Outdoor footwear sales grew 17% in the year ending June

Outdoor footwear sales grew 17% in the year ending June

Sales of outdoor footwear in the US are on the rise, new research suggests, helped by increased demand for hiking and cold weather boots.

In dollar terms, outdoor footwear sales grew 17% in the 12 months ending June, up from the 1% climb seen in the same period a year ago, according to global information company The NPD Group.

Hiking/lite hiking and cold/all weather boots, which together comprise three-quarters of the market, both experienced a healthy lift in sales. Hiking/lite hiking grew 22% after a flat performance last year, while sales of cold/all weather boots more than doubled, by 17%.

The top five outdoor footwear brands were Merrell, Keen, Nike, Vasque, and Salomon, the NPD said, mirroring the men’s market. Other brands such as Sorel and Timberland were among the brands for the women’s and children’s markets, respectively.

"Consumers today are looking for products that reflect their values. They want products that are versatile and yet authentic. For outdoor footwear brands to succeed today, it’s critical for their products to strike this balance," said Matt Powell, sports industry analyst, The NPD Group.

He later added: "While men lean towards outdoor footwear with an urban focus, women seek stylish and feminine, and the kids market is more function driven. These wants and needs are important for brands and retailers to keep in mind as they determine how to position and market their outdoor footwear products."