Footwear Manufacturers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 200 footwear manufacturers in the US design and market their own products, but may also contract to produce footwear for outside designers. Products include dress and casual shoes, athletic shoes and cleats, industrial shoes, sandals, boots, ballet slippers, house slippers, and orthopedic shoes.

Changes in Fashion

Consumer interest in shoes can be fickle with styles changing and falling out of favor within seasons or a few years.

Global Competition

Imports dominate the US footwear market, accounting for 98% of sales.

Industry size & Structure

The average footwear manufacturer operates a single location, employs 56 workers, and generates about $9 million in annual revenue.

    • The footwear manufacturing industry consists of about 200 companies that employ 11,300 workers and generate $1.8 billion in annual revenue.
    • 44% of footwear manufacturers have fewer than 5 employees, while the 10 largest firms have over 500 employees.
    • The industry is highly concentrated: the 8 largest companies account for 60% of industry revenue.
    • The states with the largest number of footwear manufacturing facilities are Texas, California, New York and Maine.
    • Companies with domestic manufacturing operations include Gateway Shoes, San Antonio Shoemakers (SAS), Modern Vice, Minnetonka, Heyday, MacNeill Engineering (Champ brand) and Wolverine.
    • Companies may have foreign operations or contract production to foreign manufacturers. Crocs sources its production from licensed manufacturers in Asia. Sketchers designs and markets footwear, but contracts the actual manufacturing to foreign producers, primarily in Asia.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Footwear Manufacturers Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Mar 9, 2023 - Footwear Sales to Stabilize Through 2025
                                  • Footwear sales revenue is projected to grow at an annual rate of 1% through 2025, according to a report from the NPD Group in Retail Dive. As shoppers feel financial pressures, they are expected to view casual footwear, sneakers, and athletic footwear as necessities and spend less on categories like dress footwear, outdoor shoes, and slippers. Demand will be highest in the first half of 2023 for “casual everyday use” shoes. In 2022, sports leisure footwear sales generated the highest revenue, and fashion footwear sales grew as consumers returned to in-person events. According to NPD analyst Beth Goldstein, “This will be a reset year for the footwear industry. After three years of ups and downs, we can expect sales and price trends will level out as consumers settle into their now-familiar lifestyles and make strategic choices about their must-haves versus their nice-to-haves, as they continue to grapple with macroeconomic pressures.”
                                  • Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden recently called 2023 a transition year as the company determines how to handle $1.3 billion in Yeezy sneakers from its terminated partnership with rapper Ye, formerly known as Kayne West, according to the New York Times. Adidas ended the profitable and high-profile relationship in October 2022 following antisemitic remarks by the musician. Gulden said the company was still weighing what to do with the inventory, stored in warehouses worldwide, including selling the merchandise and donating the profits. The company is looking toward new partnerships with celebrities including Pharrell Williams and others to drive growth. In addition to the Yeezy issue, Adidas faced lower sales in China, its biggest market, following COVID-19 lockdowns and challenges from pulling out of Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
                                  • A new survey about boot shopping found that the most popular category was hiking boots (75%), followed by cold weather/snow boots (68%), and fashion boots (65%), according to Footwear Insight. According to the survey of 500 consumers, customers are shopping for boots at outdoor stores (67%), sporting goods stores (63%), online – not affiliated with a brick and mortar store (60%), department stores (52%), online – affiliated with a brick and mortar store (45%), discount footwear chains (28%), and family shoe stores (26%). Features most important in boots are comfort and durability, waterproofness, insulation, price, fashion, sizing, and brand. Winter was the most popular time of year for consumers to wear boots (95%), followed by fall (88%), spring (58%), and summer (30%).
                                  • Consumer confidence levels declined in January 2023, following an increase in December 2022, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell to 107.1 in January 2023 from 109 in December 2022. According to Ataman Ozyildirim, a senior director of economics at The Conference Board, “Consumer confidence declined in January, but it remains above the level seen last July, lowest in 2022. Consumer confidence fell the most for households earning less than $15,000 and for households aged under 35.” While plans to purchase homes have cooled, plans to buy cars and appliances have held steady, per Ozyildirim.
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