Should I consider dropshipping shoes? Yes. The footwear market is expected to grow annually by 3.38% .
The shoe market has a huge variety of products and worldwide demand.
The range of products, market growth, and worldwide demand suggest you can find winning shoe products to dropship.
We’ve sold shoes and spent time researching various footwear marketplaces. While doing this, we learned a lot.
In this article, we will share everything we’ve learned. Including the following:
- Are Shoes a Good Dropshipping Niche?
- Risks of Dropshipping Shoes
- Best Shoe Products to Dropship
- Shoe Products to Avoid
- Finding the Best Dropshipping Suppliers for Shoes
- Best Places to Find Suppliers
- Successful Dropshipping Shoe Stores
- Dropshipping Shoes Throughout the World
Continue reading to learn all about dropshipping shoes and creating a successful store.
- Shoes are a necessity in most countries, giving you a wide audience in various marketplaces.
- Look at current trends and sales, like chunky trainers, sliders, and leather shoes, for profitable product ideas.
- Avoid selling fake designer shoes, as this is a felony in many countries.
Are Shoes a Good Dropshipping Niche?
Yes. Google Trends shows the consistent demand and lack of seasonality worldwide. This is ideal for dropshipping as it suggests that there will be year-round demand, sales, and profit.
For most people, shoes are also a necessity, as well as a fashion accessory. This gives you a wide audience to target.
Variation of Products
There are so many different types of shoes, including boots, heels, sandals, climbing shoes, cycling shoes, formal shoes, sneakers or trainers, etc.
These shoes come in different colors, patterns, shapes, and materials.
This huge variation of products means you can find a shoe product that is profitable.
Shoes are essential for most people worldwide. This gives you a huge opportunity for sales in a variety of marketplaces.
You could create a store for a specific demographic, including kids, women, babies, men, or unisex shoes. Or choose an event, like wedding shoes, casual shoes, night-out shoes, etc.
Year Round Demand
As we saw, Google Trends shows that shoes are not seasonal. People buy shoes throughout the year.
This demand means your shoe store can make sales year-round. An unseasonal niche also makes it easier to plan your advertisements and estimate your sales.
Some products within the niche might see spikes throughout the year, depending on the market you’re selling in. For example, winter boots, summer sandals, etc.
What are the Risks of Dropshipping Shoes?
Incorrect sizing, loyalty to brands, and selling fake goods are all risks of selling shoes.
These are easy to avoid or overcome and wouldn’t be off-putting for us.
All shoes are sized slightly differently.
When a customer orders from you, there is a chance that the size they order won’t fit.
This can result in a high return or refund rate.
To overcome this, we recommend adding a size guide for each pair of shoes.
The size guide can vary between suppliers and shoes. So, get a size guide for each pair to add to your listings.
Selling counterfeit goods can land you in jail.
Don’t sell fake trainers or rip-off designer shoes.
Competition with Brands
People are often loyal to certain brands, especially sneakers or trainers.
To compete, you need to offer something that sets your store apart, for example, a considerably lower selling price.
You could also choose to sell shoes that people don’t choose brands for. This could be hiking boots, surf shoes, slippers, etc.
Shoe Products to Dropship - Our Top Recommendations
We’ve created a list of products we think could have the potential for success.
To find these, we’ve used our Product Database tool. With the tool, you can see and sort through millions of products. You can find the products by price, sales, revenue, and other advanced filters.
We also have a comprehensive article on How to Find Winning Products For Your Dropshipping Business if you need more help finding winning footwear products.
Lockdowns and the rising cost of living are thought to be the reason for the rising sales of slippers .
Slippers come in a variety of styles and shapes. Consider the demographic you’re targeting, as each will prefer different styles.
For example, older people might require more supportive and practical slippers. In comparison, a younger buyer might prefer something more trend-driven.
You should also consider the country or area you’re selling. Colder climates will probably prefer fluffy or warm slippers. Hotter climates might use flip-flops or other house shoes.
Sandals and Flip Flops
Sandals and flip-flops are some of the smallest and lightest shoes you can sell.
The size and weight of the shoes are perfect for dropshipping. This is because they are cheaper to ship than larger products.
There is a huge variety of sandals and flip-flop styles.
For flip flops, you could sell cheap water-proof flip flops for the beach or a premium option with arch support.
