High heels were once considered a symbol of elegance and a wardrobe staple for well-dressed women, but new data reveals that sales have been eclipsed by takkies for the first time.
In the UK, data from consumer analyst Mintel shows more British women have bought trainers than high heeled shoes for the first time ever over the past year.
This comes amid a major backlash against high heels as experts warn they cause health problems and feminists say women are sick of being told what to wear by men.
Celebrities, including Victoria Beckham, have also hung up their heels this year, with the style icon switching her famous sky-high Christian Louboutin stilettos for sneakers, over back pain caused by years of wearing towering shoes.
About 37% of British women, who have bought footwear in the last year purchased a pair of trainers, while 33% bought shoes with a heel. Last year the two groups were the same at 35%.
And it is women aged 35 to 44, who have become the main buyers with 48% – almost half – buying takkies in the past year, compared to 30% of the same group, who bought heels.
And the popularity of heels is falling flat in general as six out of 10 of female footwear buyers prefer to wear flat shoes, compared to just 12%, who prefer high-heeled shoes.
Trainers overtake heels
Mintel senior fashion analyst Tamara Sender said: “For the first time ever sales of trainers have overtaken high heels.
“The UK sportswear market has seen strong growth in the last year and there has been a trend for consumers to integrate sports clothing into their daily wardrobes,” she said, adding sneakers were more popular among women now, overtaking heels to become the second favourite item of footwear after flat shoes.
Women aged 35 to 44 have become the main buyers for takkies, proving the trend is no longer limited to younger consumers.
Sender said overall flat shoes were still the most popular type of shoes purchased in Britain at 51%.
Women’s flat boots (30%) and flat sandals (25%) followed in fourth and fifth place after trainers and heels. This athleisure trend has had a major impact on takkies overtaking heels to become the second favourite item of footwear after flat shoes.
“Athletic footwear is increasingly being used for everyday non-sporting activities,” Sender said. – The Telegraph