Monday, 30 January 2012

Barefeet tech coming soon in India

The world's second-largest athletic company unveiled its first "barefoot'' training shoe, which is designed to mimic the experience of exercising barefoot while providing the protection, traction and durability of a shoe. The Adipure Trainer, which is a cross between a glove for the feet and a traditional shoe, hits U.S. stores in November priced at $90.

The barefoot shoe is part of a strategy by Adidas, which is based in Germany, to expand into the U.S. where rival Nike dominates. Adidas joins a list of athletic makers trying to tap into the small but burgeoning U.S. market of fanatical runners and gym-goers who swear by shoes designed with as little material between the wearer and the ground as possible.
"People who believe barefoot is the way to go...are very emphatic about it,'' said Matt Powell, an analyst with industry research organization SportsOneSource Group. "They want to spread the message. It sounds religious but some of them are evangelical about it.''

The athletic shoe and clothing business has been fairly resilient during the U.S. economic downturn, but it is an industry that thrives almost entirely on new products. When it comes to shoes, the latest and greatest captures the U.S. customer. While barefoot shoes make up a tiny fraction of the $22 billion U.S. athletic shoe industry, it is one of the fast-growing categories. Sales have more than doubled in the past year to roughly $750 million, according to SportsOneSource.

Nike, the world's biggest athletic company, holds roughly 65 percent of the market and appeals to barefoot loyalists and mainstream exercise enthusiasts alike with the traditional running-shoe look of its "Free'' line. Vibram has about 10 percent of the market with its Five-Finger shoe, which encases each toe separately and has come to define the style. Other big companies such as Merrell, Fila, Saucony, Asics and New Balance also have their own barefoot or so-called minimalist offerings.
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/adidas-launches-barefoot-shoe/836272/

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