The European Commission has extended anti-dumping duties on footwear imported from China and Vietnam.
European trade commissioner Peter Mandelson will now carry out a review of the decision which is expected to take between 12 and 15 months.
Emma Ormond, international trade consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: "Member states opposed this so the Commission has gone against that. I like to think most footwear retailers would have realised this was probably going to happen and worked it into their costs. However retailers cannot push prices up in the current climate so will have to absorb costs or use cheaper materials."
The duties which amount to 16.5% on Chinese leather footwear imports and 10% on Vietnamese leather footwear imports, add further pressure to ailing retailers in the footwear sector.
The duties were introduced two years ago after EU shoe manufacturers pleaded with the EU to introduce a measure to prevent the market from being swamped with cheap imports from the Far East.