Before Yesterday, I Had 50+ Pairs of Shoes—11 Styles I Got Rid of and 13 I Kept

Black The Row ankle-strap heels.

(Image credit: @elizagracehuber)

Shoes have always been my thing. I'm constantly on the lookout for them—far more than I am for handbags, jewelry, or even clothes—and rarely am I strong-willed enough to deny myself a pair I rate highly. Because of this and the size of my New York City closet, it can often feel like my shoes are closing in on me, falling off a crowded top shelf in the middle of the night or peeking out from underneath a dresser or chair. They're everywhere. While I wish with every fiber in my being that I could have a storage system as impressive as Carrie Bradshaw's in my uptown apartment, I don't, which is how I ended up taking out every single one of my 50+ pairs of shoes last night and finally confronting my footwear problem head-on.

Deciding to purge my shoe collection and actually doing it are two very different things. By the time I'd removed every pair of boots, sneakers, flats, and heels out of its designated box and laid it out on the floor of my living room, I had no space to walk around let alone analyze and properly organize. Instead, I set about making cuts. Similar styles were lined up next to each other so I could see just how many pairs of black knee-high boots I've acquired (a lot) and what sneakers have remained in their original boxes unworn for months or even years. Slowly but surely, I was able to make those hard calls, placing one box and then another into my "no" pile.

My Living Room During My Shoe-Closet Clean-Out

Photos of shoes of various styles and colors strewn out on the floor.

(Image credit: @elizagracehuber)

Photos of shoes of various styles and colors strewn out on the floor.

(Image credit: @elizagracehuber)

About two hours and one TV break later, 20 pairs—40% of my entire collection—were packed up and set aside to be shipped out to various resale outlets, from The RealReal to Crossroads. Perhaps I haven't fully accepted that they're gone quite yet, but now that I've made the final decision to part ways with them, I feel lighter. I've probably said the words "there's no such thing as too many pairs of shoes" on many occasions throughout my 28 years, but maybe I was wrong. Holding onto them all wasn't doing me or my boyfriend, who constantly tripped over rogue pairs in the middle of the night, any good. On the off chance that you're in the same shoe-collecting boat that I was in just yesterday, I thought I'd dole out some advice that I learned in the last 24 hours by sharing which styles I decided to part ways with and which ones still felt current and cool enough to stay where they're at. Find out what made the cut below.

Heels I'm Parting Ways With: Platforms, Chunky Heels, PVC

Heels I'm Keeping: Timeless Styles, Almond Toes, Satin

Flats I'm Parting Ways With: Flatforms, Sporty Sandals, Gladiator Sandals

Flats I'm Keeping: Net and Mesh, Point-Toe Styles, Minimal Sandals

Sneakers I'm Parting Ways With: Chunky Soles, Neon Details

Sneakers I'm Keeping: Retro Styles, Logo-less Options, Metallics

Boots I'm Parting Ways With: Block Heels, Platforms, Rubber Styles

Boots I'm Keeping: Stiletto Heels, Sock-Like Fits, Western-Inspired Styles

This post was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Senior Fashion Editor

Eliza Huber is a New York City–based fashion editor who specializes in trend reporting, brand discovery, and celebrity style. She joined Who What Wear in 2021 after almost four years on the fashion editorial team at Refinery29, the job she took after graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Iowa. She has since launched two monthly columns, Let's Get a Room and Ways to Wear; profiled the likes of Dakota Fanning, Diane Kruger, Katie Holmes, and Sabrina Carpenter for WWW's monthly cover features; and reported on everything from the relationship between Formula One and fashion to the top trends from fashion month, season after season. Eliza now lives on the Upper West Side and spends her free time researching F1 fashion imagery for her side Instagram accounts @thepinnacleoffashion and @f1paddockfits, running in Central Park, and scouring eBay for '90s Prada and '80s Yves Saint Laurent.