A person, usually female, who buys many pairs of shoes. All types of shoes count: sandals, gym shoes, heeled shoes, slip on shoes, boots, etc...

Most of the time, you see this person with a different pair of shoes on everyday, or for every event of the day.

Going to Walgreens? =====> Gym Shoes.

Going down the hall? =====> Grab the fuzzy shoes that match the pajamas you are wearing.

Going downstairs to smoke? =====> Sandals, usually Adidas.

Going to walk to the dorm next door? =====> Slip on shoes that are still very trendy.

Going to the bars in the winter? =====> Boots, preferably with a high heel.

Going to the bars in the spring or fall? =====> Heeled shoes, can be strappy, clunky, platform, or lower flats.

The shoe whore often buys shoes on impulse. No shoes are too many shoes. All shoes are attractive and cute, provided What's Her Name doesn't have them. That is against the rules. A shoe whore never has the same shoes as any one else.

Not to be confused with a shoe horn, the shoe whore has very little practical use outside of boosting retail sales. Several versions of the shoe whore exist, please do not assume that this is a complete list as the system allows for various mutations.

The Fashionista: One of my least favorite shoe whores, Fashionistas are typically accompanied by other women or less frequently, a distressed urban male. Children may also accompany the Fashionista. Some of them are well behaved, these are the exception rather than the rule. While the over dressed Fashionista gushes over each shoe or rapidly discards pair after pair, the children may request to use the bathroom, complain that they are hungry or request something to eat. Fashionistas are easily exasperated, they think nothing of putting their own drink down while refusing to let their child consume anything. If the Fashionista offspring is young, messy treats are offered to occupy the stroller bound youngster.

Why I like the Fashionista: When they do spend it's big. They are also reliable. As soon as the season flips, they're there. Why I dislike them: Your store is a guaranteed mess before s/he leaves.

The Traveler: Not the worst shoe whore out there, The Traveler is always going somewhere and needs the perfect pair of shoes that can be worn to the airport, an opera, while playing 72 holes of golf, as well as traverse up and down a volcano without showing dirt or becoming uncomfortable. The Traveler assumes that every sales associate has been to every possible location on the globe and taken notes on the shoe styles that are currently worn wherever The Traveler is planning to go. Do not be deceived by The Traveler who requests good walking shoes, 99 times out of 100 The Traveler will choose based on what they think is cute rather than what feels good beneath their feet.

The Exercise Enthusiast: This shoe whore is a mixed bag. Some will complain about the cost of shoes, others will want the absolute best shoe out there regardless of what it costs. Working with The Exercise Enthusiast who understands a bit about biomechanics can actually be fun and if you do right by these shoe whores they will come back and bring their friends. Working with the gym bunny who wants something to match her performance tank and micro shorts is an exercise in futility as is trying to work with The Exercise Enthusiast who knows it all and treats shoe shopping as an experience they can somehow transcend. People who are getting back into shape are also tricky as they want good shoes for nothing since they might not get back into shape and don't want to waste their money. Unfortunately nothing can really be done about these people.

The Uptight Shopper: Probably the worst shoe whore I've dealt with. They want a shoe that does not exist however are convinced that your store is the only store on earth that may carry a shoe they have in their mind. Nothing you bring out will be exactly right. These people expect you to be a mind reader and are among the most exasperating people ever as they will go through all of the motions, act like they might purchase something yet walk out after wasting hours of your time since they haven't checked the store next to yours to see what they have to offer. Pity the people who work at the store next to you as these shoppers become more difficult as they move through footwear venues.

The Mall Walker: With all the miles these people put on their shoes you would think they'd purchase them more frequently. Mall walkers pass you every day. Some are more courteous than others, they tend to be elderly and are usually shocked at how much a good pair of shoes cost. You will want to give postural advice to the walkers however this is a slippery slope unless you walk the mall yourself. These people are part of a tight knit group that looks down on outsiders. Sometimes these people will be very friendly. They may even come in and try shoes on however they rarely if ever purchase good walking shoes regardless of what you offer them.

The Quality Guru: People who want the best, only the best and nothing but the best. Be wary of imposters who claim they want the best yet are unwilling to pay for it. A true quality guru will come back for a good pair of shoes if they have been priced fairly. In my experience professional men are the best quality gurus. If you can sell shoes to these people you can sell shoes to anyone. Typically they don't have a lot of time however if you establish your proficiency they will make time for you. Treat your guru well and reap big dividends if your professional is willing to refer colleagues. Many male quality gurus travel with a female partner who may be a wife, girlfriend, mistress or another professional. If you can include the partner, great, if not, focus on your guru.

The Difficult Shopper: Another one you want to avoid these people will complain about everything. Nothing is good enough for them and your advice is meaningless. If they are shopping with a partner they will harrass that person as well as you. They tend to be needy, bossy, aggressive, sensitive and a ton of work. One niche group you can work with is the person who realizes that they have a difficult foot to fit. These people apologize for taking up so much of your time and if you can give them a good comfortable shoe these people will drive your sales numbers. Be careful not to oversell to the shopper with the difficult foot. These people inevitably bring shoes back however they are usually very nice about it. The difficult shopper with the hard to fit foot can be a repeat customer you dread seeing walk through the door. On the other hand, if by some miracle you can figure out what works for them you will be an established deity in a newly founded religion.

