On Your Feet

Do women spend vastly more than men on shoes? That’s the popular wisdom (particularly among men). A report from The NPD Group doesn’t quite support it, though. Women did spend more than men on shoes last year, but the disparity — $21.9 billion vs. $16.8 billion – wasn’t the order of magnitude one might expect. However, while sales of men’s shoes were flat last year vs. 2006, sales of women’s shoes rose by 3 percent. Overall, the niche with the strongest growth was skateboard shoes, up 34 percent (albeit from a small base). Boots also outperformed the footwear market as a whole, with especially strong growth for the “all-weather” variety.