In a national survey of 733 millionaires representing the top 1% wealth holders in America, I found that 70% regularly have their shoes resoled/repaired (see The Millionaire Mind, p. 297). Millionaires are generally frugal, but they are not frugal when it comes to purchasing quality shoes. Why do most wealthy people pay several hundred dollars for a pair of shoes? As one respondent, a decamillionaire, stated, “cheap shoes wear you; you don’t wear them.” Plus most millionaires are more sensitive to the life cycle costs of shoes than the initial purchase price. The most favored brands of shoes among male millionaires are Allen Edmonds and Cole Haan (see Stop Acting Rich, p. 66). Plus both of these brands are also favored among that elite group of millionaires which has annual realized incomes of $1M or more. As I stated about such shoes, “never go out of style and can be refurbished over and over again.”
Given this background I was not surprised that Mayor Michael Bloomberg of NYC, a billionaire and member of the prestigious Forbes 400 club, has “been wearing the same shoes for 10 years,” see NYPost. According to the article, Mr. Bloomberg “owns only two pairs of work shoes. . . one day he’ll wear one, the next the other. When they get worn down he has them resoled.” According to a spokesperson, the shoes appear to be Allen Edmonds and Cole Haan brands. Another expert that was interviewed for the article said, “A pair of shoes like that could go 18 to 20 years . . . .”
The only exception I take to the article is when the author states that “Mayor Bloomberg is the rare billionaire who can preach penny-pinching. . . .” I find that the majority of millionaires, decamillionaires and billionaires are penny pinchers when it comes to their wardrobes!