Are Shoe Brands Charging You More Based on Your Gender?

A new report may be adding fuel to the battle of the sexes.

Stats compiled by big-data startup Datafiniti are revealing discrepancies in pricing — apparently related to the gender of target customers — across popular shoe brands.

Using its database of more than 80 million products from thousands of online retailers and e-commerce stores, Datafiniti sought to determine whether there is a difference in price between women’s and men’s shoes across certain brands.

Generally, the data showed that many high-end brands — Valentino and Jimmy Choo are two examples — priced women’s shoes higher than men’s. While popular, moderately priced sneaker brands — such as Nike and Adidas — tended to price men’s shoes higher than women’s.

More specifically, six out of eight luxury brands in Datafiniti’s database that make shoes for both men and women priced their women’s footwear higher than their men’s.

For example, Datafiniti found that the median price of a pair of Gianvito Rossi women’s shoes was $750, while the median price for a pair of men’s shoes by the same brand was $469 — a difference of $281. Similar discrepancies were seen in the pricing for Valentino, Jimmy Choo and Saint Laurent.

Meanwhile, across popular casual and athletic brands, the reverse appeared to be true — although the price differences were significantly smaller.

Of the casual and athletic brands Datafiniti analyzed, the largest difference in price was seen for Vans. The median price for a pair of women’s Vans shoes was $40, while men’s was $50. Skechers’ median price for men’s shoes was $51, while women’s was $45. Adidas’ men’s shoes’ median price was $75, and women’s was $70. The median price for a pair of Nike women’s shoes was $80, while men’s was $85.

Puma and Asics showed no difference in median price.

Interestingly, the researchers suggested that the way brands price their wares could be related to how large of a market each gender represents for them. For example, the luxury brands seemed to have more offerings of women’s footwear on their websites — suggesting women are their largest market — while moderately priced athletic brands sold more men’s footwear.

It’s important to note that for this report, Datafiniti did not delve into how aspects of designs, added details/embellishments or performance features potentially contributed to price discrepancies.

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