Sam Poser, analyst at Sterne Agee, said the majority of newness was driven by ornamentation and color.
“Bright colors were pervasive and should continue to provide compelling reasons for consumers to purchase new athletic and non-athletic footwear. Studding and mixed materials are the key trends in women’s fashion for fall ’12 and spring ’13,” he wrote in a research note.
Camilo Lyon, analyst at Canaccord Genuity, agreed there is plenty of freshness in the market.
“Fashion is moving away from dress to casual,” Lyon observed. “We are seeing more flats and sneakers, both with added embellishments and color.”
Poser added that even athletic inspirations are making their way increasingly into fashion footwear, noting that the most compelling product he saw came from Steve Madden and Nine West, as well as the updated women’s active styles and the Go Walk line from Skechers.
Susquehanna Financial analyst Christopher Svezia also noted that Skechers’ fitness portfolio, including Go Walk, is doing “reasonably well.”
“The lightweight bottom is being infused into more casual-type product, such as skate,” Svezia told Footwear News. “There are signs after everything they’ve been through that they’ve bottomed. Some aspects of the core business are gaining some strength, and as the tide rises, it’s going to lift all boats.”