If there’s one thing that Carrie from Sex and the City has taught us all, it’s that a great pair of shoes can make everything all right.
Countless women can agree that there just appears to be some mystical power associated with buying shoes, and even buying clothing in general. What is it about shopping for shoes that makes women so happy?
Did you know that there might be a psychological explanation for women’s obsession with shoes? That’s right. A new study delving into women’s emotions and women’s health reveals that there may be something deeper occurring with women’s obsessions for shoes and shopping.
Follow along as we explore ten psychologically-backed facts about women and their obsession with shoes. The reasons may surprise you.
1. There Really is Such a Thing as a Shopper’s High
Perhaps your husband doesn’t agree, but there is this unexplainable feeling associated with buying a new pair of shoes. While many of us can’t quite put a finger on the explanation, thankfully, psychologists have done the job for us.
You may already know that, dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain, releases good feelings throughout the body. Drugs and other highs emulate this sensation. That’s why many people are hooked on such temporary releases to chase that feeling.
Well, what if we told you that shopping releases dopamine, too? It’s true. Studies indicate that shopping, especially for shoes, releases large amounts of dopamine into our brains, causing for that feel-good feeling.
Speaking of our brains and why we are addicted to buying shoes, another part of the brain is activated as this dopamine flows. There exists a “collecting spot” in everyone’s brains. Whenever something makes us happy, the brain tells us to keep buying and collecting these items, so naturally, shoe hoarding is only our minds watching out for our health.
2. A Different Kind of High
In addition to various levels of dopamine rising from a shoe purchase, the sensation of wearing high heels also provides women with a different desirable sensation.
Psychologists agree that women who wear heels portray this status of power. Heels help women feel taller and more confident. Therefore wearing high heels helps some women reach a euphoric state.
Feeling taller and more confident helps empower women, so why stop at one pair of shoes? Once a woman has tasted this feeling of power, she will continually purchase more and more shoes to keep the sensation alive.
3. High Heel Wearers Have Hedonistic Tendencies
While the term, “hedonist,” has a negative connotation to it, some women don’t mind the fact that they selfishly seek pleasure through their shoe purchases.
They enjoy strutting their stuff in a new pair of boots or high heels. We discussed earlier that high heel wearing can lead to a sense of euphoria, but it extends way beyond this emotion.
Researchers have clinically proven that wearing heels can help boost a woman’s personality. Women who look good, feel good in return, so any woman donning a pair of cute heels is sure to feel splendid. There are, of course, other items that you can buy to have a new look, but studies show that shoes always do the trick.
4. They Attract the Opposite Sex
High heels also tend to force women into a posture that’s attractive for both themselves and their onlookers.
High heels cause a woman’s rump to stick out and back to arch, a posture known as “lordosis.” This posture can allow anyone’s figure to become even more flattering. The buttocks become larger and more curvaceous, allowing the body to have more of an hourglass shape.
This posture naturally makes a woman both look and feel sexy and beautiful. A woman wearing heels, or even sexy boots, feels better about how they look. Better yet, they enjoy the extra attention they receive as a result of the high heels.
5. We Can Rationalize Our Obsession
Yes, it’s true that purchasing shoes and wearing them increases dopamine levels in the brain, as well a state of euphoria. However, have you ever noticed that women have a tendency to rationalize their shoe collections?
That’s because shoes are a necessity. Sure, a new blouse, or a pair of jeans is nice, but we all need shoes on our feet. Boots are necessary for wet or cold weather. Heels are a staple for special events and occasions. Practical flats and sneakers are important for working out or performing strenuous tasks.
There you go, that’s already four pairs of shoes right there. Now you get into the argument of color and style, and it becomes reasonable to have over ten pairs of shoes in the closet. At least.
In fact, the average woman admits to owning at least 10 pairs of shoes, and one in every 12 women claims to have over 100 pairs.
