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Fitness and Outdoor Participation Is Up — but Footwear Brands Aren’t Capitalizing

The Sports & Fitness Industry Association released its annual participation report today, and it showed that more people were active in 2018 than in years past.
According to the report, 218.5 million people engaged in a physical activity in 2018, an increase of 1.6 million from 2017. The biggest increases in participation came in the fitness and outdoor-based categories.
Among fitness enthusiasts, the report found that class-based exercises were popular (HIIT training, cross-training, barre and yoga) as well as cardio equipment usage (rowing and stair-climbing machines) and kettlebell workouts.
For outdoor fans, trail running was a leading activity. Others that people engaged in with greater frequency included cross-country skiing, stand-up paddling and hiking.
But according to Matt Powell, senior sports industry analyst for The NPD Group Inc., brands aren’t capitalizing off of the increased participation. The insider believes it’s because brands are too focused on making top-tier product.
“Making more affordable product, not focusing on the pinnacle product, is really key,” Powell said. “Athletic brands are far too focused on making expensive products that are meant for pinnacle athletes only. In many cases the people who are doing sports today are not looking for pinnacle products, they’re looking for good enough products. I think the same

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Via:: https://footwearnews.com/2019/focus/athletic-outdoor/fitness-outdoor-participation-trends-shoe-brands-2018-1202747877/