Shoes: A Want or a Need?

Are shoes a want or a need? Are you mindlessly spending thousands of dollars on shoes even if you don’t need them? In my opinion it depends, and that’s what this article is all about.


Some people will say shoes are a want and not a need, and there is some truth to it.

But in my opinion they are a need and I’ll explain why.

Knowing the difference between a want and a need is going to clear things up for you, so that’s what I will talk about first before putting forth my opinion.

Here goes.

And please, if you disagree with me, let us know in the comments below! 🙂

What is a “want” and what is a “need”?

Need – Something you absolutely need for survival. This can be shelter, food, water.

Another definition of a need is “something that is essential or very important to have”. Now keep this in mind because I will talk about this again later.

My definition: A need is something you can’t live without.

Want – A want is something you don’t necessarily need. It’s a desire to have something, to wish for it, but don’t actually need it.

My definition: A want is something you can live without.

Now, are shoes a want or a need? Here’s my opinion

By definition, a need is something that is essential and extremely important to have.

Back in the cave men days (yes I’m going there, just like every argument starts off with “back in the day”), shoes were not essential nor important, because no one had any anyway.

However, we are in the modern days and things have changed drastically.

You can’t even walk in a store and buy something without a pair of shoes.

This is why I think shoes are a need.

To live you need food, without shoes you cannot buy food because you will not receive service.

Of course some places you can get away with it and still receive service, like in New Zealand (where I’m from).

We are a first world country and we can walk in stores, no shirt, no shoes, and still get service.

But I know in countries like the USA, no shoes means no service.

Now with coronavirus running amuck, you can’t even get service without a mask!

Another reason you NEED shoes is for a job. Yes a job is a want but for the average person it is a need.

For that job you need shoes which backs up my argument even more that you need shoes to survive.

It turns something that would be a want into a need.

This means shoes are essential and very important to have, making them a need for survival purposes.

Why some will say they’re a want

A want is something you wish for but don’t actually need.

I can see why shoes can be mistaken for a want, because you can still live without them.

However, that’s not true for the average person living a normal life.

The average person has a job, the average person goes to the grocery store, the average person goes places to pay bills.

If the average person didn’t wear shoes, they wouldn’t be allowed to do most of these things.

But we are in an age where shoes are needed by most people, and that’s why my argument stands against those that say they are a want.

Of course this is going to change when someone says they NEED the latest Air Jordans.

What about expensive shoes?

Pair of White Air Jordans

Are Air Jordans a need?

Are the latest Gucci shoes a need?

Are Yeezys a need?

Of course not.

These are a want and that’s where the inspiration came from for this article.

Most who find this post are trying to find excuses to justify their expensive spending on something that doesn’t offer much in return.

Designer shoes, or any shoe over $200 is going over the top and definitely not a need.

Expensive shoes are something you desire and wish to have, thus making them a want.

You can get the exact same results from buying a $100 pair of shoes.

Of course you won’t get the status that comes with expensive shoes or the “flex” abilities, but nonetheless, they are a want.

Sanitation and protection is a need

I would like to strengthen my argument by saying this:

Sanitation is a need.

Your feet need protection from the ground which can cause diseases, infections, injuries, etc.

Those infections can cause all sorts of health problems.

Without proper sanitation you’re at high risk.

Shoes provide that extra bit of protection which helps you stay clean and healthy, making shoes even more of a need than a want.

Some schools make it part of their dress code

Even schools know how important shoes are at keeping their children safe from the environment.

Some schools make shoes part of their dress code to prevent infections and putting children at risk.

In America kids won’t be denied an education for being barefoot, but in Argentina and other third world countries it is essential.

If you don’t have shoes, don’t come to school.

Kids need an education. If they don’t have the footwear, they cannot go to school.

Not that I agree with that, but all things in life continue pointing towards shoes being a need.

For the most part – my verdict

For the most part, shoes are more of a need than a want.

This changes with country to country as some countries don’t care if you don’t wear shoes and you will still get service.

Also homeless people do not need shoes for survival purposes so that takes away the need aspect.

But for the average person? Someone that goes to the store, runs errands, has a job?

Shoes are a need.

For anyone else? A homeless person? Third world country?

They are a want.

So that’s my final verdict on this matter.

I would like to hear whether or not you agree with my decision.

Chat to us in the comments below and I’ll get back to you asap!

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