For most people, they buy shoes when they are needed – that is for an event or to replace a type that is worn out such as sneakers, the work loafers. Then there are the “shoe people” that buy shoes, well, just because. It is a hobby finding more wonderful accessories to make good outfits great.
Shoes should be gone through ideally when you do your clothing season change; two times a year. Gather from all the locations to make sure you assess them all. You will find summer shoes that are worn out and should be thrown out rather than stored. Or you will find that your boots are finally overworked after fighting off water, snow and salt for several seasons. Let them go rather than storing them for 6+ months to only throw out later.
First, let go of those that hurt. Yes, as much as you can try them out in the store, there are shoes that have been bought and after you have tried several times to wear, they just kill your feet! Not good, donate those and move on.
Next, grab the really worn/ugly/beat up looking shoes. They have served you well but it is time for them to be thrown out.
So, after that you may have the best. But, chances are you still could benefit by putting like with like in piles and picking the favorites from them. All the black flats, all the brown sandals, all the flip flops. This is where the do I love them and do I use them questions come into play. Just because they are solid shoes or even really expensive, you may never pick them over your faves. Donate them and bring clarity to your wardrobe.
There is no right number of shoes to have. But, you should have a storage system that allows you to see them all conveniently so you can wear what you do have. I am sure in going through your shoes you will find multiple pairs you completely lost track of. If you do clothing rotations, consider storing seasonal shoes with them to lessen what is out year round.
Lastly, in talking about feet, I can’t forget to mention socks. Really; 2 feet, 7 days in a week. You do not need 50 pairs of socks. Holey and thread bare socks are no-brainer tosses. Also, socks that have lost their shape or are orphans.
If you struggle to find mates, let go of all of your socks and go pick up 10-14 pairs of the same socks. You will always have a mate because they are all the same. This works great for children, give each child a set type/style and you will always be able to sort easily and they will easily match socks to wear. Of course you may have a few out there pairs you wear once in a while, but managing 50 pairs of black sock of all different weights and textures can and will drive you mad. Make is easy on yourself and streamline your socks.
Our feet carry us daily all over the place, dress them well and only give them good tools to work with.