Running shoes are an essential part of many wardrobes. Whether people use running shoes for workouts and competitions or simply feel more comfortable walking around in them day in and day out, they’re a key piece of equipment. When it comes to running shoes, technology is always evolving and consumers are constantly on the hunt for the latest trends and features. Here’s a look at the top running shoes technology trends that are sweeping the industry right now.
The running shoe industry
The running shoe industry is one that keeps on growing. It continues to be a significantly big player in the global market and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. By 2020, the global market value for footwear stood at USD 384.2 billion, and by 2026 this number is projected to grow to approximately USD 440 billion. That’s a total CAGR of 2.3% in just a few years. As the demand for running shoes grows, so does the demand for new technologies that will not only improve the feel of the shoes but also increase the performance level of the wearer.
The market is consistently seeing new running shoes technology trends come and go, but there are a few that are turning out to be more popular than others, and showing up in new designs more often than not. One trend that consumers appear to look for quite frequently is the lighter foam, which gives the wearer the ability to move more efficiently. Another trend that’s picking up in popularity is the option to fully customize the shoes. These and other new technology trends will be looked at in more detail below.
New trends in running shoes technology
As technology continues to advance, the design of running shoes does too. New technologies are being implemented into all types of running shoes, whether they be for Olympic athletes, casual runners, or people who enjoy walking around in comfortable footwear.
Running shoes with lighter foam
A major concept in the running shoes market right now is “the lighter the shoe the better.” The latest running shoes are designed using a much lighter foam than previous models for a number of reasons. Using lighter foam has a dramatic impact on the overall weight of the shoe, making it much lighter and easier to wear for longer periods. This enables the runner or walker, to have a higher energy return within the same amount of time. Using lighter materials also comes at less cost to the manufacturer.
Before the use of lighter foam, the stacks inside of running shoes had to be shortened to decrease the weight of the shoe. Running shoes are now seeing a resurgence of higher stacks though, at no hindrance to the wearer, thanks to this new technology. These “super foams” cushion the foot while allowing the shoe to spring back into shape, increasing the response time. There was also a study in 2020 proving that runners have greater oxygen flow when running with lighter foam. Shoes are only getting lighter, so this is one trend that’s sure to be around for the long run.
Eco-friendly is best
Eco-friendly materials are being used in all aspects of life—from homeware to clothing. And this includes running shoes. In fact, many of the top brands now have a wide range of sustainable footwear available. Recycled plastics, organic cotton, and water-based adhesives are all examples of materials being used to make shoes. There are many more materials that are starting to be used as well. Environmental strategies such as zero waste production and reduced carbon footprints are also very important to companies now. Eco-friendly running shoes have proved to be a big hit with consumers, and demand for these types of shoes is only increasing.
Sole technology improvements
One of the most important parts of any type of shoe is the sole. Soles are constantly undergoing changes as new technologies emerge and brands look to improve the experience of the wearer. By using cost-effective and high-quality materials, such as polyurethane capsules, manufacturers are able to keep up with this trend. Polyurethane capsules are a very popular material right now, as they create more buoyancy for the runner, allowing them to exert less energy when they move. The capsules are also weatherproof and very durable. Comfortable soles are key to any good pair of running shoes.
Customized running shoes
A relatively new technology that’s receiving positive feedback from consumers is the customization of running shoes. Today, the physical appearance of a running shoe is just as important as the feel, and now people are looking for a personalized touch. And that doesn’t stop at the visual appearance of the shoe. Consumers are increasingly looking to essentially build a shoe from scratch so that it fits their feet perfectly—and looks good too. No two people are the same, so in reality, they shouldn’t be forced to wear a shoe that doesn’t suit the shape of their feet. More and more brands are allowing this type of customization, and it’s expected that this will aid in increasing the value of the running shoe industry.
The importance of good running shoes
The running shoes technology trends are constantly evolving, as newer technologies emerge and are incorporated into footwear designs. The industry has already seen an improvement in soles and the overall weight of running shoes and continues to produce more sustainable and eco-friendly footwear. The customization of running shoes is a growing trend that looks only to grow more popular over time.
New technologies play a vital role in how a shoe looks and feels to the person wearing it. There are sure to be more upcoming improvements in the world of footwear as brands try to keep up with consumer desires, and these trends will be vital to increasing sales over time.