Shoes Dream Meaning

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What does it mean to dream of shoes? We wear all sorts of shoes every day in our daily lives, so it is not surprising this is a common dream symbol. In this post, we’ll explore what it might mean and cover some common symbol themes.

What It Means to Dream About Shoes

dream symbol shoes meaning

Shoes can present themselves in many different ways in our dreams. We may see all types of different shoes as well – high heels certainly conjure up different images and feelings than a pair of muddy work books or running sneakers!

Often times, we associate shoes with clothing to protect our feet, express our own personal style, and to use them in walking through different parts of our life. When we have a dream about shoes, it can be tied into one of these underlying common themes.

Symbol for New Beginnings

Before we can go very far in our day to day routines, we often have to put on our shoes. Shoes often mean the beginning of something new or taking the first steps towards a goal.

If you are starting a new project or beginning a new chapter in your life, it is very likely that shoes may make an appearance in your dream. Often times they are a sign for how you currently feel about this new direction.

Dreaming of shoes can also be a sign that you are at rock bottom. You may be feeling as if you must do something about your life, and that you do not have a lot of options. You may feel like you are just getting started, and taking the first step isn’t easy.

welcome on board sign next to shoes

Hidden Aspects of Self or Others

If we see only a person’s shoes, we are not seeing the complete or whole picture. This could represent in a dream that we are missing the “big picture” perspective, or it could mean that we are not fully looking at all details.

This can sometimes mean that part of ourself or some aspect of a situation is not fully in our awareness. We may not be completely aware of our own shortcomings. We may feel like it is difficult to identify or pinpoint any one specific thing that is critically important or a causing factor in a particular situation.

Shoes as a Symbol for Your Path in Life

Sometimes, shoes can sometimes show insight on where we are in relation to our path in life. We often associate walking and roads with the metaphoric paths in life, such as in careers, relationships or even our own spiritual growth. See related dream symbol: Road Dream Meaning.

Often times we associate certain types of shoes with major life events or milestones. A pair of white dress shoes for example may be related to the dream symbol of a wedding. Baby shoes could be related to the dream meaning of a baby or feelings you might expect when dreaming about pregnancy.

A Symbol for Taking a Stand

There is the expression, stand for what you believe in. Often times, we are faced with conflicting thoughts, ideas and emotions. It can be difficult to stand up for your own needs or voice you true opinion, especially when faced with the constant noise of others drowning you out.

If you feel like others are often dismissing your own ideas and feelings, or if it seems like people never take you seriously, seeing shoes as part of your dream could mean there is something you feel like you must stand up for.

Protection & Defense

We wear shoes for one major purpose in life: to protect our feet. We walk on all sorts of rough surfaces, from gravel and rocks to the hot concrete of a city sidewalk to even on jagged pine needles in the deep forrest. Shoes give your feet protection from these elements in our environment.

Shoes can also protect us from certain weather situations. For example, we may wear snow boots when the weather is cold, or we may wear mud boots if we are walking through the rain. Each of these is an example of how shoes may present themselves in a dream to give you a message of how you can protect yourself in your current challenges in your daily waking life.

Just as we may associate shoes with taking a stand for something, we may also see them as a way to protect and defend ourselves. In a dream, this could manifest as you needing to wear a certain style of combat boot or wearing shoes which will protect you from certain elements.

Identity & Appearance: How We Appear to Others

Another thing we cannot overlook in our current modern world is how shoes are often used as a fashion statement. Many people are obsessed with wearing the latest in name brand fashions. Many shoe brands, such as Nike or Adidas are associated with certain activities, such as athletic sports like football and basketball.

When we dream of shoes, it can sometimes symbolize how we want to present ourselves to the world. Still, we must remember shoes do not give a full complete picture.

If you are dreaming of a certain name brand fashion in shoes, but it appears that other parts of your style are missing, it could mean that you are not comfortable with being your true self around certain people. It could also mean that you feel like you are out of alignment with your true soul purpose.

Grounding Forces

We may also associate footwear with putting our feet on the ground. We can connect with the grounding energy of the earth every time we step outside.

Many people in life walk around completely ungrounded. To be grounded means to have a strong balance between your spiritual, mental, and emotional self and the physical world.

If you feel as if you are disconnected in life or that you feel like something is out of balance, you may dream of shoes as a way of your subconscious trying to tell you that you need more balance.

This is a particularly common theme if you dream of being barefoot. The lack of shoes could very well mean that you are likely needing to better connect yourself with the physical world and to ground yourself in balance and harmony with the world around you.

shoes dream meaning

Work & Career

We can also often associate shoes with roles we play in our lives, whether these be the roles of our archetypes of whether it is a particular career role.

For example, a person who works in a restaurant often wears special shoes so they do not slip when they are working in the kitchen. A construction worker may wear steel-toe boots to protect oneself while on the job. Doctors and nurses may wear professional looking dress shoes, or they may wear comfortable and practical shoes which help them do their job in a busy hospital setting.

If you dream of a certain style of shoe, or it is a shoe you often wear to work, it is very likely that this may relate in some way to your current career. Ask yourself, are you happy with your current work conditions? Do you enjoy the work you do?

