Why is the sneaker market valued at $79 billion?



From sportswear, street style to the runway, sports shoes have made their mark as a cultural product. Limited quantities, partnered objects are factors that make certain shoes even more coveted.

Sneakers have surpassed its main function to become a desire in the fashion and commercial fields. Specifically, Statista statistics show that the worldwide sports shoe market from 2020 to 2026 is valued at about $79 billion.  It is forecast to reach a value of $119.5 billion by 2026. Given its massive growth, it's no surprise that sneakers are considered big business. This number shows the strides of the sneaker industry.

Why is the sneaker market valued at $79 billion?
Why is the sneaker market valued at $79 billion? / ph: Gucci

 A new exhibition at London's Design Museum (UK) explores how the shoe has become an undisputed cultural icon.

 In recent years, the global demand for sports shoes has increased significantly.  This may be the result of increased consumer health awareness.  They want to find products suitable for physical activity such as running, walking or practicing sports...

 The average shoe price in the US is $58.  But this number depends a lot on the brand that produces it. Nike, adidas, Puma are the biggest brands in the global sports shoe market.  In 2020, Nike generated $24 billion in sales from footwear sales, more than Puma and adidas combined.

 The continued dominance of the athleisure trend has had a significant impact on the growing sales of sneakers along with the pursuit of comfort.

 Athleisure is a term used to describe a highly functional fashion style.  Experiencers can apply sportswear to everyday wear.

 The timing of the pandemic made people prioritize comfort even more, leading to an increase in sales of sportswear and sport shoes.

 Thus, sneakers have stepped out of the niche market, becoming a coveted fashion item.  Footwear is currently the best-selling category in the online luxury goods marketplace.  In which, sports shoes have a significant contribution.

 Luxury brands like Gucci, Balenciaga are setting the standard for the high-end sneaker market.  In 2017, the Balenciaga Triple S became the best-selling model in the luxury sneaker market.  Even, many fake shoes appear rampant with different prices..

 Research from sociologist uniya Kawamura on sneakers identifies three waves of this phenomenon.

 The first wave in the 1970s was defined by underground sneaker culture and the emergence of hip hop.  The adidas Samba has become an important part of football fan culture.

 In 1986, Run-DMC released the song My adidas.  From there, the group reached a sponsorship agreement with the brand.  This cemented the sneaker's "root" position in popular culture.

The second wave began in 1984 with the launch of the Nike Air Jordan.  Sports shoes are now considered status items.  It is promoted through celebrity endorsements.

 Ultimately, the digital age has led to dramatic growth in sneaker marketing and resale culture.

 The global shoe resale market is valued at $6 billion in 2019. It is forecast to be worth $30 billion by 2030. Shoe models that retail for around $130-240 are resold in thousands of dollars.  This lucrative market creates a new trend for sports shoe enthusiasts.

 The emergence of "shoes headhunters" - collectors and traders of sneakers - has ensured the famous status of the designs.

 Many brands regularly release limited editions tied to celebrities, hip hop stars or athletes.  Limited quantities, partners are the factors that make the shoe more coveted.

Why is the sneaker market valued at $79 billion?

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