British women increasingly like “trainers,” as sneakers and sports shoes are called in the U.K.. According to recent research conducted by Mintel, the number of female shoppers who purchased trainers during the past year surpassed for the first time the number of shoppers who purchased shoes with a heel. Trainers and high heels were previously even, with 35 percent of women buying either of these shoes, while in the past year 37 percent of female shoe buyers favored trainers against 33 percent who bought high heels. Women in the 35-44 year-old age group led the trend, as nearly half - 48 percent - of female shoppers in this age group bought trainers in the past year as compared to 30 percent who bought heels. According to researchers, the trend among consumers to integrate athletic clothing into their daily wardrobes for non-sports use has made trainers increasingly popular among women. The U.K. footwear market is projected to grow by 25 percent to £13.2 billion (€16.1bn-$18.1bn) by 2021, Mintel estimates.