Men Step Forward as Canada’s New Shoe Addicts

Men Step Forward as Canada’s New Shoe Addicts

TORONTO, April 4, 2013 – Canadian men cleaning their closets this spring will need to make room for their expanding shoe collections. According to results of its Consumer Tracking Service of the footwear market by global research company The NPD Group, the sale of men’s footwear, which increased by 13 per cent in 2012, is fueling the success of the Canadian footwear market. In contrast, the sale of women’s shoes grew by a mere 3 percent, a significant shift compared to 2011 when females spearheaded the market and men’s sales were on the decline. Overall the industry saw a 6 percent growth in 2012 and achieved $5.1 billion in total sales.

Rol 12m/e Dec 2011 Rol 12m/e Dec 2012 Dollar  % Change
Women’s Footwear

$2.5 billion

$2.6 billion


Men’s Footwear

$1.8 billion

$2.0 billion


“We’re always quick to assume that women impel the success of the footwear market, but what we’re experiencing instead in Canada is a complete takeover of the shoe closet by men’s footwear,” said Tracey Jarosz, executive director for Canada Fashion at The NPD Group. “Men are increasingly seeking footwear options that combine utility with style, evidenced by the growth in men’s footwear purchases intended for casual daily use, sport and work.”

Due to an abundance of fresh styles, colours and innovative features, all men’s footwear categories grew in 2012:  athletic shoes, dress shoes, casual shoes, boots and sandals. The concentration of women’s footwear sales, on the other hand, came from the non-athletic segment, which includes dress and casual shoes, and accounts for one-third of total dollars. Though in-store purchases account for the majority of total footwear sales, online purchases continue to grow, increasing 25 percent in 2012. In fact, 4 percent of men’s footwear sales last year were online purchases.

“Retailers are doing a great job promoting the newest styles and advancements in men’s footwear,”  Jarosz said. “That being said, there is opportunity for them to grow the men’s market even further by integrating their online and in-store offerings, providing even greater shoe variety in style and purpose and creating a retail environment that appeals to men.”

About The NPD Group, Inc.:

The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. By combining unique data assets with unmatched industry expertise, we help our clients track their markets, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth. Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, entertainment, fashion, food / foodservice, home, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, video games, and wireless. For more information, visit

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Daina Astwood-George

APEX Public Relations