Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Skechers Named Hottest Major Brand

Klefizighi wins Boston in his Skeches (Picture by Taylor Hartz)
Is Skechers becoming a genuine running brand? Yes, the company was once know for its fashion and lifestyle shoes, but after Meb Keflezighi won this year's Boston marathon in a pair of Skechers, (the 1st American to win in 31 years), the brand is starting to turn heads as a serious running shoe.

Keflezighi (who won silver in the 2004 Olympic marathon event) is a Skechers sponsored athlete. With his victory in Boston, Skechers has definitely become a genuine running brand. In fact, Skechers was named as "the hottest major brand" in US by Footwear Industry Expert on 12/5/14.  Skechers recently displaced New Balance at number 5 for top athletic shoe companies for market share.

What's more,the day after the race a Washington Post headline said "Skechers beat Nike in Boston Marathon."

Skechers has been around for 22 years, previously known for its lifestyle and fashion shoes. They even had Britney Spears and Joe Motana endorsing their shoes previously.

 Just like Vibram who recently had to pay damages for unfounded claims, Skechers' Shape-up shoe had suggested that "it would help people lose weight and strengthen and tone their buttocks, legs and abdominal muscles" and affected the company's reputation. Skechers had to pay $40 million to settle charges in 2012.

Skechers signed Keflezighi up in 2011 (he was 36 then and had just been dropped by Nike) as it made its first venture into the running shoe market, targeting walkers, runners and triathletes.

Kleflezighi provided the company with all the input regarding running shoes, from the fit to the laces, the lining, thickness, every spec you can think of. He finished 6th at the 2011 New York City marathon, but speciality running shoe retailers (those in touch with the hard core running community) remained wary (both in US and Singapore).

Skechers has since signed Kara Goucher , another elite female marathoner (previously with Nike as well) to its ranks, probably targeting female runners to use their shoes.

Even Wall Street is taking notice. On the day of the Boston marathon on 21/4/14, SKX opened at $35.59, four hours after Keflezighi's victory, the stock closed at $35.92 (up 63 cents). And it's been climbing since. I just checked, last night it closed at $42.22.

How will Skechers fare? I haven't tried any of the running shoes to comment on their running shoes. Only time will tell.

Even dogs are donning Skechers (http://blog.skechers.com/tag/super-bowl-2013/)

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