It’s become apparent that the
casual fashion trend has deeply affected the women’s footwear industry. The
high heel glam shoe of years past has been pushed to the back of the closet in
favor of far more comfortable and practical alternatives of late. So what are
women shopping for in their shoes these days? What’s in, out and what do you
need to know as a seller to put your best foot forward?
The high heel is out- if you take
one thing away from reading this article it’s that the high heel is
hurting. No, not just your arches anymore, it’s their sales which
have been suffering in recent years. The high heel that’s a heel 3 inches or
taller has seen a fairly steady decline in sales since its peak demand earlier
this decade. Reasons vary from health concerns such as causing back and knee
problems to changing consumer tastes, and some are even now pointing to the
#metoo movement as contributing factor to their decline. The high heel these
days is considered mostly for special occasions and generally not in the daily
rotation. So just what has usurped the high heel in the heart of most women?
The not so high heel- Women have
not abandoned the heel entirely, it’s just gotten a lot shorter or wider. The
mule and the kitten heel have risen in popularity as a compromise middle ground
between the high heel and the flat or sneaker another trend on the rise. These
modestly sized heels offer greater comfort and are far more practical without
entirely sacrificing the visual appeal that the heel provides.
The rise of the sneaker-
comfortable is the overarching trend today in women’s shoes, and the sneaker
has benefited greatly from this. NPD a market research group reported that in
2017 the sale of women’s leisure sneakers grew over 37% as a category. Not only
have the big names in the sneaker industry like Nike and Adidas benefited
greatly but also many of the high-end fashion houses like Louboutin and Gucci.
Instead of reinventing the wheel or the sneaker, in this case, these designers
have merely updated the sneaker with their higher quality materials and their
own trademark flair. Styles of sneaker in demand these days vary from
the dad sneaker a clunky and chunky looking 90’s throwback to classic canvas
sneakers like the Converse All-star or for the well-heeled consumer the
designer version of the classic trainer.
Boots are made for walking- Boots
are not going anywhere they are as popular as ever but as we have said before
comfort is critical. Look for ankle boots, hiking or cowboy boots anything with
a modest heel right for walking.
Summer means sandals- sandals are
front and center this time of year and of course, there are many light and airy
options out there but one surprising throwback to reemerge this year is the
classic Birkenstock. The Birkenstock brand proper has jazzed up its offerings
to appeal to consumers outside of the folk festival crowd and other designers
such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Prada have all done their own take on the
buckle slide sandal for this summer season. With sandals be on the
lookout for low heels and anything slip on. Bulky or chunky sandals