Over £3bn of unwearable shoes could be hidden in women's wardrobes

When it comes to shoes, a study has revealed that British women opt for looks over comfort, with a potential £3 billion worth of rarely worn or unworn shoes languishing in their wardrobes.

How many shoes do you own?
How many shoes do you own?

A recent study of 2,000 women, commissioned by Hotter shoes, also revealed that over 70% women have smiled through pain to wear shoes and, once a week, at least a fifth are putting themselves at the risk of blisters and bunions from poorly fitting footwear.

In the run up to National Shoe Fitting Week (from April 8th) the UK’s biggest shoemaker also discovered that a quarter of women polled have owned a pair of ‘sit down’ shoes that are literally too uncomfortable to walk in and nearly 3 in 10 will carry a spare pair of shoes in their handbag on a night out or have walked home barefoot.

Vicky Betts, Hotter Omni Channel Director commented: “We were astounded by the amount money wasted, and the pain women endure, buying shoes that simply don’t fit. It should be a pleasure to put on a brand new pair of shoes not a pain.

“We have discovered that many adults in the UK last had their shoes fitted properly in their childhood and we are now on a mission to encourage people to visit our stores nationwide to have their shoes fitted by our comfort experts.

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    “We offer a collection of shoes for many occasions, including on trend styles such as canvas pumps, strappy sandals and brogues which have an ageless appeal. Recently, for example, our new wedge styles have been boosted by an influx of customers influenced by the ‘Kate effect’.

    Hotter’s comfort shoe designers are determined to take the ‘owww’ out of new shoes and are committed to giving women choice and pain free footwear. The company has drawn up a list of Comfort Concept® features which are essential to every pair it creates.

    The survey also revealed:

    Women surveyed are most likely to grin and bear shoes during social events; 65 % are likely to wear an uncomfortable pair at occasions like a wedding or christening; 55% to a party and 40% when simply going out dinner.

    The most popular reasons to wear an uncomfortable shoe are cosmetic: 57% will put up with an uncomfortable shoe if it matches their outfit and 33% will buy an uncomfortable pair of shoes if they look pretty.

    Over one in ten women surveyed own more than 5 pairs of shoes that they have rarely or never worn and women polled have an average of £126 worth of shoes that have rarely or never been worn; with 1% owning £1,000 worth or more of unworn shoes.

    Uncomfortable shoes can ruin a lady’s day, with more than half of women worrying about standing for long periods; two fifths worried about not being able to join in activities and a third admitting that uncomfortable shoes make them grumpy and miserable.