Sneaker fever: Top 7 footwear brands around the world

Converse ($2.1 billion in sales)
Converse ($2.1 billion in sales)

The sneaker frenzy is not going away anytime soon. With Cebuanos gaining access to more global brands locally, expect a fresh wave of sneaker-fever around the metro.

Data gathered and presented on Statista ranks the company filings of some of the world’s biggest shoe brands in 2022 in terms of footwear sales (except the numbers provided by Skechers, which included apparel). Here are the seven footwear brands that rule the sneaker world:

Under Armour ($1.4 billion in sales)

Under Armour is a prominent American sportswear company. Remarkably, it’s the youngest among the brands on this list, having been founded in 1996. Through astute marketing strategies and an extensive network, Under Armour swiftly ascended the ranks to become one of the world’s leading and best-selling brands. Notably, one of the brand’s most significant endorsers is basketball superstar Stephen Curry. The Golden State Warriors guard inked a long-term extension with the company in March 2023, which experts believe could potentially become one of the most lucrative endorsement deals in sports history.

Converse ($2.1 billion in sales)

When you think of classic sneakers, it’s impossible not to think of Chuck Taylors. Adults admire them for their practicality and youngsters can’t help but be drawn to its iconic look. Converse is the oldest brand in this list, founded in 1908 in the United States. Critics note that a turning point for the brand’s popularity came in the 1960s when it was worn by celebrities like James Dean, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon. In 2003, Converse was acquired by Nike.

Asics ($3 billion in sales)

Asics is a sportswear brand headquartered in Japan. It was founded in 1949 as Onitsuka Co. Ltd. In 1963, a young American named Phil Knight flew to Japan to secure the rights to distribute Onitsuka shoes in the United States. The business relationship was fruitful until it turned sour. Onitsuka merged with two other companies in Japan in 1977 and the Asics Corp. was born. Knight’s distribution company in 1964 — named Blue Ribbon Sports — officially became Nike Inc. in 1971. Today, Asics remains focused on high-performance footwear while its lifestyle brand, Onitsuka, remains a popular classic among history savvy sneakerheads.

Puma ($4.5 billion in sales)

Founded in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler, Puma is headquartered in Germany and is considered the third largest sportswear manufacturer in the world. Puma prides on its focus on speed and precision, partnering with athletes like Usain Bolt and Neymar Jr. The brand has also climbed the ranks of fashion wear, having partnerships with the likes of Rihanna and Selena Gomez.

Skechers ($7.4 billion in sales)

Skechers is a fairly young brand that was founded in 1992 in the United States. While Skechers does not come first to mind as far as classic or sporty styles are concerned, its focus on delivering the most comfortable pair of sneakers has allowed it to carve itself a niche in the industry. It is known for innovative technologies like air-cooled memory foam and shock absorbing midsoles.

Adidas ($13.1 billion)

Adidas is another company headquartered in Germany. The largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe was founded in 1949 by one Adolf Dassler. Sounds familiar? Adolf is the brother of Puma founder, Rudolf Dassler. In fact, before both siblings created their own brands, they had created and collaborated on the company called “Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory” in 1924. Adidas sneakers are known for retaining classic looks while pushing the envelope for technological innovation — think Adidas Boost. Adidas is popular among some of the world’s best athletes, celebrities and artists.

Nike ($29.1 billion)

Nike remains the number one footwear company in the world. It was founded in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, before becoming Nike in 1971. The company has developed some of the most iconic sneakers in history and its affiliation with some of the world’s greatest athletes — think the likes of Michael Jordan and LeBron James — has cemented its status as the top-tier sportswear brand of all time.

Other popular brands like Vans and New Balance are not part of the list as they are not publicly-traded companies. Both are American companies. Vans was founded in 1966. New Balance was founded in 1908. 


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