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How to Import Shoes from China Guide

Chinese shoes in our markets have always been widely accepted and popular in the market. Not only at the level of the Arab world, but many countries, led by the United States, depend on importing Chinese shoes to their markets, as the revenue of the Chinese shoe market has exceeded $ 79 billion since the beginning of 2022, according to Statista

What do you think of the project of importing shoes from China? Have you thought about it before or have you been looking around lately?

In this article, we will learn about the reasons that prompted the world to import Chinese shoes, and we will learn in detail about how to import shoes from China, and how to ensure your success in this project.

China Freight Forwarder
China Freight Forwarder

Why should you import shoes from China?

China occupies the first place in the world in the production and export of most of the products necessary for our daily lives, including shoes, despite the fierce competition it is exposed to from some countries such as Vietnam and New Zealand.

But what distinguishes the shoe industry and the import of shoes from China:

  • The availability of cities and markets specialized in the shoe industry, which contributes to production with high accuracy.
  • Low prices of shoes compared to their prices in the local market.
  • Availability of production facilities, and basic components for the footwear industry such as natural and artificial leather industry.
  • Its huge and large markets, which helped to accommodate many varieties and shapes of shoes.

All these factors have made China a leader in the footwear industry, and an essential destination for every businessman.

What types do you find when importing shoes from China?

Before you know how to import shoes from China, you must know what are the most common types in China that importers demand.

  • Children’s shoes: It is one of the most demanded types of shoes, and professional suppliers must be dealt with when importing children’s shoes in order to produce modern models.
  • Cloth shoes: These are shoes made of fabric and are comfortable for walking that must be in demand in your country in order to import them.
  • Sneakers: We recommend ordering them from manufacturers in Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. These suppliers will offer the best quality at good prices. And they have a reputation over the years.
  • Special shoes: such as snowboarding boots.
  • You’ll also find formal shoes and women’s shoes.

What are the best markets for importing shoes from China?

A driver of Guangzhou city

  • Buyun tiandi international shoes world

It is one of the largest wholesale footwear markets in the world, with an area of about 17,000 square meters, and is a modern and international market.

It includes more than 1,000 suppliers and wholesalers from all over China, offering all kinds of shoes in various varieties and types and quality ranging from medium to high (on demand), and includes various brands and brands.

Market Location:No. 103, Huanshi Rd W., Yuexiu district, Guangzhou.


Located opposite Puyin Market in Guangzhou, it is a bit old but excellent management and the possibility of buying small quantities.

You will find all kinds and varieties of shoes, contain many Chinese and international brands, and is a major destination for international shoe dealers.

Located on an area of 10.000 m², full of shops and stalls, it remains crowded at times.

Market Location: No. 24 Zhanqian Rd., Yuexiu district, Guangzhou


The market spans 15,000 square meters and features more than 300 shoe stores.

This market specializes in selling Chinese shoes, so when ordering you should pay attention to sizes. The market also offers different quality according to order from low to medium, and is located near Nan Zhou metro station (20 minutes walk)

Market Location: No.1629, Guanzhou Dadao S., Haizhu district, Guangzhou


Located near the Boyin Market, it is a market for wholesale private shoes such as ski boots, trekking boots, and sneakers, with annual sales estimated at millions of dollars.

Market location: NO.32,30 ZHANXI ROAD, Guangzhou

Iowo City Markets:

  • The famous Futian market, which is one of the largest wholesale markets in the world, you can find many different types of shoes, specifically in the first section of the Futian market. The market is characterized by its cheap prices compared to other markets.

How to Import Shoes from China – Suppliers’ Choice

How do I find shoe suppliers?

Before you start importing shoes from China, you can find suppliers through:

  • Visit shoe markets and communicate directly with suppliers.
  • Visit factories.
  • Dealing with commercial service companies in China, they do their part in searching you for suppliers and factories.

How do I know if a supplier is reliable?

In order to ensure your success in importing shoes from China, it is necessary to communicate with reliable shoe suppliers in order to ensure that you get what you want accurately, and avoid fraud.

  • You can learn about the credibility of a supplier by looking at the reputation of the company they work for.
  • Ask the supplier about the customers they have dealt with previously; certainly the trusted supplier will not hide such information and will display it to you as a kind of marketing for himself.
  • Request the supplier’s documents and license.
  • Selection of reliable suppliers through the ALIBABA website; by clicking on the verified brand of assurance.
  • Dealing with import agents for others, they have experience and knowledge in reliable suppliers.

