Diverse textures, colors and patterns give ballet flats and sneakers a fresh look.
China suppliers of casual shoes are launching more women’s models with fabric uppers to complement a variety of apparel styles.
|Huizhu Hongyu offers these PU leather ballet flats with lace overlay. The price is $4.95 per pair.|
Printed motifs and assorted hues are used to update the latest canvas sneakers. This is also done in men’s slip-on and lace-up designs. New Mary Janes and oxfords feature patterned textiles as well, often dainty pastel florals that exude a retro appeal.
As regards shape, rounded tips are preferred in nearly all types of footwear for both sexes. Square caps, however, remain popular for some men’s releases.
The mainstream types of China-made casual shoes include ballet flats, Mary Janes, low- and high-cut sneakers, loafers, oxfords and deck shoes. A few companies offer closed-toe wooden clogs and espadrilles, but these represent a small percentage of exports.
Material is the primary price determinant. Women’s models start just below $5 and can exceed $11. Men’s versions are more expensive by about $0.30 per pair despite being less embellished because larger sizes consume a greater amount of inputs.
Fabrics are the most economical choice for the uppers, followed by PU leather. Cow split and suede are adopted in midrange styles, while high-end pairs come in full-grain, nubuck and embossed hides.
Lining and insole options include PU leather, pigskin and mesh. The last is generally utilized in sneakers. Between rubber and TPR, the former is the costlier outsole type. The bottom layer is generally thinner for ballet flats than for other kinds of footwear.
Logos and patterns are affixed onto products though printing and embroidery.
Shoelaces and hook-and-loop tabs are used for closures. Some designs that do not utilize fasteners have an elastic band at the counter to provide a better fit.
Quotes are currently as much as 35 percent higher than in the previous quarter due to rising material and labor costs. In particular, PU leather rates climbed 10 percent since February, while rubber outsoles increased 15 percent. Worker spending is also up 20 percent.
Makers anticipate expenses to keep mounting in the months ahead. As a result, prices will likely be augmented by 10 to 15 percent.
Note: This article "Casual shoe suppliers favor textile uppers for versatility" was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.
All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.
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