Shoe Care Product Market Drivers & Trends

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Shoe Care Product Market - Growth Drivers

Factors contributing to the growth of the shoe care market include; increased introduction of shoe care products made of natural ingredients, increasing brand awareness and quality assurance, using shoe deodorizers as shoe cleaning products, and sneaker cleaning.


  • There is a growing shift towards shoe care products made up of raw and natural ingredients. Such products do not contain chemicals and can be used every day as they protect the skin from harmful side-effects.
  • Some vendors use natural ingredients such as natural pigments, water-based charcoal and textile skin to develop products that are less toxic to the consumer and the environment.
  • As a result, this move towards organic and medicinal ingredients will help open new avenues for the growth of the global market for shoe care products.


  • The penetration of e-commerce is increasing the selling of counterfeit products by expanding their geographical range. Customers also face difficulties in distinguishing between authentic and counterfeit products because they tend to be identical.
  • Many counterfeit products come with a branding that is identical to the name, logo and trademark of renowned brands.
  • As counterfeit products are cheaper than their legitimate counterparts, they obstruct sales and pricing strategies which lead to increased stock backlogs for international vendors.
  • Nevertheless, existing players are trying to enter the market by growing brand awareness and quality assurance. This ensures the growth of the shoe care market since customers can trust the products to be authentic.


  • Shoe deodorizers have become more common because they avoid odor from being caused by the bacterial breakdown of the perspiration in feet. In addition, diabetes and hyperthyroidism cause excessive sweating in the body parts, including the legs.
  • As a result, an increasing number of people suffering from diabetes and hyperthyroidism are expected to play a crucial role in expanding the use of deodorizers over the next few years.
  • The use of shoe deodorizers as a shoe cleaning product will result in the growth of the shoe care market.


  • Active brands continue to challenge what we're wearing and how we wear it. Sneakers are at the forefront, having an impact on the formal and casual footwear markets.
  • While sneaker trends continue to dominate both men's and women's shoe markets, we are seeing a dramatic increase in sneaker cleaning products. No matter the occasion, everyone wants their sneakers to look fresh all year round.
  • Specialized cleaning companies are taking advantage of the success of sneakers and are selling fragrant sprays, protectors, polishes, pens brushes, sponges, shampoos and creams. Luxury packs and unique products are designed to fit into your lifestyle, which is perfect for sneaker heads to prune the new designs out from the comfort of your home. Walk in services is also on the rise, raising conventional shoe cleaning stands, for a more modern approach.
  • Sneaker cleaning products therefore contribute to the rise in the growth of the shoe care market.
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Shoe Care Product - User Demographics

Having the tendency to collect things, men are increasingly building their wardrobes with footwear, especially sneakers, driving the men's shoe market in the United States. With the rate at which men are purchasing formal shoes and sneakers, men's shoe sales are expected to surpass women's footwear sales. In the United Kingdom, 16 to 24-year-old men are considered to be the most prolific shoe customers.

Relevant Insights:


  • According to an article published by ExecutiveStyle, "the rise of sneakers as all-occasion footwear" is driving men to purchase them more often than women do. It is found that shoe collectors of today are most probably male and are purchasing sneakers. With the current rate at which men are buying these shoes, men's footwear sales are expected to surpass that of women's.
  • The rising sales in sneakers are also attributed to the shift in culture where outfits are becoming more casual and habits are converging with versatile styles. Men are found to be expanding their shoe collections with more sneakers and formal wear shoes. Women are also increasingly purchasing sneakers that can be worn all year round.


  • In the United States, sneakers have become a status symbol for millennials and Gen Z youngsters. While the concept is not new, it has, however, become more diverse and more pronounced primarily due to their lifestyle.
  • In the United Kingdom, 95% of men aged between 16 to 24 years purchased new shoes in 2017.


  • Nike, a giant in the sneaker industry, targets high-earning, active youngsters who would be willing to spend over $100 for sneakers. These customers are termed as HENRYs or high-earners-not-rich-yet who make $100,000 to $249,900 per annum in professional jobs.

Racial background:

  • According to the survey conducted by the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), African Americans prefer to buy footwear that costs less than $100 whereas Asian Americans prefer to purchase footwear ranging between $100 to $250. However, there are no specific-insights on formal shoes and sneaker connoisseurs.

Research Strategy:

We began our search by looking into consumer surveys, market reports, and industry-specific reports from websites such as Mintel, Deloitte, Mckinsey, and the FDRA for information on the demographics of sneaker connoisseurs and people who wear formal shoes especially people who care about their shoes. An extensive search through these channels provided demographic insights into the footwear industry as a whole with limited information specific to sneakers and no information pertaining to sneaker connoisseurs and people who wear formal shoes. We then expanded our search to look for consumer demographics of some of the largest players in the sneaker and formal wear markets such as Nike and Adidas. We also looked into market research reports and media reports from websites such as Allied Market Research, GlobalNewswire, and Forbes. The information found through these channels focused on the overall footwear demographic with no specific insights into sneaker connoisseurs or formal shoe customers. We further extended our search to include targeted ads specific to formal shoes and sneakers to derive at showcased demographics across various ad and marketing agencies such as Adforum, AdSpotter, AdWeek, BBD, and Shine Creative. We then expanded our scope to include the global sneaker and formal wear market to identify the demographics of those who take good care of their shoes. After an exhaustive search through all these mediums, we found no information specific to sneaker connoisseurs and people who wear formal shoes. The lack of information can be because such a specific study has not been conducted yet by any leading marketing agency/research agency/global key footwear company.

