The Surprising Reason Your Shoes Are Getting Way More Expensive

Meghan Blalock

For all the shoe lovers out there, we have some unfortunate news: If you feel like your prized footwear collection has been costing you more and more money, you're not going crazy. The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics is reporting that, while the general consumer cost of clothing (sweaters, underwear, jewellery, and more) has actually decreased over the past year by 2%, the prices we pay for shoes has gone quite the opposite direction.

The BLS reports that in the U.S., shoe prices have increased by 2.8% over the past year. (For the maths-deficient among us, that's $2.80 for every $100.) The reason: leather prices have been soaring, due to a significant cattle shortage that has been causing the cost of the raw goods to increase steadily. The U.S. Department of Agriculture backs up this reasoning, reporting that currently there are about 95 million cows in the U.S., which is the lowest number of cows recorded since the USDA started recording the numbers in 1973.

Translation: If you've noticed the prices of your shoes increasing over the past year or so, you're not imagining things. The cost of leather is driving up the prices of shoes. Opting to buy shoes that contain no leather might be a decent solution, or you can shop vintage or sales to look for good deals on real leather.

Check out the full report from the BLS here, and tell us in the comments below: Have YOU noticed your shoes getting more expensive? Sound off!

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