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Shoes Consumer Insights

Recovery Shoe
Post-workout shoes step into mainstream as recovery focus rises
Trend - Post-workout footwear is transitioning from niche to mainstream within the athletic and wellness spaces. This signifies a growing consumer focus on recovery, with footwear designed to promote comfort, circulation, and potentially even joint health after exercise.

Insight - There is a growign shift towards holistic health practices, where recovery is seen as essential as the workout itself. This trend is driven by a deeper consumer understanding of the biomechanics of recovery and its impact on overall performance and long-term health. As people become more attuned to their bodies' needs, there is increasing demand for products that support optimal recovery.
Workshop Question - How can your brand leverage the growing consumer focus on recovery and holistic health practices?
9
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Graphene Footwear
Graphene's uses are being expanded into performance footwear
Trend - While still being researched for its potential, graphene is being used by early adopters to create sustainable footwear. The lightweight material's benefits include durability, thermoregulation and water resistance--making it particularly useful for performance and work wear.

Insight - Brands that specialize in activewear have the same sustainability goals as those in adjacent industries, but with additional factors to consider--such as how those materials hold up in intense conditions and over time. Both new and longstanding brands in this space are exploring materials that allow for more sustainable production in order to hit sustainability targets and appeal to eco-conscious consumers--but without sacrificing the shelf life of the product.
Workshop Question - How could your brand make use of graphene to improve its product?
5.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Functional Mule
Footwear brands are releasing slip-ons and mules for all seasons
Trend - Brands are launching mules and slip-on silhouettes to provide consumers with footwear for any occasion. Mules are versatile and breathable footwear styles popular throughout summer, thanks to their backless design. With the influx of mules arriving from high-profile retailers, footwear brands are gearing up to launch their own versions of the silhouette.

Insight - The pandemic highlighted a consumer desire for more soft, lounge-friendly footwear as society spent most of its days indoors isolating. As COVID-19 restrictions lift and individuals begin to resume social activities, consumers are looking for shoes that maintain comfort while being stylish and easy to slide on, similar to a slipper. By creating mules and slip-on styles, brands are able to cater to consumer demand for comfortable and casual footwear.
Workshop Question - How can your brand adapt its product to benefit an ever-changing consumer climate?
7.1
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Biodegradable Shoe
Footwear brands are furthering sustainability with plant-based materials
Trend - Footwear brands are manufacturing shoes out of 100% plant-based materials. These sneakers do not compromise on comfort, waterproofing, or design, and are fully biodegradable at their end-of-life. These products help improve the image of the footwear industry in an eco-friendly way.

Insight - The average consumer replaces their footwear once per year, with many being made with animal-based materials and ending up in landfills. These consumers desire products that are less harmful to animal welfare and the environment alike, with many vowing to pay a premium for a product that reduces their carbon footprint. These consumers feel better about their consumption habits when they opt for sustainable and cruelty-free products--leading to brands investing in alternative textiles and biodegradable fibers.
Workshop Question - How could your industry or brand reduce unnecessary waste?
7.5
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Accessible Sneaker
Brands are launching sneakers designed to accommodate people with disabilities
Trend - Mainstream brands are launching new footwear options designed to improve the lives of people with disabilities. These include sneakers with a hands-free design for those with limited dexterity as well as unique design details that focus on the senses of touch, sight, and sound for those who require sensory-focused accommodations.

Insight - Thanks to the activist work done by people with disabilities and their allies, there is now a greater awareness of the need to break institutional and physical barriers that prevent people with disabilities from living their lives like other citizens. As a result, consumers are demanding brands work towards inclusivity at all levels–from the products they manufacture to the employees they hire.
Workshop Question - How can your brand be more inclusive in the products or services you offer?
5.4
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Footwear Cross-Over
Footwear design is being updated with tech from the home or auto industry
Trend - Footwear designers and brands are attempting to revolutionize their category by borrowing sensibilities from other industries—the home and auto sector, in particular. From borrowing distribution models to incorporating unexpected tech features, the designs are pushing the envelope both aesthetically and functionally.

Insight - Impressed and inspired by the state of human progress as impacted by the expansion of innovations in technology, consumers are increasingly investing interest and time in cutting-edge products and experiences. This is true especially for individuals who consider themselves enthusiasts in tech or other categories impacted by innovation. Rooted in a desire for novelty, contemporary consumers are looking for ways to satisfy their genuine curiosity.
Workshop Question - What technology/strategy can your brand effectively borrow from an adjacent industry?
5.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Castor Bean Footwear
Brands are designing plant-based sneakers with castor bean construction
Trend - Many fashion brands have experimented with new construction methods and materials to combat fashion waste. To work towards a more sustainable future, brands have explored castor beans' use to construct new designs such as footwear.

Insight - Consumers are now more conscious of the negative impacts of environmental irresponsibility and the climate crisis. As a result, they are more aware of the role they play to ease environmental stress. They shop more consciously and purchase products from brands with transparent, thorough, and innovative sustainability missions to reduce further damage.
Workshop Question - How can your company contribute to a greener tomorrow?
4.2
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Algae Chic
Fashion designers are introducing algae as a sustainable textile in their collections
Trend - Fabrics derived from algae have a low environmental impact and the material's potential is just beginning to be explored by the fashion and footwear industry—as designers are on the lookout for sustainable, recyclable and biodegradable resources.

Insight - As the environmental implications of the fashion industry become better known, some consumers are actively boycotting fast fashion and looking for alternatives. Eco-minded shoppers want to be sustainable beyond reuse as many realize the downfalls of recycling—improper disposal, for example. As a result, sustainable fabrics that leave no evidence behind post-use are favored.
Workshop Question - What biodegradable material can be implemented in your product or service?
6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Laceless Athletics
Sneaker brands remove laces to prioritize a secure fit and improved comfort
Trend - Laceless sneakers use compression systems to securely wrap around the foot while offering greater flexibility and movement than traditional sneakers. Such design changes, though subtle, can help to improve performance while reducing the risk of injury and discomfort.

Insight - As many peoples' lives have become more convenient than ever thanks to new technologies and innovations, this expectation of ease and the minimization of friction has begun to impact consumers' preferences for nearly all of their consumer experiences, including apparel.
Workshop Question - Consider how a seemingly subtle design change could improve the performance of your brand’s product.
4.3
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Hiking Opulence
Luxury brands reimagine sport sandals by converging styles and upscaling materials
Implications -Tapping into the persistent obsession with 1990's fashion motifs, upscale brands are designing new takes on sports sandals made from high-performance materials and that take inspiration from high-end sneakers. Seemingly a natural progression of fashion's recent dalliances in athletic footwear designed to endure specific activities, this shift speaks to the all-encompassing nature of nostalgia-driven dress and the new expectation that such pieces live up to the hardiness of their design inspirations.
Workshop Question - What 90's design motifs can you borrow from in order to entice nostalgia-minded consumers?
5.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends