The athleisure trend has ensured that many retailers and brands have begun to launch their own collections. A study by market research firm NPD Group reportd the ‘sport leisure’ style has become the largest category in the US sneaker segment, beating ‘performance’-oriented footwear. In contrast, while demand for sport leisure styles rose 17 per cent last year to $9.6 billion in sales, sales of performance apparel fell by 10 per cent to $7.4 billion, NPD said, noting that the performance category’s decline has speeded up in the last two years.
Sales of ‘running-inspired’ sneakers skyrocketed by 39 per cent and ‘casual athletic’ styles went up by 24 per cent, driving 2017 growth, NPD stated. Matt Powell, senior sports industry advisor at NPD says. the bubble around leisure will not burst anytime soon no. Athleisure rules the runway and the line between what is an athletic shoe and a casual shoe continues to blur. Brands and retailers must continue to feed this trend.
NPD reported that the German company Adidas’ 2017 US sneaker sales skyrocketed by over 50 Adidas last year, the fastest of all players. Adidas’s classic three-stripe Superstar and Tubular Shadow sneakers, both part of its athleisure segment, made NPD's top 10 selling shoe list. Adidas is aware of the importance of fashion; on its website, it describes the Tubular Shadow knit shoe as an update of its original Tubular running design for “contemporary street fashion.” For its Superstar line, Adidas claims it is “an authentic reissue of a classic sneaker” fit for anyone from “basketball MVP to street wear queen.” The brand also has added fashion buzz through well known partnerships with celebrities and designers including Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Stella McCartney.