Minimalism and color were top of mind for buyers at last week’s The Running Event in Austin, Texas, and both trends are evolving, they said.
Kent Wories, buyer at Denver, Colo.-based Runner’s Roost, said consumer focus has shifted from purely minimal looks to more cushioned or structured options. But lightweight styles are still a sales driver.
“What were considered lightweight trainers are becoming everyday trainers,” Wories said.
Greg Zuckerman, footwear buyer for Boston-based City Sports, agreed that the direction is changing. “We’ve seen a big swing back to [interest] in cushioning and stability.”
On the color front, retailers predicted that bright neon shades will continue to drive business through fall ’13, but the trend should start evolving come spring ’14.
Color has been a “great boon,” said Omega Sports buyer Doug Henderson, adding that bright looks have helped open the technical running category to a younger consumer. “The funkier the color I can throw on the wall, the better,” he said.
Still, Henderson predicts that things could soon change. “How much longer will color continue to be a story?”