The Footwear Manufacturing Industry in Vietnam: A Growing Force in Global Markets

The footwear manufacturing industry in Vietnam has emerged as a significant player in the global market, driven by its focus on quality and ability to cater to diverse consumer demands. With a rich history and a favorable business environment, Vietnam has become a preferred destination for many international footwear brands.

In the past, Vietnam was primarily known for producing low-cost and low-quality footwear. However, in recent years, the industry has undergone a remarkable transformation, with a strong emphasis on improving quality and meeting international standards. This shift has enabled Vietnam to position itself as a reliable and competitive manufacturer of footwear.

Past Trends and Growth

The footwear manufacturing industry in Vietnam has witnessed steady growth over the years. In the early 2000s, Vietnam started attracting foreign investment, particularly from countries like China, Taiwan, and South Korea, due to its low labor costs and abundant workforce. This influx of investment led to the establishment of numerous footwear factories across the country.

Initially, the focus was on producing low-cost footwear for export markets. However, as Vietnam gained experience and expertise in the industry, it began to diversify its product range and target higher-value segments. This shift was driven by the realization that quality and innovation were crucial for sustainable growth.

One of the key drivers of growth in the footwear manufacturing industry in Vietnam has been the country’s participation in free trade agreements (FTAs). Vietnam’s membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2007 and its involvement in FTAs such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) have opened up new opportunities for the industry.

Quality and Variation for Domestic and Foreign Markets

Vietnam’s footwear manufacturers have made significant strides in improving the quality of their products. They have invested in modern machinery, adopted advanced production techniques, and implemented stringent quality control measures. As a result, Vietnamese footwear now meets international standards and competes favorably with products from other established manufacturing hubs.

However, it is important to note that there can be variations in the quality of footwear produced for domestic and foreign markets. While the focus on quality remains consistent, there are certain factors that influence the variation. Domestic market demands often prioritize affordability, comfort, and durability, while foreign markets may have additional requirements such as design, branding, and customization.

For domestic markets, Vietnamese footwear manufacturers cater to a wide range of consumers, including those with lower purchasing power. This necessitates the production of cost-effective footwear without compromising on basic quality standards. On the other hand, when manufacturing for foreign markets, companies have the opportunity to showcase their capabilities in terms of design, craftsmanship, and innovation.

With the growing demand for sustainable and ethically produced footwear, Vietnamese manufacturers have also started focusing on environmentally friendly practices. Many companies have implemented measures to reduce waste, improve energy efficiency, and adopt eco-friendly materials. This commitment to sustainability further enhances the reputation of Vietnamese footwear in global markets.


The footwear manufacturing industry in Vietnam has come a long way, evolving from a low-cost producer to a quality-driven player in the global market. The industry’s growth has been fueled by its ability to adapt to changing consumer preferences, invest in technology and innovation, and meet international standards.

Vietnamese footwear manufacturers have successfully positioned themselves as reliable partners for international brands, offering a wide range of products that cater to diverse market segments. With a focus on quality and a commitment to sustainability, Vietnam’s footwear industry is poised for continued growth and success in the global marketplace.

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