Peter T. Leach is editor-at-large with the JOC. He is based in New York.

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Americans love imported footwear. They bought 2.3 billion pairs of shoes, boots, sneakers, sandals and sundry other styles last year. That comes out to 7.3 pairs for every man, woman and child. While not enough to make Imelda Marcos green with envy, it’s enough to turn a lot of footwear executives gray with worry about where in the world to get them made at a cost and quality that will entice Americans to buy more.

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