Bet You Can’t Guess America’s 2nd Favorite Sneaker Brand

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Nike still reigns, but after that there's a dark horse surging past all the other athletic shoe brands.

When you think about sneakers, it’s likely that brands like Nike, Puma, Under Armour, Adidas and New Balance come to mind. But Skechers, an underdog in the world of athletic footwear, has earned itself a spot as the No. 2 sneaker brand in the United States.

Skechers was once best known for its clam-shaped rocker sole shoes that were supposed to help wearers burn calories and tone their thighs and booties. Skechers had to pay $40 million in 2012 to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers with ads that contained unfounded claims about the so-called Shape-up shoes’ toning abilities.

Now Skechers has made a new name for itself in the sneaker market, Business Insider reports.

An impressive increase (36.4 percent) in Skechers’ second-quarter net sales for 2015, which BI noted is “an almost unheard-of [increase] in retail,” pushed the American shoe company into the sneaker spotlight and allowed Skechers to unseat Adidas as the second-largest athletic footwear company in America.

Skechers now accounts for 5 percent of the sports-footwear market, compared to Adidas’ 4.6 percent. Asics and New Balance each hold 4 percent shares of the sneaker market, according to The Wall Street Journal. Still, Nike remains the mighty king of athletic shoes in the United States, dominating 62 percent of sneaker market shares.

Skechers “is the latest beneficiary of the so-called athleisure trend in retail, with shoppers snapping up sport-styled clothes and shoes regardless of whether they plan to work out in them,” the WSJ said.

According to BI, Skechers is making smart moves in carving out a niche for itself in the sneaker world. Skechers is dominating “through strong marketing and advertising to families,” BI said.

Instead of using famous athletes to market its shoes, like most athletic-footwear companies, Skechers is using celebrities and pop stars like Demi Lovato and Meghan Trainor to promote its brand and draw in young girls and their parents.

“The focus is on style and comfort, not athletic performance,” CNN Money said.

But Skechers isn’t totally discounting the sports world. Skechers will soon be the new sponsor of the Los Angeles Marathon. According to CNN Money, the brand is also being endorsed by top U.S. long-distance runners Meb Keflezighi and Kara Goucher, as well as Pete Rose and Sugar Ray Leonard.

BI said Skechers’ skyrocketing sales and big profits are a good indicator that the shoe company will continue to dominate in the future.

My 5-year-old daughter loves the light-up twinkle-toe Skechers. Each time her feet grow in size, we purchase another pair of Skechers for her.

Are you surprised to see Skechers as the No. 2 sneaker brand in the U.S.? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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