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  • Published On : Feb 2024
  • Code : CMI1275
  • Pages :120
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Consumer Goods

The athletic footwear Market size is valued at US$ 132.6 Bn in 2024 and is expected to reach US$ 170.9 Bn by 2031, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3%  from 2024 to 2031.

Athletic footwear is designed for sports activities. They are basically used by athletes for running and playing other sports activities. Growing enthusiasm and awareness regarding the health benefits of sports and fitness activities, the flourishing retail e-commerce sector worldwide, and the rising levels of disposable income of consumers are estimated to be the key trends driving the market growth. Youngsters are getting keen on adopting a healthy lifestyle and are thus  participating actively in sports and other related activities. At the same time, people have started realizing that sports and fitness activities can help ensure good health and thereby reduce the risk of chronic disorders such as depression, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.

Global Athletic Footwear Market Regional Insights:

  • Asia Pacific is expected to be the largest market for global athletic footwear market, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 45 % during the forecast period. The growth of the global athletic footwear market in Asia Pacific is due to increasing demand for athletic footwear in countries such as India and China.
  • North America is expected to be the second-largest market for global athletic footwear market, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 25 % during the forecast period. The growth of the global athletic footwear market in North America is a major contributor due to high enthusiasm for sports, fitness, and adventure activities.
  • Europe is expected to be the fastest-growing market for global athletic footwear market, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 15 % during the forecast period. The growth of the global athletic footwear market in Europe is due to increasing demand for athletic footwear in countries such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Russia.
  • Latin America is expected to be the fastest-growing market for global athletic footwear market, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 8% during the forecast period. The growth of the global athletic footwear market in Latin America is due to increasing demand for athletic footwear in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico.
  • Middle East & Africa is expected to be the fastest-growing market for global athletic footwear market, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 7 % during the forecast period. The growth of the global athletic footwear market in the Middle East &Africa is due to the rising demand for athletic footwear in countries such as Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, UAE, Morocco, and Qatar.

Figure 1. Global Athletic Footwear Market Share (%), By Region, 2024


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Analyst’s Views:

Global athletic footwear market continues to grow steadily driven by rising health consciousness and participation in sports and fitness activities globally. The market witnesses opportunity in the increasing popularity of running and training shoes among fitness enthusiasts. However, growing availability of low-cost alternatives from local manufacturers poses threat to top brands. Moreover, business faces challenges from volatile raw material prices and supply chain disruptions due to pandemic. Rising environmental concerns also act as a restraint as consumers are seeking more sustainable products. But market leaders are addressing these challenges through advanced technologies and localization strategies.

Overall, long-term prospects for global athletic footwear market  remain positive. While North America and Europe continue dominating due to higher discretionary expenditure and brand awareness and future growth opportunities that lie in developing economies. Asian nations like China and India offer exponentially growing middle-class with higher disposable incomes which can offset risks from other mature markets. Companies may gain through new product innovations, sponsored athletes and strategic partnerships with retailers and ecommerce platforms. While macroeconomic uncertainties persist, the market is expected to grow steadily by catering to evolving consumer preferences through advanced product offerings.

 Global Athletic Footwear Market Drivers:

Surging influence of sport activities among individuals: The rise of health consciousness and growing aspiration for active lifestyles among people across the globe has provided a major boost to the global athletic footwear market in 2023. With increasing awareness about risks of sedentary routines and emphasis on physical fitness even amongst young population, participation in various sports and recreational activities has witnessed a meteoric rise. This growing influence of sports culture is a key driver that is expanding the customer base for athletic shoes.

More people are regularly engaging in running, yoga, tennis, football, cricket and other sports for leisure and exercise. Athletic shoes have become a wardrobe essential for maintaining an active routine. The booming popularity of casual forms of sports like walking, hiking, and cycling that can be easily incorporated into daily schedules has also augmented the demand. Furthermore, the rise of athleisure wear and growing acceptance of combining sports apparel with everyday casuals is normalizing the sports lifestyle. This is benefitting the industry by accentuating athletic footwear as a fashionable lifestyle product rather than just performance equipment. Increasing use of sports-inspired designs and technological features in casual shoes is also attracting a wider audience.

