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For at least the past five years, athletic footwear has accounted for nearly 40 percent of all shoes purchased in the United States.

The average wearer over 12 years old owns about three pairs of athletic shoes.

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Nearly half of all pairs of athletic shoes bought in 1992 were for people under 18 years of age.

For most consumers, athletic shoes are seen as everyday wear. More than 80 percent of all athletic shoes purchased are intended primarily for nonathletic use.

Over the past 11 years, the women's athletic shoe market has grown more than the men's or the children's, both in terms of the number of pairs purchased and the dollar sales.

About 62.3 percent of athletic footwear purchased in 1992 was on sale. In 1992, 75 percent of all athletic footwear was purchased for less than $44.50.

Sixty-nine percent of consumers surveyed (ages 13-75) say advertising is the most important source of information about new sneakers. Store displays are second, followed by the influence of friends and the example set by others.

Although shoes costing $100 or more receive much of the news media attention, those shoes account for only about 1 percent of all pairs sold.

In 1992, basketball shoes for adults remained the leading category in terms of wholesale dollars. Cross-training and walking shoes were second, while tennis, running, and aerobic shoes declined in sales.

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In national surveys conducted in 1988 and 1991, consumers said the highest price they would be willing to pay for a pair of sneakers was 40 to 50 percent more than they paid for their last pair.

Source: Sporting Goods Manufacturing Association/Footwear Market Insights, 1993

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