The U.S. medical footwear market size was valued at USD 563.6 million in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.8% from 2023 to 2030. The rising prevalence of foot-related issues, such as arthritis, plantar fasciitis, foot and ankle injuries, bunions, flat feet, and corns, due to wearing poorly fitted shoes, is a key factor driving the market. Certain players operating in the market have observed tremendous growth in recent years as an increasing number of consumers are suffering from various medical conditions, such as diabetes and neuropathy. Adults with diabetes are much more vulnerable to serious foot problems as disease-related complications can lead to loss of sensation in the feet (neuropathy) and reduced vascular health.
As a result, the use of medical footwear is increasing among this group. Every year approximately 150,000 cases of nontraumatic leg amputations occur in the United States, with the majority of these cases happening in individuals who have diabetes. as reported by the American Heart Association, Inc. in March 2021. Furthermore, it has been reported by the CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2020, that diabetes was the nation’s seventh-leading cause of death in 2019, accounting for 87,647 deaths annually and the prevalence of diabetes among adults is higher in men as compared to women. Severe diabetes further leads to nerve damage, tingling, pain, and foot ulcers (a sore or wound).
Consumers have been opting for medical footwear to prevent infections from spreading. In addition, the usage of ill-fitted shoes for a prolonged period of walking or running can result in sprains, strains, or trauma in the feet, which can limit the wearers’ mobility to perform day-to-day activities. The longer these conditions are left untreated, the worse the pain and discomfort. To prevent such cases, the adoption of medical footwear is increasing; thus, contributing to the market growth. In addition, growing awareness regarding the product benefits is expected to propel its demand. Such footwear offers cushioning to the entire foot, providing the wearer immense support to move freely.
Market players operating across the U.S. are designing high-performance yet comfortable footwear solutions keeping athletes, adults, patients, and students in mind. OrthoFeet, a U.S.-based Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) e-commerce retailer and wholesaler of biomechanically engineered specialty footwear of premium brands, offers a range of comfortable orthotics and orthopedic footwear to address numerous medical conditions. Medical footwear is increasingly used in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy, which is caused by diabetes. Medical footwear or orthopedic shoes help treat pain, swelling, and mobility-related issues caused by peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy is damage to the peripheral nerves caused by infections and exposure to toxins. Diabetes is a common cause of peripheral neuropathy as the nervous system damage is directly linked to the health & functioning of blood sugar levels. Over the recent past, there have been increasing incidences of peripheral neuropathy among diabetic patients in the country, which is directly related to the high prevalence of diabetes. As per the data published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in August 2019, in the U.S., it is estimated that 28% of diabetic patients experience some extent of peripheral neuropathy in their lifetime, with the risk of neuropathic incidence increasing with age.
According to the data published in August 2019, by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke approximately 20 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy. Medical footwear is also used as a therapeutic medium by diabetic patients to relieve pain caused by the diminished blood supply. With increasing emphasis and awareness among the general population regarding the preventive treatment of peripheral neuropathy among diabetic patients, the demand for orthopedic shoes & other forms of medical footwear is likely to grow over the forecast period. Medical footwear is extensively used to treat various orthopedic and neurological conditions.
One of the most extensive uses of orthopedic/medical footwear is in the treatment & therapeutic usage of cerebral palsy, plantar fasciitis, flat foot, heel spurs, bunions, hammertoes, and various neurogenerative disorders. Companies have been designing and commercializing various specifications of medical footwear as per the required medical condition. The primary purpose of medical footwear is to provide foot support, better blood flow, reduce pain, correctional measures to foot problems, and improve mobility. To this extent, companies, such as Dansko, Gravity Defyer, Aetrex, Dr. Comfort, Spenco, and OrthoFeet, have developed shoes that are suitable for the person under treatment.
The women’s category segment is anticipated to grow at the fastest CAGR of 9.6% over the forecast period. Adherence to wearing medical shoes can be hampered by the appearance and appeal of footwear designs, particularly among females, according to a 2019 study by Jarl G and colleagues. The study also discovered that women have worse diabetes health than men, despite women’s increasing requirement to stick to the use of an off-loading device. Female diabetic patients had a negative attitude regarding the appearance and price of medical footwear. According to the study, women don’t like shoes, claiming that the therapeutic footwear's huge size and unfeminine appearance had a negative effect on their self-esteem. Many brands are launching medical shoes just for women and in better designs.
