Waterproof Footwear Industry


To provide information on the size of the market and to list some brands that are currently selling waterproof shoes. Moreover, to understand better if consumers are looking for sustainable footwear solutions and what companies do to follow this trend.

Early Findings

  • The number of companies that make 100% waterproof shoes has increased in the last five years. Some popular brands currently available in the market are the following: Swims Shoes, Sea Star Beachwear, Tropic Feel, Vessi Footwear, On, Seavees.
  • There are several blogs that advertise and promote waterproof shoes. However, consumers need to be careful as some blogs include products that are just water-resistant and this might be misleading for them.
  • Footwear manufacturers that produce waterproof shoes focus not only on the resistance to water but also on breathability, introducing new technologies that help the heat and the moisture to escape from the shoes.
  • Consumers when buying waterproof footwear want ease and convenience and are interested in products that keep them dry from the rain during the day. For this reason, companies are working on designs to make their products not only functional, but also stylish.
  • According to research by GMI, the global waterproof breathable textiles (including footwear) market size was valued at $1.6 billion in 2018. Based on the findings of the same study, there is an increasing consumer preference towards environmentally friendly products. Along with the higher demand for sportswear that offers resistance to bacteria and reduces odor, these are two trends that will shape the future of footwear.
  • NPD Group had reported that waterproof footwear, excluding the traditional rain boot category, saw double-digit growth in the last two fall retail seasons in 2017.
  • Sustainability and corporate social responsibility are major concerns, and consumers are looking for innovative sustainable footwear solutions through products that are made of environmental-friendly materials or from companies that have a strong social and environmental policy. Seavees in April 2020, which marks the "earth month", offers $5 from every purchase to an environmental non-profit organization.
  • According to a study from CBI on the European footwear market, waterproof shoes are mainly popular in the sports and outdoors categories.

Proposed next steps:

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During this one-hour research, we were able to identify some information on the waterproof footwear market. We propose to continue the research to identify 2-3 key industry trends that currently drive growth. For each trend, we will provide information on its background and how it started, some examples of what companies do to follow the trend, and how much is expected to shape the future of the industry. Also, if data is available to identify the size of the waterproof footwear market in 2018 or 2019 along with its compound annual growth rate.
Moreover, we propose to profile the key players of the market (three companies that could be from the following: Swims Shoes, Sea Star Beachwear, Tropic Feel, Vessi Footwear, On, Seavees). For each company, we will provide details on how they started, what is their business model (e.g. they only sell through their e-shop, through specialized retailers, other websites, etc), what is their offering (e.g. only sportswear), what is their unique selling proposition and their revenue data if it is available.
We also recommend researching which advertising methods some of the industry players are using to attract new customers (e.g. ads on Google or social media, in-store marketing activities, advertorials, etc).