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2020 SNEWS Retailer Survey results, part 7: Footwear

136 independent outdoor retailers across the country responded to our annual survey. Here are the industry's best-selling footwear brands, according to their responses.


This is part seven of a multi-part series. The next installments will be published in the coming weeks. You can read the entire series here.

So far, our 2020 SNEWS Retailer Survey results have broken down the sales success of camping gear and apparel at independent retailers last year, and explored the best and most difficult manufacturers to do business with. This week, we’re diving into footwear—both men’s and women’s across all categories of activity.

The question we posed in our survey was simple: Which men’s and women’s footwear brands sold best throughout the year? Retailers were asked to consider total footwear sales across activities, including running, hiking, lifestyle, and others. 

How we collected our data

As a reminder, we didn’t supply a list of responses for retailers to choose from. The results you see below all came from write-ins.

Also as usual: The numbers here reflect the percentages of respondents who actually answered each question. Some respondents declined to answer one or both of our questions about men’s and women’s footwear sales. These omissions were not included in the calculation of vote percentages.

Finally—and perhaps most important—survey responses were gathered with the promise of anonymity to ensure the collection of the most accurate possible data from retailers.

Best-selling brands: Men’s footwear

After crunching the numbers of our survey results, we’ve seen several categories in which an even split in market dominance was the defining feature between brands. Footwear is not one of them. 

Oboz was the clear winner here, capturing a full 26 percent of the vote in the men’s category. Salomon, in second place, drew less than half the vote that Oboz did.

Interesting to note: This is the first time we’ve seen a large disparity between company sizes in the top finishers of any category. Oboz, based in Bozeman, Montana, employs fewer than 50 staff members. Salomon Group, based in France, has more than 1,000.

Oboz: 26 percent

Salomon: 12.3 percent

KEEN: 6.8 percent

Merrell: 6.8 percent

Chaco: 5.5 percent

Other write-ins for the category (all of which received less than 5 percent of the vote share) included Altra, Astral, Danner, Hoka One One, La Sportiva, Lowa, On Running, and Sorel.

Best-selling brands: Women’s footwear

In the women’s category, Oboz also dominated, but we saw a far weaker showing by Salomon here. The rest of the top brands were the same as the men’s, with one exception: Women seem to prefer On Running to KEEN. 

Oboz: 22.5 percent

Chaco: 8.5 percent

Merrell: 7 percent

Salomon: 7 percent

On Running: 5.6 percent

Other write-ins for the category (all of which received less than 5 percent of the vote share) included Altra, Astral, Birkenstock, Bontrager, Hoka One One, Keen, La Sportiva, Lowa, OluKai, Sorel, and Vasque.