4 Things To Know About The Global Sports Market Right Now

Rihanna Fenty Puma trainer
Rihanna shows off her Fenty style for Puma.

There is no doubt that the athleisure movement has spawned a broad interest in athletic footwear around the world, but a recent market study from Technavio is providing more color on the trends behind this phenomenon.

With buzzy collections driven by celebrities such as Beyoncé, who released an her Ivy Park collection in March, and Rihanna, who serves as women’s creative director at Puma, athleisure trends are steadily rising in popularity. Last month, FN noted that despite overall weakness in U.S. retail, the athletic footwear category had held steady momentum.

Though recent sporting goods bankruptcies are contributing to the industry’s excess inventory problems,” Citi Research analyst Corinna Van der Ghinst said. “Athleisure remains a bright spot at U.S. retail, driven by fashion trends still supporting sportier silhouettes in footwear for fall ’16 and into spring ’17; this summer’s major sporting events (Olympics and Euro Champs) injecting new excitement and aspirational buying around sports; and consumers increasingly viewing athleisure as mainstream, year-round product, with a need to replenish and seek out new technologies.”

In its latest report, “Global Sports Footwear Market 2016-2020,” Technavio provides a global outlook on the sports footwear market for the next four years.

Read on for four key takeaways from the market study.

1. Comfort is king

Brands are focusing more toward consumer requirements, such as comfort, style and enhancement of performance while developing footwear. Running shoes will continue to be a dominant category in the sports footwear market, occupying about a quarter of the overall market share by 2020. The surging demand for comfortable running footwear is why many manufacturers are adding cushioning to their shoes, according to the report.

2. These brands are running the game

Adidas, Asics, Nike, New Balance and Skechers are considered the international giants in the market. Other leading vendors in the sports footwear market include Avia, Brooks Sports, Columbia Sportswear, Eddie Bauer, Rockport and Saucony. The report states the foothold the larger brands have on the market could prevent new brands from successfully entering the marketplace in the coming years.

3. Asia-Pacific is buying the most shoes

Thanks to a growing affinity toward sports activities and an increased desire to live healthy, active lifestyles has led this region to contribute the most revenue in the sports footwear market. With the help of a large consumer base, Asia-Pacific will likely make up just over 40 percent of the overall market revenue in the years leading up to 2020, the report found.

4. The great outdoors

When it comes to performance, sports-inspired and outdoor shoes, the outdoor category dominated the sports footwear market and is expected to make up nearly half of the overall market share in four years, the report says. These shoes are designed for fast and easy movement while hiking, walking, training, running and performing other outdoor activities. This is also driven by the heightened awareness of leading a healthy and active lifestyle.