While not an exhaustive list I hope this has provided some insight into what types of shoe whores there are as well as some tips as to how you can manage these people. Shoe whores are a fundamental element of a successful shoe store. Management of these people, while time consuming and tiresome, can also be profitable and rewarding. My best advice is to treat every shoe whore as your own personal challenge. Learn from your mistakes, enlist colleagues and don't be afraid to challenge your bullies. If there is someone you absolutely can't deal with, that's what management is for. If you are the manager, tomorrow is only a day away.

Sometimes I wonder what happened to Jenny(name changed). I only knew her briefly, some time in those first few days at college before the rennet of shared interests curdled the milk of the new intake of freshers into the cheese of relatively stable social circles. Her interest was one that I had never imagined in my short eighteen years of life: she loved shoes. She showed me the seventeen carefully arranged pairs in her wardrobe and explained how difficult it had been to pack, since she had had to leave thirty-something pairs at home.

At the time I thought nothing more than that she was strange, if pleasant. I did not know then what I know now about calceomania and its corrosive effect on the lives of innocent young women. And how could I? It is hard to imagine now, but thirty years ago shoe addiction was practically unknown. A practising psychiatrist might be confronted with one, at most two cases in his or her entire career, and would have been at a loss when trying to consult the literature for guidance: where now there are several well-established reputable peer reviewed journals in the field of calceomanic spectrum disorder (ICD-10 V, F63.4), back then there were only the pioneering papers of Jakob Krummzaun, practically unknown outside his native Liechtenstein and even there little-read after his fall from grace in the 1952 'chastisement' scandal. (And it also must be mentioned that there were few attractive shoe shops in Vaduz at that time.)

There are several competing theories, each enthusiastically propounded by their respective schools of thought, about the breathtaking increase in shoe addiction since the early 1980s, of which 'Jenny' could be seen as an unfortunate pioneer. To mention but the most prominent: there is the post-deconstructionist, or 'French' school, which sees the shoe addict as compulsively acting out society's rejection of its own unbearable comprehension of its inherent lack of objective meaning by the imposition of a socially-constructed and sanctioned comprehensible unitary and supposedly universally valid structure of desired second skin ('deuxième peau désiré', in the words of Grenouillard) upon the inchoate multiplicity of sole and toe ('plante et orteil'), an imposition that must be indefinitely repeated since the second skin can never successfully 'superplant' ('superplanter', a French term that is hard to translate given its play on the words 'supplanter' and 'plante') the individual subjective foot and thus achieve a 'valorisation en pied d'égalité', another phrase of difficult translation which could be roughly rendered as an acceptation of its value on an equal footing. (Not to be confused with the French word 'footing,' meaning 'jogging.') And then there is the 'English' school, which posits that "some women are inordinately fond of footwear" (as Johnson puts it).

Whatever the reason, the social consequences of the exponential rise in calceomania were relatively minor until the economic crisis of 2008: in an apparently booming economy, most shoe addicts were able to serve their dependency without resorting to desperate or illegal measures. How quickly things have changed! Few of us will have failed to notice the discretely armed guards now posted in the doorways of most major shoe shops: a necessary response to the meteoric rise in shoe shop-lifting and armed shoe-theft. And since the scandal surrounding 'Missy' Lorula Sheannison's recent hit "Doin' Tricks fo' shoes" even fewer of us will be unaware of the phenomenon increasingly invading the seamy side streets around the corners from those well-guarded shoe stores: the swelling ranks of young women forced by their desperation to sell the only asset they have left – their own bodies – for the price of a pair of pumps. Recognisable by the shopping bags they carry to stash away their 'earnings,' which also give them one of their more unkind names: 'shoe bags,' these shoe whores are surely among the most pitiable victims of the crisis.

But what is to be done to help them? Are they indeed deserving of help, or are they simply a problem for the law-enforcement community? This has become one of the burning issues in recent municipal elections, with the predictable positions on all sides being adopted by the predictable members of the equally predictable parties. It is not yet possible to predict which supposed solution or non-solution will prevail. But one thing can be predicted: the controversy is likely to move to a new level following the recent reports of the opening of 'shoe houses' in the seedier districts of some of our big cities. In these combination shoe shops and brothels the sex workers are paid directly in shoes. Some will no doubt argue that they are safer in such a controlled environment than out on the streets. Others will simply be pleased that they are out of sight of the high street. Still others will argue that these dens of immorality and/or exploitation should be banned forthwith. But whatever may come out of the debate one thing is sure: we can measure our humanity and compassion as a society by the way we treat these most unfortunate of women.

I just hope that 'Jenny' is not among them. She's too old.

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