China remains the largest supplier, shipping 79% of all shoes imported into the US last year

China remains the largest supplier, shipping 79% of all shoes imported into the US last year

An annual “power list” ranking of the ten largest footwear manufacturing countries supplying the US market shows that production shifts continued in 2014 – including triple-digit gains for Cambodia.

While China remains the largest supplier, shipping 79% of all shoes imported into the US last year, its market share continues to fall, according to the list compiled by the Footwear Distributors and Retailers Association of America (FDRA). Indeed, its share dipped below 80% for the first time in years, the group said.

Vietnam, meanwhile, put in “another impressive year of growth,” as anticipation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal takes hold. Vietnam’s footwear exports rose 19% in volume last year to give it 12% of US market share.

But exclusion from the TPP talks is likely to have weighed on Indonesia’s performance, the FDRA said. Imports from Indonesia remained flat compared with the previous year, keeping it in the number three slot.

India, however, rose two places in the rankings to become fourth largest supplier of footwear to the US market and increased its imports by 10% in 2014.

Mexico’s exports to the US dropped 9%, pushing it down to fifth place in the rankings, whereas imports from Italy remained flat but the country continues to maintain an important position in the supply of higher-end and quality footwear to the US market.

Cambodia saw the largest gains of any country in the FDRA rankings with imports rising by 134%, pushing it up three slots to become the seventh largest supplier. This is partly due to the relocation of some production from China and Vietnam last year. 

According the FDRA, Brazil bounced back in 2014 following several years of slowed growth, with a 19% jump in US exports; while manufacturers in the Dominican Republic took advantage of the DR-CAFTA free trade agreement to book 10% footwear export growth to the US.

The 2015 Footwear Production Power Rankings are based on how many pairs of shoes a country produces for the US market.

“We wanted to provide a clear visual of what global footwear production looked like in 2014 for the industry because there are still a lot of sourcing changes taking place,” explained FDRA president Matt Priest.

The 2014 rankings are as follows. 

  1. China (unchanged)
  2. Vietnam (unchanged)
  3. Indonesia (unchanged)
  4. India (up two spots)
  5. Mexico (down one spot)
  6. Italy (down one spot)
  7. Cambodia (up three spots)
  8. Brazil (down one spot)
  9. Dominican Republic (down one spot)
  10. Thailand (down one spot)