Running Companies & Company Profiles
With the increasing popularity of the sport since the 1970s, running companies have become major players in a multi-million dollar market. Nike, Adidas, Reebok, New Balance, all of these running companies have built their business on their ability to make shoes that help people run in more comfort.
Until the 1970s, making trainers was a small business, but with the explosion of running as a mass participation sport, there was a sudden demand for trainers, not just for running and working out, but as every day wear. These days almost everyone – from babies through to grandparents – wear trainers of one kind or another.
At first, there were very few brands and few different types of shoes. You might wear high tops for basketball, trainers for running, and studded boots for football, but with the growth of sports as something everyone did – not just kids in school or pro athletes – there was a massive increase in demand for all sorts of sporting shoes.
These days every sport has its own specialised shoe, and even within sports there are numerous different sub-categories. Running shoes not only have different designs for different people (stability shoes, cushioning, and control) there are also different shoes for racing, off road running, and so on.
Similarly, if you want bike shoes you can choose between shoes for road racing, touring, off road biking, even triathlon. Each is designed slightly differently in order to work perfectly for that particular activity.
However, for all the advances in sports shoe design, it is probably the rise of the athletic shoe as a fashion item that has ultimately had the biggest impact, allowing the companies to market outside the individual sports, making trainers an essential part of anyone’s wardrobe.