High heel demand surges post-Covid, says Kurt Geiger
Demand for high heels may have been waning even before the pandemic sent us all into comfort shoes, but as UK life gets back to normal, shoe specialist Kurt Geiger said demand for heels is at its highest for 10 years.
Sales of heels have also overtaken those of sneakers for the first time in four years and consumers are beginning to wear even higher heels again with an 8mm increase in average heel height over the last two years. It also expects “that there will soon be demand for the highest heel height of 115mm, last seen in 2013”.
Kurt Geiger’s Creative Director Rebecca Farrar-Hockley said that the end of Covid lockdowns was having a dramatic effect on shoe trends with heels becoming the retailer’s leading shoe category for the first time since 2017, in place of sneakers.
Sneakers had been the brand’s best-selling shoe category for the last four years “but have been overtaken by heels as customers are dressing up again”. High heels “now represent a third of Kurt Geiger’s business with its occasion heels, predominantly its heeled sandals, as its best-selling shoes”.
As mentioned, heel heights had been declining for almost a decade as the trend for mega-high heels moved on to mid-height heels or even flats. From 2012 to 2015, heel heights greater than 100 mm still dominated Kurt Geiger’s sales, generating around 60% of its turnover. However, looked at from 2013 to 2020, the most popular heel height was in the range of 75mm to 95 mm.
But that 100 mm+ heel height has rebounded lately, perhaps as a reaction to the ‘enforced’’ comfort trend of lockdowns and the surge of delayed special occasions now happening.
The heel focus also comes along with a post-Covid interest in “sparkly shoes with unprecedented sales of gold, silver and pink heels”. Searches for gold heels are up 70% on last year, silver heels up 80%, and pink heels up 150%. Farrar-Hockley said that metallic and rainbow colours have been the brand’s most popular high heel colours.
The Pierra, which has a 95mm heel, has been the retailer's best-selling heel since launching in 2019. And with the current trend, the brand is launching a platform version of the Pierra which has its highest heel at 115mm.
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