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As a steadily increasing number of major shoe brands move their production to Vietnam, the number of shoe factories in the South-East Asian country has soared to more than 500.
Vietnam is now one of the biggest producers of shoes in the world, with 90% of total annual production being exported.
While Vietnamese shoe factories now produce just about every type of shoe imaginable, the reason why so many international brands are moving their production to Vietnam is due in no small part to the fact that major sports shoe brands such as Adidas and Nike chose Vietnam as their manufacturing centre many years ago. Nike employs up to 600,000 workers in over 30 factories which demonstrates the enormity of the industry in the country.
Vietnam is not only a major producer of sports footwear. Many world-wide brands - such as Vagabond, Geox, Crocks and Cole Haan - have moved their production to Vietnam over the last decade.
However, ladies fashion shoes are now Vietnam’s main output – with an increasing number of boutique brands looking to Vietnamese factories to handle the production of new luxury styles. Although still accounting for a much smaller overall percentage of total shoe production in Vietnam, more factories are starting new production lines of men’s dress shoes as well, while few factories are also concentrating on the children’s footwear market.
These brands have all recognised that the quality of workmanship in Vietnam is of a very high standard, with clients reporting bad experiences in China, India and Bangladesh as reasons for choosing Vietnamese factories as their manufacturing base.
With its highly skilled workers and attention to quality and detail, it is clear that brands throughout the globe see Vietnam as a major player in the footwear manufacturing industry and it is a trend that looks set to continue.