Sandals come in all types of materials and designs. You could choose a leather option, plastic slider style, or any other type of sandal.
These shoes are often seasonal, depending on the market you’re selling in. Consider the seasonality, as it can mean your sales peak and dip throughout the year.
Chunky sneakers have become a fashion staple in recent years. Fashion experts expect the trend to continue. The chunky sneaker trend is most popular among younger people.
Designer and sports brands like Chloe, New Balance, Nike, Adidas, Gucci, Dior, Fendi, and others have released chunky trainers in recent years.
However, these brands are expensive. This could leave consumers looking for affordable alternatives. You could sell a cheaper option for this market.
Adults from 18 to 29 are the biggest social media users . You can use this information to advertise your store on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
Folding pumps or ballet flats are shoes designed to fold. They can roll or fold into a small pouch or purse. They are considered the ‘After Party’ shoes.
The purpose is to take them out when you have heels or uncomfortable shoes on. You can then change into them when your shoes become too painful.
The shoes are designed to be small and light, so they can discreetly fit in a bag.
Their size and weight make them perfect for dropshipping, as they will be cheap to ship.
You could sell these in various shapes, colors, and materials. You could also choose different purses or wallet designs.
The awareness of mental health and the importance of spending time outdoors is thought to be the reason for an increase in the sales of hiking shoes and boots.
The hiking footwear market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.3% between 2023 and 2028 .
This could be the perfect time to launch a store selling both hiking boots and shoes.
The quality, durability, and water resistance of these are some of the most important features. If you want to sell these, request several samples and test the products.
If the products are poor quality, it can result in returns, refunds, and poor reviews. This can result in lost profits and reduced sales.
Cycling shoes have cleats on the soles to provide traction with the pedals. This keeps your foot secured.
There are cycling shoes for outdoor cycling, including tours, tracks, mountains, etc. There are also cycling shoes for an indoor spin or cycling class.
We’ve looked more deeply at indoor cycling or spin shoes as this form of exercise is increasing in popularity.
This is thought to be due to popular classes in the UK and US, like SoulCycle. As well as companies like Peleton shining a light on at-home spin classes .
This could be a great opportunity to launch an online store selling indoor cycling shoes.
Brogues are sturdy shoes that are usually made of leather. They were originally worn as outdoor shoes. However, nowadays, they are worn for a variety of occasions.
After the pandemic, the world is returning to normal. This means more people are returning to the office and attending social events, like weddings. Brogues are often worn to these places, events, and occasions.
This could be a great opportunity to launch your online store selling brogues and other leather shoes.
Kid’s shoes come in a variety of styles, colors, and materials.
You could sell school shoes, trainers, smart shoes, fashion shoes, slippers, sandals, or any other style.
As kids’ feet grow, they need to purchase new shoes.
This gives your store the possibility for recurring revenue.
If the shoes you're selling are good quality and the parents are happy, they are likely to return for the next size up.
As kids’ shoes are smaller than adults, they will also be cheaper to ship. This can help to increase your profit margins.
Which Shoe Products Should I Avoid Dropshipping?
Be wary of the size and weight of the shoes. Heavy and large shoes are more expensive to ship.
Selling fake or rip-off branded or designer shoes can also land you in jail. Avoid these.
Social media is rife with recommendations for shoe ‘dupes.’ These look like designer shoes but for a fraction of the cost. Do not sell these.
Some products are ‘inspired’ by others, which might be ok to sell. However, there could be restrictions on similarities, logos, advertising, and listings.
For this reason, we would avoid all dupes or inspired-by shoes.
It is illegal to sell counterfeit designer items online in most countries. In the US and UK, you could end up in prison or be ordered to pay a fine.
Steel toe caps, rain boots, and snow boots are all large and heavy.
The size and weight of these products mean they are often expensive to ship.
This can leave you with a reduced profit margin.
For this reason, we would avoid selling any big or weighty shoes.
How to Find the Best Dropshipping Suppliers for Shoe Products
There are many marketplaces with a variety of suppliers, usually all offering the same or very similar products.
The quality and price of the products and the terms offered will differentiate the suppliers.
To find the perfect supplier, request samples from a few to compare the quality of the products.
