For some people, shoes are just a necessity for protecting one’s feet from the elements. For others, shoes are an obsession, a guilty pleasure – something that they feel compelled to purchase. The wonderful thing about shoes is that no matter how old you are or whether you’re at a weight you’re happy with or not, your feet will roughly always be the same size. That makes shoe shopping much more fun than clothes shopping for many consumers. Here are some tell-tale signs of someone who really loves shoes:

  • You have more shoes than you have storage space.
  • You have taken time off work to attend a big shoe sale.
  • When going on holiday, you have a suitcase devoted to just shoes.
  • You have a pair of shoes from every designer label – at least one pair.
  • You have different shoes for any possible occasion.
  • You own or dream of owning a walk-in closet just for your shoe collection.
  • Your mobile is full of foot selfies.
  • You judge others by the shoes they wear.
  • You have become the ‘go to’ person for footwear fashion advice.
  • Your friends are always asking to borrow your shoes.

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Does this sound like you? Maybe someone has referred to you as being like Imelda Marcos? Imelda Marcos was the most famous shoe collector in the world. Formerly the First Lady of the Philippines, she opened a museum dedicated to footwear, much of which was her own. She held this position for over twenty years and enjoyed a life of extravagance, especially when it came to shoes. For a Gloucester Shoe Shop, visit

After political trouble and being forced to flee the country in 1986, people discovered over 2,700 pairs of shoes left behind in her wardrobe. That must have been a big wardrobe! At the museum today, 800 pairs are on display and consist of both locally made shoes plus pairs from the big designer names such as Chanel, Christian Dior and Givenchy. They are all in excellent condition and include boots, slippers, heels and sandals.

Many of the shoes were, in fact, not bought but given to Imelda as gifts while her husband was in power. It has been said that local manufacturers were giving her 10 pairs of shoes a week. If she liked the fit she would often order more and a handbag to match.

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Imelda Marcos has often been vilified for representing material greed and excess but she has defended her love of shoes by stating that she was helping to support the local shoe industry in the city of Marikina. Just under half of the population here are employed by the shoe industry and it is known as the shoe capital of the Philippines.

Whether true or not, Imelda Marcos certainly put the shoemakers of Marikina on the map. And it’s not just Mrs Marcos who loved shoes, while sales of most items have plummeted in the recession, footwear sales rose! There is always a ‘feel good’ factor when you buy something new but then the guilt usually takes over. However, shoes are practical so we feel less guilty when buying them and that means the ‘feel good’ vibes last longer when we buy a pair of shoes.