More and more Americans are pounding the pavement… with their sneakers. That’s the underlying message of SGMA International’s 2003 edition of The U.S. Athletic Footwear Market Today prepared in conjunction with The NPD Group, Inc. The contents of this study focus on retail spending trends, specific consumer segments, purchases by price/style and shopping influences.

According to SGMA International, U.S. spending on athletic footwear was $15.693 billion in 2002-up from $15.312 billion in 2001 (a 2.5% increase). This is the third straight year of sales growth for athletic footwear. Consumers purchased 428.623 million pairs of athletic footwear in 2002-up from 400.855 million in 2001 (a 6.9% increase).

Listed below are some of the highlights from The U.S. Athletic Footwear Market Today.

Cost Conscious In 2002, the average price paid for a pair of athletic shoes was $36.61. However, the 13-17 year olds and the 18-24 year olds paid higher average price points-$47.73 and $50.74, respectively.

Oldies But Goodies. The “retro” shoes, models popular 20-30 years ago, have been updated with new colors and features. Sales of these “retro” styles rose 11.4% in 2002.

Hoops Are Hot! Basketball shoe sales rose 17% in 2002. That’s the highest increase in an individual category of athletic footwear.

Youth Rules. Though only 20% of the U.S. population is aged 13-24, this segment accounts for more than 30% of all athletic footwear purchases.

Why Buy? Price and fashion play a part in the decision-making, but comfort is the overwhelming reason why consumers purchase any given pair of athletic footwear.

The athletic footwear categories covered in this report include running, basketball, cross-training, walking, hiking, tennis, sports sandals, recreational boots, skateboard, and low performance.

This report is available only as a PDF download or as a Kinko’s Doc Store printed copy. OBTAIN REPORT The report, in PDF format, is free to SGMA’s full members. For SGMA associate members and non-members, the PDF and printed prices can be found on SGMA’s website.