THE MONEY MATTERS BEHIND SNEAKERS
Do you recall Cinderella’s story? What moral lesson do you learn from it? Riches isn’t all you need. Use kindness to win hearts, and the most essential is never to undermine the shoe power. Back in the days, heels were winning in the market. However, sneakers are now the top. Research from Euromonitor International stated that only 13% of shoes in the market increased. The same study indicated that sneakers grew by 46%- comprises outdoor footwear and sports performance shoes. It's predicted that sports shoes would have risen by 20% in the coming five years, unlike around 10% of the overall shoe growth. That tells you that performance shoes are rapidly growing in footwear, including Air Jordan and Nike's likes.
Ever since the Chuck Taylor canvas basketball sneakers introduction in the 1920s, sneakers have gained fame. Consequently, highly ranked shoes and websites to design shoes such as Freaky Shoes, made efforts to meet the market demand for sneakers, more so among the youths and young consumers as the target market. With time, the sneaker market has increased costs due to competition among companies striving to build and maintain their brands. The evolving technology, social media, and celebrities also play a significant role in determining sneakers' prices and sales. This article discusses the economics behind sneakers and later on look at the shoe costs depending on the material used. Please keep reading to understand more.
Factors influencing sneaker costs in the market
Retailers are noting the massive popularity gained by sneakers and making it a must-have item. In case you lack the most treasured and tremendously growing footwear, there’s a lot of money being lost. An example is Nike's Air Jordan. The following are some of the factors that determine how much a shoe costs. They include;
Athleisure and men
The correlation between the sneaker boom and athleisure are very important aspects that go hand in hand. It’s the reason for the success enjoyed by retailers. Most consumers are carried by the interest in adopting a sporty routine that’s consistent with logo design for shoes, hence turning it into a daily attire. Sneakers also have an effect on the athleisure market. They're a well-known fashion trend with retailers getting more focus on them. They also transition to streetwear models.
Sneakers' value is contributed by companies' much paid to celebrities that advertise their brands on social media. The endorsers need to be compensated for the great masses they influence through exposing the logo and brands assigned to more viewers. Some sneaker companies even formed partnerships with famous celebrities to make shoes for enhancing performance. The best example is Nike's Air Jordan footwear that made Michael Jordan a wealthier athlete in the world. Furthermore, most young consumers have turned sneakers into fashion. It made sneaker companies to partner with crafters in arts and entertainment to market their brands. For example, Kanye West teamed up with Adidas to yield Yeezy Boost Sneakers sold at $315. It was massively sold in 2015, especially through online orders. More other partnerships include those by Jay- Z, Rihanna, and Kendall Jenner. Another major drive to sneaker prices is competition among the top-selling companies. Take an example of the Under Armour Company that reached out to partner with NBA- National Basketball Association player, Stephen Curry. These companies spend money on celebs and brand endorsers due to the willingness of their funs to pay for footwear they associate with their best figures in entertainment and sports.
Production and manufacturing costs
Nike and Adidas go the cheaper way by outsourcing production to millions of workers across various states like China. By doing this, labor and production costs become lower. To illustrate, Nike recorded a price of $28.5 as the total expense for shipment and manufacturing of a sneaker pair- nearly $27.5 for labor in China and $1 in delivery. Recently, China has had increasing labor costs leading to smaller profit margins. This consequently led to a shift to other countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Other shoemakers are transitioning from depending on human labor to robots so they can reduce costs.
Social networks and resellers
The social media dramatically impacts on the value of sneakers. For instance, when a famous media personality has a limited sneaker edition, some buyers die to buy them at whatever cost, as long as they get it. They largely get lured by social media. On the other side, resellers wait for stores to remain with limited numbers before capturing images and posting on their walls to sell at some profit. The same happened with the Yeezy Boost Sneakers, which were initially $315 before they became inadequate. Do you know that enthusiasts parted with a handsome $1000 to get it later on eBay? It's a clear indication that more profits can be harvested if sneakers are manufactured at lower levels than the market demand. Also, the shoe's design material matters a lot. Those with high durability and water resistance are highly valued. Let's now look at the most commonly used materials for shoemaking.
The top shoemaking materials
Shoes are made of varied shapes, colors, sizes, and designs. The variations are very essential when making a choice at the market. But, hat’s more crucial to consider before settling for a certain shoe is its material. Because it determines the shoe’s cost and durability. We’ve got various shoe materials for making shoes. For example, textiles, leather, rubber, synthetics, and foam. Let’s look at them in details;
Various textile shoe designs range from different knits, fibers, deniers, weaves, and colors. A denier describes the measure of a thread weight. For instance, one denier equals one gram of a 9000m thread. A very lightweight fabric comprises 110D for a typical denier. Textile shoes have dozens of fiber types, including wool, nylon, cotton, polypropylene, Lycra, rayon, and polyester. Each one has its physical properties and appearance. Additionally, they've got an endless variety of colors, weaves, textiles, and special other features. The material can be found on the sole, inside, or outside the footwear. The artificial polymer fibers have durability and are lightweight, such as nylon and polyester. Lycra has a high stretchability. Cotton canvas is unique and has a vulcanized construction plus an outstanding look. The cost is usually higher, depending on the duty rates and importing rules of the involved countries.
