Footwear Market - Which Country Holds Sway on the Global Footwear Market?

Footwear July 23, 2015
Author: Olga Minchina
Account Manager


footwear market

Originally, the primary function of footwear was protective. As the centuries passed, however, shoes were more about status and appearance, and nowadays it is an essential part of fashion. There are many types of footwear: shoes, sneakers, boots, moccasins, espadrilles, sandals, flip-flops, slippers, and hundreds more.

The global footwear market is primarily dictated by consumer trends. While women tend to opt for fashionable yet comfortable shoes, men often choose sports shoes. Evolving fashion trends coupled with a rise in disposable income has greatly driven market growth. However, one of the tough challenges manufacturers are currently facing is keeping pace with a highly volatile and fickle teenage customer.

European footwear products are well-known for their quality and style, and enjoy strong demand both within the EU and across the globe.Italian shoes, for example, have always been highly coveted and regarded as the epitome of excellence and style.

Although most EU footwear production is concentrated in Italy, Spain and Portugal, due to the transferring of production to economies with lower labor costs, such as China and India, the number of footwear manufacturers in these EU countries has been on a downward path over the past decades.

China dominates in global footwear production and trade. In 2013, China exported 68.6% of its total footwear output. Of this amount, 17.7% was supplied to the U. S., where Chinese footwear held an 81.1% share of total U.S. consumption.

In 2013, the U.S. (26.0%), the UK (6.5%), Germany (5.2%), France (5.2%) and Japan (4.3%) were the leading destinations of footwear imports, together making up 47.2% of global imports in physical terms. And while the share of Russia increased, the share of the U.S. illustrated negative dynamics. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In 2013, China and Viet Nam were the main global suppliers of footwear with a combined share of 81% of global exports. However, the fastest growing suppliers from 2007 to 2013 were the UK (+26% per year) and Turkey (+20% per year). Despite being the largest global producers of footwear, India and Brazil did not export much of their production, meaning that it was domestically consumed.

Do you want to know more about the global footwear market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • footwear market share
  • footwear prices
  • footwear industry
  • footwear sales
  • footwear market forecast
  • footwear price forecast
  • key footwear producers

Source: World: Footwear - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2020