Historical Journey of Footwear in Turkey

Turkey’s being quite advanced compared to its competitors in leather working art, started in the 17th century, has led to the emergence of footwear manufacturing industry in the country.

Turkish shoe craftsmanship, which started in the workshops, has been developing as a tradition for approximately 300 years.


Footwear manufacturing is one of the world’s oldest and most globalized industries. Traditionally, shoes were made from leather, wood or canvas, but increasingly they also can be made from rubber, plastics, and other petrochemical-derived materials.

The availability of major quality raw materials and skilled workers helped to develop the footwear manufacturing in Turkey.


Along with the opening of Turkey into export in 1990, footwear export started, as well.

Even if it was interrupted by the global economic crises that came after the export figure that reached 200 million dollars in 1997, it has been gaining momentum as of 2002 and continues to grow with increasing capacities and export figures until today.


25% of the Turkish footwear production capacity consists of boutique businesses, which we call traditional workshops. These workshops are production facilities that can make special production with low order capacity based on experienced mastery.

Medium-sized workshops, which make up 30% of the Turkish footwear production capacity, are workshops that have the opportunity to make multiple productions. They are production facilities with flexible order capacity especially for brands that want to be able to sell footwear in the accessories department.

Large-scale factories, which make up 45% of the Turkish footwear production capacity, have global values equipped with technology. Although these factories are small in number, they constitute the majority of the country’s capacity because their production capacity is large. Having the advantages of mass production and fast delivery, these are the production factories you should choose especially when you want to balance price/performance ratio for you high volume orders.

The footwear sector closely follows the latest trends in the fashion world. Turkish shoe companies prepare their own collections for every season according to fashion trends both in Turkey and the world.

Turkish shoe industry continues to develop and Turkish shoes take their place in almost every region of the world with a wide network from the most luxurious brands to local markets.

Based on the data of the year 2019, the capacity used was 340 million pairs while the production capacity of Turkey was 600 million pairs. So, approximately 250 million pairs of this production are exported.

In this context, after the Covid-19 pandemic that the world experienced in 2020, the advantages of the developing Turkish footwear industry are once again evident.

  • Fast logistics thanks to the geographical location
  • Two season sales opportunities within one period thanks to fast delivery
  • Tax-free purchases within customs union agreement with many partner countries (especially EU)
  • Flexible order capacity with flexible production facilities
  • Integrated into export with ready-to-use capacity and practical production capacity

It is possible for you to explore great potential in Turkey with these advantages and to work with suppliers offering the affordable and high-quality supply of shoes.