You know what to do. Set the timer for 20 and hunt down all of your athletic shoes. If you’re like most people, they are scattered everywhere, so this may take a minute. Grab any shoe that is related to sports or being athletic. Once you have them together, it’s time to cull. Ask these questions:
- Is the padding still good in them?
- Do they support your feet?
- Are your feet tired or sore when you’re done wearing them?
- Do you still do the sport they are designed for?
- Do you like them?
- Are they smelly and gross beyond what a good wash can fix?
- Do you really need 3 pairs of running shoes?
- Do you need the rest of the athletic shoes when you only wear one pair of them?
- Do they make you feel guilty for not using them?
I usually find either none, or 20 pairs of the same type in people’s homes. As they are bulky and take up a lot of space, try to be honest about how often you partake in activity that requires them. If you’re keeping the hiking shoes, but only actually walk on pavement, maybe another pair could do double duty. If you have 6 pairs of golf shoes, but only play tennis now, time for the golf shoes to go.
Once you’ve sorted them, if the pile contains more than 4 pairs, I challenge you to put any extras in a bag in the garage for two weeks. Try living with just 4 of your favorite pairs and see if you even need to grab another pair from that bag. Put the 4 pairs back in your closet or wherever you keep your shoes and we’ll organize them later.