The aim of this publication is to analyse the position of the footwear sector at a world level in terms of the different variables

(production, exports, imports and consumption) and evaluate the strategic positioning of the different sector players. Additionally, this publication includes a profile of the footwear industry/market in many markets.

20 billion pairs of footwear

For the first time ever, the world’s footwear production exceeds the 20

billion pair barrier. China strengthened its role as the main producer in the sector, making 62.4% of all production, the equivalent to 12,597

million pairs in 2010. In total, the Asian continent produces 87% of all footwear. Total footwear export numbers at a world level amount to 13 billion pairs, worth $85 billion dollars, which represents a growth of 12% in relation to the previous year. Also at this level, China is the clear leader with a market share, in terms of quantity, of 73.4% (the equivalent of 9,930 million pairs of footwear exported in 2010). In terms of value, however, China’s relative share is lower, the equivalent of 38.5% of the total.


Analysing the main producers in terms of export value, nine European countries make up the top15. In particular Italy, Spain and Portugal. In the leather footwear segment, for example, these three countries hold a 23% share of all the footwear exported in the world. It should be emphasised that over the past ten years all major regions, with the exception of South America, registered significant growth in terms of value of shoe exports.

In Europe the average footwear price is the highest. Italy ($39.51 per pair of exported footwear), France ($28.31) and Portugal ($25.90) make up the first three places. In China the average export price is $3.39 per exported pair.


In terms of consumption, the two most populated countries in the world (China and India) represent, respectively, 15.2% and 11.7% of the total. However the US stands out even though it has a lot less consumers, registering the second position at world level with a 13.4% share of the 2010 total.

In terms of footwear imports, Europe stands out. In effect, this continent represents the most dynamic market, absorbing 43% of the footwear imported in global terms. Outside Europe, countries like the USA and Japan represent respectively 24.8% and 6.5% of all footwear imports in terms of quantity.