World Footwear


Pandemic speeds up consumer preferences towards casual and sports footwear

Pandemic speeds up consumer preferences towards casual and sports footwear
As part of the third edition of the Business Conditions Survey, we have asked our Panel of Exports about the perspectives for the market share of different types of footwear. The COVID-19 pandemic seems to be speeding up existing trends
If it is true that the overall perspectives of our respondents over the evolution of the market share of different types of footwear, over the next three years, have not dramatically changed in the current year, it is also true that in the current edition of this survey we found much more extreme responses than in the April’s edition.

Perspectives for classic leather footwear, particularly men’s footwear, are even gloomier now: more than half of those interviewed believe its market share is going to decrease; and 45% expresses the same view about classic women’s leather footwear.

In the complete opposite direction, our panel continues to believe that sneakers and other sports-related footwear is certainly going to gain market share in the near future. The shift from office to teleworking and the fact that people spend more time at home, as consequences of the pandemic, drive the demand for more comfortable footwear in detriment of the traditional alternatives. The balance of extreme answers for these categories of footwear increased sharply compared to the previous edition of the bulletin: from 42 percentage points (p.p.) and 26 p.p. to 70 p.p. and 51 p.p., respectively.

The category of other footwear with textile uppers is also expected to increase in market share over the next three years. The balance of extreme responses for this type of footwear achieved an incredible 40 percentage points. Prospects are more balanced for plastic or rubber footwear (-2 p.p.).

About the Business Conditions Survey

In 2019 the World Footwear has created the World Footwear' experts panel and is now conducting a Business Conditions Survey every semester. The objective of the World Footwear Experts Panel Survey is to collect information regarding the current business conditions within the worldwide footwear markets and then to redistribute such information in a way it will provide an accurate overview of the situation of the global footwear industry.

The third edition of this online survey was conducted during the month of October 2020. We have obtained 122 valid answers, 56% coming from Europe, 25% from Asia, 9% and 8% from South and North America, respectively, and the remainder from other continents. Almost one third (31%) of the respondents are involved in footwear manufacturing (manufacturers), 21% in footwear trade and distribution (traders) and 48% in other footwear-related activities such as trade associations, consultancy, journalism, etc. (others).

Cover Image credits: Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash