Trail shoes are specialized running shoes intended for use on uneven off-road terrain. These shoes prioritize durability and ruggedness over road running shoes and feature deeper treads or lugs on the outsole for improved traction on variable surfaces. Additionally, trail shoes often have rock plates or other protective features to guard the feet against obstacles and more durable upper materials with overlays to resist abrasion and tearing. Some trail shoes are engineered to handle specific types of terrain, such as rocky or muddy trails, while others are versatile enough to tackle a range of conditions. When selecting a trail shoe, it's essential to consider the terrain you will be running on and your foot shape and running style.
The global market for trail shoes is set to witness a significant surge in demand driven by several factors. One of these is the growing awareness of the benefits of trail shoes, which are made with heavier materials to provide support and protection on rugged terrain. These shoes are also equipped with durable soles featuring aggressive tread patterns to handle obstacles encountered on trails. In addition, the increasing popularity of trail running activities worldwide is contributing to the rising demand for these shoes. Furthermore, the growing number of women participating in trail running is a significant factor driving the demand for trail shoes. Women are increasingly concerned about safety when running off-road, and trail running shoes provide the necessary protection to reduce the risk of ankle sprains. Consequently, the demand for trail shoes has risen significantly. Hence, the global market for trail shoes is expected to witness substantial growth in the forecast period due to the growing popularity of trail running activities. Furthermore, the leading players in the trail running segment are increasing their investment, driving the market growth. Salomon, for instance, has been investing in trail running since its inception and has launched workshops and media campaigns to promote the sport. The company is committed to expanding the appeal of trail running beyond its traditional base and has invested significant time and resources towards this end.
The trail shoe market is facing several challenges that could impede its growth. The rising popularity of minimalist shoes is one of the factors that could restrain the market's expansion. Although minimalist shoes have gained a following due to their potential to offer a more natural running experience and prevent injuries, they may not be suitable for all trail runners and hikers. This trend may lead to a decline in demand for traditional trail shoes and impact market growth. In addition, the high cost of producing trail shoes is also a restraint on the market's growth. The specialized materials used in the manufacturing process require extensive research and development, driving up production costs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Producer Price Index for athletic footwear manufacturing increased by 17.7% from December 2019 to December 2022, suggesting rising production costs. This increase in costs may result in higher prices for consumers and limit demand. Moreover, the availability of counterfeit products in the market could also limit the growth of the trail shoes market. These fake products could divert consumers away from genuine trail running shoes, leading to lower sales and revenue.Key developments and new launches in the trail shoes market.
In March 2022, New Balance announced plans to expand its green leaf product range by incorporating sustainable materials into some of its most popular footwear models, including the Fresh Foam 1080v12 and the 574. This move aligns with the company's goal of sourcing 100% preferred leather and 50% recycled polyester, as these are two of its most climate-impacting materials. By prioritizing sustainable materials, New Balance is demonstrating its commitment to environmental responsibility and positioning itself as a leader in the sustainable footwear market.
In March 2022, Wolverine, a heritage boot and clothing brand, partnered with 343 Industries to create an exclusive boot inspired by the popular Halo franchise's Master Chief character.
In May 2022, ASICS, a renowned sports brand, introduced the GEL-CUMULUS 24. This flexible running shoe offers maximum comfort and is suitable for runners covering various distances.Segment overview:By type
: traditional shoes dominate the market as they offer the most commonly used design by runners, with medium to a high profiles providing balanced support and protection on rugged terrain. With a durable sole and pronation control, traditional shoes remain a popular choice for runners who require extra support.
However, the fastest-growing segment of the trail shoes market is barefoot shoes, which appeal to runners seeking a more natural running experience. The lightweight and minimalist design of barefoot shoes provides improved balance, agility, and strength, and they are a popular choice for runners who want to feel more connected to the trail and have a more sensory experience while running. The trend towards barefoot shoes is likely to continue due to the growing popularity of natural running and the benefits associated with it.By gender
: the market is divided into men and women. The men's trail shoes segment currently dominates the market due to the higher participation rate of men in trail running. To cater to men's specific needs, top brands have focused on developing products with durable soles, aggressive tread patterns, enhanced cushioning, support, and breathability.
However, the women's trail running shoe segment is rapidly growing, and top brands are introducing innovative products that cater to women's specific preferences, such as narrower fits, arch and heel support, and lightweight designs. Furthermore, brands are recognizing the importance of women's running apparel and accessories, such as sports bras and hydration packs, and developing products to meet these needs.By distribution channel
: the market is divided into online and offline. Although the trail shoes market has seen a significant increase in online sales due to the convenience and discounts offered by online platforms, offline distribution channels such as specialty running stores and sporting goods stores still dominate the market. This is because many runners prefer to try on shoes before making a purchase, and offline stores provide them with this opportunity. However, with advancements in technology such as AI and AR, online shopping experiences are becoming more personalized and interactive, which may attract more customers to purchase trail shoes online in the future. Nevertheless, both offline and online channels are expected to continue playing a crucial role in the success and revenue of businesses in the trail shoes market.
Competitive analysis and profiles of the major players in the trail shoes market such as Adidas AG, Altra Running, Amer Sports Oyj, Asics Group, Brooks Sports, Inc., Deckers Outdoor Corporation, New Balance Athletics, Inc., Nike Inc., Salomon, Skechers USA, Inc., The North Face, Under Armour, VF Corporation, and Wolverine World Wide Inc.
Trail Shoes Market Report Highlights
| Aspects || Details |
| By Type || |
- Barefoot Shoes
- Low profile Shoes
- Traditional Shoes
- Maximalist Shoes
| By Gender || |
| By Distribution Channel || |
| By Region || |
- North America (U.S., Canada, Mexico)
- Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Russia, Rest of Europe)
- Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Rest of Asia-Pacific)
- LAMEA (Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Argentina, Rest of LAMEA)
| Key Market Players || VF Corporation, New Balance Athletics, Inc., Wolverine World Wide Inc., Brooks Sports, Inc., Adidas AG, Nike Inc., Skechers USA, Inc., Asics Group, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, Amer Sports Oyj. |