One of the most commonly used materials for shoemaking is cow leather. It's stretchable, durable, flexible, and comes in numerous styles, prices, and colors. It makes a very attractive, fashionable, and functional shoes. You may doubt, but real leather exists. However, its properties wear out with time. As a designer, if you design your shoes at home using leather, it’s likely to be a masterpiece of art. Ones made of fine leather conform and breathe uniquely. However, leather material has setbacks, including being susceptible to water absorption, heavy, and hot. It may lead to higher costs in case it absorbs water, thus requiring more to repair the damage- waterproof or water-resistant treatment. It’s also more expensive as likened to other materials. For this reason, manufacturers need to be very careful. Another thing as a buyer or designer is you should expect different scars and sizes having imperfections because the material comes from individual animals. Some brands may be avoided when cutting, resulting in a cutting loss. The leather loss can be around five percent of the total hide used, but for high-quality footwear, it can be 15% of the expenses being discarded. In most cases, leather normally has lower duty ratings. Well, it depends on the country's importing rules.
Synthetics are also referred to as synthetic leather or PU leather. There are artificially made and comprising two layers. Its outside surface is composed of polyester fiber- unwoven or woven, plus an external layer by wet lamination through the liquid process or dry. The shoes made of synthetic material are more affordable than others, such as leather- whether from a consumer's or manufacturer's perspective. The synthetic material quality used mainly determines a shoe's durability; those with higher quality, have a more extended lifespan than the low. It also features various colors, textures, different prices depending on the style, material quality, and size. Those that are least expensive contain a fibrous woven backing and a PVC skin designed via the wet process. Their surfaces aren't entirely smooth as expected, and may sometimes have creases and wrinkles.
The synthetic leather, on the other side, has a waterproof microfiber backing. Its surface is smooth and cutting cleanly. It can be dyed into another desired color to match the background or other outfits. Its thickness ranges from two to five millimeters with some stretch. Such designs are made such that the two layers get rolled together using pressure and heat. After that, the outer surface is printed, embossed, and polished to develop various options. Different embossing styles can be applied to multiple surfaces. Therefore, if you can manage to purchase the order volume needed, then prepare to get every color you wish to have. Individuals having a design shoes website can display hundreds of several patterns for buyers to see.
Foam comes in many types of shoemaking. But, we mainly shall discuss the upper surface. Foam is generally categorized into two groups; open-cell and closed. As the name suggests, open-cell allows water and air passage in and out, similarly to how a sponge behaves. On the contrary, closed-cell is tightly sealed. It doesn’t allow any water or air to exit and enter.
Open-cell foam is composed of polyurethane plastic, making it softer. It's found in different colors, densities, and thicknesses. You'll mostly see it in the shoe collars and tongues with thin PU foam backing fabric on the upper parts. Through the PU foam, stitches can sink in, offering support to the mesh and reducing wrinkles. One open style foam is the reticulated that often has ventilation characteristics.
Closed-cell foam majorly for backing mesh materials include Latex, EVA-ethyl vinyl acetate, SBR- styrene-butadiene rubber, and Neoprene. It's generally denser than open-cell with having a closed-cell foam material. The two millimeters EVA sheet is responsible for water resistance and backing mesh materials. Latex helps in collar lining, whereas SBR and Neoprene are added for elasticity. It's imperative to note the materials best suited for making the upper and bottom sole.
Rubber is mainly used in making shoe soles. It may not make all shoes, but majorly for running and sports shoes. Initially, most rubber shoes were polyester made, but today a better environmentally friendly rubber material is taking the lead in designing sport sneakers and shoes.
The bottom line
The value of shoes is impacted by various factors, as discussed in the above article. Labor and manufacturing cost significantly affect a sneaker's price. Companies try to reduce the cost by all means to ensure a better profit margin. Some are employing the use of robots for labor instead of manual workers to minimize the expenses. Additionally, partnering with well-known media personalities and athletes can help get a significant sale from sneakers. It's because customers would always want to associate with their celebrities. They can even buy sneakers at any price, given that the brand is endorsed by their favorite artist or entertainer. Another thing is maintaining sneaker supplies lower than its demand, causing resellers to increase the cost for more profits.
The material used to make shoes plays a primary role in its price. Most individuals prefer buying a durable shoe with other comfortable properties. They include leather, foam, rubber, synthetic, and textile, among others. So, what's the best material for making shoes? There's none. It mainly depends on the shoe function. It could be for work or sports. A single shoe has various requirements to meet. Therefore, it's the work done by the footwear developer, shoe designer, and product director. If you're interested in designing shoes, it'd be best if you learned proper specifications and material selection. To get more knowledge about general shoe designing, you can enroll in online classes or get a guide book for the same.