The global athletic equipment and footwear market was valued at USD 281.96 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 592.45 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 8.6% during the forecast period (2022–2030).
Sports footwear are sporting goods that are majorly worn while performing sporting and recreational activities or during workout sessions. They are readily available in the market through various distribution channels, including franchise stores, online stores, supermarkets/hypermarkets, and specialty stores. Jogging, road running, and indoor sports like basketball are considered "athletic shoes." Still, outdoor sports like football and rugby are more commonly associated with "cleats" in North America and "boots" or "studs" in British English. Health awareness and a rise in the need for an active, healthy lifestyle worldwide are the key drivers of the sports equipment and footwear market. A sedentary lifestyle and transitions in eating habits have led to increased health risks. Therefore, increasing awareness toward regular physical activities to maintain a healthy lifestyle has boosted the growth of the sports equipment and footwear market.
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Increasing Sports and Fitness Awareness across the World
The demand for sports gear and footwear has increased due to the rise in spending on sports training and development among children as a result of greater awareness of the advantages of participating in sports, such as improved focus and problem-solving skills. Moreover, the changing paradigm of the educational system supports the growth of the sports industry and industries related to it. In addition, the incorporation of sports education and sports training in academics has significantly increased awareness of sports and fitness. Thus, many schools/educational institutes are training students, allowing them to compete in different sports competitions.
Additionally, tournaments are being hosted at the state, national, and worldwide levels by different governments around the world, which has raised participation and sparked the interest of young people in sports. This, in turn, has resulted in the growing demand for sports equipment and footwear, which significantly contributes toward the overall growth of the market.
Continuous Innovation in Sportswear and Footwear
Sportswear and footwear have experienced upgrades in their features over the years. Additionally, industry participants are spending a lot on research and development to bring new and enhanced sportswear and footwear to the market. For instance, companies in the market are creating sports shoes and t-shirts with the Internet of Things integration that allows athletes to track, analyze, and monitor timing, pace, distance, and heart rate to improve their performance. This has increased the popularity of these products among sports fans. Adidas also introduced smart sneakers with electrical capabilities that include shock-absorbing qualities based on body weight, running gait, pace, and running surface.
Availability of Low-Priced Counterfeit Products
One significant element limiting market expansion is the availability of fake goods. This is explained by the fact that these products do not adhere to the standards established by regulatory organizations worldwide. According to research by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), one of the leading intellectual property organizations in the European Union, sports equipment counterfeiting costs the EU-28 roughly 6.5% of its annual sales in lost income. The development of the jobs that would have been created in their absence is hampered by such counterfeit items. However, these products have been able to enter the market because of the ease with which they can be discovered on online marketplaces and the rise in accessibility and convenience of buying these products online.
Rising Participation of Women in Sports
The number of women competing in sports has increased significantly over the last three decades. In addition, women's participation in sports across the world has become a macro trend in the sports industry. For instance, women accounted for more than 48 percent of the participants at the 2020 Games in Tokyo. Similar trends have been witnessed across various sports, with increased participation of women across countries. Additionally, engaged players in the industry can target new demographic niches to capture lucrative opportunities arising in the market.
The global athletic equipment and footwear market is segmented by equipment type, footwear type, and distribution channel.
Based on equipment type, the global athletic equipment and footwear market is categorized into archery, badminton sets, baseball, basketballs, bicycle, billiards/pool cue sticks, binoculars, bowling, exercise, eyewear sunglasses, fishing, footballs, golf, sport protective helmets, ice hockey, inline skates, lacrosse sticks, paintball guns, racquets, scooters, and skateboards.
The exercise segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.5% during the forecast period. Exercise includes elliptical, fitness trackers, free weights, heart rate monitors, multipurpose home gym, stationary exercise bikes, training/body balls, treadmills, and weigh benches. A cross-trainer or elliptical trainer, also known as X-trainer, is a stationary exercise machine used to climb, run, or walk without putting pressure on the joints. Globally, the gym culture has gained high traction recently, as an increasing number of individuals are joining gyms to maintain their health. Moreover, owing to the increase in health consciousness among people living in the metro and tier-2 cities, they have started hitting gyms, which fuels the demand for exercise equipment, thus contributing toward the market's growth.
