After teasing the launch earlier this month, Hoka has finally unveiled its first kids’ collection as it continues its growth path.
According to the Deckers Brands-owned athletic label, the collection will launch with three styles inspired by Hoka’s adult line, including the Speedgoat 5 Youth, Clifton 9 Youth and Ora Slide 3 Youth.
Designed specifically with the young athlete in mind, Hoka said in a statement that the new youth collection was made with kid-centric features, a focus on fit and all the brand’s signature technology found in its adult products.
Hy Rosario, product director of outdoor/kids at Hoka, told FN in an interview that the new kid-friendly features in the youth collection include quick toggle laces for easy on and off and a gusseted tongue to help everything stay in place during movement.
“It was important for the Hoka youth collection to have all the signature technology found in Hoka adult products, including sustainably minded materials and a focus on fit,” Rosario said. “You’ll find 100 percent Hoka DNA woven throughout the product, delivering deep on functionality and performance. We believe we are coming to market with a collection unlike anything you’ve seen in the junior performance footwear category to date.”
Asked if the youth collection will be expanded, Rosario told FN that the company plans to add more of the classic franchises down the line. “Our ultimate goal is to empower young athletes to choose their own adventure – whether it be on the road, trail or for everyday wear.”
This launch comes as kids’ shoes have been named the fastest-growing segment of the footwear market, according to data from Circana (formerly IRI and The NPD Group).
This rise in spending for kids’ footwear comes as more parents are forgoing footwear purchases for themselves. Among households with kids under the age of 18, overall footwear sales revenue declined by 1 percent and unit sales fell 8 percent, year-over-year, Circana said. Conversely, among households without kids, sales revenue grew by 11 percent and unit sales were flat.
As for Hoka, the brand has seen tremendous success under Deckers Brands. As one of footwear’s newest billion-dollar brands, Hoka has skyrocketed under Deckers direction. It’s an impressive feat given that the performance running brand had sales of less than $3 million when the company acquired the brand in 2012.
In February, Hoka reported that its net sales jumped 90.8 percent to $352.1 million in the third quarter compared to $184.6 million in same time last year, another quarterly record for the brand. Just two quarters ago, Hoka achieved $1 billion of revenue on a trailing 12-month basis. And with the quarter just delivered, the brand has now eclipsed $1 billion of revenue over the last nine months.
Dave Powers, president and CEO of Deckers Brands, said at the time that Hoka’s growth in the third quarter was primarily driven by share gains with run specialty accounts in the wholesale channel as product flow improved this year, allowing for better sell-throughs.
“The good news is that wholesalers want more, the consumer wants more, and we’ve realized that these extended classics — more iterations of core classics that keep our brand DNA intact – are resonating very, very well,” Powers added.
Hoka’s new youth collection, which retails between $50 and $110, is now available in sizes 3.5 to 7.