From shoemakers to e-commerce: how buying shoes has changed in 300 years | Lifestyles

Yes, shoes can be considered utilitarian, but for many people they are valued. How far does this love go? Former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos opened the Marinka Shoe Museum in the early 2000s to show her more than 2,700 pairs of shoes. Shoes don’t have to be fancy to be meaningful. A favorite pair of mud boots can warm the heart, while sneakers can boost a bond for life.

Over the past 300 years, the shoe industry has evolved from bespoke shoes designed for the first settlers by cordwainers (shoemakers who work leather) to family-run shops selling must-haves like Bass moccasins, boots Frye and Birkenstock sandals. . The shoes of fashion icons Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin make shoe fanatics starry-eyed.

The United States has the largest footwear market in the world, grossing more than $100 billion in 2021 alone, according to The NPD Group. Industry giants such as Foot Locker, New Balance and Clark’s occupy a good part of this market. For example, Nike sales were $44.5 billion Last year.

It is therefore not surprising that Americans spend on average $419 per year on shoes. Where have they shopped over the years? Wicked reports shares the story of buying shoes in the United States, from specialty shoemakers to online retailers.

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