Women Are Choosing Sneakers Over High Heels — And the Proof Is Mounting

Spring cleaning is all about out with the old, in with the new, and for 2018, women seem to be in agreement: high heels are old and sneakers are new.

Resale site ThredUp analyzed data from December 2017 to May 2018, and found that the last three months in particular have seen a significant uptick in activity surrounding footwear sales. Since March, it’s seen a 38 percent increase in the number of heels sent in by sellers, with Kenneth Cole, Guess, and Jessica Simpson leading the pack among brands that experienced the highest “purge surge,” as the site calls the phenomenon.

Shoppers, meanwhile, are adding more sneakers to their carts. In the same period, sneaker sales soared 46 percent, the site found, with demand spread amongst a mix of both athletic and fashion-geared brands. (Here, Keds, Dr. Scholl’s, and Asics came up on top in terms of growth.) The trend toward tossing one’s stilettos — or rather, shipping them off for someone else to wear — is evident in the site’s overall inventory, too: it currently has 11,862 pairs of heels for sale, compared to 3,184 pairs of sneakers.

This data backs up recent findings from market research firm NPD Group, which reported that sales of high heels fell 12 percent in 2017, at the same time that the women’s leisure sneaker category grew 37 percent to hit $2.3 billion.

The movement embracing comfort, it seems, is here to stay.

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