Australia's sports shoe industry enjoyed a solid 2002 with revenues surging 11 per cent to A$350 million (US$190m), figures from the Australian Sporting Goods Association (ASGA) revealed on Monday.
 
The majority of that growth came from the men's market which enjoyed an 18.3 per cent jump in revenues, with women's sports shoes enjoying a 5.7 per cent climb in sales.

But the strongest growth was seen in sales of men's athleisure footwear - unisex fashion and street shoes - which doubled to 840,000 pairs. Sales of children's footwear fell for the second year running but sales of women's running shoes were strong.

Industry officials said the average selling prices of shoes at the wholesale level rose 3.5 per cent in 2001-02,.

Commenting on the figures, Adidas footwear director and ASGA board member, Chris Lambert, said: "It was a surprisingly healthy result."

Asked about the surge in athleisure sales, he added: "It's been hot, absolutely hot. All of the '60s, '70s and '80s products have been relaunched and that's being reflected in those figures."