Do you have a common habit? We all have different tastes in shoes, but probably everyone buys several pairs of shoes every year. They are an item that offers quite some variety and change is something we can get behind.
But why do we feel the need to constantly buy new shoes? Why is it so satisfying to wear them for the first time after receiving them at home? And what makes us want to buy even more once one pair starts looking worn out?
This article will give you insights into these questions and help you understand how important fresh sneakers are for many people. You will also learn about the different factors that contribute to shoe addiction, and how they affect you. The most obvious of these is a purely visual aspect, but there is more to it than meets the eye!
The word addiction comes from the Latin term “addictus” which means “enslaved”. Addiction is characterized by an obsessive or compulsive behaviour towards a certain activity or substance.
It has been shown in several studies that only around half of all people with a shoe addiction engage in this behavior in order to actually improve their physical appearance.
The other 50% feel compelled to buy shoes due to psychological factors. In recent years, psychology and psychiatry have focused more and more on behavioral addictions because they seem to be quite common nowadays.
This development has not bypassed shoe addicts, who are now being studied in greater detail as well.
Until very recently, psychiatrists were uncertain as to whether shoe addiction should be included in the bible of mental conditions, the DSM (Diagnostics and Statistical Manual). Its mere existence was still a matter of discussion.
This changed when two recent studies showed that there is indeed an element which unites all people diagnosed with shoe addiction: footwear plays a central role for these individuals during their waking hours. They constantly think about buying new shoes or spend large parts of the day fantasizing about this.
Our sense of style has evolved over time and continues to do so at a rapid pace right now. It’s hard to imagine life today without fashion websites and apps helping us decide what we want to wear tomorrow and not just today anymore. In fact, most of this is done with the help of visuals.
That’s why it makes sense that we have a tendency to show our enthusiasm for certain brand sneakers by wearing them as often as possible. When you wear a pair of Y-3 Qasas or Adidas Gazelles for example, you want people to notice!
Of course, there are also other reasons for wanting everybody to see your new kicks – but they’re not necessarily healthy ones!
Take the time you spend going through hundreds of shoe photos on social media platforms like Instagram or Pinterest as an example: who is the main audience here? It’s definitely not your friends and family members.
In fact, they probably wouldn’t even know what these shoes look like in real life. Instead, you are sharing your shoe infatuation with the world in an attempt to get validation from other people who also have a shoe addiction.
You might feel compelled to wear these shoes at least once so that they become less ‘strange’ or ‘foreign’ to you. You want people to see them on you because it confirms that they are real sneakers after all, not just some pictures on a screen! This is what psychologists refer to as social reinforcement.
It motivates us when we receive positive feedback from our peers for certain activities or behaviors – especially if these things are related to how we present ourselves publicly. That’s why many shoe addicts only wear the latest new arrival at home before taking them out for a spin at their local shopping mall or on the street.
The mere act of walking with your new shoes makes you feel accomplished, even if nobody had paid any attention to them at all! Sometimes it’s enough just to see these sneakers by your feet while you’re watching TV for example.
This is why some people categorize wearing new shoes exclusively for home use as a form of self-treatment. It helps them avoid or postpone buying yet another pair because they know that tomorrow will be soon enough to show off their newest treasures again.
COMPULSION AND OBSESSION
Of course, not everyone who struggles with shoe addiction does this purely out of habit or vanity – there are more serious mentalities involved. For example, OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) often goes hand in hand with shoe addiction.
Just like people affected by OCD, they fear that something terrible is going to happen unless they perform certain rituals. In the case of shoe addicts, this usually involves buying a new pair as quickly as possible after one has been worn out or destroyed – no matter what the reason may be.
The number of shoes bought and worn out because of this behavior can attest to it! To make things worse, these people don’t even wear all their shoes at the same time – many pairs simply lie idle for months on end until they’re needed again.
If you’re wondering why someone would go through all this trouble to get a few compliments from strangers every now and then, there’s a simple explanation for this: it makes them feel good!
Positive feedback from the people around them is incredibly important to these individuals and can therefore become more important than anything else in their lives.
Perhaps you’re wondering why we’re justifying shoe addiction by pointing out how much joy it can bring to its sufferers? Well, that’s because there are ways of dealing with compulsive behavior without losing sight of what really matters to you in life – even if that means wearing shoes!
The key is to keep things under control before they spin out of control entirely.
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON SHOPPING
Clearly, spending too much money on buying new sneakers is not an ideal way for many people to achieve a sense of wellbeing or happiness.
Just like many other types of addiction, the reasons behind it are much deeper and more complex than most people realize. That’s why you should never attempt to deal with this on your own without professional help if you notice any of the following signs in yourself:
- You buy so many shoes that you struggle to find space for them all – even when they’re new.
- No matter what the weather is like outside, you always wear new shoes whenever possible. Your feet get very hot and sweaty because of it!
- You feel compelled to show off new sneakers right after buying them – whether that’s on social media or IRL (in real life). Even though no one but you has paid them any attention.
- You’re often short of money and/or frequently lose your credit cards because of your shoe addiction.
If you notice any of these patterns in yourself, we advise consulting a specialist as soon as possible to avoid situations where you can no longer afford the things that make you happy anymore!
YOUR OVERDUE APPOINTMENT WITH THE SHOE DOCTOR
Luckily, there are some tricks for how to deal with compulsive behavior like this if they become unmanageable:
For example, it’s important not to buy new shoes on impulse – always wait at least one day before making a final decision. You should also take the time to consider whether you actually need another pair of sneakers right now.
And finally, if you are buying on impulse anyway, buy at least one simple pair of casual shoes instead of something really fancy so that you can afford to replace them regularly.
After all, there’s no telling how many more sandals with holes in the soles you have left…
SHOE ADDICTS HAVE A LOT MORE TO WORRY ABOUT THAN JUST THEIR STYLE!
We know that shoe addiction is not a life-threatening disorder – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous for your wallet or bank account. Many people neglect their health by wearing new shoes every day without giving their feet any rest time whatsoever.
This is why an estimated 80% of women and 40% of men suffer from foot problems at least once every five years.
And that’s not all: excessive wearing of shoes can also lead to leg and back problems – especially if you have trouble finding a comfortable pair!
Even though it might seem petty compared to illnesses like cancer, shoe addiction is one of the most widespread health problems in many industrialized countries today. After all, a well-fitting pair of shoes should feel good on both your feet and your wallet!
PUTTING YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD
The trick to stopping compulsive behavior is simply to never allow yourself to get into such a bad situation in the first place by developing some clear rules for yourself ahead of time:
- Never buy new sneakers when you’re feeling anxious or depressed about something else.
- You should always try on new shoes to ensure a perfect fit.
- Never buy sneakers online since you can’t check them out in person first!
- Your footwear choices should always be driven by your own needs and tastes – never because someone else pressures you into it!
SOPHISTICATED SHOE STORAGE SOLUTIONS KEEP YOUR TREADS ON THE ROAD
If even these gentle reminders are not enough, our shoe organizer helps keep things under control by offering the ideal solution for unorganized sneaker hoarding.
No matter where you live or what kind of footwear addiction you suffer from, these storage spaces for shoes will help free up some space in your wardrobe once and for all. With room for up to 30 pairs of your favorite kicks, they’re the perfect shoe storage solution for shoe addicts.
So if you know yourself to be a compulsive shoe-buyer, this is probably the best possible treatment for your problem. If you’re ready to get rid of all of your old shoes and stop buying new ones on impulse, the storage space for shoes will help relieve some stress, especially when it comes to planning outfits!