Importing Shoes From China: Guidepost

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Learn about the different types of shoes that you can import from China and how to get started.


Despite facing strong competition from Southeast Asian nations like Thailand and Vietnam, China's footwear industry remains the world's top exporter of shoes.

The nation has a large manufacturing sector with numerous start-ups and small business opportunities. It is, therefore, an effective sourcing outlet for your footwear business.

Many Chinese shoe suppliers are based in Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang eastern provinces.

However, most Chinese shoe and footwear manufacturers are not primarily focused on exporting to larger markets, such as the United States, Australia, and Europe. 

Where to Find Shoe Manufacturers in China

The main driving force on the mainland shoe market are the locally-made shoe products. There are now a total of four big regions in China's footwear industry. They are situated in the coastal areas of the southeast.

The first source for the footwear sector is Guangdong headed by Guangzhou and Dongguan, whose major products are mid to high-end shoes. 

The second is the center of the shoe industry in Zhejiang. It is spurred by Taizhou and Wenzhou which are primarily involved in the production of men's shoes of medium to low-end quality.

The third shoe sector cluster is the western footwear market center headed by Chongqing and Chengdu which produces female's low-end footwear mainly. Quanzhou and Jinjiang in Fujian are leading as the fourth footwear market cluster as a top production spot for sport shoes.

Office workers are the biggest consumers of leather shoes. Now, manufacturers place more value on leather shoe style and trends. When it comes to choosing shoes, both men and women have different views.

Guys are more focused on classic designs while ladies are more keen in the trendy fashion. In comparison, females have a higher number of shoes than that of males.

Sports footwear can be identified on the basis of their quality as general sport shoes, formal training shoes or pro sport shoes. Sneakers, running shoes, tennis shoes, soccer shoes, basketball shoes, skates, mountaineering boots, skateboard shoes, and athletic shoes are among the most popular types.

Consumers' appreciation of fitness and sports continues to grow due to the growing popularity of athletic events. Sports consumption has thus been a major part of the expenditure of buyers. Sports shoes have the greatest product influence on all the items

Type of Shoes You Can Import From China

You need to establish your niche before you start importing shoes from China. There are different kinds of shoes sold at retail and wholesale in China. Chinese manufacturers comply with various certifications allowing them to produce different footwear products.

The following are the most common types of shoes available in China for import purposes:

  • Baby Shoes

For special occasions, cold weather and walks together outside, parents want to strap on a pair of baby shoes on their little one. The right style can make all the difference when a child is learning to walk.

  • Kids Shoes

Parents are always looking for shoes for their kids who’d outgrown last year’s sneakers. Chinese manufacturers produce great-quality kids shoes for gym class, team sports, and playground games. 

  • Casual Shoes

Casual shoes from China can be the most comfortable shoes to wear every day. The greatest thing about casual shoes is that they seem to match most of your clothes, and if you want a pair that suits a more professional ensemble then you can typically only buy a different color, and together, they'll complement each other well.

  • Leather Shoes

A china-made leather shoe is a wonderful addition to any chic wardrobe, irrespective of the subject. There are a number of trendy and fashionable leather shoes currently on the market at the moment. Most of these shoes offer additional comfort on your feet for long days at work. 

  • Sport Shoes/Sneakers

Sport shoes or sneakers from China can match the landscape and weather conditions on which you intend to train so you can perform your best. Traction, shock absorption, stability, shock resistance and durability are all things to consider when importing athletic shoes from China.

  • Flat shoes

Flat shoes from China are the best way to give your feet a rest when travelling and still look classy and chic. Furthermore, their compact design will save more space than most other shoe silhouettes in your wardrobe.

  • Court Shoes

Chinese-made court shoes offer a variety of grip and styles to allow wearers to play at their best. You need to carefully choose the tennis shoe that will help your athletic consumers amp up their game.

  • Wedding Shoes

Classic, durable, and stunning—these are the features that you'll find in wedding shoes from China. Invest in designs that will make jaws drop to make your business become sought-after by brides-to-be. These brides wanted their wedding shoes to be both fashionable and comfortable.

How To Start Importing Shoes From China?


For the footwear you would like to purchase from China, it is important that you figure out the specific information. You need to consider the kind of shoes that are in demand in your country before you start buying and importing shoes from China.

Perhaps rubber sole shoes are in? Or maybe sport shoes? One with a leather sole? You need to identify your order thoroughly. Manufacturers in China need specific details from you such as footwear style, materials needed, weight, color, and more.

You may also need to consult with import professionals such as sourcing agents if you are a first-time importer. Visiting the factory and reviewing the products in person or through a trusted agent is important. This is to guarantee favourable quality, design and packaging.

Afterwards, you'll proceed with the import orders. You need to look at the quote of the shoes at this point and discuss the acceptable price that's reasonable for you.

Next, it will be wise to request for a sample product. 

You will then make an order of the shoes you wish to import with all the information like dimensions, colour, quantity, and other important details.

You should be controlling the execution of orders at this point. At this stage, all facets of supply chain management need to be checked.

First, you need to inquire about international shipping, customs authorisation, local transportation, packing, and delivery. It is going to help you get the most out of the process. Next, you need to evaluate the pre-shipment review and conduct a pre-shipment checklist-based quality control.

Finally, all legalities and records must be carefully checked to ensure risk mitigation and manage transactions. It is essential to keep records and documentation properly.

Payment hinges on terms of a contract and must be reviewed prior to shipping. It is essential that you have the required documents when the package arrives at your destination to be cleared with customs.

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