Women’s footwear costs less than one-third of the price of men’s shoes because women have the same ability to buy them cheaper than men, a new study has found.
A study published by the University of Michigan found that the average shoe cost around $10, with the price difference between men’s and women’s footwear increasing to $7 or more, according to the Associated Press.
That’s a difference of about $20 a pair, compared to the average cost of a pair of shoes in the U.S., where the average price is around $70, the AP reported.
“The reason why men’s footwear is expensive is because they have a greater ability to pay for them,” said Dr. Maryellen Bessette, a professor of marketing and management at the University at Buffalo who conducted the study.
“Women have that ability to spend less than men.”
The study analyzed sales data from online shoe retailers such as Overstock, Foot Locker, and Shoesnap, as well as research conducted by the footwear research firm H&M, the Associated News reported.
It found that women buy fewer men’s products than men do, making it harder for women to make money with their shoes.
“Women are buying more men’s goods than men are buying women’s goods, and the disparity between the two is even larger in footwear,” Bessettes said in the AP article.
“This means that a women’s shoe costs about the same as a man’s shoe.”
While women’s feet may cost more than men’s because they are smaller, Besses said the cost difference between the pair of men and women shoes could actually be offset by the ability to get shoes cheaper.
“I think this is the most important takeaway,” she said.
“If you can reduce the cost of shoes, it can be a great way to make a difference.”
A typical pair of women’s foot shoes will cost around half of a man ‘s shoe, the report found.
Women’s shoes have long been viewed as a luxury item.
The price difference has been attributed to differences in quality and materials.
But research has suggested women can make more money with lower quality shoes.
Women are able to buy shoes for about $10 less than a man does, according the AP.
Bessers study found that in 2012, women made about $7.85 on average, compared with men’s $11.05, the newspaper reported.
Women also have higher incomes and have more choices in shoe brands than men.
A shoe store shopper with $20 to spend on shoes could buy more than a shopper who had to spend $40 to buy a pair.
“We are not talking about a simple price difference,” Bressette said.
“What we are talking about is the fact that women are able, on average by buying shoes, to make less money.”