Know your target market: where do you need to be?

When designing a shoe line, it is essential to think carefully about the target group of your project in addition to the right materials and lasts. For what purpose or activity would you like to develop shoes? And where in the world would you like to market them? There are clear differences when we look at what shoes are popular in different parts of the world.

Which target market is right for your line of shoes?

Reading up on the right target market will give you the opportunity to have a successful shoe line developed. No matter how good the quality of the shoe, the wrong market will result in poor sales. For example, in Germany people are more likely to choose a comfortable model, while in Italy they are more likely to go for a stylish shoe. What do you need to know about the diverse shoe preferences around the world? Below we tell you our experiences.

Southern Europe

In Southern Europe, we often see that stylish and more elegant shoes are chosen. Elegant shoes here are not only worn during formal occasions, but are also preferred in leisure time. Among women, a (high) heel is chosen more often than in the rest of Europe and high quality materials are important. In addition, the warm weather ensures that sandals and slippers are not to be missed in the shoe wardrobes. In recent years, the so-called chunky ‘dad’ sneaker has become increasingly popular as Italian fashion houses release increasingly extreme models.


Would you like to design a shoe line that steals the hearts in Scandinavia? Then it is important to develop shoes of excellent quality. In this part of Europe, people spend much of their time in nature. Comfort, warmth, durability, a good sole and preferably waterproof is what we see a lot. Indoors, shoes quickly make way for slippers and warm socks made from natural materials such as wool felt or recycled materials.

The Netherlands and Central Europe

In these countries, fashionable comfort also comes first. Model development in the Netherlands is ahead of the rest of Central Europe. Dutch consumers dare to wear progressive models and colors at an early stage of fashion.

Central Europe is generally known as the continent where people dress more and more casually, even in formal occasions. Sneakers are worn more often here and heels are replaced by flat loafers.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, we see a clear split between business life and leisure. In general, the middle and upper classes have a conservative style of dress, which means that they also like to go for elegant shoes in formal occasions here. These shoes are then of high quality. The majority of society does not spend a lot of money on their shoes, and is not so concerned with quality. It is therefore not surprising that British women often do not want to spend more than €50 on a pair of shoes for leisure. So it is important to know which part of the population your target audience will be.

North America

In America, for the most part, the preference is for a comfortable clothing style with an emphasis on comfort. Chunky sneakers under a wide casual suit is quite normal. Men’s shoes in the workplace should mainly run nicely and the look is taken a little more at face value. For the ladies, these are comfortable loafers and sandals with fine footbeds. European design & quality is increasingly appreciated in America and associated with quality.

Let Van den Breekel advise you

Would you like to set up a well-running, progressive shoe line and are you curious as to which market you can tap into best? Then ask us for the necessary information! Thanks to our many years of experience, we know the shoe world inside out. Feel free to contact us for valuable advice. We like to think along with you in realizing your shoe collection.