Since its start at the NEC, Birmingham, in August 2000, Footwear UK has grown to become an established fixture for mainstream fashion footwear buying with over 9,000 sq m of exhibition space dedicated to shoes and accessories. Organisers DEW Events believe it is now the optimum size for its target audience, providing a showcase for the new season’s ranges from all the main brands as well as offering a launchpad for new companies making their entrance into the market. Here are some of the things to look out for at the show:

Barker Shoes will be celebrating their 125th anniversary in 2005 and launching a special anniversary collection along with new developments for spring in both men’s and women’s ranges. Men’s moccasins feature distinctive seam treatments, flexible newly developed sole units, soft waxy leathers and nubucks in a wide range of colours. The new look Barker ladies’ offers wider consumer appeal with contemporary casuals on a new construction and lightweight summer moccasins and espadrilles incorporate crinkle patent, snake print and softie calf leather in seasonal colours.

New exhibitor to the show will be Cipello with their second ip.op. collection. This season’s orange, pink and shades of green are boldly reflected in the collection with a ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ feeling! Urban graffiti, motifs recalling the 70s, fisherman’s blues and beiges and a range that plays to the British girls’ love affair with pink.

Chipie have produced a stylish collection with modern and retro-inspired themes. Highlights include Capy side lace, an appealing contemporary trainer in seven colour combinations, Chloe, a sleek and sporty ballerina and Tcha-tcha, rough, raw and basic elements in a canvas shoe. Chipie are already available in independent fashion retailers, mail order and premiere high street shops such as Office and Schuh.

Gabriela Castro’s collection picks up today’s important trends. Pumps, kitten-heel ballet pumps, flats, stiletto sandals, mules with high heels, slides, wedges and thongs can all be found in smooth leathers, crocodile, reptile, metallics, vinyl, beading and printed leather. Vivid colours include fuchsia, canary yellow, coral and red. No less dramatic, powder pink, lemon and peach pastels and see-through materials like vinyl. Art deco inspired shapes and metallic leather spiky heels bring glamour with more conservative chic in black and white. Shoes are accompanied by totes, shoulder bags, satchels, handbags with chain handles and clutches.

Geox , Italy’s biggest selling and fastest growing brand, are continuing to build on their UK profile with their ‘the shoe that breathes’ technology. Geox shoes combine an ultra-light, waterproof and breathable rubber sole with an internal membrane which releases moisture through the outsole to create a completely dry environment and balanced temperature, eliminating uncomfortable overheating and eradicating food odour. Shoes for every occasion for men, women and children.

Glass Footwear will be showing the new Grendha, Rider and Melissa ranges, all brands from Brazil which is evident in their colour and design. The tropical theme plus the Sixties influence add up to a vibrant collection. Also to be unveiled at the show, a new concept in sandals by Rider ‘flip without the flop’.

Hippychick’s Shoo Shoos are a popular range of funky leather and suede shoes for babies and toddlers in cool styles and colours, designed to give a child the healthiest start. The non-constricting nature of the shoes allows babies’ feet to grow naturally and with an elasticated ankle fastening means little hands cannot pull them off plus the non-slip soles give a child confidence in those first few hesitant steps. Over 30 designs including Football, Safari Lion, Giraffe and Elephant as well as Retro, Puppy, Hearts, Stripes, Daisy, Stars, Flowers and more.

Hush Puppies ladies’ range comes alive with an explosion of colour complete with eye catching linings to complement uppers. Soft supple leathers and new flexi soles offer extreme comfort without compromising on style. The men’s sandal collection is sporty with rugged leathers and nubucks and hand-sewn toe-posts on lightweight soles with padded leather footbeds.

Keds (from Navigair) with the little blue label is America’s favourite sneaker brand since 1916. The spring summer 2005 collection follows the success of the microstretch range by Microstretch with Lifeproof, incorporating a super soft cotton twill upper with stain resistant Teflon coating, cushioning, a breathable jersey lining and hard-wearing flexible outsole. The colours for the season include olive, hot pink, tangerine, aqua, kiwi and sunflower in addition to the core colours. New touches include fun printed linings and new patterns on the foxing. The West Coaster range is inspired by the laid back beach styling of California, chunkier in the heel and a bit trendier and offered in pink, orange, denim and green to compliment core colours of navy, white and stone.

