World Footwear


2022: global footwear production reaches 23.9 billion pairs, back to pre-pandemic levels

2022: global footwear production reaches 23.9 billion pairs, back to pre-pandemic levels
In 2022 footwear production and exports grew by 7.6% and 9% respectively. Data are taken from the World Footwear Yearbook 2023 just released by APICCAPS, the Portuguese Footwear Association. Global footwear production reached the 23.9 billion pairs threshold, bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels. Last year 15.2 billion pairs were exported worldwide, representing a recovery from the drop registered as a result of the pandemic, yet still below the record registered in 2014 (15.7 billion pairs)

Footwear production bounces back to pre-pandemic levels

In 2022 global footwear production increased by 7.6% to reach 23.9 billion pairs, roughly standing at pre-pandemic levels.

The footwear industry continues to be strongly concentrated in Asia where almost 9 out of every 10 pairs of shoes are manufactured, resulting in a share of 87.4% of the world total.

China is the world’s largest footwear producer marginally increasing its share in 2022 to 54.6%, reversing the downward trend observed in recent years. China and seven other Asian countries dominate the top 10 major footwear producers. Amongst these, Vietnam experienced the highest production growth of 10.3%.

The re-shoring myth?

The geographical distribution of footwear production has remained relatively unchanged over the past decade: Asia continues to dominate, manufacturing over 87% of the world's shoes, the same percentage as in 2010. Re-shoring, if it exists, is of a very limited scale.

Asia accounts for more than half of global consumption

In 2022 Asia’s consumption accounted for more than half (53.2%) of the worldwide total, slightly below the share registered by this continent in the previous year. North America and Europe follow with 15.9% and 14.9% shares respectively.

Per capita footwear consumption
varies from 1.4 pairs in Africa to 5.9 pairs in North America.

China remains the leading consumer of footwear although its share of the global total has declined to 17.9%. Consumption in the United States saw an increase of 12.7% last year thereby reclaiming 2nd position as a footwear consumer and overtaking India.

The European Union, when taken as one region, represents the fourth largest market for footwear with 2 347 million pairs consumed in 2022.

Exports of footwear on the rise

Footwear exports continued to increase and recorded growth of 9% in 2022 (after a 7.4% increase in 2021), reaching a total of 15.2 billion pairs. This represents a volume of exported footwear above pre-pandemic levels but still below the record of 2014 (15.7 billion pairs). In terms of value, footwear exports worldwide soared to a new record high of 175.2 billion dollars in 2022, marking a substantial increase of 16.1% over the previous year and an impressive surge of 42.9% over the past decade.

Although most footwear exports (volume) originate from Asian countries, this percentage has slightly declined over the past decade from 85.3% to 83.9%. Conversely, the share of exports from European countries has increased from 11.4% to 13.2%.

China stands out as the origin of over 60% of total exports. However, its share has declined by more than 10 percentage points over the last decade. Vietnam has emerged as the main beneficiary of this reduction, significantly increasing its own share from 2% to nearly 10%.

Average worldwide export price reaches a new record

The average export price per pair of footwear reached 11.54 dollars in 2022, representing a 6.5% increase over 2021 and a rapid increase of 38.2% over the past decade. As in previous years, rubber & plastic footwear recorded the most significant rise in price (+14.4%). The export price of leather footwear saw a modest increase of only 0.8%.

Leather footwear leads exports in value, but rubber & plastic comes first in volume

When considering the value of exports, leather footwear accounts for over one-third of the total value due to its higher average price. In terms of the volume of footwear exported, rubber & plastic footwear are in pole position.

Find more information about the World Footwear Yearbook 2023 by clicking HERE