Bicycling is a popular hobby sport across the globe. In Europe, there is a significant interest in cycling at the professional level. Two types of bicycles are available in the market, which includes mountain bicycle and utility bicycle. Mountain bike is designed for unpaved or off-road cycling. On the contrary, a utility bicycle, also known as a classic bike or city bicycle, is a simple bicycle intended for on-road, moderately-paced rides. Furthermore, this segment includes a bicycle helmet, a vital safety gear used while cycling to prevent bicycle injuries. A rise in consumer preference for cycling as a favorable form of physical exercise to maintain fitness, healthy life, and to prevent health issues such as obesity, overweight, and blood pressure is anticipated to bolster the demand for different types of bicycles or bikes, including mountain bike, helmets, and utility bikes among sports enthusiasts.
Based on footwear type, global athletic footwear is studied across walking/running shoes, sneakers, cross-training/fitness shoes/aerobic shoes, hiking shoes/boots, basketballs shoes, sports sandals, tennis shoes, boat/deck shoes, hunting shoes, baseball shoes, skateboarding shoes, golf shoes, soccer shoes, cheerleading shoes, cycling shoes, water sports shoes, bowling shoes, track shoes, volleyball shoes, and wrestling shoes.
The walking/running shoe segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.4% during the forecast period. Running and walking shoes give extensive midsole foot cushioning as well as arch support, help prevent injuries, and may even enhance athletic performance. Running shoe designs receive manufacturers' best design and technological attention, but walking shoe types are generally created for market appeal rather than performance. For instance, Motion-control shoes are the stiffest footwear and are made to be rigid to reduce overpronation. A dual-density midsole with a denser substance on the inside of the foot is used in many constructed on a straight last to help correct pronation.
Sneakers are shoes primarily prepared for sports or other forms of physical exercise but are now widely used for everyday comfort footwear. Since they were made famous by brands like Converse and Nike in the middle of the 20th century, they have become items of clothing, with variety expanding exponentially in various international marketplaces.
Based on the distribution channel, the global athletic equipment and footwear market is categorized into offline and online/e-commerce.
The offline store segment is most dominant than the online distribution channel. The offline stores have a broad range of products and supply the necessary support and knowledge to consumers through expert customer service. Additionally, the ease provided by this channel and its capability to popular stock brands is enhancing the expansion of this segment.
E-commerce enables customers to access product information, prices, benefits comparison and comprehensive value evaluation before committing to purchase. In addition, an increase in e-commerce sales, improvements in logistics services, and ease in payment options further boost the market’s growth. Thus, online sales channel has increased consumer reach, which has evolved as a critical source of footwear market revenue.
The global athletic equipment and footwear market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
North America Dominates the Global Market
North America is the most dominating region in terms of market share and is expected to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period. This is due increasing adoption of new and advanced technologies, the popularity of equipment needed in athletics, and the rising number of sports events in the region. In the U.S., the rise in national and international sports events and the increase in spending by colleges, universities, and other small clubs on sports are the factors that drive the market growth. Participation in sports for children above six has experienced a rapid rise in the country over the past few years.
The Europe market is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period. Sportswear is growing strongly in Europe because of the social trend towards healthier and more active lifestyles among all age groups and the increasing popularity of sportswear worn as casualwear in the region. Consumer behavior in countries of Europe has changed to become more active. E-commerce channels have gained high traction in the last few years in the region. This is attributed to online retailers' increased popularity as they facilitate faster delivery and easy return policies. Europe witnessed 18–19% growth in e-commerce retail sales in the past few years, with the UK, Germany, and France leading the e-commerce transactions.
Asia-Pacific is anticipated to grow at the fastest rate over the forecast period due to the rising disposable income, rising incidences of injuries, increasing demand for fashion-friendly sports apparel, and government initiatives to promote sports activities and events in the region. Furthermore, the inclusion of sports, like badminton and football, in schools and colleges as extracurricular activities drives the demand for badminton sets, thus contributing toward the market's growth in the Asia-Pacific.
The increasing purchasing power of the population in LAMEA is propelling market growth. The market is also being driven by raising awareness of the value of fitness and the region's increased participation in sports and activities. Brazil has a well-developed sporting culture. A rise in the number of specialty and franchised stores and tie-ups between manufacturers and various retail chains has boosted the demand for athletic equipment in the region. Moreover, market players are involved in product advancements that positively impact the athletic gear footwear industry.
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