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Heel Deal

Hot on the heels of a report from fashion bible Drapers that Footwear was the fastest growing retail sector last month, a new survey also highlights the nation's love affair with shoes.

It seems women are head over heels about shoes - owning on average 34 pairs of shoes and boots and spending a whopping £10,000 in a lifetime on their fancy footwork.

The number is double the amount reported just two years ago*, which experts are putting down to the "Primark effect" where we can now buy more shoes for less - dramatically increasing the number we're cramming at the bottom of the wardrobe, under beds and in spare room cupboards.

Also surprising is the fact that men aren't far behind with the number of pairs averaging out at 14 at any one time.   Fitted bedroom retailer Betta Living carried out the shoe report to support the launch of its new shoe storage system. It used the research to determine the size of its internal storage solution - which it had to increase based on the findings.

More than half of the females surveyed confessed to buying a pair of shoes, sandals, flip flop or boots once a month and the average spend for the year was estimated at just over £200.

The average female's shoe collection includes stilettos, work shoes (with a lower heel), wedges or espadrilles, knee length boots, shoe boots, flat boots, flip flops, sandals, pumps and trainers.

The stiletto was pronounced the sexiest shoe with 71% of women saying it makes them feel instantly more attractive and 82% of men stating they find it to be the most appealing shoe on a woman, whilst the majority of men say they find pumps to be the most unattractive footwear a woman can sport, ahead of even trainers.

69% of those women surveyed regularly wear flats.

In order of popularity, people store shoes in wardrobes, in cloakrooms, under beds, under the stairs, in chests of drawers, in cubby-holes and even in lofts and garages - basically in any available space!

53% of women admitted to hiding shoe purchases from partners/parents, with a third saying they have hidden shopping bags in their cars until their other halves have left the house before smuggling them inside and another third opting to hide them in the wardrobe.

Barry Rourke from Betta Living who carried out the research explains: "It's a well known fact that women have a great love of shoes and handbags, but we were surprised by the sheer volume of shoes that women have in their wardrobes and how much they spend on their collections.

"And men, whilst a long way behind their female counterparts, are also investing heavily in footwear. We took this into consideration when designing our internal storage systems for the bedroom and created the heel deal - bespoke storage for your shoes, boots and handbags."

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