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Shoe Care Product - User Psychographics

Sneaker connoisseurs and people who wear formal shoes are motivated by fashion trends to purchase shoes, have varying interests, and value uniqueness and a casual look. Despite an extensive search, insufficient information was publicly available to create a complete psychographic profile for the target consumer.

Motivations for Purchasing Footwear

  • For the typical footwear consumer conscious of trends, purchasing motivation comes from a desire to buy shoes quickly before they become too popular and they tend to be very socially-driven.
  • For "sneakerheads," or people who buy and collect high-end athletic shoes, much of the purchasing motivation comes from the desire to show off a collection of rare or expensive shoes.
  • Sneakers have become a popular luxury footwear option as young consumers make purchases based on comfort.

Hobbies and Interests

  • A major consumer segment in China of trendy, male, purchasers of high-end shoes tend to be interested in technology, military, and international news.
  • The "sneakerhead" customer segment tends to be interested in basketball and pop culture celebrities like Kendrick Lamar and Bella Hadid.
  • Many sneaker connoisseurs are interested in 90s pop culture content.

Beliefs and Values

  • Young high-end shoe consumers value being unique and are willing to pay a premium for a more customized or less common shoe.
  • Purchasers of highly fashionable sneakers tend to gravitate towards a minimalist and casual design, reflecting a modern value system that prioritizes understated looks.

Research Strategy

Despite an extensive search, our research team was unable to complete a full psychographic profile of sneaker connoisseurs and people who wear formal shoes.

To begin our search, we examined shoe-centered publications, like World Footwear, business news outlets, and market research reports. By implementing this strategy, we hoped to find precompiled information on the psychographics of the target consumer. We suspected that this information might be publicly available since the shoe industry is so large and is likely to inspire a variety of customer research. Ultimately, we uncovered a variety of information on the footwear industry, but were unable to identify relevant insights that fit within the given parameters of the type of consumer.

Next, we searched for academic reports or market research that used focus groups of sneaker connoisseurs and people who wear formal shoes. We hypothesized that focus groups would be a good source of psychographic information because marketing focus groups are typically asked about purchasing motivation, interests, and values. Unfortunately, we were unable to find any focus groups that met the requirements of the research criteria, despite searching through multiple databases of academic and market research. We did find evidence, however, the shoe companies are more likely to use social media as a kind of substitute for focus groups, which may explain this strategy's failure.

After that, we decided to break down the customer description into multiple customer profiles, including sneakerheads, male formal shoe purchasers, female formal shoe purchasers, millennial shoe connoisseurs, and more. We conducted a similar search to our first one through shoe publications, business news outlets, marketing publications, and market research, hoping that a more specific customer segment would reveal richer information. This strategy was met with greater success than our previous ones, and we were able to find more details about the characteristics requested, all of which are listed above. We found that marketing publications and business news outlets were much more likely to focus on a narrower customer profile that the one given in the request. Still, however, we failed to find a strong source with precompiled information that would give us a more comprehensive overview.

Finally, we attempted to find relevant information by reviewing marketing efforts that target sneaker connoisseurs and people who wear formal shoes. We expected that this strategy would work because companies selling to this customer segment likely have a deep understanding of the psychographic segment. These companies will therefore aim to reflect the interests and values of their customers while capitalizing on their motivations, which we can then interpret. We examined traditional advertisements, sponsored blogs, influencer posts, and similar sources. This strategy resulted in some further details about the psychographic profile of the target consumer. For example, Under Armour, Puma, Adidas, and other top shoe brands all take advantage of celebrity partnerships with athletes and pop music icons, so we can assume that their target audience is interested in and influenced by these kinds of figures. Furthermore, precompiled lists of the most fashionable sneakers have casual and minimalist designs, which reflects the values of the purchasers, as stated above.


From Part 02
  • "Meanwhile, the rise of sneakers as all-occasion footwear is encouraging men to build their wardrobes while depressing women's sales."
  • "Young men were more likely than young women to have bought footwear in the last quarter (47 per cent of male 16-24s versus 45 per cent of female 16-24s), the survey found. "
  • "95% of British males aged 16-24 bought shoes last year, making them Britain’s number one footwear buyers."
  • "For Nike, the company’s best customer prospects are active, high-earning young people, for who else can or will spend more than $100 for a pair of sneakers, Nike’s pricing sweet spot, when the average price for a competitive pair runs about one-third less. "
  • "These high-earning young people, those I call HENRYs (high-earners-not-rich-yet) making $100,000-$249,900 annually in professional jobs, live in big cities, and Nike’s 12 Key Cities are the best place to find them."
  • "shoppers aged 18-34 the most likely (37%) age group to say they have purchased new shoes in order to get something more comfortable, compared to 32% of shoppers overall."
  • "Three in ten (28%) women say they’ve purchased new shoes for the change of season, compared to 23% of shoppers overall. What’s more, women are also more likely to say they’ve purchased new shoes to treat themselves (46% vs 40% overall) and for a specific occasion (20% vs 15% overall)."