What’s Selling: Hoka One One and Brooks are Top Choices at Running Stores

What’s selling at running specialty stores this week? Here, four key retailers weigh in on winning brands and top trends and talk about what’s not moving.

Jennifer Hendrickson, co-owner, Running Niche, St. Louis

Top Three Trends:

Hoka One One: “The Clifton 6 is doing really well, a new shoe this spring, as well as the Rincon. We’re [located] in an urban area with a very young demographic. These [styles] are for that light, fast runner.”

On: “It’s [about] the fashion.”

Brooks: “We have a lot of people who come in and say, ‘I need my new Ghost or Glycerin.’ They have a loyal following.”

Not Selling: “We’re a 900-square-foot store and have a very tight, well-edited selection. If a shoe’s not selling, we’re done with it.”

Top Trends: “People are asking for lower-drop shoes. Not zero, but they want to try lower-drop shoes.”

Joe Brinkmann, owner, Queen City Running, Cincinnati

Top Three Brands:

New Balance: “The brand is popular from an availability standpoint, putting it over Brooks right now.”

Brooks: “It’s extremely popular in our walking and running circles. The look, fit and  feel are hard to beat.”

Hoka One One: “It’s really catching on. It has a unique fit and feel to it that separates it from some of the others.”

Top Trends: “The growth and excitement around the Hoka One One brand.“

Andrew Gates, manager, Potomac River Running Store, Burke, Va.

Top Three Brands:

Hoka One One: “The brand appeals to our store’s older demographic, with referrals from physical therapists or doctors. In many cases, people have never heard of it but have been referred to the product by professionals for [their] anatomical or biomechanical [needs]. In many cases, we also get people buying the shoe for just walking around.”

Brooks: “The Adrenaline is the number-one-selling shoe. The brand always does well. The fit, materials or brand recognition appeals to a lot of people.”

Altra: “I often hear people say it’s a wide-fitting shoe with a broad toe. Its [popularity] is due to the shape of the shoe at the toe area.”

Top Trends: “Soft seems to be the appeal. The same with high cushioning. But, they’re not necessarily the same. You can have a high-cushion shoe that’s very firm, and a low-cushion shoe that’s very soft. It seems the trend is soft and high-cushion right now.”

Lindsey Andrews, co-owner, Heartland Soles, Des Moines, Iowa

Top Three Brands:

New Balance: “The brand has done a lot of nice changes to the shoes in recent years. They’re a lot lighter weight, cushiony and they have a wider fit. People who like a roomier shoe love the way they fit.”

Hoka One One: “It has a unique feel that’s really plush and cushiony. It tends to be purchased by people who are dealing with injuries and people who are on their feet a lot.”

Mizuno: “They’ve come out with some new cushioning technology that seems to be really comfy, and people are loving it. They’re softer than they’ve ever been. They’ve also come out with knit uppers that people seem to like the fit of as well.”

Not Selling: “There are certain brands that have a little heavier feel to them, and those are not selling as well. People want that lighter feel. I also think in contrast to the more minimal [looks], styles that have low support or little support are starting to trend downward.”

Top Trends: “A lot of brands are coming out with knit uppers, which are popular. Higher cushioning [is also] making a comeback.”

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