December 8, 2014

Women, Sneakers & Data (Part 2): Resell & Demographics


PART TWO:  The Women’s Sneakerhead Market

Size of Shoes:

For as long as we can remember, brands have produced real heat specifically for the ladies.  It feels like this has increased in recent years, although we don’t have the stats to back that up.  This is partly because sneakerhead kicks rarely carry the “women” designation anymore, but take on the gender-neutral GS (grade school) mark.  For example, this upcoming Spiz’ike GS is clearly a women’s colorway and is not produced in men’s sizes.  On the other hand, it’s quite obvious that female sneakerheads are jumping all over men’s shoes that release in GS sizes.  After all, who wouldn’t want to pay 25% less for their Jays?

Perhaps related, Nike just announced expanded women’s sizes for Jordan Brand, all the way up to 9.5 Youth, and plans to release more ladies-only kicks in first quarter 2015.  Is this move designed to close the 25% loophole, or will it expand it (i.e., small-foot men wearing women’s kicks).  More likely, it simply provides more options for a growing demographic.  Either way, we should all be prepared for more cheesy “his and her kicks” photos on Instagram.

Size of Resell Market:

The sneaker resell market for women and GS sizes is approximately $16 million a year.  Is that a lot?  Not really.  The resell market as a whole is about $1 billion, so that is 1.6%.  When you compare that to the retail market – which is 20% women and 15% GS/Youth (according to Matt Powell), it feels even smaller.  But when you realize that only 2.4% of sneakerheads are female, and that some are buying mens sizes, the numbers make sense.

Campless XX Market 120714

Size of Collection (and other demographics):

We have been running the Sneakerhead Survey for a while now and even though women are only 2.4% of the total sneakerhead population, there are more than enough to create interesting comparisons with men:

Campless Gender Demographics 120714

Key Insights:

  • Women are older, more educated, have more sneakers and spend more money than men
  • Women own (on average) almost 50% more sneakers than men
  • 26% of all women sneakerheads have completed grad school or higher levels of education compared to only 7% of men

Are any of these stats surprising to you?

In Part 3 we’ll take a closer look at individual sneakers that women are buying and selling on the secondary market.


Don’t forget to take the Sneakerhead Survey and contribute to a better understanding of our community.  The above data is only possible because of you.