I just heard the best news: analytics firm Edited is reporting that sales of high-heeled shoes are down.
“We’re all living increasingly active lives, with more travel and increased casualization across almost all social occasions,” said Katie Smith, retail analysis and insights director for Edited, which compared online inventory and sales data from 2017 and 2016 to reach this finding. “The health and wellness lifestyle shift has encouraged more technical developments in footwear, as companies innovate to better suit the consumer shifts. Things like Nike’s ‘Flyknit’ and ‘energy return’ soles not only teach consumers to expect more from their footwear, but make it cool, too.”
While the high heel seems to be on its way out, sneakers are taking over: according to Edited, retailers and brands stocked 46.8% more athletic sneakers in 2017 versus the year prior, and they experienced 54% greater sellouts year over year.
High heels, by contrast, just didn’t match up: sellouts dropped 13.4%, despite retailers increasing their inventory levels by 28 percent.
Smith’s not surprised, explaining her findings: “Over the years, women’s footwear has steadily shifted away from necessitating high heels in the office, to a greater acceptance of flats—even sneakers—at work,” Smith said.
I’m also not surprised…even if I can’t help but wonder how it’s taken us so long to reach this point. High heels hurt women’s feet. They make feet more susceptible to bunions. They throw women off balance and generally just cause problems (even if they look good while doing that, as my wife the avid shoe collector continues to insist.)
So, while I know that a downward shopping trend doesn’t mean the end of high heels altogether, I’m still super happy to see that more and more women are prioritizing foot health over fashion!