Flats - a trend worth redesigning?

Has the desire for flats run its course? Have consumers moved on to trainers or even back to heels?

Flats - a trend worth redesigning?


It was back in 2015 that the doyenne of fashion - the Barbie doll - modernised her look with the introduction of her first pair of flat shoes instead of the tottering heels that had been her trademark style since she was first brought to market back in 1959. Whilst her first change in shoe style in over 50 years certainly feels long overdue this change in footwear did require a whole redesign to the toys feet as they had been permanently shaped in a high heeled position.

This radical redesign of the fashion dolls anatomy to accommodate her new footwear reflects the extent of the shift in popularity that flat shoes have been enjoying this decade. Female customers have been increasingly  ‘voting with their feet’ and choosing to forego towering heels at every occasion for a more practical and dare I say considerably comfier flat shoe option.

But has the desire for flats run its course? Have consumers moved on to trainers or even back to heels?

In this post we have looked at the popularity of flat shoes year on year comparing this to the popularity of heeled shoes. These insights have been gathered using the Mallzee Performance score (MPS) which is based on the number of positive interactions our 1.5 million customers have with products on the Mallzee app.

Unsurprisingly given the growing trend for comfort and relaxed styling, flats have continued to grow in popularity throughout 2019 showing a year on year increase in popularity each month.

To explore this trend further and to give it some context, we’ve compared the popularity of flats and heels over the past five months (year on year)

-In 2018 high heels outperformed flats every month

-Whereas in 2019 we can see that flats were more popular than their heeled counterparts in three out of the five months; January, March and May

Flats have become de rigueur at even the most dressy and formal occasions therefore with the huge variety of styles now on offer and the continuing trend for comfort and practicality - it looks like the flat shoe is here to stay….






Tags: Retail, Marketing

Helen Monaghan

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