Posted by Alex Jackson on 8th Jun 2018
I can hear people asking already; you meant to write women, right? Just forgot “wo” correct? Nope, not a mistake, men are getting into footwear bigtime! And they are rapidly catching up to the ladies for their love of, and dollar spends for footwear. Men’s shoe sales in the USA are now virtually tied with women’s; it is estimated that the gents in the USA spent $26.2 billion in 2016 on footwear compared with the ladies $29.9 billion shoe bill and that gap keeps getting narrower every year. So why did guys suddenly decide that they do need more than two pairs of shoes? Those stinky gym sneakers and those dress shoes for interviews? Well, let’s look at men and their growing obsession with shoes.
Men and their sneaker obsession- so let’s start with one of the more obvious reasons guys are crazy about sneakers. If you are ever in New York, you should check out Stadium Goods to see this obsession in its full glory. This store specializes in rare and limited-edition sneakers, need a super rare pair of Nike Air Mag sneakers? The 2016 version of these futuristic sneakers from the Back to the Future movie franchise can be purchased there for about $25 grand and yes, they actually self-lace! But let’s not dive into the sneakerhead subculture at this point and instead let’s focus on a few critical aspects about average guys and their sneakers. For starters, thanks to the culture shift to casual apparel they are now acceptable in most settings both work and leisure. Guys do love their athletic sneakers but another important trend to follow is the increase in demand for luxury branded sneakers. We are talking here about your high-quality leather sneakers usually around a few hundred dollars that are generally paired up with the sports jacket for that semi-formal/casual look. And of course, let’s not forget the knock around sneakers, not the fancy going out on the town sneakers just the ordinary type. What is surprising is just how many pairs of these guys now have in their closet, guys are just like the ladies in that they are really starting to appreciate the importance of variety in their wardrobe.
Boots are still staples to any man’s closet- so what’s in on the boot front? The Chelsea and the Chukka for sure but the work boot and the heritage boot(this being the boot that your grandfather might have worn) are hot. Boots are no longer as seasonal sensitive as they once were, sure your probably not sporting your boots on a 90-degree day, but they are no longer relegated to the fall and winter months.
The dress shoe repurposed- The oxford toe cap has not been relegated to the ash heap of history, instead it’s been given new life by being paired with some dark form-fitting jeans. In other words, they are not out of style, just getting some new life and use outside of the suit and tie business setting. Again, the guys are looking for quality and form. Guys are buying these shoes for the long haul, so they should be timeless in their style and quality in their construction.
A note to the reseller- Now Is undoubtedly a great time to be selling men’s footwear. As a reseller what you need to keep in mind is that this is a wildly popular category and competition is fierce for a limited amount of merchandise. Don’t sit on your hands in this category, if you find a lot to your liking move fast as it can quickly disappear before you get a chance to buy it.
You have to give Nordstrom’s a lot of credit for thinking outside the brick and mortar box and being willing and able to try something different. Last year we looked at their Nordstrom’s Local concept, a store with no inventory instead it has a team of personal stylists who assist the client in their purchasing decisions ordering in items from other [...]