Favourable global trends of growing health awareness, fitness boom and expanding youth population will continue fuelling the demand. According to The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, specifically the Population Division, produces the dataset World Urbanization Prospects on a regular basis. The 2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects provides estimates and projections of the size of the urban and rural populations of the world and their major urban agglomerations. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, over 60% of the population in majority of nations worldwide is expected to reside in urban cities by 2050. This urbanization and busy lifestyles will further drive the need for convenient sports and exercises that can be easily done by using athletic shoes. At the same time, high-performance attributes and innovative designs leveraging new materials will allow the footwear to accommodate more types of sports. The rising participation of women and elderly population in recreational fitness will open new segments of customers. These current and emerging customer behaviours’ bode well for continual growth in sales and volumes for companies in the global athletic footwear industry during the forecast period.

Rising number of retail outlets across the globe: Increasing number of retail outlets across the world is significantly contributing to the growth of the global athletic footwear market. With more shops and stores that are being established to cater to the burgeoning demand of sports and fitness footwear, consumers have wider availability and easy access to a diverse range of products from numerous brands at their local level itself. This growing retail distribution network is allowing brands to market and promote their products aggressively while also enabling buyers to compare, explore, and purchase their preferred shoes in a convenient manner.

The unexpected COVID-19 pandemic has remarkably transitioned buying patterns as people increasingly prefer remote digital shopping over crowded physical stores. Therefore, well-known manufacturers are aggressively allocating more funds to create an influential omni channel shopping experience. They are optimizing their websites, launching mobile apps, and aligning with third-party tailors to serve customers remotely. This digital transformation of the sector will surely boost sales volumes and allow the worldwide athletic footwear industry to sustain steady growth even in the near future. Thus, the constant addition of innovative retail infrastructure globally will remain a key growth driver for this expanding market.                             

Global Athletic Footwear Market Opportunities:

Emerging markets with growing middle class population: Emerging markets with rapidly growing middle class populations present significant opportunities for expansion in the global athletic footwear market. Countries such as India, Brazil, Indonesia, and others in Southeast Asia are experiencing substantial increases in disposable incomes and spending power among mainstream consumers. As physical fitness and participation in sports activities rise among urban youth in these regions, the demand for high-quality performance footwear is booming.

Lifestyle changes along with greater awareness about health and wellness have made athletic shoes a mainstream fashion item rather than just a necessity for serious athletes. Affordable yet aspirational domestic and international brands are able to tap into this phenomenon. In 2021, according to a  study by the United Nations, the number of people living in extreme poverty in developing countries fell by 0.70 % from 1990 to 2019, indicating permanent increases in consumer purchasing habits across essential and non-essential expenditure categories. As economies continue to develop and cities evolve with modern amenities, active transportation, and recreational activities will grow significantly. Public initiatives will also support industry growth. For example, the central government of India announced investments of US$25 Bn through 2025 for urban development and transit projects to promote walkability and cycling. If targeted correctly through suitable product designs, pricing, and distribution; footwear companies stand to benefit tremendously from these emerging middle class populations, thereby seeking comfortable yet fashionable options for increasingly mobile lifestyles.

Overall, with rising disposable incomes, evolutions in urban infrastructure, and emphasis on health-driven activities, emerging markets present a major long-term opportunity for athletic footwear brands to tap into enthusiastic new customer segments and shape active wear consumption habits. Strategic partnerships with local distribution networks will be critical to capitalize on this massive untapped potential and steer the industry onto a trajectory of sustainable global expansion.

Partnership with sports leagues and events: Partnerships with global sports leagues and events present a tremendous opportunity for growth in the global athletic footwear market. Collaborating with iconic sporting properties allows shoe brands to deeply connect with passionate fanbases around the world. These fans willingly spend money to represent their favourite teams through officially licensed apparel and merchandise. By lending their brand associations to elite athletes who compete on the world's biggest stages, shoe companies are able to spread powerful messages of performance, innovation and achievement. An example of the impact such partnerships can have is evident from Federation International de Football Association recent revenue figures for the 2018 and 2022 men's World Cup tournaments. According to FIFA's publicly disclosed financial reports, revenue from commercial agreements like jersey sponsorships and licensed merchandise climbed significantly from US$1.93 Bn US$ earned at the 2014 Brazil World Cup to US$5.36 Bn US$ generated off the 2018 Russia event. A sizable portion of these commercial revenues are derived from footwear companies paying high sums for promotional opportunities during globally watched competitions with billions of television viewers. The growing popularity of new professional leagues popping up across Asia and the Middle East point to untapped markets hungry for iconic international brands. By forming official partnerships with these emerging leagues and working to grow the games themselves, athletic footwear brands have a unique chance to introduce their products to the millions of youth who are willing to start playing sports seriously. If executed successfully, such cross-promotional relationships will serve as a driver of long-term participation and loyalty, thereby ensuring the continued expansion of the global footwear market for decades to come.

