Forget Running — Why Walking Is a Big Opportunity for Footwear Brands Right Now

April 8 2021 by Jennie Bell for Footwear News

Much ink has been spilled about the resurgence of the running and hiking markets during the past year, as consumers have turned to open-air activities as an alternative to gyms or to escape their homes/remote office-schools. But there is another fitness option that could pose an even bigger opportunity for footwear brands.

A study conducted in late March by Rockport and First Insight found that over half of Americans (53%) are now walking 1 to 5 miles more each day than they did pre-pandemic. And they seemingly have developed a regular habit, with 36% walking at least 1 to 2 miles and 21% walking 3 to 4 miles daily.

What’s more significant: Almost all of the respondents (93%) said they are “very” or “somewhat likely” to keep up this activity going forward, even after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. (The study included a demographically representative sample of 1,265 adults, ages 18 and older.)

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