Nike Back On Top With Best-Selling Shoe Of 2017

NPD Group has released their annual list of the top 10 best-selling shoes.

Benzinga spoke with NPD’s sports industry analyst Matt Powell about 2017's top sellers.

No. 1: Nike Tanjun

Nike Inc NKE's mid-market favorite topped the list this year, replacing the Adidas Superstar. Part of the appeal of both shoes is that they play well in multiple demographics.

“Both the Tanjun and adidas AG (ADR) ADDYY Superstar have a greater percentage of women buyers than the total industry does," Powell said, attributing the shoes' success to their popularity with women. 

“I think the Tanjun illustrates that we don’t have a strong fashion trend right now. When that happens, things tend to migrate to the more middle-market product like this. I think it also says that the brands have figured out that mid-market is a strong channel for them,” Powell said.

No. 2: Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Low

“Chuck Taylor is always on the top 10 list. Sales are down [from] a year ago and I am not projecting a great 2018, but it is still the top 10-selling shoe. It is good basic shoe that goes with everything and it's lasted longer than anything else,” Powell said pf the Nike-owned brand. 

No. 3: Nike Air Huarache

“The Huarache indicates how important retro still is in the marketplace, but consumers are looking for fresh retro styles. They are not buying the same shoe as a year ago. Retro as an idea is very important, but brands need to put new retro styles into the market,” Powell said. 

He predicts the Air Haurache will miss 2018's top 10 list. 

No. 4: Adidas Superstar

The No. 1-selling shoe of 2016 slips to the No. 4 spot this year.

“Sales are down from a year ago, but it's still a good, basic shoe — and I expect it to be around for a while, but sales will be down from 2017 to 2018,” he said.

No. 5: Nike Revolution 3

“The Nike Revolution 3 is just another good, basic mid-market shoe. Again they are heavily weighted to womens, which goes back to how important women are to the marketplace. Mens and kids shoes were flat in 2017 and womens shoes were up 6 percent," Powell said. 

No. 6: Jordan IV, No. 7: Jordan XIII, No. 9: Jordan XI, No. 10: Jordan VI

“Jordan always has three or four shoes in the top 10,” Powell said.

“Jordan sales tends to be based on how many pairs Nike puts into the market. With reports that Nike will cut back .... [on] retro Jordan in the market, it will be interesting to see what this looks like in 2018. I think we will see that in the January numbers out next week.”

No. 8: Adidas Tubular Shadow

“This is kind of historic, as we now have two adidas shoes in the top 10. This shows the rising power of adidas in the U.S. market. They had the No. 1 shoe last year, but I would say having two in the top 10 is better, as it shows the diversity of the brand," Powell said. 

“I was worried when they were doing so much of their business from the Superstar, but the brand has really done a good job to diversify itself from just one style."

'Shoe Market Is More Fragmented Than Ever'

It is important to note that while 2016’s top 10 list represented 15 percent of the total sneaker business, the 2017 list made up just 10 percent of the total business.

“My conclusion is that the kid is looking for unique products. They want to wear sneakers, but they want different sneakers than their friends. The market is more fragmented than ever in terms of brands,” said Powell.

“Small is the new big and I think we will see consumers gravitate to smaller brands that are unique and don’t look like everybody else."

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Posted In: AdidasConverseMatt PowellNikeNPD GroupNewsRetail SalesInterview