A growing number of luxury brands are exploring the growth potential in the sneaker sector, according to reports. With the news that the athletic footwear industry hit $19.6bn in sales for 2017 in the United States, luxury brands such as Gucci, Prada and Balenciaga are targeting the sector as a way of supporting growth across a number of markets.
“The next evolution that we [footwear brands] are working on is where the technology is less visible,” says NPD sports industry analyst Matt Powel. “It will come back to a nice shoe in terms of shape and volume where you won’t see the technology like memory foam and GPS hidden in the shoe. It will be an iPhone for your feet”.
Meanwhile John McPheters, president and co-founder of Stadium Goods, which sells high end sneakers online, believes women will be the key growth demographic in the coming years.
"For a long time, brands have tried to entice female sneakerheads with pink laces, and 'feminine' colours while in reality, women want the exact same products as men do. Over the next few months, we're working on some innovative ways to better present our products with women in mind."