Who knows a woman who can count the number of shoes she owns on her fingers? Same here! It all begins with the queen of Disney princesses, Cinderella, and her glass slipper, followed closely with Dorothy's ruby slippers and hours of our childhood spent tottering around in our mother's heels. Fast forward to adulthood and not much has changed. Jimmy Choo envy and Manolo Blahnik's red soles remain high on our shoe wish-list. We're obsessed with footwear - especially those with a heel.
Perhaps it's the sense of empowerment women feel when they are sashaying in a pair of killer heels, or maybe the way our bodies look instantly slimmer and taller when you slip on a high heel.
Both height and a fabulous looking shoe literally raises our figure and our ego. One walks with an air of confidence that is almost impossible to achieve in a pair of flats. Of course, we love our trusted worn-in Converse trainers and our Pretty Ballerina pumps, but nothing says grown-up like a ladylike stiletto. It's like a physical transition from girl to woman in a single step.
As women, we regularly suffer in the name of fashion. We pay the price, not just literally, but in pain threshold. Childbirth is a walk in the park compared to a shoe with a four-inch heel or more. But for some twisted reason this doesn't stop us buying yet another pair of black stilettoes that only we, as the wearer, can actually spot the difference between the other eight pairs we already have lurking in the bottom of our wardrobes. Why?
The real beauty and joy about shoes is that they always fit. Put on a few extra pounds, lose a few, baby bump in tow, they'll still fit. Surely this reason alone gives us a green light to indulge our footwear fascination.
This season sees the introduction of chunky stacks and the re-birth of stillettos amongst our usual favourites - wedges, calf-skimming booties, Sloaney brogues and more. The array of choice and strong temptation to buy one of each style makes for difficult decision-making. So, instead of encouraging you to hold back (an action I would never myself promote) I've found some great budget buys. And all under £100.
But be warned, pain is almost guaranteed whatever the price.