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Footwear is a garment wore in feet. The various materials used in manufacturing footwear are leather, jute, wood, plastic, textiles and rubber. The footwear business is a huge and increasingly diversified business, driven by changing lifestyle and fashion trends. Brand awareness and need for comfort are also fuelling the growth of the global footwear market size. Though the global economic crisis hampered the demand of footwear market in last few years, the global market size of footwear increased over the period due to increased demand from emerging nations.

Rising demand for different types of footwear products are paving new opportunities for many manufacturers. With rapid increase in eco-friendly footwear, as consumers favor biodegradable materials that do less damage to the environment than other fabrics, the global footwear market is expanding. Also, the increasing popularity of sports such as cricket, football, soccer, hockey and tennis, contribute to the growth of global footwear market. To maintain high quality, manufacturers have to make sure that all products comply with existing and relevant standards.

Based on footwear type, the global footwear market can be classified as athletic footwear and non-athletic footwear. Athletic footwear includes aerobics shoes, running shoes, sports (cross training), walking shoes, soccer shoes, tennis shoes, cricket footwear, seasonal boots and others. Non-athletic footwear includes boots, casual, formal and rugged, and waterproof footwear. Some of the athletic footwear brands include Adidas, Asics, Fila, K-Swiss, New Balance, Nike, Puma, Reebok, and Saucony.

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On the basis of consumer group, global footwear market can be segmented as men, women and kids. The growth of consumer footwear is driven by fashion trends, increasing consumer spending power and leisure goods. Based on retail distribution, the global footwear market can be classified as store based shoes and non-store based shoes. Store based shoes include specialty apparel stores, mass discounters, discount shoe stores, department stores and chains, and others. Whereas, non-store based shoes include teleshopping, internet and catalog based.

Some of the factors driving the growth of global footwear market include rising number of younger working population, increasing purchasing power of consumers, growth of fashion conscious population, and rising retail culture.

The global footwear market is witnessing change in consumer preferences, led by style and innovation in design, rising application of wearable technology in footwear, advertisements, celebrity endorsements, health benefit related shoes, and others.

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The growing popularity of online footwear retail market (e-commerce) generates further growth opportunity for global footwear market. Whereas, the growing popularity of local manufacturers and pirated products in developing countries pose a challenge to the established players in the global footwear market.

Geographically, Asia-Pacific region is the largest market for footwear. Within Asia-Pacific, where China has large-scale manufactures operating in the industry, the emerging countries have number of small level manufactures of footwear. The main factors leading to the growth of footwear market in Asia-Pacific are large population base, large pool of skilled professionals, and low cost of labor. The footwear market in India is growing at a healthy rate attributed to the rising consumer preference towards custom-made or specifically designed footwear, coupled with increasing household income.

Some of the competitors in global footwear market include Timberland Company, Genesco, Inc., Geox SpA, Wolverine Worldwide Inc., Skechers, USA Inc, Nike Inc., Crocs, Under Armour Inc., Esprit Holdings Limited. 

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