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Millennials Urge to Splurge on Shoes

Mar 16, 2015
Rebecca Vega, Account Associate (Canada) ;

Millennials want it all. We’ve incorporated social elements into our everyday lives that constantly inform us of our next footwear obsession. We’re squeezing shoe shopping into our lunch breaks and waiting in the freezing cold for new sneakers. We will splurge on what we want (shoes!), even if it means eating ramen noodles for an entire week so we can still pay the bills.

A few weeks ago, I squeezed some shoe shopping in during my lunch break. While walking down 7th Avenue, I passed an extremely long line that wrapped around two city blocks. I immediately thought to myself, “What are these crazy people waiting in line for… in 9-degree weather?” Connecting the dots, I remembered it was Fashion Week and All-Star Week in New York. I looked the crowd up and down, observed their impressive footwear, and realized they were sneakerheads, eagerly awaiting a new sneaker launch. I looked closer and noticed that they were all Millennials – suddenly, it all made sense.

As a proud shopaholic, I am a firm believer that one can never have too many shoes. However, it isn’t just my innate ability to fall in love with a new pair of shoes; it’s the Millennial in me who just can’t resist! Millennials spent $21 billion on footwear in 2014; a 6 percent increase compared to the previous year – triple the total U.S. footwear sales growth for the same period. Sales of footwear priced $100+, purchased by Millennials, further surpassed the overall category growth with a 12 percent increase in 2014.

I find myself fascinated by retailers and brands trying so hard to get my attention. I am a 90’s kid, the buzz-worthy Millennial consumer everyone is talking about, and I have come to understand just how valuable my dollar really is. Lately, the footwear industry has been getting it right; thanks to innovative styles creating a social craze.

*The NPD Group, Inc. / Consumer Tracking Service, Annual 2014

Note: Millennials are defined as age 18-34


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