Teens Rank Nike and Lululemon Among Their Top Brands

Nike is one of the largest footwear brands around. And according to teens, it’s also one of the coolest.

The majority of the 7,100 teens across 44 states who responded to Piper Sandler’s 43rd semi-annual spending survey this spring voted for Nike as their top footwear and apparel brand. In apparel, Nike garnered 30% of the vote, followed by American Eagle at 7%, and Lululemon at 5%. Nike’s share of the vote was larger in footwear at 60%, followed by the Nike-owned Converse, Adidas and Vans all tied for with 8% of the vote. New Balance earned the fifth spot with 1%.

Nike also earned the top votes for footwear (57%) and apparel (27%) in Piper Sandler’s fall survey, but has increased its percentage of votes since then. The Swoosh has been named the top apparel brand among teens for 11 consecutive years.

While Nike still dominates both apparel and footwear, Lululemon continues to gain share. The athleisure brand gained 300 basis points from the same survey last year. Lululemon was ranked as the No. 1 brand for upper-income females and as the “top trend” for women. 

Crocs, which saw a meteoric rise in popularity throughout 2021, increased its position from the eighth to the sixth spot among footwear brands this spring. Hey Dude, which Crocs recently acquired, also made it into the top 10 for the second survey in a row.

“Within apparel, athletic is still the dominant trend with Nike and Lululemon taking new highs,” Nicole Miller Regan, senior research analyst at Piper Sandler, said in a release. “Within footwear, while Nike reigns supreme, Converse took the No. 2 Spot from Vans, Crocs increased ranking, and Hey Dude made the top 10 at No. 9.”

Throughout the pandemic, athletic has only become more powerful in the footwear and apparel sector. Legacy brands like Nike and Adidas consistently hold most share, though smaller challenger brands like Lululemon and Gymshark are widening their reach.

Last month, Lululemon recently rolled out its first-ever footwear collection, which consists of four different silhouettes that will be released through the course of the year. Given Lululemon’s rising position among female consumers, industry experts have high hopes that its new footwear products will challenge industry giants like Nike and Adidas. 

According to a report from Matt Powell, NDP’s VP and senior industry advisor for sports, strong loyalty to the Lululemon’s apparel will likely carry over to footwear and the category has the “potential to be another market game changer.”

Lululemon yesterday announced the appointments of Adidas veteran Simon Atkins to the role of SVP of footwear and Nike veteran Phil Dickinson to the role of SVP and global creative director. Both executives will report to Sun Choe, the company’s chief product officer.

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