Surveys by Publications:
Footwear Insight Textile Insight Outdoor Insight
Consumer Survey
Consumer Q&A

What Consumers Say About Innovation

Innovation is a topic that those who work in the sporting goods industry talk about a lot. Innovation at retail. Innovation in products. But what do consumers think? In the survey on these pages, conducted by MESH01, 100 respondents told us about the technologies they respond to in retail, and cited some of the gamechanging innovations they see in active apparel, footwear and gear. Thirty-eight percent say they would be more likely to shop at a store that offered a “buy online, pick up in-store” option. And 27 percent seek “endless aisle” shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. Eighty-four percent say they would be at least somewhat likely to spend more time at a store and potentially purchase more products after buying online and going to pick up in-store. When it comes to technology in products, more than 65 percent say they learn about new tech via advertising, social media or friends. The most trust-worthy source, per our respondents? Friends, with 42 percent trusting friends more than company websites (21 percent). Turn to page 28 to see the open-ended replies from consumers about the gamechangers they see on store shelves. The research study consisted of a panel of 100 participants, male and female, ages 18-60.
Consumer Survey
Which of the following options make you more likely to go shop at a store for sports apparel, footwear or gear?
How do you learn about new technologies in athletic footwear, apparel or gear?
If you buy online/pick up in store, what is the likelihood of spending more time at the store and purchasing other products once there?
What source do you feel is the most trustworthy?
Performance Survey
When you work out, which type of shirt are you more likely to wear?
When you select socks to work out in, what traits are most important?

What do you think is a game-changing
innovation in recent years?

We surveyed 100 consumers. Here is what they told us.

Connection to apps. – Female 35

Older styles coming back, but more expensive than ever. – Female 21

Memory foam is the bomb! The comfort that it gives, most especially during long workouts. – Female 29

More miles out of the shoes. – Female 36

Larger toe box, treads that can tear up leaf laden hills and heel locks. – Female 45

The fact that socks are more durable and are now specially made for the left and right foot. – Male 40

The carbon fiber sole plates a few companies are doing. – Male 38

I think the materials that they make soles of the athletic shoes out of are game-changing for runners, and different sports, such as a memory foam substance incorporated in the sole for comfort and bounce or whatever is needed for a particular sport. – Female 46

In sports apparel...

Thinner but warmer. – Male 38

Style that you can wear anywhere. – Female 52

Functionality — pockets, storage, compression in needed areas, venting in needed areas. – Female, 33

Leggings with pockets. – Female 30

Clothing that is self drying and antimicrobial and wrinkle free. – Male 31

Not sure if it is considered new, but the use of wool fabrics has been nice. – Male 36

Heating and cooling technology. – Female 31

Quick-dry cotton blends. – Female 27

The thing that I feel has been game changing in recent years is that not only do we have reactive clothing (clothing that reacts to one’s body temperature), but now we also have the option to choose between wearable devices such as Fitbits and smart clothing (apparel that can track ones heart rate, etc.) – Female 31

IN sports gear / accessories...

Moisture wicking; Bluetooth capabilities. – Female 36

Wool socks; headlamps. – Female 48

Helmets that prevent concussions. – Female 31

Tubeless tires and hydraulic disc brakes on road bikes. – Male 40

Stay-cold headbands and towels. – Female 33

Integrated GPS and heart rate monitors in smart watches. – Male 34

Bluetooth headphones. – Female 30

“Textable” running gloves! – Female 41

The fact that you don’t have to carry or attach a lot of devices to yourself. All you need is a smartwatch. – Female 35