Surveys by Publications:
Footwear InsightTextile InsightOutdoor Insight
Consumer Survey
Q&A: Biggest concerns when buying children's footwear?
Q&A: What does "Vegan-friendly" mean to you?
We asked consumers to weigh in on their purchasing habits. When it comes to their kids’ shoes, parents let us know they have two main requirements: The shoes need to fit (59 percent said it was important to them that their child’s foot be measured during the shopping process) and they need to last (in the comments, “durability” came up again and again.)When it comes to animal-free footwear, the results are clear. Shoppers are interested in — and willing to pay for — vegan-friendly shoes. But they’re not hearing about them or seeing them in stores. Only 18 percent of our survey respondents said they had ever seen a pair of vegan shoes promoted in stores. There’s an opportunity there: Despite that low awareness, 60 percent of shoppers said it was somewhat or very important to them that the shoes they buy be free of animal material. The survey, conducted by MESH01, included 184 respondents, men and women, aged 18-60, with an average age of 36 years old. The survey, conducted by MESH01, included 184 respondents, men and women, aged 18-60, with an average age of 36 years old.
Consumers weigh in on Shopping For Children's Shoes
1. Family footwear chain
2. Department store
3. Independent footwear store
4. Discount chain store
5. Independent childrens
   footwear specialty store
6. Sports specialty store
7. E-commerce site
8. Resale / second hand
1. Easy-on, easy-off
2. Washable
3. Waterproof
4. Non-marking outsoles
5. Size guarantee
6. Fashion colors
7. Light up
8. Gift with Purchase
1. Durability
2. Great Fit
3. Fashion
4. Flexibilty or Construction
5. Versatility for Different
   Uses or Occasions
6. Materials
7. Brand Name
How much do you spend, on average, for children’s footwear?
Have you shopped for children’s footwear in the past year?
Is it important to you to have your child’s foot measured when shopping for their footwear?
What changes have you seen in the price of children’s footwear over the past 12 months?
Thoughts about vegan Friendly
Have you seen animal-free
shoes promoted in stores?
Comments

“I have never even heard of an animal-free shoe.” Female / 45

“I don’t find this to be as common an advertisement in big-box stores, but in the more specialty shoes stores, I have seen this a number of times. I also found this type of advertising more popular when I was traveling in Canada and in major U.S. cities.”
Female / 37

What changes have you seen in the price of children’s footwear over the past 12 months?
Comments

“Although I prefer not to purchase leather, I have never had a pair of man-made shoes last as long as leather shoes.” Female, 34

“Animal-free does not mean that it is not as durable as a product that is not. It could, in fact, be more durable than a shoe that is not animal-free.” Female, 38

“Man-made synthetic materials have been proven to be of high quality and durability.” Male / 52

“Personally, I am a big fan of leather shoe products. I find they tend to wear better and last longer over time compared to a synthetic product. The overall look of a pair of worn leather shoes is still often appealing and the same cannot be said for synthetics.” Female / 37

When shopping for footwear, how strongly do you feel that the shoes you purchase be free of animal materials and products?
All things being equal, would you pay more for footwear that is free
from animal materials
and products?
Quotes
What is your biggest concern when buying children’s footwear?

“Price is our major concern — [our kids] are young enough they will outgrow them before they ruin even a cheap pair of shoes.” Female / 35

“Width and comfort. Just because a child is a child does not mean they do not need a comfortable shoe. Most younger children have wider feet... This seems to be an issue.” Male / 34

“That they will perform for the purposes intended. Waterproof for rain boots, warmth for winter/snow boots, comfort and flexibility for sneakers, cleats, etc.” Female / 47

“Will they last? My boys are
rough on shoes. Sneakers, skateboard shoes and snow boots all seem to take a real beating.” Male / 39

“That the shoe itself is not cheaply made, affecting the development of their feet and negatively impacting their walking. Quality shoes are extremely important and something I will always pay more for.”
Female / 37

“Ensuring they support their growing feet.” Female / 35

“Cost. Children grow out of things pretty quickly. Plus, my kids are hard on their shoes. I’m lucky if the shoes last six months.” Male / 45

“That they will hurt my child’s feet.” Female / 31

“That they will fall apart too easily. Having two boys, if the shoe falls apart just days after buying them, I am disappointed.” Female / 33

“Scuffing on the toes.” Female / 35

“My no. 1 concern is durability. I want to make sure they outgrow the shoe, not have the shoe broke down soon after I purchase them.”
Male / 29

“That the shoes are good quality.” Female / 24

“That the shoe is comfortable, because if your child doesn’t like the way the shoe feels they won’t wear it.” Female / 32

“Fit and ease of putting on.”
Female / 32

“That they are durable and breathable. Little feet tend to get smelly!” Female / 49

“Fits well and appeals to the child.” Male / 34

“That the shoes may not be very comfortable for any child when they are walking or wearing them.” Female / 38

“That the quality of the shoe matches the price.” Female / 43

“The size not being the right fit.”  Male / 26


8% NEGATIVE

“When you buy name brand products at higher cost (especially those you’ve had previously good experiences/long lasting), you don’t expect to waste time returning them.” Male / 41

“The return process was easy and the clerk was great, but I really dislike returning items in general. I feel like it is a waste of time for me and I know it isn’t good for the retailer I bought the product from.” Female / 43

30% DID NOT RETURN
Quotes
What does the term “vegan-friendly” mean to you in terms of footwear?

“No animal products are used in the product or manufacture process.” Female / 34

“In no step of the production process (R&D, manufacturing, etc.) have animals been involved. All materials are synthetic or natural fibers chosen and harvested so that they do not take away from the animals’/insects’ natural environment. I believe it is a statement that people are trying to convey about their views of the world. It is a positive statement for sure.” Male / 34

“Nothing in terms of footwear. I'll buy a quality shoe and won't look at the fine print of ‘vegan friendly.’" Female / 44

“Vegan friendly means that the people who made the product support the vegan lifestyle as well as other healthy lifestyles.” Female / 32

“Footwear that contains no products that have been derived from any living creature up to and including dyes and that the materials have had no type of animal testing performed up to and including dyes and other chemicals.” Female / 37

“It sounds like a marketing gimmick.” Male / 32

“This would mean that it does not have any animal products in it. To me this would mean the company is marketing more toward vegans.” Female / 37

It means that it will simply have a higher price point.” Male / 36

“Earth friendly.” Female / 34

“Free from any animal fur, skin, testing. No leather.” Female / 28

“Vegan is a food thing. This makes no sense to me as someone skeptical of many vegan claims. I guess I kind of understand what is meant by it, but I’d immediately write the brand off as being too weird for me.” Male / 30

“Sandals, cheaply made shoes, not durable.”  
Male / 27

“Vegan-friendly footwear means that the materials used to make the products, at no point in production, included animal-derived products and did not require animal testing.” Female /34

“I think it's nonsense. If something is made from man-made materials, I would expect it to be free of animal materials and product. It is just like fruit being labeled gluten free.” Female / 52

“I would assume it is made in a way that complies with vegan standards.” Female / 44

“Weird but cool.” Male / 32