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Hoarding on a shoestring.

Most days it's great to be a guy. Don't get me wrong; I never wake up wishing otherwise. But when I read a recent story about a 43-year-old woman who owns 1,200 pairs of shoes, I went to my closet and hugged my fading brown Ecco loafers.

From my six short decades on the planet, it's my observation that women look at shoes the way men look at women. Gotta have as many as possible. The word "fantasize" comes to mind.


Some women will surf the net mindlessly, lusting after shoes. Yes, lusting. Mostly pumps, stilettos and anything that requires a stepladder to get into. Short women want to be tall. Tall women want to tower over LeBron James.

As a casual observer of women, let me say, "Bravo, sisters!" I appreciate your throwing practicality and comfort aside to strap on a pair of shoes that look great and pretty much guarantee you'll be seeing a chiropractor at some point down the road. You love buying shoes, and we guys love that you wear them for us.

Men, on the other hand, couldn't care less about their footwear. I can't say I've ever shopped at I never surf shoe websites. That just seems creepy for a guy to do unless they're in need of footwear, versus leering at shoes the way some women do.

When I finished hugging my slip-on Eccos, I threw an appreciative nod toward my Nike sneakers, my beat-up Rockport boat shoes, and then I lovingly patted my black Ecco dress shoes (More on that later).

The story about the shoe-obsessed woman reports that professional poker player Beth Shak hasn't even worn 200 of her 1,200 pairs. She's had a one-night stand with 300 pairs, wearing them only once. Did she still love them in the morning? Guess not.

More than half of Beth's collection--700 pairs--are Louboutins, which I've never heard of. I guess I shouldn't criticize, since 50 percent of my massive shoe hoard--two pairs--are Eccos.

Does dreaming of and buying shoes fill an emptiness in one's soul? No pun intended. Is there such a thing as retail therapy? Bank on it.

Retail therapy has kept the U.S. economy from imploding like a black hole. A near collapse of Europe's financial state was avoided because women in Greece stepped up and bought shoes, one 7-inch, sequined stiletto at a time.

I do have a confession to make. I actually have five pairs of shoes, not four as previously stated. Two years ago, I bought a back-up duplicate pair of my black Ecco dress shoes, because I love them, and I'd have been heartbroken when they would eventually wear out.

OK, so sometimes it's good to be a bit of a girl. But I'm still 1,195 pairs behind Beth!

Hear Mike Morin weekdays from 5-10 a.m. on "New Hampshire in the Morning" on 95.7 WZID. Contact him at
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Title Annotation:last word; love for footwear
Author:Morin, Mike
Publication:New Hampshire Business Review
Article Type:Viewpoint essay
Geographic Code:1U1NH
Date:Apr 6, 2012
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