The Footwear Event Adds Running Component

The Footwear Event is on the run.

The Formula4Media trade show, which will take place at Chicago’s Navy Pier June 25-27, will supplement its traditional footwear focus with an expanded coverage of the hot running market, according to show organizer Mark Sullivan.

“The Footwear Event really started as a brown-shoe event, and we still have a great core there. But last year, we started to get more and more requests [in the running space],” he said. “What we’re finding about running, it’s not just running guys who are interested — it’s comfort stores, independents and sporting goods.”

The trade show will host the Running Track Conference & Expo, which grew out of last year’s smaller Running MBA program. It will feature exhibitors including New Balance, K-Swiss, Mizuno, The North Face, Puma, Under Armour and Montrail, as well as retailers from the specialty run market and the broader footwear market.

The program will kick off with a new consumer research study by Leisure Trends, co-commissioned by Formula4Media’s “Running Insight” magazine and the Competitor Group. The findings focus on how runners across the country perceive the in-store experience.

Also on the menu is a presentation by retail analyst Jim Dion and a panel that will feature running experts discussing the barefoot market.

“The running market is really changing and growing so much,” Sullivan said. “We hope to capture the spirit of where the running market is and where it’s headed.”