I’m a big supporter of Florsheim dress shoes. They cost a small fortune on my paltry budget, but something keeps me coming back to them. I recently purchased another pair on Zappos.com. Remarkably, these $125 dress shoes are one of the best values I’ve ever found. Before I buy anything too expensive, I try to calculate the true cost per wear.
I’m stupid, brutal, and ruthless with my dress shoes. They go with me everywhere – through the slush, snow, rain, and muck. I live in the Midwest, where snow is constantly falling and ice cakes the sidewalks. Nonetheless, I’m expected to dress nicely for work and school.
The roads can be devastating to most shoes, but somehow my $125 Florsheims can make it through a couple seasons. When I calculate the cost per wear for these shoes, I realize the true value. I wear them for about two-thirds of the year. That equals about 243 days – at minimum – of wear. Amazingly, the Florsheim’s can last about 2 years like this (at least 486 days). Conservatively, that means that each time I slide my dress shoes on, I spend about $0.25 per wear.
Many would suggest buying beater shoes for terrible weather. Maybe I could get a cheap pair of shoes at Walmart or Target for $40? Likely, a pair of cheap shoes could last me one season and then I’d need to retire them. Most winters last about 90 days. If I wore the inexpensive shoes every day of winter, I’d still be spending about $0.45 per wear.
At the end of 90 days, I’d be sending my shoes to Goodwill or to the dump. From the packaging, rubber, materials, store resources, etc., buying a pair of shoes and throwing them away is far less green. This buying of cheap materials with poor true value is part of the reason why we’re aiding climate change and adding to our conservation problems.
By buying shoes that are initially more expensive, I’m actually saving my wallet and helping the environment. While I focused on shoes today, you could certainly branch out and apply it to the rest of your wardrobe. When you can calculate cost per wear across domains, some serious savings will be in store.
Have you ever calculated cost per wear? Are there ever items that you choose to purchase that initially more expensive, but a better value?