Press Releases

NSGA: Athletic Footwear Sales Eke Out Six-Month Growth of 1%

Retail Sales of athletic footwear rose 1.0% during the six-month period, October 2006 through March 2007.

MOUNT PROSPECT, IL – Retail sales of athletic footwear rose 1.0% during the six-month period, October 2006 through March 2007, according to newly released data from the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA). Sales for the six-month reporting period were $6.14 billion versus $6.08 billion for the same period the previous year.

For the six-month period October 2005 through March 2006, sales had increased 9.8%. Unit sales for the most recent period declined 0.3%.

Half of the 16 types of athletic footwear covered in the survey showed sales declines during the six-month period.

Among footwear categories with projected sales of five million units or more for the six-month period, only the gym shoe/sneaker, fashion sneaker and walking shoe categories showed increases in dollar sales. Fashion sneakers led the dollar increase, up 10%; gym shoes/sneakers were up 2%. Walking shoe sales rose 6%.

Basketball shoe sales, the biggest loser among major athletic footwear categories, were down 4%.

In addition to the 16 athletic footwear categories in the survey, 10 other recreation and sport footwear categories were surveyed. For all 26 categories, sales rose 1.8% to $7.24 million versus $7.11 million for the same period the previous year. Unit sales for the 26 categories rose 0.8%.

Sales for all categories are running behind the 4% increase the Association had forecast for footwear sales for 2007.

The largest categories – in terms of dollars spent by consumers during this six-month period – were walking shoes ($1.83 billion) and running/jogging shoes ($1.02 billion).

For the six-month reporting period, full-line sporting goods stores accounted for 14.1% of unit sales in athletic footwear, an increase from 11.9% last year. Specialty athletic footwear stores and department stores lost market share. Specialty athletic footwear stores claimed 10.2% of units in the athletic and footwear market versus 12.3% the previous year; department stores, 21.4% versus 21.6% the previous year.

In units, online/internet sales were 4.9% of the athletic footwear market, up from 4.6% the previous year.

To gather the data, NSGA surveys a total of 40,000 households – 20,000 households twice a year. The 26 footwear categories covered include aerobic, baseball/softball, basketball, boat/deck, bowling, cheerleading, cross training, cycling, fashion sneakers, fitness, football, golf, gym shoes/sneakers, hiking, hunting, jogging/running, skateboarding, soccer, sport sandals, tennis, track, trail running, volleyball, walking, water sports and wrestling.

The full report on the athletic and sports footwear market will be part of the “The Sporting Goods Market in 2008,” which will be available in May 2008. The current Sporting Goods Market report provides footwear data for the 12-month period of October 2005 through September 2006.

The report is available in electronic format (Excel) only for $125.00 for NSGA members and $175.00 for non-members.

For the 26 shoe categories, the following information is supplied: total units, average price, total dollars, percent change/units, and percent change/dollars. Full distribution channel data (9 categories) is also provided.

Consumer demographics include gender and age. Comparisons with the same six-month period (October-March) since 1998 are included.

To purchase the report, contact Dan Kasen at the NSGA Information Center, 847/296-6742, Ext. 108.

For information on NSGA research, contact Thomas B. Doyle, National Sporting Goods Association, 1601 Feehanville Drive, Suite 300, Mount Prospect, IL 60056. Phone: 847/296-6742, Ext. 107; e-mail:

NSGA, which has served the sporting goods industry since 1929, organizes and hosts the annual NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit, the sporting goods industry’s premier educational and networking event (Next: May 4-7, 2008 at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs in Phoenix, Ariz.).

For more information on NSGA member services, visit the Association home page (; call Rhonda Onuszko at NSGA, (847) 296-6742, Ext. 130; e-mail:; or fax (847) 391-9827.