Footwear Industry Guide

Wellington boots, trainers and high heels

Here you will find sources of information such as market research (statistics, trends, developments), key companies, trade magazines, newsletters, and internet sources.

This guide will be useful to anyone starting a business within the footwear industry and also for those wanting to further their knowledge within this area.

Start-Up Information

COBRA logo
accessible via electronic databases
The Cobra database contains practical fact-sheets on all aspects of starting, running and managing a small business – including information on writing business plans, marketing, company structures etc.

It also covers the practical aspects of how to start and run particular types of businesses – outlining necessary skills, regulations, licences and legislation etc. and highlights other sources of information and advice available.

Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP) 

Shoe Shop  BOP218 

Mini BOP

Designer Shoe Shop  MBP404 
Outsize Clothing Shop  MBP236 
Shoe Repair Service  MBP325 

UK Market Synopsis

Clothing and Accessories Retail  SYN041 

Sector Update

Fashion Retail  SEC021 

Sources of Business Information (SOU)

British Footwear Association SOU993

Market Research & Statistics 

If you are planning on starting a business you will need to be aware of the latest trends, developments and opportunities within your industry which can all be found from market research.

Market research also covers market size and forecasts, consumer demographics and attitudes, the key players and products and will often include SWOT and PEST analysis showing areas of strength, weakness, opportunities etc.

EMIS logo

  • Footwear Retailing in the United Kingdom: Market Snapshot to 2023 (GlobalData Indu Snapshot)
  • Footwear Market in United Kingdom

GlobalData logo

  • Retail Channel Series: UK Online Pureplays in Clothing & Footwear 2018 - 2023

IBISWorld logo

  • Clothing & Footwear Wholesaling in the UK – G46.420
  • Footwear & Leather Goods Repair in the UK – S95.230
  • Footwear Manufacturing in the UK – C15.200
  • Footwear Retailers in the UK – G47.721

Mintel logo

  • Footwear Retailing - UK 
  • The Affluent Consumer - UK
  • Footwear Retailing: Inc Impact of COVID-19 - UK

Passport logo

  • Apparel and Footwear in the United Kingdom 
  • Apparel E-Tailing Innovation Series: The Pursuit of a Perfect Fit Online, Part 4 Footwear
  • Designer Apparel and Footwear (Ready to Wear) in the United Kingdom 
  • Footwear in the United Kingdom 

Please note that many articles about the toiletries and cosmetics industry (from business journals and newspapers) are available from our electronic sources: eMarketer, Business Source Complete (EBSCO), Factiva, ABI Inform Global.

Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching Factiva, Business Source Complete and EMIS.

You will find articles from specialist business and academic journals, as well as newspapers and magazines. You may also find market research reports and case studies. As well as profiles of leading industry figures.

You will also find articles covering recent developments, and predicting future trends in your industry.

Trade Magazines and Newsletters

Useful for gaining inside knowledge, recent trends, industry news, company profiles, reviews of new products and services. Some contain annual reviews and company contact lists. Ordered via Explore the British Library (please ask for help).

Footprint: The Journal of Independent footwear Retailers Association (IFRA) [ZK.9.b.8686] [Must be ordered using Explore the British Library]
This journal is written for owners of shoe shops. Covers all types of footwear including sports, children’s, women’s, men’s, fashion, shoe care/cleaning; includes information on accessories and new products and company news. 1995 -

Footwear and Fashion Extras (Reflex Publishing) [Humanities P.443/488] [Must be ordered using Explore the British Library]
Trade magazine for the fashion accessories and footwear industry. Covers luggage, handbags, shoes, boots, leather goods, bags jewellery, travel goods, briefcases, hats, gloves, scarves, umbrellas, rainwear, sunglasses and materials. 1983 –

Footwear in Ireland (Futura Communications Ltd, 2000 onwards) [(P) MR 00-E (25)] [Science 3]
Provides information on Irish footwear including news on companies and products, shoe retailing and manufacturing. 

Out on a limb: Footwear and Accessories (C1 Publishing, 2000 onwards) [(P) MR 00- E (23)] [Science 3]
Contains new products report for men’s and women’s shoes, trainers, boots, sports footwear, handbags, sunglasses, gloves, travel bags and leather goods. 

World Sports Activewear: the international Magazine for Sports Textiles and Apparel (Textile Trade Publishing, 1995 onwards) [(P) MQ 71 – E (3)] [Science 3]
Includes information on sports clothing and footwear, particularly for outdoor sports (climbing, camping, walking, exploration, water sports, rowing, canoeing, skiing, snowboarding, and golf). Also includes some news about other products.


Contain lists of companies and industry contacts. Some have annual industry reviews, and specialist articles.

All-in-One Directory (Gebbie Press) 2019 [(B) DIR 338.761070572025 BUS]
The directory contains a publications index, a listing of publications by industry sector and includes footwear and leather goods.

Docca: The Directory of Country Clothing, Footwear and Accessories 2015–2016 (Alibi Publishing Ltd) [(B) DIR 338.768702541 BUS] 
This directory contains a list of businesses and organisations engaged in country trade. Lists retailers and suppliers and includes an index to brands.

Internet Sources

Websites containing free sources of industry statistics, information and contacts.

British Footwear Association

Part of the site is available to non-members and includes information about hard to find footwear. A guide to consumer rights and a directory of suppliers/designers. There is also a Knowledge Area which provides answers to frequently answered questions and gives some marketing statistics. 

Children’s Foot Health Register

Companies which become members are committed to the highest standard of shoe fitting for young growing feet. The site provides a list of members searchable by area. There is also information about the way in which children’s feet develop. 

SATRA Technology

This website contains technical articles, industry reports, news items and information about SATRA products and services, courses and publications. 

Please note that every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however some recently acquired items may since have been added to the collection. Please ask for help at the enquiry desk or check the online catalogue Explore the British Library for more details.

Images by geishaboy500, jronaldlee, sling@flickr under a Creative Commons license