shoes etsy

There’s a lot to be said about handmade shoes. What makes them stand out is that they’re not the typical mass-produced footwear that is available on marketplaces today.

With handmade shoes, customers are able to get something unique, genuine, and comfortable. All the elements of great footwear.

If you’re a shoemaker who designs and creates shoes, and are looking to offer your products on Etsy, you need to study the market and current bestsellers.

That’s exactly what we’ll discuss in this article, so keep reading to find out more.

How big is the market for handmade shoes?

A quick search for handmade shoes on Etsy reveals 148,217 listings in this niche, which means there’s scope for exploration because the market’s not oversaturated.

But before we make any conclusions, let’s explore the buyer- and seller-side of the equation.

We do this by first looking at the listings saturation and search volume.

Listings saturation and search volume

The listings saturation tells us how many sellers on Etsy are currently competing in this niche. It’s worth knowing these figures because you know what you’re up against.

As such, the handmade shoes category on the marketplace gets the following search volume, which when combined, is quite extensive and reaches over 35,000 searches.

  • “Shoes”: search volume – 26,661
  • “Shoes shoes”: search volume – 3,315
  • “Shoe shoe”: search volume – 2,925
  • “-shoes”: search volume – 2,230
  • “Shoe”: search volume – 1,399

Of course, we know that “shoes” is just one way that buyers look for these products.

So, we also used Sale Samurai to help us determine the search volume for “footwear”.

Yes, this search term does have a lower listings count on Etsy at 26,043 but the search volume does add up.

Here’s what we found in terms of search terms and their associated search volume:

  • “Footwear for the traveller”: search volume – 220
  • “Footwear for toddler boys”: search volume – 220
  • “Footwear for women”: search volume – 204
  • “Footwear for men”: search volume – 196
  • “Footwear women”: search volume – 187

Although the search volume is considerably lower, the long-tail keywords give us an indication of who the biggest audience of these products are. This is because a search for “shoes” is simply too broad.

In particular and in the following order, customers on Etsy are searching for shoes for traveling, toddler boys, women, and men. This should therefore be your focus as a seller.

Now, let’s explore the seller-side of the marketplace to see what keywords they are using to target buyers through their listings. This comes in the form of tags used.


With the 13 tags that Etsy allows sellers to choose for their niches and products, sellers can better target their buyers and their search queries.

Therefore, we looked at the associated tags that relate to both “shoes” and “footwear”. This is what we found:

Tags related to “shoes”:

  • “Oxford shoes”: search volume – 3,373
  • “Shoe”: search volume – 1,399
  • “Khussa shoes”: search volume – 978
  • “Yemeni shoes”: search volume – 977
  • “High heels”: search volume – 861
  • “Sandals”: search volume – 591
  • “Loafers”: search volume – 590
  • “Gladiator sandals”: search volume – 436
  • “Earthing shoes”: search volume – 398
  • “Loafer shoes”: search volume – 363

Because the shoe category is so broad and there are so many different styles and types of shoes, we also included other results. These come with a lower search volume but with a high combined total value to give you an idea of what Etsy buyers are looking for.

Here are the associated search terms and their search volume: “Sabah shoes” (338), “raffia sandals” (187), “bridal shoes” (168), “men shoes” (116), “low heels” (114), “extravagant shoes” (111), “painted shoes” (94), “slip on shoes” (94), “flat shoes” (70), “daily flat shoes” (68), “grounding shoes” (64), “shoes for women” (63), “women slippers” (61), “men’s slippers” (60), “women sandals” (56), “women Oxfords” (55), “Greek sandals” (55), “casual leather shoes” (51), “high sandals” (50), “women leather shoes” (49), “comfortable shoes” (47), “men’s shoes” (47), “brown shoes” (47), “women shoes” (46).

