Yesterday, Matt Powell, vice president and senior industry advisor for the NPD Group’s sports department, released his notes on the sales performance of athletic footwear in the third quarter of 2018.

The industry expert noted that the industry as a whole grew a healthy 4 percent, but with the sports lifestyle segment outshining others and performance footwear continuing to struggle.

The 4 percent overall growth was better than Powell had expected and was carried by a strong 8 percent growth by the sports lifestyle segment. Women’s athletic footwear also outperformed the rest of the market, something that was apparently driven by excellent Vans sales.

Performance footwear's decline continued a negative trend for a fourth year. Key segments that experienced decline include basketball, training, running, and hiking.

Nike, adidas, Skechers, Vans, and Timberland sales all grew in the third quarter, although Nike's sales were flat due to a decline in sales of its subsidiaries Jordan Brand and Converse. Under Armour also experienced a decline in sales.

Powell also noticed a slowdown in growth for big brands in September, which he predicts will affect holiday sales for the athletic footwear industry.

For a full analysis of each of the footwear categories and a summary of how activewear performed during quarter three of 2018, head to NPD’s blog here.

What do you make of Powell’s notes? Let us know in the comments.

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