Running Shoes Consumer Journey


To determine the pain points, motivations, purchase drivers, and channels used by consumers when purchasing running shoes/apparel.

Early Findings

Buying Running Shoes/Apparel

  • New research has suggested the style, color, and material of the running shoe are the determinative feature for many consumers when purchasing running shoes.
  • In 2016, the main influence on the purchase of running shoes in the US was whether they are the same brand the consumer always wears. 50% of those surveyed identified this as there first consideration.
  • Other influences included the recommendation from the salesperson (29%), recommendation from another runner (16%), price (15%), magazine shoe buying guide (7%), online review (6%), online search (5%), saw at event or expo (2%), elite athlete endorsement (1%), ad in magazine (1%), ad online (1%), and other (11%).
  • For the majority of consumers, their running shoes are purchased at department, discount, specialty-athletic, sporting-goods, and family-footwear stores. Although the price may be higher at specialty stores, they are recommended as there is more likely to be a salesperson who can properly advise the consumer on the right shoe based on the running planned, frequency, and other factors like gait.
  • The most important factor in the purchase decision is ensuring the running shoe is a proper fit. There is a serious risk of injury if the shoe is ill-fitting or not fit for the running planned.
  • Features that are evaluated when considering a running shoe include the sole (flexibility and shock absorption), the upper (fits without squashing or slipping), the lacing style, and the general overall style.
  • 45% of running shoe purchases are influenced by the price or look, although the price is becoming less relevant. In 2011, 30% of running shoe purchases were influenced by price. This had fallen to 26% by 2015. This has fallen further, and now only 21% of running shoe purchases are influenced by price.
  • Consumers place considerable weight on the image conveyed by the brand and style of running shoes they wear.
  • One out of every five pairs of running shoes purchased is purchased solely for leisure purposes.

Research proposal:

Only the project owner can select the next research path.
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