Pair of footwear

I was doing some Christmas shopping yesterday when I noticed a sign in a shoe shop promising a "free gift with every pair of footwear".

I know what this means, but 'footwear' isn't a countable noun, so a pair of footwear – no way. What would be a good alternative?

'Free gift with every pair of shoes' – but the shop might also sell boots.

'Free gift with every purchase' – but the shop might sell accessories (such as shoe polish) which don't come with a gift.

'Free gift with all footwear'. I think this could be a winner. After all, no one is going to buy a single shoe – are they? Or would someone buying a pair of shoes (for example) try to claim a pair of gifts?

On another note, I am no longer an itinerant sub so will soon be able to dig out my digital camera and start posting photos of offending signs such as this one. In the meantime here is a generic photo of a 'pair of footwear':


Anonymous said...

Maybe they should just scrap the idea of a free gift! In fact if the shoes they were sell were anything like the ones on your picture JD, they might as well just give everything away free!

Ellen Kozisek said...

"Free gift with every footwear purchase" would work, though it means something different.

Personall, "pair of footwear" works fine for me. I'm more bothered by "purchased" being unstated.

Anonymous said...

These are looking too good, Last week i bought beautiful sandals from Journeys store at CouponAlbum, on great discounted prices..