The Top-Selling Athletic Shoes of 2017 Might Surprise You

Despite brands investing millions of dollars into marketing for the latest and greatest sneakers, the top 10 best-selling list for 2017 isn’t dominated by any of them.

Matt Powell, senior industry advisor for sports with The NPD Group, unveiled via Twitter the 10 looks that sold the most last year. The lineup features multiple models you’d likely have to search on Google to remember what they look like.

The top three silhouettes on the list are the Nike Tanjun, the low Chuck Taylor All Star and the Nike Air Huarache. Trailing those three are the Adidas Originals Superstar, the Nike Revolution 3, the Air Jordan 4, the Air Jordan 13, the Adidas Tubular Shadow, the Air Jordan 11 and the Air Jordan 6.

According to Powell, the biggest surprise on the list is 2017’s best-selling Nike Tanjun. The industry expert said the marketplace has never had a midmarket shoe No. 1 on the list, a spot usually secured by an upmarket performance-driven shoe.

“It’s just a great shoe at $65,” Powell told Footwear News. “It speaks to the modern runner trend that’s very much driving the marketplace right now. I think it also illustrates how good the midmarket business was last year. Shoe trains and national chains really drove most of the sales in the last year.”

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Ox
Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Ox
CREDIT: Zappos

What’s not a surprise on this list, Powell said, is the Chuck Taylor All Star.

“It’s always been in the top 10 and probably always will be,” Powell said.

According to Powell, the top 10 shoes accounted for only 10 percent of sales during the year, down from 2016 when the number was 15 percent. Also, no performance sneakers were in the top 10, Powell noted, which further bolsters the power of the current sportswear fashion cycle.

“The consumer clearly is saying they want basic, fun, inexpensive shoes, and they’re not looking for expensive performance footwear,” Powell said.

Adidas Originals Tubular Shadow
The Adidas Originals Tubular Shadow, a top-10 selling sneaker for 2017.
CREDIT: Adidas

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