6. Why Men Don’t Notice Them
Psychologically speaking, men want eye contact when they first notice an attractive woman. Eye contact, evolutionary speaking, is essential for mating. So, that is where the man’s eye first starts.
Naturally, he then works downward. Typically speaking, there are many different appendages that catch his eye before the feet. Do we really need to list them?
So, ladies, he probably doesn’t even notice your footwear, because he is too busy staring at your other amazing assets. Hold on, because there are some men out there who long for your lower limbs.
7. Shoe Shopping Taps Into Our Primitive Instincts
Evolution has changed and adapted much of our existence. However, some things remain the same. Qualities such as the fight or flight instinct have stuck with us. And believe it or not, shoe shopping dates back to our most primitive instincts.
We as humans are hunters. We like to hunt out and stalk our prey, only to kill and devour it. While you may not be with us just yet, just wait – shoe shopping actually resembles this instinctual habit.
The thought of shopping provides us with a rush of dopamine. Once we arrive at our destination, or better yet, if it’s online, our dopamine levels are still up there. We shop and search for our prey. Then we feel a sense of accomplishment when we find it. But, we are not all the way there yet.
Your peak of adrenaline and dopamine occurs when you swipe that credit card. Only after this moment does reality set in and make you feel guilty about such a frivolous purchase. The hormones that drive us to even follow through with this purchase emulate those from our very beginnings.
Despite possible bankruptcy, feuds with significant others and room lost in our closets, shopping for and purchasing shoes provides us with a feeling of satisfaction. The shoe is something we wanted, something we stalked out, and something we ultimately attained for ourselves.
8. Do You Could Have A Disorder?
Anyone looking to hoard shoes, despite their financial means or other troubles that occur, just might have more of a problem going on. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is defined as the obsession with varying compulsions.
Therefore, if your compulsion is shoe buying, then you may need more help than we bargained for. Technically, those with OCD experience compulsions every single day. Without these compulsions, they feel severe anxiety. So, if you feel like your family will die if you go a day without buying shoes, then you might need that psychologist after all.
9. Everyone Looks Great In Shoes
Self-image is very important to women. Even though it isn’t fair, some women are built differently than others. Certain tops, jeans, and dresses only look decent on various figures and shapes.
Some women can wear low-cut shirts, while others need to cover up in sweaters and longer skirts, but shoes look great on everyone. Women who are looking to lose weight for various reasons may not feel comfortable in their own skin, so they refuse to wear certain outfits.
Shoes, however, do not discriminate by shape or size. Anyone can look sexy in a pair of stilettos. Therefore, shoes are the go-to accessories. We wear shoes, and therefore they are more personal than a handbag or headband. Yet, they are not dependent on our age, shape or size.
10. They Turn Him On
Now, it might seem contradictory to our previous section. We discussed how men hardly notice the shoes women wear. However, there are some men who find shoes to be quite the turn on. So, the exceptions do exist, thankfully. Some men love to see women donning those sexy stilettos.
There is actually a psychological explanation for foot fetishes. The part of the brain that is responsible for genitalia function is coincidentally located next to the part of the brain responsible for our feet. Therefore, it is to be assumed that the two sometimes slip into each other’s territory, causing feet to be pretty attractive to some.
Perhaps it began with Cinderella and her inexplicable search for that darn shoe. Regardless of the origin, women today are obsessed with shoes. Shopping for shoes, purchasing shoes and wearing shoes – most women love all of it. While it is a bit of a stereotype for women to love shoes, it also rings very true for most women.
Sure, some women may simply make excuses for their extreme shoe collections, while others may, in fact, have a deeper disorder. However, there appears to be a psychological reasoning behind shoe purchases and shoe wearing. Whether achieving a dopamine rush or a state of euphoria, shoes provide us with all of the satisfying sensations we love.
So, what are you waiting for? Stop feeling guilty for your shoe shopping. Now you can blame it on biology and brain chemistry. Is it time for a new pair of shoes?