Zalha = Z + alpha 

Asics returns with collaboration... New Balance ahead of 800 billion won in annual sales
Salomon and Hoka emerged from the gorpcore running craze
It's not common yet it's popular because it's functional... Even NewJeans wears them

In March, Asics’ Gel Sonoma sneakers, which were introduced in collaboration with domestic designer brand Matin Kim, were sold out within one day of their release. The homepage where the drop (sale by lottery) was conducted was down due to a large number of applicants, and in the resale (resale) market, it is still being traded at a price that is twice as high as the sale price.

Changes are being detected in the sneaker market, which has been dominated by Nike and Adidas for years. Asics, Salomon, Hoka, and New Balance are now the main characters. These brands are attracting attention as next-generation brands that will threaten established sports brands by riding on the popularity of rugged running shoes among the Zalpha generation (Z+alpha, generations born between 2013 and 2025).

Asics was a brand that was not even mentioned until just two or three years ago due to its obsolete image and boycott in Japan.


Outdoor brand Salomon's shoes are synonymous with the Gorpcore trend and are popular. Gorpcore is a compound word of Gorp, which is a nut eaten to replenish physical strength during outdoor activities, and Normcore, which pursues natural style, and refers to an outdoor fashion style that can be used as everyday wear. It has emerged as a fashion trend in the last 1-2 years.

Salomon's rugged trekking shoes have been worn by trend setters (people who lead trends), including girl group NewJeans, and have emerged as a brand coveted by young people. As a result, the sales of Armor Sports Korea, a domestic development company, increased by 33% from the previous year to 35.6 billion won last year. 

In the running shoe market, HOKA stands out. The brand was launched in France in 2009 and was acquired by Deckers, an American outdoor company, in 2012. The midsole between the shoe sole and the insole is thick and flat, so it was criticized as an “ugly shoe” at the beginning of its launch, but it is popular with running clubs for its comfortable fit and is riding word of mouth.

In Korea, it opened its first store at Starfield COEX Mall in 2021, and opened stores at Lotte Department Store’s main store and Jamsil World Mall last year. According to the industry, each store is known to generate more than 300 million won in monthly sales.

New Balance's growth is also solid. Recently, running shoes, including the retro sneakers 530, are gaining popularity. New Balance, which had sales of 700 billion won last year, is expected to achieve 800 billion won in annual sales as its sales in the first half of this year doubled compared to the previous year.

Changes are also detected in the resale market. According to GOAT Group, a US sneaker resale platform, Nike 'Dunk' sold the most last year, and New Balance's transaction volume increased by 92%. During this period, sales of HOKA and Salomon also increased by 361% and 236%, respectively. In the case of Salomon, sales this year increased by 3373% compared to 2021.

Experts analyzed that consumption patterns are diversifying and maturing according to the growth of the domestic sneaker market. In the past, there was a tendency to find all products from Nike with the perception that ‘sneakers = Nike’, but the demand for purchasing from various brands, mainly young people, considering the functionality they need is increasing.

original post: here

1. HOKA are so freaking comfortable 

2. I have Nike, Adidas and New Balance... When I used to be a student, I used to wear Asics.. It kinda has the Japanese vibe so I don't wear them anymore..

3. The best is when your feet are comfortable, that's why I wear New Balance

4. I know that Asics are super popular among kids ㅋㅋㅋ It's my first time hearing about it though

5. HOKA and Asics are f*cking comfortable 

6. Asics are so comfortable...

7. I didn't know Asics were considered pretty, I always found they look old.. 

8. HOKA are the best, they're way too comfortable 

9. I bought both HOKA and Salomon and I'm so satisfied 

10. Because my feet are so wide, I only wear New Balance

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