Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending The Running Event (TRE), an annual gathering that brings together shop owners, influencers, pros, and industry insiders. It’s a fantastic opportunity to catch a glimpse of upcoming shoes, apparel, trends, and innovations in the running world. Each year, the tradeshow floor acts as a barometer of brands’ positioning and momentum in the market.
It’s neato to witness the growth of brands we’ve partnered with closely, like Mizuno and Diadora, as they expand their presence and customer engagement at TRE. These relationships have strengthened over the years, reflecting in their vibrant booths and increased foot traffic.
A notable trend this year is the widespread pursuit of Hoka’s success. As someone who’s embraced Hoka’s innovative shoe designs for almost a decade, it’s amazing to see how they’ve captured the industry’s attention. Yet, it’s a bit disheartening to witness other brands trying to replicate Hoka’s models. Personally, I believe there’s a limit to this trend’s sustainability. Similar to the earlier minimalist movement, there’s a possibility this trend will eventually recalibrate.
This influx of Hoka-like models from various brands might not be the long-term solution. To move the industry forward, we need fresh innovations rather than mimicking successful formulas. It’s crucial for the industry to encourage creativity and originality among brands to foster healthy competition and prevent inventory control by a single dominant brand.
At Run Moore, we’ve been at the forefront of introducing unique products, even when they seemed quirky or unconventional. However, there’s been a slight disconnect between brands and shops lately. To bridge this gap, brands should embrace more innovative strategies instead of replicating past successes. It’s a challenging task, but by nurturing new shoe movements, we can collectively elevate the industry’s growth and diversity.