Loblan Boots will show cowboy, western, urban and fashion boots, authentically handmade and Goodyear welted.

Marrum Compagnucci couples Italian style with German lasts to create a stylish fashion product that fits. A full collection of children’s shoes including basics as well as stylish interpretations.

Padders range has been improved throughout and extended to provide a lighter, more refined look for ladies summer wear. Each of the five established sandal styles has been improved in some way – padded topbands, pretty floral embossing. New introductions include three neat wedge sandals and four styles on a new unit for a sportier feel. For the classic woman, a more refined shoe based on the latest unit, a wide fit collection alongside ever popular and versatile casual loafers.

Patrick Shoes presents ‘Luca Mancini’ a full range of moccasins including classic side trim leather upper and leather sole moccasins. Also available are padded leather moccasins in casual and lace-up. The use of special leathers and new technology give the shoes compactness, softness and comfort. Luca Mancini combines full leather uppers and leather lining with a comfort sock and padded collar.

Primigi, the specialist children’s footwear manufacturer from Italy, have launched a novel way of keeping their young customers happy and entertained while keeping stock room bright and colourful. For spring summer 2005 each pair of Primigi shoes will come in an ‘Animagic’ box which can be transformed into one of seven attractive jungle characters to add a new dimension to buying a pair of shoes. The campaign includes new window display material and point of sale for retailers. The range itself is colourful and detailed with everything from pretty sandals to trendy shoes.

Another new exhibitor to the show, Response Footcare will be displaying the full range of Dr Comfort shoes, a leap forward in podiatry comfort footwear providing the first truly extra depth comfort shoe on the UK market. The shoes were developed in the USA by a number of leading podiatrists and a specialist manufacturer. Highly popular in the USA, they are sold to help people with foot disorder but also anyone looking for supremely comfortable footwear.

Rosemary Dartnell will present Lea Foscati, Lea Soft, Sacht and Design produced by Manas for the coming season. Soft, comfortable footwear that is casual and elegant over a range of 14 lasts, covering ballerinas in pretty colours, feature prints, casual and elegant sandals in Manas’ signature soft calf and many with multi-colour trims, lightweight leisure footwear and fashion shoes for everyday wear.

Sebago portfolio of highly-recognised brands include Bates, Hush Puppies, Hytest, Merrell, Sebago and Wolverine. The company also market footwear under the following licensed brands: Cat, Coleman, Harley-Davidson, Karen Neuburger, Stanley and Turtle Fur. Products are carried by leading retailers in the US and are distributed internationally in over 140 countries.

Shalimar Shoes specialise in feminine diamante shoes for daywear into eveningwear, ideal for special occasion using quality materials and intricate handiwork.

Toe Zone are revolutionising the way children’s shoes are fitted, available exclusively from Wearside Footwear. Every pair has a fitting guage engineered into the outsole to show exactly how the foot will fit inside. The S/S 05 collection offers fashion with interesting materials and a fresh vibrant look.

Welligogs has been supplying to retailers in the UK and Europe for the past three years and become known for its bright and colourful hand painted Wellington boots and accessories. Simple motifs combine with complex colour combinations, all are handpainted and hardwearing – the paint will not scratch or wash off. Cotton lined for comfort and made from quality soft rubber for both adults and children. New for the show, new designs, fashionable colours and accessories to match plus Kloggies rubber clog style shoe for the garden or walking.

Wembley Footwear are importers, distributors and wholesalers of safety footwear. The market has moved from traditional Goodyear Welted to Dual Density Injected lightweight fashionable boots and shoes. New European regulations on Health & Safety has opened a new market for independent shoe shops and footwear traders.

William Lamb include in their range Barbie, Action Man, Fimbles, Thomas The Tank and Postman Pat. Barbie boots are exclusive to William Lamb.

New exhibitors to the Show in August include: Regatta Great Outdoors; Cipello; Mallsons; Shoe Tree; Heaven International; Catwalk Collection; L J Ford; Zamsh Shoes; Response Footcare; Clientellme; Boprofootwear; Avant-garde; Joan Cope; W L Gore & Associates; Barnsley Footwear.