In 2021, the brand Easy Spirit teamed up with Martha Stewart to launch a collection of comfortable and stylish footwear for women. The footwear in this line is lightweight, orthotic-friendly, and offers plenty of arch support. The men’s segment dominated the industry with a higher share of over 55% in 2022. The high use of medical footwear among men is contributing to the higher share of the segment. According to the study conducted by Jarl G and colleagues, men favored conventional shoes over therapeutic shoes when it came to the appearance and weight of the shoe. they feel that the therapeutic shoes are more comfortable in practical use. The study also suggests that men have a better attitude regarding the appearance and price of medical footwear than women.
The offline segment led the market with the highest share of over 80% in 2022. Various medical footwear manufacturing companies sell their products at diverse offline distribution channels including supermarkets/hypermarkets, specialty stores, convenience stores, medical/healthcare, centers, and mono-brand stores. Most consumers prefer offline distribution channels when purchasing medical footwear due to the exclusive offerings by product specialists and good after-sales service. In the U.S., there are numerous specialist medical footwear retail businesses. Customers can choose from a variety of options at experience retailers. To attract customers, many brands have established experience stores in the U.S. Incorrect fitting of footwear causes foot problems.
The online distribution segment is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 9.6% over the forecast period. The rapid expansion of e-commerce, along with growing digitalization, is driving the online sales of medical footwear in the U.S. In addition, easy payment transactions and busy lifestyles of consumers make online shopping an easier option. This, in turn, is expected to increase the revenue generation from the online distribution channel over the forecast period. All major players in the market offer their products online, either through their own websites or other online retail stores. Major players in the e-commerce sector include Amazon.com and eBay, Inc. The prices of medical footwear sold on these websites vary depending on the brands and the ongoing discounts and offers.
Key players are adopting various steps to increase their presence in the market. These steps include strategies such as partnerships, mergers & acquisitions, global expansion, and others. Some of the initiatives include:
In February 2022, DJO, LLC renewed its partnership with the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS). Both are committed to football safety and promote athlete health and wellness
In June 2021, Aetrex Worldwide, Inc., a global leader in foot scanning technology, orthotics, and comfort & wellness footwear, launched “Albert 3DFit”, a modern 3D foot scanner that can take 3D foot measurements in less than 10 seconds with an accuracy of up to 1 millimeter
In April 2021, Anodyne, LLC launched new styles for men and women with diabetes. It launched No.27 Casual Sneakers, No. 93 Casual Sneakers, and No.47 Trail Runners for women and men, the company launched No. 16 Sport Sprinter and No.46 Sport Joggers
Some of the prominent players in the U.S. medical footwear market include:
Aetrex Worldwide, Inc.
DARCO International, Inc.
Revenue forecast in 2030
USD 1,108.9 million
CAGR of 8.8% from 2023 to 2030
Base year for estimation
2018 - 2021
2023 - 2030
Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2023 to 2030
Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
End-use, distribution channel
Key companies profiled
DJO, LLC; New Balance; Orthofeet.com; Aetrex Worldwide, Inc.; Drewshoe, Incorporated; DARCO International, Inc.; Anodyne, LLC; and Apexfoot.com
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This report forecasts revenue growth and provides an analysis of the latest trends in each of the sub-segments from 2018 to 2030. For this report, Grand View Research has segmented the U.S. medical footwear market based on end-use and distribution channel:
End-use Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)
Distribution Channel Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)
b. The U.S. medical footwear market size was estimated at USD 563.6 million in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 596.8 million in 2023.
b. The U.S. medical footwear market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.8% from 2023 to 2030 to reach USD 1,108.9 million in 2030.
b. The men segment dominated the market with a share of 57.1% in 2022. This is attributed to the high preference for medical footwear as they are comfortable and therapeutic.
b. Some key players operating in the U.S. medical footwear market include DJO, LLC; New Balance; Orthofeet.com; Aetrex Worldwide, Inc.; Drewshoe, Incorporated; DARCO International, Inc.; Anodyne, LLC; and Apexfoot.com.
b. The rising prevalence of foot-related issues, such as arthritis, plantar fasciitis, foot and ankle injuries, bunions, flat feet, and corns due to wearing poorly fitted shoes, is a key factor driving the market over the forecast period.
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