< back to blog home

Outlook: Footwear Market

Outlook: Footwear Market
  • shares

Today we want to provide you with a quick overview on some of the key movements happening in the footwear space.  Read on for three key takeaways to know!

While your favorite pair of heels may have been languishing in the back of your closet for the past few years, there's reason for optimism for the footwear category as a whole.  

Specifically, StyleSage data shows that while discounts have been on the decline since the beginning of 2021, sold out footwear rates have been picking up.  In fact, sold out rates reached their peak in December 2021, while discount rates were simultaneously at some of their lowest levels recorded during the past few years.

And don't count that pair of sparkly heels out just yet. StyleSage data showed that across the entire footwear category in December 2021, sold out rates were highest for - you guessed it - heels (14%).

Athletic footwear is dominant

Recent data from NPD highlights that the US market for athletic footwear increased by 20 percent in 2021. “After strong growth in 2021, spurred by running and walking shoes, performance footwear is forecasted to stay steady, at rates slightly higher than before the pandemic, and unit sales will increase,” Matt Powell, sports industry advisor at NPD, said.

Indeed, StyleSage data shows a similar trend, where both men's and women's performance athletic footwear, that is, footwear geared towards activities like running, hiking, and walking, has seen increases in their counts from pre-pandemic levels.  What's most remarkable, however, is that women's performance footwear has really picked up speed, registering growth of 38 percent from January 2020, while men's logged a more modest gain, 7 percent.

Inflation hits the footwear category

Inflation is everywhere these days, and indeed, its impacts have been felt across nearly every category of good and service.  Fashion has been no exception.  We wanted to check in and see the latest pricing data on footwear to understand its impacts.

StyleSage data shows that across three of the four key categories of footwear, prices are up.  Interestingly, sneakers have seen the biggest price increases from pre-pandemic levels (8%).  We know that the sneaker supply chain has seen significant disruption, from factory closures in Vietnam to challenges transporting goods, which have in turn driven up costs.  We'll be keeping close tabs on the rate of inflation in the comings months - to understand if its pace its slowing or continuing.

In fact, we have a lot more insights coming for you on the footwear market.  Stay tuned here, to find out when our upcoming footwear market report drops!

Related Article