What is Shoe Industry Analysis?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A shoe industry analysis is an outlook of the market prospects in shoe manufacturing and sales. The analysis covers current market trends and concerns, and offers projections for the future. Shoe companies, government agencies, investors, and organizations with an interest in the shoe industry may all order or use a shoe industry analysis in their work. Trade publications can provide a useful starting point for people who do not want to commission their own analyses, as these publications usually provide ongoing information about industry trends.

Once a design gains company approval, shoes are manufactured by a multi-step process.
Once a design gains company approval, shoes are manufactured by a multi-step process.

The analysis usually focuses on a specific aspect of the industry. It may look at prospects in a particular country or within a particular market sector, like women's shoes or athletic shoes. The shoe industry analysis will cover the history and current conditions in the market, and then project possible future trends. It will integrate a discussion of new and pending legislation to give people an idea of how the legal climate may impact the industry, looking at everything from new import-export policies to tighter regulations on leather labeling.

A shoe industry analysis may focus on a specific part of the industry, such as athletic shoes.
A shoe industry analysis may focus on a specific part of the industry, such as athletic shoes.

The shoe industry analysis may examine several companies representative of the industry and compare and contrast them. It can look at how well the companies respond to changing market forces and may offer projections for their future activities, based on current performance and past behavior. Companies known for being versatile, for example, can adapt quickly to new consumer demands like calls for environmentally friendly products or sweatshop-free shoes. More rigid, traditionalist companies may have difficulty meeting market needs.

Analysts can also examine related industries with the goal of predicting future trends or problems. Leather, canvas, rubber, and a variety of other products are used in shoes. Looking ahead for issues like materials shortages or quality problems can provide manufacturers with the information they need to make intelligent purchasing decisions, like nailing down a contract for leather at a good price before shortages drive prices up. Companies may also have an interest in new materials under development with an eye to using them in new shoe products.

Companies can include a brief shoe industry analysis in annual reports and other investment disclosures to provide people with information about the industry so they can make informed investment decisions. Such documents are also useful for companies preparing to go public, purchase shoe companies, or merge with other companies. Governments use industry analyses in regulatory decisions as well as trade negotiations and agreements.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


@browncoat - I agree that there are many people today who buy cheap sweatshop shoes because they can't afford better shoes.

However, myself and many other people who wore poorly fitted shoes when they were young, are having problems with feet, knees and backs. We now realize the importance of buying "good shoes" if we have the money. They also buy well-constructed shoes for their kids.

And with running and other sports being so popular, special, well-made shoes are popular, but expensive. Some people are looking hard for shoes that are made-in-America.

The shoe industry analysis is quite complicated, but is very helpful for many groups needing information about the shoe industry.


@KoiwiGal - The problem is that no matter how cheaply that kind of shoe is made, it will still cost more than a sweatshop shoe which can be sold for $10. Yes, it probably won't last as long, but people don't always think like that. They just see the cheap price and get out their wallets.

If you really want to challenge these sorts of things, you need to legislate change, but unfortunately, that can lead to further problems. Poor people still depend on sweatshop wages, and poor people depend on being able to afford cheap shoes.

This is one of the reasons industry analysis can be so complex. It's not as straightforward as people believe.


I think there is quite a lot of call now for companies to start switching to shoes that were made with fair trade practices or with environmentally friendly materials. Preferably both.

There are quite a few places now where you can buy these at fairly reasonable prices, so people don't really have a reason not to.

People are starting to realize that they can sell shoes online as well. I've seen relatively cheap shoes from foreign countries on craft market websites. If you buy from there, you know the money is going to a good place.

So, yeah, I think any footwear industry analysis would need to take that into account.

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