Dreaming of losing your shoes for work and being late could mean you do not feel job security, or it could signify you are out of balance between work responsibilities and other aspects of your personal life, such as family or hobbies.

Now that we’ve explored these common dream themes that may appear while we dream about shoes, it can be very helpful to explore common dream examples and what they may mean.

Roles & Responsibilities

In life we often have many different roles and responsibilities. As a parent, you may need to take care of your children. As an adult, you may feel like you need to live up to certain expectations.

In instances where you are wearing the wrong shoes, or if shoes are reversed {ie: wearing a left shoe on the right foot, or wearing a right shoe on your left foot} – this could mean that you are exploring different roles and responsibilities in your life. You may be in a situation where you feel like roles are reversed.

For example, perhaps you are now caring for your elderly parents after they took care of you while growing up. Perhaps you are in a romantic relationship with someone who challenges you to explore masculine and feminine roles in different ways.

A Different Perspective

If the dream seems to be focused on seeing things differently, it can sometimes mean a new perspective or different approach is necessary in order to make progress. This is especially true if you have a “ground view” of the people in the dream, but never see their faces or the larger part of the picture.

We often have a certain perspective as we go through life in this world. We may see things a certain way. Others do not always see things the same as we do.  Sometimes in dreams this can manifest as wearing someone else’s shoes.

Sometimes it can also mean we are focusing too much on one detail, and not looking at the wide angle view enough. We need to remember life is part of many different connected things all working as one.


Common Shoe Dream Examples and Their Meaning

what dreams about shoes mean

Dreaming of not wearing shoes: This often means you are feeling ungrounded in your current life, or that you may need to work on better grounding yourself in the physical world.

Dreaming of Losing a Pair of Shoes: If you lose an entire pair of shoes, this could mean that you are feeling at a loss and that you feel like your personal safety is compromised. This is a common dream symbol to have after experiencing grief associated with the death of a loved one.

Dreaming of Only Having One Shoe: Since shoes come in pairs, it is common for us to dream that we may be missing one shoe. This could symbolize that you feel out of balance, or that some part of self is missing.

You may also feel as if you are not fully prepared for new responsibilities or a new project you are considering. In some cases, dreaming of only having one shoe can mean that you do not feel like you can find people you match and belong with in the world.

Dreaming of Very Clean Shoes: If you have a brand new footwear or you have cleaned or shined your shoes, it is very likely this refers to starting something new in your life. In some cases, it could mean literally, “Putting Your Best Foot Forward”.

Dreaming Your Shoes are Muddy or Scuffed: If you dream that there is mud all over your shoes, or you have scuffed shoes or even notice grass stains, this could mean a couple of different things. In order to understand the meaning of this dream, you will need to pay careful attention to your overall mood and feelings.

If you are not upset by the mud, it is likely a sign you are very resilient and are not worried about doing the necessary work required in order to achieve your goals in life.

However, if you are concerned about the dirt or mud, it is likely that you are feeling like others are judging you for your decisions. You may feel inadequate or unprepared to be able to deal with challenges you may currently be facing.

Wearing Someone Else’s Shoes: This could mean that you feel like their are certain expectations on you and what you are supposed to do in life. You may not feel like you are doing the right thing or being true to yourself. You may feel anxious about needing to live up to certain expectations.

Someone stealing your shoes: This can mean that you are afraid of your own safety and wellbeing. Shoes are a means of protection from the environment, and so this could mean that you are concerned that someone is trying to threaten you.

Wrong Size/Too Tight/Too Small: Have you ever struggled with trying to find the perfect size that fits your feet? In a dream, this could mean that your perspective or actions in life do not necessarily match what your soul calls for you to do. If you dream of shopping for shoes that don’t fit, you may also wish to look into the meaning of shopping in dreams.

Wearing No Clothes: Dreams of missing clothes are common. If all you are wearing is the shoes that are on your feet, it could symbolize that you are not fully prepared or you may be feeling insecure about your decisions in life.

Dreaming of Baby Shoes: Baby shoes often symbolize a new beginning or new chapter in your life. You may be dreaming to release feelings of anxiety related to being new or inexperienced at something. Occasionally, dreaming of baby shoes may be a type of wish fulfillment dream, especially if you have been trying to conceive in your waking life.

Shoes in Water: If you dream of your shoes being wet or being thrown into water, such as into a sink, bucket, or lake/ocean, it is very likely that you are feeling overwhelmed or feel trapped by your emotions.

If you have water in your dream, you may not want to deal with your emotions. It is possible you are handling your true feelings in an unbalanced way which does not align with your actions.

It is possible if your shoes are wet, you may not be acting in your best highest interest by letting your emotions go ignored. You may be dealing with emotions in a negative way which can cause more harm to yourself or others than necessary.

Boots, Heels, Sandals and Other Types of Shoes: What They Mean in Dreams

There are so many different types of shoes, so it is difficult to list them all, but we will try to explain the significance of different styles & functions and how it may relate in a dream.

Dreaming of High Heels:

High heels are a type of dress shoe, typically worn for formal and dressy occasions. They are often known for being uncomfortable for many people to walk in. This could translate to meaning you are uncomfortable with walking your current path.

