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The Footwear Industry in Canada

The Footwear Industry in Canada

Over the last 5 years, the footwear industry in Canada has been evolving in a positive direction, driven by consumer demand for specific types of footwear. It is one of the oldest industries in Canada. Learn more about how it manufactures footwear, and the statistics and key countries for its growth.

In the early years, there were just 20 shoemakers that were able to meet the needs of the population, as well as those of the military regiments. With the introduction of machinery, footwear manufacturing was revolutionized. What began as an artisanal business turned into a sophisticated and highly automated industry. Today, this industry brings in more than 2 billion dollars in imports and exports.

The industry is concentrated in Montreal, Quebec, and Toronto, Ontario, positioning the country as the 12th global exporter. Canadian imports come mainly from China and Vietnam, purchasing 161 million pairs.

The footwear industry in Canada manufactures different styles of shoes, specifically specialized industrial footwear, functional footwear, footwear for cold climates, slippers, informal footwear and athletic footwear for men, women and children.

The main countries that supply shoes to Canada are China, Vietnam, Italy, Cambodia and Indonesia; the most imported type being textile footwear, followed by rubber, leather, waterproof, among others (see the table below with the purchasing percentages.

Today, the three principal export countries are the United States, the Netherlands and Hong Kong, with the United States receiving 90% of exports and being the main consumer of rubber footwear, followed by leather, textile, waterproof, among others.


Analyzing the relationship between Canada and Mexico in this industry, Mexico is positioned as their thirteenth trading partner with 15.5 million dollars, with Guanajuato representing 41% of footwear exports. The following 10 products are the most exported:

  • Women’s or Junior boots
  • Women’s or Junior sandals
  • Women’s or Junior footwear with rubber or plastic uppers
  • Men’s shoes with leather uppers and synthetic soles
  • Women’s shoes with leather uppers and synthetic soles
  • Footwear with leather soles and uppers for women or young people, except sandals.
  • Boots with leather uppers and synthetic soles, with welts.
  • Men’s shoes with leather uppers and soles, without welts.
  • andals and similar plastic products for men and young people
  • andals and similar plastic products for children or infants.



It is an industry that is currently developing its export markets and specializing more in certain types of footwear, specifically winter footwear, for which it has earned an international reputation. It is an industry that is being revitalized.

  • 1 abril, 2019
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