Athletic Footwear Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 132.6 Bn
Historical Data for: 2019 to 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 - 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 4.3% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 170.9 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa:  GCC Countries, Israel,  and Rest of Middle East
Segments covered:
  • By Category: Insert Footwear (Aerobic Shoes, Athleisure Footwear, Running Shoes, and Walking Shoes), Sports (Cross Training) Footwear (Cricket Footwear, Tennis Shoes, and Other Sport Shoes), Hiking Shoes (Outdoor/ Rugged Footwear, Trekking and Walking Boots, and Other Athletics), and Backpacking Boots (Hiking Boots, Technical Shoes, and Approach Shoes)
  • By Consumer Group: Women, Men, and Kids
  • By Retail Distribution: Store-Based and Non-store Athletic
Companies covered:

Nike, Inc., Adidas Group, Crocs, Inc., Wolverine World Wide, Inc., Skechers U.S.A., Inc., Under Armour, Inc., Puma AG, Geox SpA, K- Swiss, and New Balance.

Growth Drivers:
  • Surging influence of sport activities among individuals
  • Rising number of retail outlets across the globe
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Increasing raw material prices
  • Lower pricing associated with the counterfeit products

Global Athletic Footwear Market Trends:

Expansion of e-commerce due to the growing trend of digitalization around the globe: The expansion of e-commerce due to growing digitalization is having a profound impact on the global athletic footwear market. As more consumers spend increasing time online and use digital platforms for shopping, athletic footwear brands are pivoting towards robust direct-to-consumer strategies. They are establishing strong digital presences through company owned websites and mobile apps to capitalize on the booming e-commerce opportunity.

Nike, Inc., headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, is a leading American athletic footwear and apparel corporation. Founded on January 25, 1964. and other leading athletic footwear companies have heavily invested in upgrading their digital infrastructure and fulfilment capabilities. They are optimizing their website user experience through personalized recommendations, improved search functionality, and seamless payment options. Many brands are also launching exclusive product drops and limited edition sneaker collections only available online. This is driving more customer engagement on digital platforms. The use of social media influencers for online campaigns is further fuelling the discovery of new products. The rise of online shopping has made the athletic footwear market highly competitive with the entry of digital-native brands like Allbirds. Allbirds is a footwear and apparel company that emphasizes sustainability and the use of natural materials in its products. The company was founded in 2015 and gained prominence with its iconic wool sneaker.  Customers have access to a wider variety and better deals on footwear from all over the world sitting behind a phone or computer. Companies are collecting deeper consumer data insights from their digital ecosystems that help match product design and innovation more precisely to customer preferences in different geographical regions and demographics over time.

For example, in France, during the fourth quarter of 2020, e-commerce sales for sneakers grew over 60% as compared to the 2019. according to government data. Adidas launched a dedicated e-shop in the country which saw over 40% of sneaker buyer’s transition online. Nike's sneaker volumes from its French website grew by almost 35% in the same period. In the U.S. during 2021-2022, online sales accounted for 25-30% of total athletic footwear sales, according to data provided by  the U.S. Department of Commerce as compared to under 20% pre-pandemic.

An increasing number of women participating in sport: An increasing number of women participating in sports are one of the current trends in the athletic footwear market. The government of various countries is encouraging women to participate in sports in order to promote overall health and fitness. This is again anticipated to spur the market growth of the athletic footwear. Moreover, growing awareness regarding the sports adventure activities such as hiking, running, trekking, and aerobics among women is further projected to foster the market growth of global athletic footwear.

Global Athletic Footwear Market Restraints:

Increasing raw material prices: The rapidly increasing prices of raw materials over the past 2020, have posed significant challenges for the global athletic footwear market. Raw materials such as rubber, plastics, leather, and textiles constitute a major portion of the total manufacturing cost for any footwear brand. According to a data provided by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in 2021, the global prices of many critical raw materials that are used in footwear production have risen sharply in the past 18 months.