To help you work out which supplier to order your samples from, we recommend asking the following questions:
- What is the cost per piece?
- Where will the products be shipped from?
- Is the supplier also the manufacturer?
- How much is the shipping?
- Which shipping courier do you use, and how long does it take?
- How long does it take between receiving the order and the product shipping?
- What are the return, refund, and warranty policies?
- Do you offer custom packaging?
- Can you provide images and videos of the product?
- Do you facilitate dropshipping? (including integrating with automation tools, not adding invoices, promotions, or other logos in the product packaging)
We have an article on What to Consider When You Choose a Supplier if you need more information.
Best Places to Find Dropshipping Suppliers
- DH Gate
1. Dropship.io - Best Overall
One of the latest features we’ve launched is the supplier finder.
Each supplier is vetted before we add them to the supplier finder.
This should make it easy to find a reliable one and ensure you have a seamless experience.
Within the supplier finder, you can instantly see the services they provide and their vital information.
It is also easy to contact them. Just click on the Chat On Skype button. Here, you can request samples and negotiate your terms.
2. Printful - Best for On-Demand Printing
Printful is a print-on-demand service. You can upload your designs and have them printed on various shoe types and shapes.
Printful is one of the best and easiest ways to create custom shoes.
Printful integrates with Shopify, Etsy, WooCommerce, Wix, Squarespace, and most other e-commerce platforms. Printful will fulfill your orders, creating a seamless experience for your customers.
3. AliExpress - Best for Choice
AliExpress is the most renowned marketplace for finding dropshipping suppliers.
This is due to their huge directory and a vast range of products. Almost anything you can think of is available on AliExpress. Several suppliers will often offer the same products.
You can speak directly to the suppliers. However, the suppliers aren’t pre-vetted. This can mean that the quality and service will vary greatly. Make sure to request samples to compare the quality of the products.
4. DHGate - Best for Experienced Sellers
DHGate is a Chinese e-commerce marketplace. It is a wholesale platform that offers business-to-business and consumer-to-business trade.
Most suppliers offer a discount if you order more than one product.
There is a huge range of products, with over 2.5 million shoes available. With the wide range, you can find almost any type of shoe available.
5. Doba - Best for Fast Shipping
Doba is a paid platform. You need a membership to view product details and order products. There is a free plan, which is ideal for launching a dropshipping store.
However, as your business grows, you will need to upgrade. The Business plan starts at $49.99 per month, or $39.99 per month when paid annually. This is ideal for stores needing automation.
If you have a larger business and require all the features, you will need to upgrade to the Enterprise plan. This costs $299.99 per month or $249.99 per month when paid annually.
One of the benefits of Doba is that most suppliers ship from the US rather than China. This reduces the shipping time, which is beneficial to customers.
Successful Dropshipping Shoe Product Stores
It’s hard to confirm whether a store is really successful as we will never know its exact expenses. But with the Sales Tracker tool, you can see the approximate sales of any Shopify shoe store.
Click the graph icon on the right-hand side to find specific store metrics. Here you will be able to see estimated revenue, total products sold, as well as the top-performing products in the store.
You can contact the supplier to determine whether a product is profitable. Once you have the product’s price, you can deduct it from the sales data on the Sales Tracker.
These stores are just a few successful ones we found within the shoe niche.
Therapy Shoes are an Australian-based e-commerce store.
They sell heels, sandals, flats, boots, and loafers for women. They also sell handbags. Most of the bags are mini fashion bags, perfect for styling with the shoes they offer.
The Sales Tracker shows us that their Ranger Cowboy boots are the best sellers. These come in six variations. The best-selling option is Black, then Pink, Shell, and Cocoa.
We can use the information from the Sales Tracker to give us ideas for our stores. For example, if you want to sell these boots, you could prioritize adding a black version to your store as you know it sells the best.
Shoe Shop Haul
Shoes Shop Haul is an online store that predominantly sells heels. But they also sell sandals, slides, and boots.
The Sales Tracker gives us a lot of information about the store. It tells us the following information:
- One other Dropship.io user is also tracking the store
- The store was created on December 4th, 2020
- The store is using the Shopify theme Supply
We can also use the Sales Tracker to see that the top seven best-selling products are all wide-fit or wide-friendly shoes.
