The European Confederation of the Footwear Industry will present, at the Press Walk of the upcoming GDS Shoe Fair in Düsseldorf, the results of a survey to consumers indicating their needs and desires in terms of comfortable and fashionable shoes. The survey is part of the European Erasmus+ project, Fit to Comfort, whose objective is to develop a professional qualification profile and training programme that will fill the current skills and competences gap in comfortable footwear manufacturing in Europe.

A survey conducted by the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC) and its partners under the Erasmus+ funded project Fit2Com clearly indicates that European consumers look for shoes which are both comfortable and fashionable, but they do not always succeed because comfortable shoes are generally unattractive whilst fashionable shoes are often uncomfortable.

The detailed results of the survey, which exposes what consumers look for when shopping for shoes, will be presented and explained at the GDS shoe fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, on Tuesday 7 February 2017.

The survey was designed to measure consumers’ need for comfortable shoes, and to better understand which comfort-related features they most value. With a growing ageing population, comfort and healthy features are at the forefront of consumers’ requests, and it is expected that this trend will increase when analysing the results of the survey. Indeed, a big majority of interviewers indicated having back and/or foot problems, suggesting a need for adapted and comfortable shoes. However, many respondents confessed their difficulties in finding the right shoes.

With the Fit2Comfort project, the European project consortium, led by the Footwear Technology Center of Portugal, expects to bring more comfortable yet attractive shoes to the market by developing a professional qualification profile and corresponding ICT and work-based training programme, which will provide the relevant skills and know-how to incorporate comfort features in the manufacture of stylish shoes. By indicating which footwear features are the most relevant to consumers, the survey results will help the project identify such skills and include them in the professional training programme.

Thanks to this new qualification and training course, the added value of European footwear will increase, and consumers will have more choices of comfortable shoes from which to select and buy.
To learn more about the project Fit2Com, please visit the website at