14 May Sales of Minimalist Shoes Plummet
That development is in contrast to SportsOneSource’s quarterly reports of the last few years, in which the minimalist category had some of the highest growth, while sales in categories such as motion control and stability stagnated or fell.
Overall, SportsOneSource reported, “Running, declared dead by the stock market, continues to accelerate. Sales of running shoes grew in the high singles” for the first three months of 2013.
Sales of motion control shoes increased by more than 25% during the first quarter of the year, and sales of stability shoes increased by more than 10%.
When considering sales of minimalist shoes, SportsOneSource separates the Nike Free from other minimalist models, because such a large percentage of Nike Free sales are to people other than active runners.
For the first quarter of 2013, “net of Nike Free, minimalist/barefoot declined in the low teens and represented only about 4% of total running. It appears this fad is pretty much over,” SportsOneSource reported.
The decline in minimalist sales isn’t surprising. Starting in early 2012, industry insiders noted a movement away from the more barefoot-style minimalist shoes toward conventional-looking running shoes that were lighter and lower to the ground than in years past.