World Footwear


What do consumers look for in terms of comfort?

Feb 14, 2017 CEC
What do consumers look for in terms of comfort?
During the last GDS CEC presented the results of a survey to consumers indicating their needs and desires in terms of comfortable and fashionable shoes. The survey is part of the Erasmus+ funded project Fit2Com
A survey conducted by the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC) and its partners under the Erasmus+ funded project Fit2Com clearly indicates that European consumers look for shoes which are both comfortable and fashionable, but they do not always succeed because comfortable shoes are generally unattractive whilst fashionable shoes are often uncomfortable.

According to the results of the survey, most consumers elected as the four most valued aspects in shoes are comfort, quality, price and design. 50% of the consumers enquired responded that they cannot find the shoes they want, pointing lack of comfort as the main reason for that.  This points for greater need of incorporation of comfort features in footwear production in Europe. Due to differences in preferences and feet shape/ size/ sensibility, there is also a relevant need for more customization.

The survey was designed to measure consumers’ need for comfortable shoes, and to better understand which comfort-related features they most value. With a growing ageing population, comfort and healthy features are at the forefront of consumers’ requests, and it is expected that this trend will increase when analysing the results of the survey. Indeed, a big majority of interviewers indicated having back and/or foot problems, suggesting a need for adapted and comfortable shoes. However, many respondents confessed their difficulties in finding the right shoes.
With the Fit2Comfort project, the European project consortium, led by the Footwear Technology Center of Portugal, expects to bring more comfortable yet attractive shoes to the market by developing a professional qualification profile and corresponding ICT and work-based training programme, which will provide the relevant skills and know-how to incorporate comfort features in the manufacture of stylish shoes. By indicating which footwear features are the most relevant to consumers, the survey results will help the project identify such skills and include them in the professional training programme.

Thanks to this new qualification and training course, the added value of European footwear will increase, and consumers will have more choices of comfortable shoes from which to select and buy.

To learn more about Fit2Com, please visit the project's website.