New Shoes Will Cost More This Year – What Will You Do About It?
Recent data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) pegged January inflation at 7.5%. Prices on everything have gone up. If you are the type of person who is into regular wardrobe changes, you will even pay more for shoes in the coming year. In January, footwear prices were up 6% year-on-year.
Will higher prices on shoes change the way you shop? Will a higher price tag change how frequently you buy shoes, the types of shoes you buy, and from whom you buy them? These are all questions to answer as you seek to satisfy your clothing and footwear needs while staying within your budget.
Why the Higher Prices
The first thing many people want to know is why shoe prices have gone up so much. We expect a small increase here and there, but 6% is pretty steep. Unfortunately, inflation in the footwear market is just a symptom of a much bigger problem.
Inflation is a natural occurrence in the economic universe. Over time, prices naturally increase. The key to inflation is keeping it at a manageable level so that it doesn’t outpace wages. Somewhere around 2% or less is ideal. When inflation exceeds 5% or 6%, you are in the danger zone.
The thing about inflation is that it can be driven by numerous factors. Our current situation is largely the result of supply and demand issues created by the pandemic. Thanks to a loss of production over the last two years, manufacturers have to pay more for all the materials they need to make their products. They also have to pay higher wages to retain workers.
Likewise, every other player in the supply chain line is faced with the same issue. Distributors are spending more money on fuel, transport, and labor costs. Retailers are paying higher wholesale prices and spending more on wages. It all adds up to higher prices at the cash register.
Make Your Shoes Last
If there were ever a time to learn how to make your shoes last, this is it. The next pair you buy might be the last pair for a long time. It doesn’t make sense to not take care of them and simultaneously increase the chances that you will have to buy a new pair prematurely.
GC Tech, Salt Lake City, UT company that manufactures and sells waterproof shoe covers for men, has a few tips for making shoes last:
- Keep Them Clean – Clean shoes last longer because they are free from the dirt, grime, and debris that can cause materials to wear out faster. Keeping shoes clean takes effort, but it is worth it.
- Protect Them from Weather – Weather is one of the biggest enemies our shoes face. From summer rain to winter ice and snow, the elements are harsh. GC Tech recommends protecting shoes with waterproof shoe covers.
- Store Them Properly – When shoes are not being used, storing them properly can extend their useful lives. Do not leave shoes sitting on the back seat of the car. Do not leave them on the porch. Store unused shoes away in a cool, dark closet.
It looks like inflation is going to be with us for a while. While the powers that be figure out how to bring it back under control, it is up to the rest of us to tighten our belts. That includes being careful about buying more expensive shoes. With shoe prices up 6%, the smart money says protect the shoes we already own so that we don’t have to buy new as often.