This shows that there is demand for this type of product. Use this information to add a wide-fit variation of your shoes to your store.
Dropshipping Shoe Products Throughout the World
The climate, economy, culture, and other factors can affect the shoes purchased in each country.
You can use this information to find products that could be profitable for each market.
The US generates the most revenue in the footwear market. It is estimated to generate $98.26 billion in 2023. This number is also expected to grow annually by 3.23% between 2023 and 2027 .
In the US, athletic footwear has become trendy in recent years. Over half of those born between 1997 and 2012 bought athletic shoes in the last two years .
With this information, we would launch a store with athletic trainers targeted at young adults and teens. This demographic is some of the biggest users of social media sites, like Instagram and Tiktok. You can advertise your products with short-form videos on these platforms.
Looking for suppliers in the US? Check out our article on the 18 Best Dropshipping Suppliers in the US.
The UK footwear market is expected to grow annually at a rate of 3.92% between 2023 and 2027 . Over 50% of footwear sales are made online, which is expected to continue to rise.
The increase in sales and shift to online sales is promising for UK e-commerce stores.
We can also see that leather footwear generates the most revenue, with a market volume of $7.29 billion in 2023.
There are a variety of leather shoe styles you can sell. These include sandals, boots, loafers, brogues, and certain trainers.
You can use this information to create an online store for leather shoes.
Looking for suppliers in the UK? Check out our article on the 20 Best Dropshipping Suppliers in the UK.
Several European countries, like Italy, Portugal, and Spain, are known for footwear production.
These companies are creating high-quality and more niche footwear . These products include bespoke footwear, protective footwear, and specific sporting shoes.
The market share also reflects this, as the luxury revenue share in Europe has increased since 2014 .
You can use this information to create a dropshipping store focusing on quality.
Looking for suppliers in Europe? Check out our article on the 13 Best Dropshipping Suppliers in Europe.
A large proportion of Australia is warm all year round. The average temperature is around 71 degrees F or 22 degrees C .
Chunky sandals and platform flip-flops are a go-to style in Australia .
This trend and the warm weather indicate that summer sandals could be a profitable dropshipping business year-round in Australia.
Looking for suppliers in Australia? Check out our article on the 15 Best Dropshipping Suppliers in Australia.
Men's footwear is estimated to grow by 6.8% by 2025 in Malaysia .
Within the men's footwear category, the majority of sales are shoes and boots.
This boost is thought to be due to consumers returning to the office after the pandemic .
You can use this information to create a store for office-appropriate shoes.
Looking for suppliers in Malaysia? Check out our article on the 15 Best Dropshipping Suppliers in Malaysia.
The footwear market is expected to grow by 3.17% in South Africa, with online sales increasing annually. In South Africa, currently, 97% of footwear sales are non-luxury.
Textile and other footwear (excluding sneakers, athletic footwear, and leather shoes) account for over half the total revenue.
Use this data and market knowledge to create your dropshipping store selling affordable textile shoes .
Looking for suppliers in South Africa? Check out our article on the 10 Best Dropshipping Suppliers in South Africa.
The footwear market in India is expected to grow annually by 4.6% between 2023 and 2027. The online revenue share is also set to increase year-on-year between 2022 and 2025.
Leather footwear makes up $18.95 billion of the total $27.51 billion in revenue from the Indian footwear market .
Some of the most commonly worn shoes in India are sandals .
The growing market and rise in online sales mean it could be a great time to launch an e-commerce store selling leather sandals.
Looking for suppliers in India? Check out our article on the 15 Best Dropshipping Suppliers in India.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Dropshipping Shoes a Good Idea?
Yes! There is a huge variation of shoes you could choose to sell. They also have year-round demand worldwide. This suggests there is potential for sales and profit in multiple marketplaces.
Is Dropshipping Shoes Profitable?
Yes, it can be. Just make sure to check your profit margins and compare the price of your product with your competitors.
We have an article on How to Price Your Products. We also have a free Numbers Breakdown tool. You can use the tool to understand your metrics and estimate your profits.
Use our list of products and worldwide market information for inspiration for your store.
After finding a winning product, check out the Competitor Research tool. We currently have a 7-day free trial, so you can check it out for free.
You can use the tool to find other stores selling the product. This will give you ideas on how to beat them and create the most successful dropshipping business.