Makers are developing wider and lower footwear with plush and patterned surfaces.
China suppliers of dress shoes and boots are returning to designs that are easy to walk in.
For better balance, more women’s models are fitted with kitten and wedge heels. Although 4in stilettos continue to be popular, a 1in platform is affixed to the front to reduce pressure on the balls of the feet. Additionally, round and square tips are replacing pointed types to prevent compressing the toes.
In the men’s category, loafers are gaining ground because they can be slipped on and off effortlessly.
Following apparel trends, neutral colors such as camel, black and brown are currently favored for both sexes. Gray and navy are also used for women’s releases.
The classic hues are updated through materials with diverse textures. Smooth velvet that has a short pile, snakeskin-patterned synthetic leather, and lace overlay on satin are some of the examples. Leopard spots and zebra stripes are incorporated as well.
As is the case with garments, fur is resurfacing as a popular trimming option on boots. Apart from fox and rabbit hair, faux variants are employed.
Closures such as zippers, laces and buckles continue to be the focal point of some simple designs.
China-made dress shoes for women comprise pumps, d’Orsays, oxfords and strappy sandals. Most boots have shafts that extend slightly beyond the ankle, below the knee, or up to the thigh. Booties with collars that reach just below the ankle are now widely offered as well.
Men’s selections are typically differentiated by the closure. Lace-up, slip-on and buckled styles are available. Ankle- and calf-high boots are the mainstream.
Prices are determined by the quality and amount of materials and trimmings utilized. The use of labor-intensive production techniques is also factored in.
Women's dress shoes go for $4.50 to $26 per pair, while boots are from $8 to $60. Quotes for men's footwear start at $6.60 and can reach $46.
PU leather is the most commonly employed material for the uppers. Action leather is applied for men’s variants, while women’s models also adopt fabrics, sheepskin, cow suede and full-grain hides.
The lining and insoles of low-end designs are generally made of PU leather or microsuede. Mesh and pigskin are considered upscale.
PVC, PU, TPR, rubber and wood are the outsole, platform and heel options.
In 4Q10, most suppliers raised prices by 5 to 15 percent due to increasing material and labor expenses. Prices will be augmented further in the next six months as costs continue to mount.
Note:This article 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.
Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.