Nov 17, 2021
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Trainers and slippers are post-pandemic shoe stars says Shoeaholics

Nov 17, 2021

The latest footwear trends report from Shoeaholics shows that not only are trainers (sneakers) still all-powerful but they’re getting stronger.


The once-off-duty-only shoe is now officewear for many people with two thirds of Britons wearing them to the office.

Shoeaholics, the off-price retailer that’s a division of Kurt Geiger, said UK consumers also own a “trainer wardrobe” worth as much as £474 with most people owning around seven pairs at least.

And trainers are increasingly being worn for consumers for formal events or by influencers at the kind of events that would once have required something dressier. The Duchess of Cambridge, Serena Williams, Emma Thompson and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi (Princess Beatrice’s husband) are among high-profile figures who’ve been seen wearing trainers to formal occasions.

So it’s no surprise that Shoeaholics said “trainers have also become a party shoe, with three in four people (77%) wearing them more now than they used to for a night out”. 

Trainers at the retailer in the year to date are 30% higher than last year. 

“The pandemic has accelerated the trend, with fewer people required to be in a formal office setting every day,” said Shoeaholics boss, Mark Hoyal-Mitchell. “But even those who are returning to formal workplaces are increasingly confident to wear styles of shoe that would have been deemed unacceptable just a few years ago.”

Considerable numbers of people are now going more casual still, with 22% admitting to wearing slippers outside the house, “following the example of the Duchess of Sussex”, although the original inspiration came from much further away.

Hoyal-Mitchell added: “The trend seems to have started in China, where fashionable Chinese women – especially those in their twenties and thirties – are wearing fluffy bedroom slippers everywhere. Increasingly slippers are being made with sturdy soles that are suitable for outdoor use. It’s a rebellion against more formal, traditional shoe wear.”

Shoeaholics said sales of slippers are up 80% on pre-Covid figures, with UGG, Kurt Geiger London, Carvela, Aldo, Barbour, Birkenstock, Michael Kors and Ted Baker among the leading brands.

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