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The Men’s Shoe Business In The United States Is Not Just About Plain Foot Covering Anymore


For the first 60 years of the 20th century, men didn’t spend a lot of money on their leather shoes. Domestic shoe companies concentrated on the women’s shoe business because women bought more shoes than men, and they still do. One of the reasons that men didn’t buy as many shoes is shoe companies were stuck in a traditional mode when it came to designing shoes. Shoe companies believed that men just wanted a pair of black and brown dress shoes, and maybe a casual pair for weekends.

It was easier and less expensive for shoe factories to make the same style in the same color on a production line, so the men were caught in a self-created fashion trap. If men had demanded more styles, the shoe companies would have been forced to make them.

That’s exactly what happened in the 1970s. Men began to push the fashion envelope. They started to wear colorful clothes. The athletic shoe business helped men see that they could wear red, yellow and green and still be manly. Suddenly the domestic shoe manufacturer were caught in another trap. They couldn’t produce shoes in more than two colors profitably. They began to experience pressure from foreign shoe makers that could produce shoes in different styles and colors and make a nice profit. Domestic factories couldn’t stop the rising labor and raw material costs, so almost all factories in the U.S. were out of business before the turn of the century.

But before the domestic factories went out of business, they tried one last trick in order to stay in business. The designers stopped using leather uppers and leather soles and began using vinyl and polyurethane for uppers and unit soles instead of a leather sole with a leather heel. Suddenly men could still buy shoes for $40 instead of $90, and that popular price point fueled the men’s business for a couple of years.

It didn’t take long for men to realize that disposable cheap shoes weren’t the answer to their fashion ineptness. It took a few years, but shoe factories in Brazil, Italy and Spain started to offer men quality shoes at a higher price. The switch to foreign made men’s shoes changed the shoe business, but men still had a problem getting the right size and style even though they were paying more for their shoes.

Thanks to Paul Evans Footwear those issues have been solved. Men can buy shoes made in Italy directly from the shoe factory in their size, color, and favorite fashion style. That is a major breakthrough in the men’s shoe business. Rather than buying shoes “off the rack,” at discount prices, men can now order quality shoes in quality materials that are made for them. Men are now buying more shoes because they know they can get what they want when they from Paul Evans Footwear. Price used to be an issue, when shoes were disposal, but Paul Evans Shoes are timeless, and when they are maintain properly, the shoes last for years.

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