Sports Apparel Industry Trends


The global sports apparel market is growing rapidly. It’s driven by the rising popularity of a wide range of sporting events and sports-inspired fashion across the globe, according to sports news.

The industry is expected to continue its growth momentum in the coming years. In 2017, global sports was valued at approximately 181.8 billion U.S dollars.


According to Statista, the growth of this industry is driven by several factors. These factors include the rapid growth of water sports, increasing participation in sports, and disposable income.

In the next five years, it is expected that sales will grow at a compound annual rate of 6%. There is an increase in self-awareness and health consciousness among people of all ages. This has led to more participation in sports and activities that can help in keeping fit, hence the high market demand for sports apparel. 

Different trends in different parts of the world 

Different parts of the world are seeing different trends in terms of the type of apparel, materials, and colors. 

Western Europe 

In Western Europe, there’s a growing trend for sports shoes that have a high price point compared to East Asia. 

There has also been an increase in sports footwear sales from consumers who want to use their athletic shoes, as everyday wear not just for workouts. More activewear pieces instead of plain shirts and pants have been embraced in sports apparel. 

This can be attributed to the fact that these countries lack adequate infrastructure. There is little infrastructure for playing competitive sports at an organized level compared with other parts of the globe.

North America 

For example, in North America, many children start playing competitively at young ages, through school programs or community leagues. This gives them an advantage over their counterparts in less developed countries. 

The United States is a key market for performance footwear. North America made sales of 3.2 billion U.S dollars, in performance running shoes in 2015. This accounts for around one-fifth of total global sales for this category. 

Another important trend is that women’s sports apparel has been growing at an impressive rate over the past few years. 

In China, sportswear sales are increasingly driven by rising health

Sportswear sales in China are being promoted by rising health consciousness and increasing participation in fitness activities. China is a key market for performance footwear. The total retail sales value of sports apparel from the men’s segment exceeded that of the women’s segment by a wide margin, of 2 billion versus 1 billion U.S dollars respectively. 

The increase in health awareness is attributed mainly to urbanization and an aging population, as well as an increase in various sporting activities. China has been witnessing a significant rise in demand for sports equipment, such as sneakers, shirts, and jackets.

Statista predicts that by 2024, sales will reach $75 billion worldwide!

Variable thickness  in fabrics

The ability to vary the thickness of fabrics is still in its early stages, but it has great potential for improving comfort and performance. Variable thickness reduces pressure on joints and improves breathability to reduce muscle fatigue during exercise. 

Several methods have been developed to make fabrics with variable thickness, such as stretching the fabrics when it’s being woven or varying the diameter of yarns.

Advanced customization 

Advanced customization is another trend in the sportswear industry. Athletes can now get custom-made gear, such as shoes that fit them perfectly or jerseys featuring their team logo.

You’re not limited to selecting from a few styles, colors, and materials, but you can also choose what goes on in your apparel.

Embedded technology 

Embedded technology is the biggest trend of 2019 and it’s probably going to stay on top of the list for a while. The embedding technology has become an important part of the sports apparel industry because you can use it for various purposes. 

For example, it can be used in measuring performance and tracking fitness levels. Many athletic brands already have embedded technology in their shoes and clothing, such as Armor, Adidas, Nike, and New Balance. Some other brands also rely on this technology for accessories like socks, hats, or gloves.

Bottom line 

Sports are good for people’s health and they are good for business too. A strong global sports apparel industry is key to the sporting business. Because of the economic benefits of playing sports, the apparel sports market is expected to continue growing.

Different parts of the world are currently seeing different trends, from styles to materials and colors. This can create an opportunity for companies looking to expand their reach into new markets. It can also motivate those who want to maintain a consistent brand image.

Written by Megan Taylor
Megan is a beauty expert who is passionate about all things makeup and glam! Her love for makeup has brought her to become a beauty pro at Glamour Garden Cosmetics.