After searching for reliable suppliers, you must communicate with more than one supplier and negotiate with them on all the details, and get quotations from them in order to compare them and choose the best supplier for you.

The basics of choosing the best supplier of shoes

In fact, there are several criteria to consider in order to choose the best supplier for you; the order of priority of these criteria varies depending on your needs.

First: Minimum Order (MOQ)

This is a certain amount of order determined by the supplier, as you cannot import with a smaller amount.

The minimum order varies from supplier to supplier, and varies according to the types of footwear such as:

  • Volume.
  • Genre.
  • Color.

For example, some suppliers set the minimum order for sneakers at 1000 pieces, while the minimum import for children’s shoes is 2000 pieces, and so on…

Thus, you can choose the right supplier for you that offers MOQ in line with your budget.

Learn more about Minimum Medicine (MOQ)

Second: Compliance with Quality Standards

It is the most important basis for choosing a supplier when importing shoes from China, as the supplier who provides the required specifications and standards must be chosen accurately.

  • Precision in manufacturing: It is to prioritize suppliers who accurately deliver the sizes you want.
  • Quality of raw materials: The quality of raw materials used varies from one supplier to another.
  • Delivery time: It is not necessary to choose the supplier who can complete the order quickly, as this may affect the quality, but it is okay to give priority to the supplier who can deliver the goods in a timely manner for you.
  • Available models: We will definitely prefer to deal with suppliers who have great options in the varieties and models.

Third: The suitability of the supplier’s specialization with the required item

As we mentioned above, shoes have many varieties and types, so you will find a supplier that specializes in children’s shoes, another that specializes in women’s shoes, and so on…

That’s why we advise you when importing shoes from China, to choose a supplier who specializes in the type of shoes you want because this provides you:

  • High quality of shoes due to subtlety.
  • Multiple and varied models.
  • The minimum demand is rather low.

Supplier selection methods when importing shoes from China

  1. You can choose the supplier yourself after careful consideration of the criteria that we explained above to reach your optimal supplier that meets your needs.
  2. In order to find the best supplier for you, they are well versed in the market, and know reliable and experienced suppliers in the shoe industry, they will provide you with the best suppliers.

The method of sourcing agents is more expensive than the method of choosing a supplier yourself, but at the same time these costs may be necessary, compared to the costs of searching yourself and then failing to find the best supplier, especially if you are new to international trade.

The reliability and transparency of the agent must also be ensured, lest the agent have a prior agreement with a supplier.

So check the agent’s background, and ask those who have dealt with them beforehand.

Steps to import shoes from China

After learning about the varieties and markets of footwear and the criteria for selecting suppliers, it is time to learn about the steps to import shoes from China in order to ensure your success in this project.

First: Choose the standards and varieties of shoes you want

  1. Product Features

You can determine the specifications of the shoes you want by studying the market in your country “country of import”, and identifying the market need for shoes and their varieties.

Therefore, when requesting, the following must be specified:

  • The type you want (men’s shoes, children’s shoes, sports shoes, etc.)
  • Accurate Size Determination (40-44)
  • Colors (black-white)
  • Basic Material (Leather-Plastic)
  • Insole thickness (5-4 cm)
  • Inner lining (cotton-leather)
  1. Packaging

Packaging is just as important as a product, as the wrong packaging can cause shoes to be exposed to moisture.

Here’s an example of shoe packaging specifications:

  • Type of printing (e.g. laser)
  • Planning (design)
  • Dimensions (30*20)
  • Carton (e.g. 3 layers)
  • Surface leaf (white, 300 g)
  • Inner sheet (black, 230 g)
  1. Required Labels
  • Your brand sticker.
  • Children’s shoes sticker.
  • Quality labels.

Second: Requesting samples from potential suppliers

After submitting the spec sheet you need from the shoes to the suppliers, you must request the samples of these shoes, in order to test and examine them, and to ensure that they conform to the required quality and specifications.

Third: Identify the conditions of each supplier and choose the best

After submitting quotations by suppliers, you should choose the best one for you according to your need, but in general you should consider the following points:

  • Shipping terms (Incoterms): These are the terms that determine the responsibility of shipping and bear the costs.
  • Payment method: including deposit, full payment date and money transfer method.
  • Quality Inspection and Conformity: This includes determining the party that will supervise the quality inspection and bear its costs.
  • Packaging: and consider if they match the standards you requested or are they different.
  • The price provided when purchased in a certain quantity.
  • Minimum order.

