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Gen Z Footwear Study

Discover what makes this generation tick
Research Report


In retail, understanding shifting consumer preferences is crucial for brand success. To embrace the influence of Gen Z, footwear brands must identify what sets this generation apart and what similarities they share with other key consumers. In May 2023, we surveyed 583 US consumers, including 146 Gen Z respondents, to gather insights on their shopping behaviors and attitudes towards sneakers, both everyday and athletic. ‍

Learn how Gen Z compares to other generations when it comes to spending habits, sneakers preferences, influences and shopping channel in this comprehensive report.

Key Takeaways

  • When it comes to sneakers, Gen Z is highly engaged in the sneaker category. 89% of Gen Z consumers reported purchasing at least one pair of sneakers for themselves in the last 12 months
  • Despite this generations tendency to look for inspiration online, it's critical to not forget your brand must embrace an omni channel approach
  • When it comes to color preferences in footwear, neutrals are key for Gen Z but it's still important to offer a limited assortment of brighter colors as well.


To conduct this study we used MakerSights Consumer Sentiment Scoring methodology. Our Consumer Sentiment tests are purpose built to gauge interest for products in a retail or e-commerce setting. All 35 colors tested were evaluated on a 5-point scale to determine likelihood to purchase among participants. Additional questions related to sneaker purchase behavior and style preferences were also collected.