 2 to 4 shoes of that type and 1 or 2 casual ones for going out on your days off or after work. Conversely, if your daily work demands casual shoes, you’ll need 2 or 4 casual shoes and 1 or 2 dress shoes for special occasions.

The key factor influencing the number of shoes needed is your involvement in sports. Engaging in various sports such as football, running, gym workouts, hiking, etc., will increase the requirement for shoes with specific features, ranging from 1 to 4 depending on the number of sports you participate in.

The mentioned figures are simply an estimate of the number of shoes you might need based on your lifestyle. You have the freedom to own as many or as few shoes as you prefer, depending on your personal style and spending choices. However, if you find yourself with around 50 pairs of shoes, it might be worth having a conversation with yourself about your collection.

How To Find The Exact Number Of Shoes A Man Needs?

To answer the question ‘How many pairs of shoes should a man own?’ various factors must be considered, including lifestyle, shoe style, personal style, and the lifespan of the shoes. All these factors are crucial and should be considered based on your circumstances.

Consider Your Lifestyle

Your lifestyle significantly impacts the number of shoes you should own and the types of shoe styles you’ll require. If your routine involves a mix of professional meetings, casual outings, and active pursuits, a diverse collection covering formal, casual, and athletic scenarios is crucial.

If you hold a white-collar job with frequent business meetings, requiring a polished appearance consistently, you might need a larger collection of dress shoes compared to someone with a casual job who only requires them for specific events. Similarly, guys with a sporty and active lifestyle may necessitate more athletic shoes than those leading a more sedentary life without much exercise.

Consider The Shoe Styles

Diverse shoe styles serve distinct purposes. Each shoe style serves a specific purpose, offering functionality, comfort, and aesthetic appeal tailored to various scenarios.

Formal gatherings may require dress shoes, casual outings may call for sneakers, and athletic activities necessitate specialized sports shoes. Having a range of styles ensures you’re appropriately attired for any event.

Climate plays a significant role in determining the ideal number of shoes for a man. Boots become essential during colder seasons, offering warmth and protection, whereas sandals or flip-flops are perfect for warmer weather.

Consider Your Style

The number of shoes you require is influenced by your personal style. Whether you resonate with classic sophistication, contemporary trends, or a mix of both, your shoe collection should harmonize with the color palette present in your wardrobe.

Suppose your closet is predominantly filled with black and navy suits. In this case, having a minimum of two pairs of formal shoes is essential: a black pair for the black suit and a brown pair for the navy suit. Some guys prefer having varied colors of the same shoe style for distinct outfits.

Consider The Shoe Lifespan

To enhance the durability of your shoes, consider rotating them regularly. The lifespan of shoes depends on various factors, and frequent wear accelerates the need for a replacement.

Certain men, myself included, prefer having at least two pairs of their most frequently worn style of shoes (be it dress or casual) for daily rotation. This ensures that if you wear black dress shoes on a Monday, you can switch to your navy ones on Tuesday, letting your shoes air out and recover from a day’s wear.

What Types Of Shoes Does A Man Need?

A well-rounded shoe collection for a man should include at least one pair from each of these categories: dress shoes, casual shoes, boots, athletic shoes, and slip-on.

Dress Shoes

If you rarely wear dress shoes, one pair, or perhaps two at most, should cover your needs. Most men typically own either oxfords or derbies for formal occasions and, at most, a pair of loafers for smart casual events in the summer.

For those regularly attending formal events or working in a professional setting, a diverse collection of dress shoes is essential. Many guys have at least two pairs of oxfords or derbies in black or brown as they complement most suit colors. You can also consider adding dress shoes in navy, burgundy, or grey to enhance your collection.

For fashion enthusiasts, exploring diverse dress shoe styles such as brogues, monk straps, or cap-toes can add some pairs to the shoe collection. Consider the various types of shoes, taking into account your wardrobe color palette and how frequently you wear them, to determine the number of dress shoes you should have.

Casual Shoes

Regarding casual shoes, I’m referring to sneakers, boat shoes, moccasins, and espadrilles, among others. These shoes prioritize comfort and versatility, making them suitable for everyday activities, social outings, or more laid-back occasions.

If casual wear dominates your daily attire, aim for 2 to 4 pairs of shoes, encompassing different styles and colors to complement your wardrobe. Having black and white sneakers is essential, providing versatility for various outfits and occasions.

Even if you wear dress shoes daily, having 1 or 2 pairs of casual shoes is essential. There’s nothing better than coming home, switching out of dress shoes, and donning something casual if you need to head out again.


The inclusion of boots in your shoe collection depends on personal style, work requirements, and the climate of your living area, as not every guy has a preference for them.

If boots aren’t your preference, you might not have any. However, for daily work in boots or residing in a cold climate, owning at least two pairs for rotation is advisable, ensuring you will rotate them and increase the boot’s lifespan.

Athletic Shoes

The number of athletic shoes you need depends on your level of physical activity and whether you participate in sports that require specialized footwear. For instance, football players may require one or two pairs of football boots, while tennis enthusiasts may need one or two pairs of tennis shoes, as each sport demands shoes with specific features.

Similarly, if you frequent the gym, you’ll require a pair of athletic sneakers. For running enthusiasts, investing in a pair of specialized running shoes is essential, and for hiking enthusiasts, a dedicated pair of hiking shoes is a must. Assess the variety of sports you engage in and their frequency to determine the appropriate number of athletic shoes needed.

If you’re not into sports or don’t exercise regularly, you may not own any athletic sneakers. However, some individuals who aren’t sports enthusiasts still opt for walking shoes due to their comfort.


Each person typically owns at least one pair of shoes in this category, whether it’s slippers for indoor comfort, sandals for a leisurely stroll in the summer, or flip-flops for beach outings. Perhaps, like me, you’ll choose to own two pairs within this particular shoe style category, one of slippers, and one of flip-flops

Common Questions

How Many Sneakers Does The Average Man Own?

Based on a survey by eBay, the average man in the U.S. owns seven pairs of sneakers. Considering other types of shoes, I would estimate that the average man might have a collection ranging from 10 to 15 pairs.

How Many Shoes Does A Minimalist Own?

A minimalist’s shoe collection should include at least five pairs: dress shoes for formal settings, casual shoes for laid-back occasions, boots, athletic shoes for sports, and slip-ons.

How Do I Know If I Have Too Many Shoes?

If your shoe storage is limited, you have numerous unworn or rarely worn pairs, duplicates serving the same purpose, and shoes irrelevant to your lifestyle, you might have an excess. That means it’s time to donate or discard some of your shoes.

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