Some people may wear these heels as a way to make themselves seem more powerful or taller, especially in cases where one has to appear professional in an office environment.

Heels can also be something worn to a formal event for celebration. If you are dreaming of being at a party, you may also wish to explore the related champagne dream symbol.

Flip-Flops, Sandals, and Tongs

These types of shoes are typically associated with wearing in warmer weather or visiting tropical climates. You might wear flip-flops, tongs or sandals to the beach or to the pool.

Flip-Flops can sometimes be translated literally – are you “flipping” your opinions on a certain subject? Or, do you feel as if something may be unpredictable in your life.

Sandals in our dreams could mean we are finding a balance between protecting ourself and still sharing ourself in the world. Often times, sandals can mean you have established practical boundaries and have found a balance between what is necessary and what is desirable.

Wearing Boots

Wearing boots is another thing to consider in the meaning of your dreams. We wear boots for work, or we may wear boots in the snow, or in some cases boots are worn for military combat.

In order to understand the meaning of boots in your dreams, it is important to think about the context you see them. Sometimes you may notice the boots of a soldier walking around. This could mean that you have feelings of uncertainty about conflicting events in your life.

If the boots are related to being in cold weather or snow, it can be helpful to look at related dream symbols such as snow dream meaning for further insight. Often times it could mean that you are hesitant about a certain decision, or that you may feel like you have some very cold emotions that prevent you from starting a new project.

Running Sneakers & Other Athletic Wear

We often equate a pair of sneakers with running. Many runners look for that elusive perfect pair of athletic shoes that promise speed and endurance. Dreaming of running can have many different meanings all in its own – see what it means to be chased in a dream for further examples.

We also have the expression, “hit the ground running”. This could mean that you are concerned about appearing prepared, or that things in your life are moving a lot faster than you initially anticipated.

If you are concerned about wearing the “right” or “best” shoes for an athletic sport or are worried about how your performance may be affected in the dream, it is likely you are worried about making the right choices in your life. You may be worried that you are not on the path in life that most aligns with your true soul calling and purpose.

It can also mean you are worried about others who you are competing with. You may be trying to appear to be better than them, or your own insecurities may be surfacing at this time.

Dreaming of Dancing Shoes

Yes, of course we need to talk about dancing as a dream symbol. Whether you are wearing tap shoes or ballet flats, it’s important to understand the dynamics of dance and what it could mean in your dreams if there are dancers present.

If you are in dance either as a professional, instructor, or enthusiastic hobbyist, in most cases this means you are doing something that truly makes you feel fulfilled and happy. Occasionally it can mean that you are looking to reach out into something new or expand your current role.

If you enjoy dancing in real life, then this can mean that you are happy about something, or want to find some source of new happiness. If you hate dancing, it is likely that you feel like you are being thrown into a situation where you are not feeling comfortable


Literal Symbolism: Common Sayings & Phrases

Of course, we also need to look at some of the literal phrases we may hear in life that can sometimes surface in our dreams.

If the shoe fits, wear it: This is an expression that means to practice acceptance. Sometimes this means having to accept things you would rather deny or accept emotions you would rather not admit to yourself.

Some Big Shoes to Fill: This usually references the duties or responsibilities of a person. Often times we use this expression to suggest someone has to live up to a certain potential or high expectations.

In One’s Footsteps: This can mean that you are following someone, or someone is following you. This could be related to leadership roles. It can also sometimes be related to family dynamics and your interpersonal relationships.

Put Yourself in My Shoes/A Day in Another Person’s Shoes: This often means you do not always understand a situation unless you are actually in it. It is easy to judge others, but when faced with their same circumstances you may not be able to do much differently.

If the Shoe Drops, Waiting for the Shoe to Drop: This is an expression that means that you have expectations that something negative will happen based on prior events. If one shoe drops, it is likely just a matter of time before the other shoe will drop.  This is a common expression used surrounding things related to punishment and consequences.


Questions to Ask to Better Understand What Your Dream is About

Anytime you have a dream, it is important to understand you are the best person to interpret what it truly means. In order to fully explore the meaning of this symbol in your dreams, it is important to pay attention to the other details in the dream. Keeping track of your dreams in a dream journal can also help you spot common themes that may be surfacing into your dreaming mind.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What other people are in the dream? How do I feel about these people?
  • What is the setting of the dream? Where does the dream take place?
  • What type of shoe did I dream about? What is it overall appearance and condition?
  • What other symbols are present in the dream?
  • What colors seem most prevalent in the dream setting?
  • How might this relate literally or metaphorically to my waking life?

When you are able to ask these questions, you are closer to understanding how to use dreams as a powerful tool for self discovery. This knowledge and insight can help empower you to live a better life that leaves you fulfilled and happy.


Related Dream Symbols

In addition to the many different things we’ve covered here, it can be helpful to explore related symbol meanings. Here are some other symbols on our website that may be of interest to you:


I hope these different meanings and symbol associations are helpful for you. Have you had an interesting dream about shoes you would like to share? Tell us your experiences in the comments section below!

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