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Shoes Consumer Insights

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?
8.2
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?
7.7
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?
5.8
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?
6.9
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.
4.9
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?
6.1
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Post-Ironic Clog
Lucrative Crocs collaborations amplify the obsession with "ugly" footwear
Implications - Once considered a pariah in the world of footwear, the Crocs brand has reemerged as a benefactor of fashion's current fascination with the unsightly, exemplified in a stream of successful collaborations with streetwear brands and influencers alike.

Insight - The reflexive nature of fashion trends is increasing in the social media age, upending seemingly steadfast norms of what's considered stylish or tasteful. The clearest example of this is an increasing interest in "ugly" items. This approach to luxury design signifies a shift in what's considered truly exclusive. Put simply, a consumer's ability to "get" a design is more important than their ability to afford the item.
Workshop Question - How can you take advantage of the current fascination with hyper-normal apparel in a way that highlights the cyclical nature of fashion?
4
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Foodie Footwear
Sneaker brands turn to popular food items for colorway inspirations
Trend - With the recent rise in food brands merging into the fashion space with branded apparel, sneaker brands are drawing on well-liked indulgent foods for colorway designs. Such items highlight how brands are leveraging growing products from other categories for ideas that tap into the consumer interest of novelty seen among Millennials and Gen Z.

Insight - In today's social media-driven world, consumers enjoy fully embodying their interests as a way to communicate their personality to followers and like-minded individuals. These consumers react positively to cross-category items that allow them to display their interests through different channels.
Workshop Question - Consider how your brand could leverage the popularity of a product from another industry to draw the interest of consumers.
5.4
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Cause-Oriented Footwear
Sneaker brands use their product to raise awareness for important causes
Implications - In recent times there has been an increase in the number of brands taking stances on various issues and leveraging their platform to increase awareness of the causes and campaigns they stand behind -- and the footwear industry is no exception. With the resurgence of sneakerhead culture in recent years, brands are combining that passion with a focus on activism. Such products highlight the progression of brands’ corporate social responsibility initiatives, which better align with the rising shift of activism among younger consumers.
Workshop Question - If your brand were to launch a product or campaign to raise awareness of a cause, what cause would your brand select?
4.8
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Luxe High-Performance
High fashion sneakers evolve from mere aesthetics to high-function
Trend - Upscale fashion brands are beginning to expand sneaker collections with new high-performance designs, incorporating rugged materials and professional features. As a result, these offerings provide enhanced support and comfort for consumers.

Insight - Those who have a dynamic lifestyle are placing emphasis on comfortability in what they wear. Coupled with a desire for items that fit one's personal brand and status, many seek to strike a balance between outward aesthetics and high-performance functionality. In doing so, individuals feel not only seen for their style in public, but also more confident as they maintain the support and comfort their body needs on a day-to-day basis.
Workshop Question - How can a product offering more closely associated with style-motivated purchases be redesigned with a new emphasis on high-performance?
5.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends