The Czech Footwear Association reports that the country’s shoe output was the lowest ever in 2005 at 5.5 million pairs. During the same year, footwear imports rose to 73 million, 50 percent of which came from China. The number of people employed within the country’s industry dropped to 4,500, as compared to about 10,000 five years ago. In the mid-1990s shoe production had reached 28 million pairs in the Czech Republic.