Tags related to “footwear”:

  • “Slippers”: search volume – 26,620
  • “Leather”: search volume – 26,168
  • “Handmade”: search volume – 26,153
  • “Sneakers”: search volume – 2,720
  • “Slipper”: search volume – 2,579
  • “Thongs”: search volume – 2,229
  • “Flip flops”: search volume – 878
  • “Sandals”: search volume – 591
  • “Clogs”: search volume – 327
  • “Sandal”: search volume – 132

All of these search queries are above 100. However, there are multiple other lower-search volume queries which present an interesting picture because there is greater variety in them.

This is why we chose to include them as well.

They feature the following keywords and their associated search volume: “footwear” (96), slip on shoes” (94), “boots” (83), “mens shoes” (69), “women slippers” (61), “Boho slipper” (51), “vegan shoes” (47), “womens flip flops” (47), “men’s shoes” (47), “unisex flip flops” (46), “women shoes” (46), “casual footwear” (43), “unisex slippers” (43), “women footwear” (40), “mens clogs” (40), baby shoes” (40), “wedding shoes” (37), and “custom shoes” (35).


With Sale Samurai, we were also able to get a quick estimate of the lowest, highest, and average prices of shoes and footwear.

This is what the findings revealed for this niche:

  • Lowest price: $1.50
  • Highest price: $590.00
  • Average price: $107.85

What are some of the best-selling merchants doing right?

From our research, we identified two Etsy starsellers who are doing well for themselves. Here is a brief outline of who they are:

Starseller 1:

  • Shop name: NefesShoes
  • Product title: “Women – Handmade – Barefoot – Leather Shoes, Modern – Gray Nubuck”
  • Price: $120.00

Starseller 2:

  • Shop name: HandmadeTurkishShoes
  • Product title: “Sustainable Barefoot Sandals, Minimalist Shoes, Barefoot Leather Brown Sandals, Barefoot Sandals For Women, Wide Sandals, Barefoot Flats”
  • Price: $130.00

Let’s take a look at what these sellers have done to get to the top.

Keyword optimization

In terms of keywords, NefesShoes has only included the keyword “shoes” in their title once.

There are no variations including describing the type of product and whether it is a sandal, a high heel, sneakers, or boots.

Despite this, they have accurately identified their audience (“women”), indicated that the product is handmade, and have also given the audience enough information about the quality and materials used to create their shoes.

As for HandmadeTurkishShoes, they’ve gone for words like “sandals” and “flats” to signal the type of shoe on offer. They’ve also indicated that their audience is “women”.

In addition, they’ve smartly used their title to indicate that their shoes are considered sustainable, barefoot, and minimalist and that they are brown and made of leather.

This is perfect for those who want to get as much information from a title.


As mentioned earlier, the average price in this category is around $100. This is exactly how these sellers have priced.

Overall, it’s an effective strategy that signals both the quality of their products and does not price them out of the ballpark making them unaffordable for many.


Finally, both sellers have combined a video and nine images to ensure that their audiences get a good visual image of what they’re getting.

Our tip-list for sellers seeking to enter this niche

Because the shoe category is so huge, you need a careful and strategic approach when entering this niche. Here’s what we recommend:

  1. Keywords: ensure that the word “shoe” or “shoes” is featured in your listing title. Supplement this with the shoe’s material and mention your audience (i.e. whether for men, women, or children). It’s also worth mentioning the occasion (e.g. wedding or everyday). When creating your tags, make sure you use those that add value to your keyword usage. Don’t repeat the same keywords in your tags and title, as this will reduce the potential of your listings.
  2. Price: the average price in the shoe niche is $100. This is the perfect median that you want to be pricing your products at, as evidenced by the two starsellers identified above.
  3. Images: it may sound simple, but you should definitely optimize your usage of imagery. Feature your shoes in lifestyle settings and if you can, supplement your images with video. It’s one of the most captivating ways to get your audience’s attention and to keep it.

Final thoughts

None of our research in this niche would have been possible without Sale Samurai.

The platform is the perfect partner for keyword and search volume research, determining the average prices at a click of a button, and identifying bestsellers whose strategies you can emulate.

The tool goes for only $9.99 per month, making it one of the smallest yet most powerful investments in your Etsy business.

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