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

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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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