Fourth: Product Quality Inspection

Ensuring that the product conforms to the required quality standards and inspecting them is one of the most important steps in importing shoes from China, as the defect in the quality you want, which you formed by examining the market and knowing its requirements and customs requirements, may lead to your loss in the shoe import project, or the seizure of goods due to their violation of the required standards.

You can ensure quality through:

  • Preparing a quality checklist: It is a list that you can create from the specification sheet that you provide to suppliers, through which you can verify all the specifications you requested without forgetting any detail.
  • Material standards compliance test: i.e. checking the standards of the raw materials you want and used in the manufacture of shoes, (quality of leather used – quality of plastic used etc.)
  • Sample testing: You must test the samples after they arrive, and examine them well.

You can deal with commercial service companies in China that provide quality inspection and testing services and can provide quality monitoring service during manufacturing.

Fifth: Payment

  • It is necessary to clarify the payment method that suits you, and negotiate with the suppliers in this regard to reach a final version for payment and clarify it in the contract.
  • Do not pay the full amount until the goods are delivered in full, and we recommend providing the optimal payment condition of 30% deposit – 20% during production – 50% upon arrival of the goods.
  • Choose secure payment methods through Alibaba’s website, PayPal, or through a proxy in commercial service companies.

Sixth: Shipping shoes from China

  • Shipping Types

There are two ways to ship when importing shoes from China:

  1. Sea freight: It is the most common method of shipping by commercial ships, packing the goods in the so-called shipping containers, and it takes a variety of forms.

Read More Types of containers

  1. Air freight: It is more expensive in price than sea freight, and is characterized by the speed of delivery of goods, and this type has become very popular with the development of e-commerce.
  • Shipping Cases

Air freight is used to speed up the shipping process, for an expedited delivery date or catch up with the season.

When importing shoes from China, we recommend using sea freight, because shoes take a large size, so if you want to ship by air, you will pay huge sums.

When importing a small amount of shoes, we also advise you not to use a full container, but to use LCL shipping (less load than containers).

It is also possible to dispense with carton boxes for each pair separately, if this would reduce the number of containers required for shipping and thus save the cost of shipping, because the cost of cartons in the destination country is significantly lower than the cost of shipping.

  • Shipping Liability
  1. Shipping by Supplier: Any agreement between you and the Supplier to hold him responsible for shipping.
  2. Handling Forwarder: The freight forwarder helps you with customs clearance and shipping the goods to your country safely.
  • Marine Insurance

Where you can insure your goods against damages and risks during shipping.

Some suppliers bear the costs of shoe insurance, depending on the terms of shipping (incoterms) agreed by you and the supplier.

Or you can charge freight forwarders for insurance.

Customs clearance for importing shoes from China

  • Customs clearance procedures

China provides strict procedures and regulations in customs clearance, being the first country to export. In order to avoid confiscation of goods and not to have problems during customs clearance, you must ensure that you have all the required certificates.

  • Documents required when importing shoes from China
  1. Commercial invoice.
  2. Packing list.
  3. Bill of lading.
  4. Quality certificates.
  5. Certificate of origin.
  6. Customs declaration.
  7. Commercial Register.
  8. Tax card.
  9. Certificate of conformity and compliance.
  • Customs clearance costs

You have to familiarize yourself with the costs of customs duties, in order to add them to the total

The costs of a shoe import project from China, where Chinese customs require 17% on the total costs of shoes.

You also have to pay a duty imposed by your country’s customs to allow goods to enter the market.

You can find out about their costs by using a customs broker or by checking the customs website in your country.

The bottom line

International trade is generally based on two main pillars: information and relations, which complement each other.

You now have all the information on how to import shoes from China, and what are the most important steps to start a shoe import business from China.

You should now search for relationships by communicating with suppliers, companies and export agents and establishing commercial relations with them in order to build a name for you in international trade and ensure your success in the coming times.

Learn more about:

Guide To Bulk Importing Children’s Toys From China

Guide To Bulk Importing Mobile Phone Accessories From China

Importing Home Appliances And Shipping Guide From China

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