Top Popular Sneaker Brands

The global sneakers market —excluding purely functional athletic footwear— is now valued at $75 billion and expected to hit nearly $100 billion in annual sales by 2028, according to estimates from Statista Market Insights.

In an industry that is dominated by a few popular sneaker brands, Nike’s shoes stand out as a top choice for celebrities, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts.

Nike is the world’s most popular sneaker brand with the largest market share, according to an August industry report from market insights company Statista. The ranking is based on the estimated global market share of the world’s most popular brands from the previous year, excluding purely functional athletic footwear and focusing on versatile footwear brands. Here is a look at the five sneaker brands that make it to the top five.


With a market share of 18%, Nike snapped the top rank in the global sneaker landscape, based on the latest findings by Statista.

Originally known as Blue Ribbon Sports, the company changed its name to Nike in 1971. Nike, founded by William Jay Bowerman and Philip H. Knight in 1964, is the owner of several brands, including Converse and Jordan.

Nike’s popularity has expanded substantially beyond the US in recent years, with non-U.S. markets now bringing in a 60% of the company’s revenue for the fiscal year that ended on May 31, 2022.

The latest quarter results showed that the US-headquartered athletic apparel retailer’s performance improved in the Greater China region, a key growth market where the company seems to be regaining its ground. Revenue in the Asian country was $1.8 billion for the March-May quarter, topping analysts’ projections.

Nike is not yet immune to overall softness in the footwear and apparel categories that have hit its rivals. Nike’s gross margins fell 1.4 percentage points during the latest quarter ended May 2023 to 43.6%, weighing on its earnings during the period. Net income for the three-month period was $1.03 billion, down from $1.44 billion a year earlier.

Nike expects the pressure to lift. The company anticipates “above average margin improvement” in fiscal 2024, Chief Financial Officer Matthew Friend said in June. The retailer also expects revenue to grow by mid-single digits.

For its latest fiscal year, Nike’s sales were $51.2 billion, up 10% compared to the prior year. The figure also surpassed analysts’ expectations of $50.99 billion, according to Refinitiv.


Jordan Brand, a subsidiary of Nike, came in second place as the world’s most popular sneaker brand, commanding 11% of the market, according to Statista.

In the US, Jordan is one of the most well-known sneaker brands, with brand awareness of 89%. 

Jordan brand, whose foundation was the signing of NBA icon Michael Jordan to an endorsement contract in 1984, was the top performer of Nike’s divisions with a 29% sales gain year on year to $6.6 billion for the fiscal year ended May 2023. Jordan sales have tripled since 2015.

The relationship between Nike and Jordan has been featured in a film, directed by Ben Affleck, who also plays Nike co-founder Phil Knight. The movie, which premiered last April, tackles how Nike’s basketball department signed Jordan in his rookie year. It earned $3.29 million on its opening day and $14.45 million during its opening weekend at the domestic box office.

 Michael’s salary reached a total of $90 million during his career, but he has earned $1.8 billion (pre-tax) from corporate partners such as Nike and US multinational clothing company Hanes. He is regarded as the NBA’s greatest all-time player, winning six titles with the Chicago Bulls.

Photo credit: WUSF News


Adidas, founded by Adolf Dassler in 1920, came in third place with 9% of the sneaker market.

In 2022, adidas was the fifth-largest apparel brand in the world, with a brand value of $14.6 billion, a slight increase rise from around $14.3 billion recorded a year earlier.

The German sportswear label earned $5.8 billion in the second quarter of this year, down from the $6.1 billion that the company reported during the same period last year. The figure brought adidas’ total revenues for the first half of 2023 to $11.6 billion.

However, in Latin America and Asia Pacific, adidas saw increases in sales of 30% and 7%, respectively. The company also reported a 16% increase in sales in Greater China, where adidas plans to expand its footprint further in performance sports.

The sportswear giant revised down its 2023 loss forecast to $491.2 million from $764.2 million, driven by initial sales of Yeezy stock following the termination of its partnership deal with rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. The sales of Yeezy merchandise recorded around $437 million in revenue for adidas in the second quarter of 2023.


Skechers and Vans tie for fourth place, each capturing 7% of the market share.

Skechers’ performance beat analysts’ expectations in the latest quarter. The second-quarter sales went up 7.7% thanks to a 17.9% increase internationally and a 4.6% decrease domestically. On a constant currency basis, sales rose 9.1%.

The US footwear company’s gross margin was 52.7% during the quarter, an increase of 460 basis points.

For the fiscal year 2023, the company expects to generate sales between $7.95 billion and $8.1 billion, and diluted earnings per share of between 3.25 dollars and 3.40 dollars.

However, Vans, owned by VF Corporation, had a weak demand. Its revenues went down 22.1% to $737.5 billion for the first quarter of 2024 ended July 1. The performance was dragged down by wholesale in the Americas (down 39% and down 40% in constant dollars) as the turnaround work is still undergoing at the brand.

The revenue of VF Corporation, which also owns North Face, is now expected to be modestly down to flat for the fiscal year 2024, reflecting weakness in the group’s wholesale business and a longer-than-anticipated turnaround for Vans.

Vans designs and distributes active-casual footwear, clothing, and accessories, targeting consumers 10 to 24 years of age.


Japanese shoe maker Moonstar ranked fifth as the most popular brand in the sneakers industry, making up 5% of the market.

With its roots back to 1873, MoonStar has been making shoes in Kurume, a city located in Kyusyu, Japan. MoonStar is one of only three factories in Japan that are producing sneakers via the traditional ka-ryu process of vulcanization —a labor-intensive method that fuses the upper to the sole.

MoonStar was mainly known for its children’s styles and orthopedics, before it rolled out at the beginning of the 21st century the fashion brand Shoes Like Pottery —so-named because of the similarities between its heat-based vulcanization process and the way that ceramics are finished.

In 2013, Japan’s venture capital firm ANT Capital Partners purchased a majority stake in the Japanese footwear label, which makes shoes for K-Swiss, Burberry, and Disney, through a management-led buyout.  Ant did not disclose the deal value back then.


Julian Nasser
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