LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Technavio’s latest report on the global skating shoes market provides an analysis on the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2016-2020. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.
Mantri Charan Kumar, a lead analyst from Technavio, specializing in research on outdoor gear sector, says, “The demand for comfortable and stylish skating shoes is on the rise. Rather sticking to the old traditional patterns, customers are opting for new trendy styles. Hence, to catch up with the changing behavior of the customer, vendors are introducing products with new features such as bootless, size-adjustable roller skates. Vendors like Cardiff offer new advanced skates that can be attached to the existing footwear at any time as per consumers' convenience.”
Skating has always been a major part of American and European culture. With the growing popularity of roller derby across the globe, skating rinks are experiencing a major revival. The first Roller Derby World Cup was held in Toronto, Canada, in 2011, and was won by Team USA.
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The top three emerging trends driving the global skating shoes market according to Technavio research analysts are:
- Rising participation in roller derby
- Advent of sustainable skating shoes
- Innovations in the mechanization of skating shoes
Rising participation in roller derby
Roller derby is a contact sporting activity, which is played by two teams, comprising of five members each, who roller skate in the same direction around a track. The entire game consists of a series of match ups or jams, in which both the teams have a designated jammer. This jammer then helps the team score points by lapping up the members of the opposing team. The other members of the team oppose this jammer, while assisting their own jammer in scoring points. As a result, both the teams play offense and defense simultaneously.
Roller derby may have originated in the 1930s, but its revival as a modern sport began in the early 2000s. The sport started gaining pace as an all-female, women-organized amateur sport, but there are currently over 1,250 amateur leagues played worldwide, with half of them being organized outside the US. By August 2006, there were over 135 similar leagues. Countries like Canada, Australia, the UK, France, Brazil, New Zealand, and Germany have hosted various international roller derby leagues. As of 2014, the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) had 243 full member leagues and 114 apprentice leagues.
The sport gained so much popularity over the years that roller derby themes were also used for various television commercials and corporate advertising as well. The 123rd International Olympic Committee session held in South Africa in 2012 also announced that the sport was one of the eight sports under consideration for their inclusion in the Olympic Games to be held in 2020.
Many skating rinks also own their own roller derby teams now, and host bouts for both the youth and adult groups. There are even national derby championships in which teams compete against other clubs and other rinks. This emerging popularity of roller derby as a sport has also encouraged men to participate in the sport. The Men's Roller Derby Association is the international governing body for the men's flat track roller derby. Founded in 2007, the association currently has over 60 men's leagues under its jurisdiction. The ever growing popularity of roller derby has brought back many amateur and frequent skaters to the rink, thus aiding market growth for roller skating.
Advent of sustainable skating shoes
With the increasing worldwide concern about preserving the environment, sporting goods manufacturers are also adopting ways that make the product environment-friendly. This has led to skating shoe manufacturers adopting environment-friendly practices and production methods as well. The K2 skates are a popular example of an environment-friendly skating shoe. These sustainable inline skates are available for both genders, in two different segment categories, the Etu for men and the Maia for women.
K2's Eco inline skating shoes consist of a breathable boot, with its laces, lining, and webbing made up of recycled plastic bottles. Instead of aluminum or a steel chassis as is present in traditional skating shoes, these inline skates have a frame made of bamboo. Additionally, no toxic PVC is used in the manufacturing of any of its parts. However, the vendor still admits that their products are not entirely sustainable. To rectify this, the company is still looking for eco-friendly replacements of raw materials which can be used for its manufacturing process.
Another example of eco-friendly roller skating shoes is the Powerslides by Greenline. Greenline skates are made up of a minimum of 25% of recycled materials, hemp, and no fiberglass. All the materials used in the manufacturing of the skating shoe come from a distance of less than 62.13 miles from the manufacturing plant to help reduce transportation and fuel costs. Therefore, an increase in the use of eco-friendly raw materials for the production of skating shoes is likely to further propel market growth over the forecast period.
Innovations in the mechanization of skating shoes
A growing interest in skating has led key vendors to constantly innovate and introduce new products and skating shoes for different skating events and activities across the globe. “These product innovations in skating shoes not only provide consumers with a convenient and comfortable skating experience, but also help give the skating shoes market a much-required boost,” says Mantri.
Cardiff skates are skates that can be attached to the consumers' existing footwear. Instead of leather straps and metal buckles, these skates utilize a downhill-ski-like ratcheting binding system. The sizing of the skates is adjustable via a spring mount system, which enables the front part of the skate to automatically slide back and meet the front of the user's shoes.
Yet another comparable innovation is that of the Skike, which is a kind of a skate bike. The Skike combines biking and skating to enable it as a tool for cross country skiing. These Skikes can be used for both street and light off-road applications. The Kick Roller is another roller skating shoe option, where comfortable shoes are combined with an inbuilt skate option. The shoes' wheels are integrated into the shoe in such a manner that they can be alternated between regular shoes and skating shoes with the click of a button, placed at the back of the shoe.
Major innovations in skating shoes have come in the form of their mechanization and design. The most popular skating shoe innovation comes in the form of motorized or electric roller skating shoes. These motorized skating shoes have only entered the market recently, but many vendors have started adopting them as a part of their portfolio. The Skataz Electric Skates feature battery-powered propulsion techniques. It is still a prototype in the market, but promises immense market potential during the forecast period. Another such product is the Acton R Rocketskates. The Rocketskates are designed to be strapped on to regular footwear. When the user wants to use the skates motorized function, they just need to tip their feet back and make contact with the ground. To walk on regular surfaces, the user can again tip forward and walk on their feet. Once the skate motors are turned on and synced, they can be accelerated and decelerated by tilting forward or backward respectively. The maximum speed for these Rocketskates is 12 miles per hour. The Rollkers are also a similar innovation in the skating shoes category.
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