For example, the price of natural rubber increased by over 50% between January 2020 to August 2022. Similarly, prices of other petroleum-based raw materials like polyurethane and Poly Vinyl Chloride resins, which are widely used in sport shoes, grew by almost 35-40% in the 2020-2022. The ongoing geopolitical issues have further disrupted supply chains and put additional inflationary pressure on prices. Footwear brands have been facing difficulties in sourcing these materials at stable costs. The surging procurement expenditure has squeezed profit margins for companies and limited their ability to invest in newer product designs and technologies.  According to the World Bank estimates, global consumer price inflation accelerated to over 7% by mid-2022, the highest in last 40 years. With households allocating more income towards daily essentials, discretionary purchases of athletic footwear have taken a minor hit worldwide. The rising costs have moderated the industry's revenue growth trajectory over the 2022, which otherwise used to consistently expand in high single-digits during the pre-pandemic phase. Unless raw material cost pressures ease or companies successfully transfer these to customers, the above US$80 Bn athletic footwear market may witness moderate single-digit growth rates in the near future.

Lower pricing associated with the counterfeit products: The emergence of counterfeit athletic footwear products at substantially lower prices is posing a significant challenge for the growth of the global athletic footwear market. While counterfeit products provide affordable options to cost-conscious customers, especially in developing economies, they end up reducing the overall sales volume of genuine brand name products. This is negatively impacting the revenue and profitability of established footwear companies.

The quality of counterfeit products is usually at par when compared to original items. However, price-sensitive customers tend to ignore quality issues and opt for cheaper fake versions for casual or occasional use. This reduces the overall demand for quality footwear from recognized brands. Moreover, as counterfeiters are constantly improving quality and making products that appear identical to originals, it is also leading to brand erosion and loss of customer loyalty over time. Certain unregulated online marketplaces have further increased access to such fake products, thereby exacerbating the problem.

 Counterbalance: To overcome this restraint, the key market players need to update the prices of raw materials, which might drive the growth of  the global athletic footwear market.

Recent Developments:

  • In January 2024, Nike, Inc. is an American athletic footwear and apparel corporation headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon. It is the largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel, Nike, Inc. launched Converse Debuts the Chuck 70 De Luxe Squared with Swarovski. The Chuck 70 De Luxe Squared transforms the iconic rounded Chuck 70 toe cap for an entirely new angular expression
  • In September 2022, ASICS launched the NOVABLASTTM 3 shoe. Combining a geometric origami design with technology, the third generation of ASICS' unique cushioning trainer offers a bouncing running experience that keeps you lively and motivated on the ASICS, a leading athletic footwear and apparel company, was founded by Kihachiro Onitsuka in 1949 in Kobe, Japan. The company offers a wide range of athletic footwear, including running shoes, training shoes, and sportstyle shoes, as well as activewear and accessories.

Figure 2. Global Athletic Footwear Market Share (%), By Retail Distribution, 2024


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Top Companies in the Global Athletic Footwear Market

  • Nike, Inc.
  • Adidas Group
  • Crocs, Inc.
  • Wolverine World Wide, Inc.
  • Skechers U.S.A., Inc.
  • Under Armour, Inc.
  • Puma AG
  • Geox SpA
  • K- Swiss
  • New Balance

Definition: The athletic footwear are specialized shoes that are designed for sporting and physical activities. They are distinct in style and construction from dress shoes and are tailored to provide comfort, support, and performance benefits for various types of physical exertion, ranging from casual walking to competitive sports. These shoes are often equipped with features such as cushioning, support, and flexibility to meet the specific demands of different activities, including running, training, court sports, field sports, and outdoor sports.

Frequently Asked Questions

Increasing raw material prices and lower pricing associated with the counterfeit products  are the key factors hampering the growth of the global athletic footwear market.

Surging influence of sports activities among individuals and rising number of retail outlets across the globe  are the major factor driving  the global athletic footwear market growth.

The store-based is the leading retail distribution segment in the global athletic footwear market. 

The major players operating in the global athletic footwear market includes Nike, Inc., Adidas Group, Crocs, Inc., Wolverine World Wide, Inc., Skechers U.S.A., Inc., Under Armour, Inc., Puma AG, Geox SpA, K- Swiss, and New Balance.

Asia Pacific leads the global athletic footwear market.

The CAGR of the global athletic footwear market is 4.3%.

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