To determine which brands are slap, I compared the e-commerce market share of the top 50 shoe brands at the end of the school year (Q2 2023) versus the beginning of the school year (August/September 2022). And according to the Grips data, Ugg and Reef both increased their market shares by a relative 50 percent making them the top brands on our slap list. While it can be argued that both brands are highly seasonal, each also offers year-round designs making them an increasingly popular option for back-to-school.
Similarly, Sorel, a brand perhaps better known for its winter wear, is gaining market share during warmer months. Levi’s, which ranked 40th on the list overall, also expanded market share by a quarter. This is likely at the expense of brands like Vans and Converse which saw share decline during the 2022/2023 school year. (More on that below.)
Finally, Ariat, a brand known for its association with the equestrian community also has a casual line with styles sporting artistic designs and pops of color. With a broadening appeal, Ariat expanded market share by a relative 24 percent year-over-year. While the brand is largely sold direct-to-consumer online via their website, Ariat.com, many American consumers find them on BootBarn.com, Buckle.com, AelfricEden.com and Zappos.com, according to Grips.
Do you dare take a chance on being the “cool” parent by suggesting one of these increasingly popular brands this back-to-school season? Or is it better to risk being seen as irrelevant by suggesting your kid check out one of the brands on our wack list?