Sneaker heads


In 2016 it seems the average kicks no longer exists. You don’t buy a shoe just for the style and comfort anymore. It’s about the technology, cultural history and quality. Although there are African brands that go unnoticed but provide the same comfort. Brands such as Soul Rebels which started in 2004 in Zenabwork Ethiopia and Passport ADV in 2009, also produced in Ethiopia. The vast majority still remains to be split between Nike and Adidas.

While in the fashion world, kicks have enjoyed a healthy resurgence. Thanks to Adidas’ designer collaborations, faithful reissues of timeless classics and the headline-grabbing YEEZY Season project. They’ve been able to always remain within the top 5 best brands.

Nike’s revenues and prestige have rocketed in the past five years. A stock split (a tactic designed to make shares more readily and available) saw a brief dip in the Swoosh’s market cap in 2012. Which hasn’t stopped it reaching its present-day peak of over four times the size of Adidas. In order to differentiate itself from Nike, they’ve decided to do this with attitude. So Adidas endorsements go to edgier, younger athletes and celebrities who cross over into the world of fashion. (Or who can at least beat Federer at Wimbledon.)

NMD HeroShot S79478 NaturalPair

For years, Adidas appeared destined to fall further behind Nike. Adidas had its deep roots in the sport’s world, mainly in soccer. Remaining a top sneaker retailer in Western Europe. Although Adidas kept offices in Portland. Most of its design staff and senior brass were stuck in the Adidas’s global headquarters, in the German factory town of Herzogenaurach. Unsurprisingly, Adidas products often appeared out of touch with the average customer.

The Interbrand consultancy puts a worth of R105 bn on Adidas, less than half that of Nike’s R238 bn. The American company’s domination is explained by highly effective, more underground style of selling. Adidas may have momentum. It may have an underdog’s spunk. But Nike has won the sneaker war decisively for so long that it could cost years on just its heritage models.

There are other brands besides Nike and Adidas who’ve been ranked in the top 10 sneaker brands like New Balance, Rebook and Vans. Who’ve been fairly gunning for the top. It’s advised to stay relevant with your market by having a better brand activations and releasing more consortium products. This creates loyalty between the brand and the consumer. Also giving the consumer a collaboration of their favorite brands.

Article by Candice Simon
TrendER Insights’ Editor & Trend Analyst

About the author

Founder and Trend Analyst at TrendER Insights. Mogorosi's passion lies in unearthing consumer insights that will help brands build more meaningful relationships with their consumers. Email:

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