NPD: Work, Outdoor Sales See Big Growth in 2014

Sky-high heels might get all the attention. But not surprisingly, the majority of Americans don’t live their lives in them.

According to NPD Group, occupational/work and outdoor footwear showed sizable growth for the first 10 months of 2014.

Work shoes saw the most significant increases, with sales of $1.8 billion for the category, up 14 percent compared with the year-ago period. Outdoor footwear came in second with year-over-year growth of 7 percent and total sales reaching $2.9 billion for the year.

NPD’s chief industry analyst Marshal Cohen said that thanks to a strengthening job market and the consumer desire for more multipurpose footwear, he expected to see continued expansion in both the categories.

“Trends last longer now and this will continue next year because it is a lifestyle shift,” said Cohen. “And [work shoes] are one are where growth is directly tied to how well the economy does. As more jobs shift in the market and a younger consumer embraces the category, there will be growth.”

Cohen said he expected outdoor footwear to continue to do well, thanks to the innovation.

“The thing that I love about outdoor is that it’s one category that really goes for it and has a lot of the technology in its products,” he said.

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