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NPD: 2023 ‘Will Be a Reset Year for the Footwear Industry’


The NPD Group is forecasting annual U.S. footwear sales growth of 1 percent through 2025, with unit sales beginning to improve in 2024, as the pressure from average price increases eases in the footwear market. NPD sees “casual everyday use” and maximum versatility as the primary reasons consumers will make footwear purchases during the first half of 2023. 

In 2022, sport leisure footwear had the highest sales of any footwear segment, but fashion footwear drove market growth as consumers returned to workplaces, events, and other activities after the Covid-19 pandemic. Fashion footwear is projected to continue benefitting from these social behaviors this year before their impact begins to slowdown. 

Meanwhile, the blurring of fashion and athletic footwear will continue, NPD predicted, suggesting casual footwear, sneakers, and athletic footwear are most likely to be considered necessities by consumers compared to more non-essential dress footwear, outdoor shoes, and slippers.

“This will be a reset year for the footwear industry,” said Beth Goldstein, footwear and accessories analyst at NPD. “After three years of ups and downs, we can expect sales and price trends will level out as consumers settle into their now-familiar lifestyles and make strategic choices about their must-haves versus their nice-to-haves, as they continue to grapple with macroeconomic pressures.”