NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Footwear stocks may be a safe place to ride out the inflationary pressures of the summer. The sector has been outperforming the apparel space in 2011, as newness has been driving sales.
"While we agree that the consumer environment is awfully fragile, we think that the footwear space is much better positioned to weather the impending storm coming in the second-half of the year when most retailers will attempt to pass along product cost increases to the consumer," WJB Capital analyst Robert Samuels wrote in a note. "Product innovation by the brands and a less promotional environment at retail gives us the confidence that the sector can continue to outperform, even in the face of these headwinds." In comparison, the apparel players remain somewhat stagnant in terms of merchandise offerings, giving shoppers little reason to open their wallets. But footwear makers and retailers are providing this novelty with innovative offerings in boots and lightweight and barefoot running shoes, as well as embellishments and high heels. "Given disappointing economic data, rising costs and stubbornly high unemployment, it is no surprise that retail stocks have fallen out of favor recently," Samuels wrote. "However, we are big believers in the strength of brands and great product and think that the footwear space, whether athletic or fashion, is offering this to consumers." Footwear companies aren't necessarily immune to higher gasoline prices and sourcing costs, but they do tend to have more pricing power than their apparel counterparts. Read on for a look at the footwear stocks with which you can ride out inflationary pressures this summer.