Latest Figures and Surprise Comment on Running Shoes Sales

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The commentary on athletic footwear sales for the first quarter of 2013 has just come out from SportsOneSource. The analyst, Matt Powell made the following comments (my emphasis added):

Running, declared dead by the stock market, continues to accelerate. Sales of Running shoes grew in the high singles for the period. The conventional categories have rebounded nicely.

Stability improved in the mid-teens, Motion Control more than +25% and Cushioning in the mid singles. Lightweight, which remains the largest sub category, grew in the low teens.

One casualty of the return to more conventional (but lighter weight) shoes has been the Minimalist/Barefoot trend. Net of Nike Free, Minimalist/Barefoot declined in the low teens and represented only about 4% of total Running. It appears this fad is pretty much over.

The core Running brands all had strong sales increases. Under Armour Running doubled for the year so far. Brooks and Mizuno improved about 40%, Asics about 25% and Saucony in the low teens.

Nike (60% share) Running grew in the high teens. Adidas and Reebok both declined sharply. Last year to date, Reebok had 10% market share in Running; this year their share was 3%.

This adds to what I speculated here: How many are doing ‘barefoot’ or ‘minimalism’ running?

As always, I go where the evidence takes me.

POSTSCRIPT: The next set of figures are out and the trend continues. Here are two Tweets from Matt Powell:


ANOTHER POSTSCRIPT. The May sales figures are out:

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4 Responses to Latest Figures and Surprise Comment on Running Shoes Sales

  1. Hans May 12, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    What evidence are you seeing here? I can’t see that this says anything about the number of truly barefoot or minimalist runners. The number of such runners are most likely so small, based on just looking around a lot on runners in general, and seeing quite few, but more than some years ago, truly minimalist runners (not counting Nike air’s) that you can not say anything about that number based on sales numbers like this. This year I have seen only one barefoot runner, myself (I even got three full pages with a picture in the biggest national newspaper, as an illustration of this new “trend”), and last year I only saw one other. Some more in five fingers, more this year than the year before, but still very few. Very hard to count exactly trough sales numbers that most likely are not very precise.

    I think what we are seeing is that before “born too run”, you had a very small group of people doing real barefoot running, and some more in real minimal shoes, and then for a period you got a huge media interest in this topic and more people got interested. Then the media moves on too something else, and most people forget about it and goes back to the safety of what they know and what they are told by their local running store and magazines. But the core group is now somewhat larger, but still so small that it is hard to say anything precise about it. But there is still more talk about the topic, and more minimal shoes available than 5 years ago, and there seems to be more curiosity about technique and so on, and classes are offered that where not available at all 5 years ago, at least where I live.

  2. Craig May 12, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    I sign all my posts “I go where the evidence…”; as this was not a scientific study, I probably should not have used it!

    What I see is the numbers showing a decline in sales for minimalist shoes and the small market share that they have.

    That is in contrast to the massive online presence that minimalism has. Runners are voting with their feet!

    There is also the 25% increase in sales of motion control shoes and an increase in cushioned shoes sales.

  3. Craig Payne May 31, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    I have just added a postscript above with more recent data.

  4. Craig Payne June 7, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    I just added another postscript with the May 2013 sales

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