My Year-Round Minimalist Shoe Collection

Welcome back! Today I wanted to share my minimalist shoe collection with you. I shared this photo a little while ago on Instagram, and it seemed to get quite a bit of interest. In this article I’ll be going through my entire shoe collection of 18 pairs and giving you some more detail!

You might be thinking that 18 is a lot of pairs of shoes; that doesn’t sound very minimalist. To me, minimalism is not about having the least amount of stuff. It’s about having the right amount for you and your lifestyle. 18 pairs is what works for me. It fits my lifestyle and I have what I need to get around in the rain, work out, or dress up.

I used to buy more than I needed, and my collection became cluttered with pairs I didn’t get wear out of. Now, I’m finally happy with where it’s at. I have enough storage for every shoe, I wear them all at points throughout the year, and I don’t feel like I have too many or too few pairs. With all of that said, let’s get into the collection!

My Minimalist Shoe Collection

Here is a list of all of my shoes in order as you see them in the photo, starting from the top left:

  1. Hunter rain boots
  2. Blundstone boots
  3. Aldo flat chelsea boots (similar here)
  4. Aldo pointed-toe heel boots (similar here)
  5. New Balance runners (similar here)
  6. Allbirds runners
  7. Black Converse hi-tops
  8. White Converse dainty low-tops
  9. Veja Esplar white sneakers
  10. Everlane modern loafers
  11. Free People Royale flats
  12. Loeffler Randall Mara cap-toe espadrilles
  13. Aldo black ankle-strap heels (similar here)
  14. Aldo open-toe block heels (similar here)
  15. Joe Fresh black suede mules (similar here)
  16. Birkenstock Arizona sandals
  17. Joe Fresh strap sandals (old)
  18. Havaianas flip flops

Creating the collection

I’ve slowly been decluttering my wardrobe over the last two or so years. Even still, I was never much of a shoe or bag person; my problem was always more with clothing. But I did have a lot of shoes that I just didn’t wear, some that were even brand new, and I would buy more only to just go back to wearing my favourites anyway. I never really made the conscious decision to pare down my collection to the magic number of 18, but through slowly decluttering and then starting my first capsule wardrobe in late 2017, it just sort of happened that way.

If you want to declutter your own shoe collection, my advice would be to just start with what you love. Pick out the pairs you wear the most and that work the best for you, and set them aside. Now looking at those pairs, what else do you really need to suit your lifestyle? Is there anything that you’re not ready to let go of?

On the flip side, what pairs are you just not wearing? Is there anything that is too worn, or that could be better loved elsewhere? It’s a lot easier if you take out all of your shoes from all of the nooks and crannies in your home and pull them into one place, Marie Kondo style. It allows you to see how much you really have and sort through everything.

Most worn vs. least worn

My two most worn pairs of shoes are definitely the flat chelsea boots and white sneakers. My white Converse have lasted me about five years if not more, and I have loved them almost to death. I even bought the Veja sneakers to replace them, but I still just can’t bear to let them go! But since I do get so much wear out of white sneakers, that doesn’t bother me too much.

The items I get the least wear out of are most likely the heels, just because they’re more for special occasions. I’d also like to get more wear out of the Free People flats because they are just so darn cute. They’re definitely for warmer months, so I’m going to try and include them more in my rotation this spring and summer.

Oldest vs. newest additions

My oldest pair of shoes are probably my white Converse, followed by the espadrilles. I already mentioned how I’m not ready to let go of the Converse yet. The espadrilles were a big investment, and luckily their quality has stood the test of time. I still absolutely love their style and wear them a lot in the summer.

The last two pairs of shoes I bought were the Veja sneakers (to replace my white Converse) and the Allbirds runners. I got the Allbirds because it’s a company that I’d love to support, and I didn’t really have a ‘cool’ runner to wear for things like running errands or travel. These shoes are so comfortable, I can’t even tell you!


As I mentioned before, I’m at the point now where I don’t feel like I need any more or any fewer pairs of shoes. If I were going to add one thing, I think it would be a cool pair of sock booties in maybe a camel or tan colour. I’d wear them when I want a boot that’s a little fancier than my regular flat chelsea booties, and having another colour other than black would be nice. They might even take the place of the other pointed-toe heel boots that I have, which I tend to wear as a fancier boot. Those ones are good to have, but I’m not completely in love with them.

Other than that, I really feel like there’s nothing I need, and I’ll see if I can move forward with the mindset that my shoe collection is complete! It was a fun exercise to pull them all together and really think about why I own each pair, and it’s something I plan to try with other areas in my wardrobe as well.

What areas of your closet are ‘complete’, if any? On the other hand, is there a specific area you really need to get in and declutter? Next on my list is my gym and lounge wear. Let me know about yours in the comments!

Thanks for reading,


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My Year-Round Minimalist Shoe Collection - Emily Lightly

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  • My shoe wardrobe is pretty minimal. I currently have 10 pairs (11 if you include slippers). The newest are a pair of Duck Boots (worn hard this winter). The oldest are a pair of black heels. The rest get rotated throughout the year: two pair of sneakers (black, white), two pair of flip flops (black, white), two pair of ballet flats (black, navy), 1 pair of boat shoes (salted navy) and one pair of sandals (white). This number of shoes has met my needs for many years.

  • What color allbirds are yours? Love them! Also!! How do you store them? I feel like that’s a big area where I’m stuggling.

    • I got the colour called Tuke French Fry if I remember correctly, which was a limited edition so I’m not sure they have it anymore. They’re so comfy! As for storage, I just keep them like my usual shoes – on a shoe rack in the hall closet.