Reviewed: Global Online Activewear

The athleisure trend shows no signs of slowing down as more consumers are trading in their heels for a pair of trendy sneakers. In this report, we compiled ten of the biggest activewear brands to cross examine and analyse the performance of each category.

Written by Atiqah KamarudinFebruary 20, 2019

Top 10 Brands Ranked

Brands were ranked based on four key metrics as illustrated in Chart 1, with higher weightage assigned to the sell-out rate. Nike reigned the top spot with its large assortment counts (3x more than adidas) and strong sell-out at full price.


Unassuming Brands

At 2nd place, New Balance made a surprise entry, knocking adidas to 3rd placing. Its high median price and strong replenishment lifted its score greatly. Other surprising entries into the top 10 rank were Asics, Fila, Lorna Jane and Lululemon.

Winning Shoe of The Year 2018 (by Footwear News), the iconic chunky ‘dad’ sneaker, The Disruptor, released in various colourways marked the brand’s success with a strong sell-out.

Lorna Jane, one out of just two yoga-inspired athletic brands on the rank, secured itself in the top 10 spot primarily by achieving sell-out at higher median price and replenished rate.


Lacklustre Performance

Puma had marginally higher sell-out rate than Nike and adidas, though it was more reliant on discounted items. Similarly, adidas delivered more sell-out on discounted items despite having the 2nd largest assortment offering.

Under Armour underperformed with the lowest sell-out rate and at the least median price (refer to its sharp dive in Chart 2). The dismal numbers validated the brand’s continued struggle to grow sales in a highly competitive market.

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The Leading Categories

Due to the growing streetwear trend, it was no surprise that Lifestyle and Activewear shoes were the leading categories (refer to Chart 3). This was followed by Tops & T-Shirts and Outerwear with a combined share of 30%.

In terms of sell-out rate (refer to Chart 4), Activewear Shoes achieved the highest at 84.0%, led by Nike with high sell-out and replenishment frequency in 2018.

Active Outerwear had the least sell-out rate among the 10 brands (refer to Chart 4), but appeared strong in Reebok. Successful collaborations with personalities like Cardi B x Reebok’s 90s jacket, Brain Dead x Beam’s Classic track jacket and Mobius OG’s retro jacket may have contributed to the high sell-out rate at 87%.

The category Shorts was visibly strong on sell-out despite having lesser assortment counts, with running shorts and workout tights showing higher sell-out movement.

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The Leading Categories (continued)

Here, we took a deeper look at the individual brand’s total SKUs by category and its respective sell-out rates.

Nike had the largest SKU share for all categories in the activewear industry, followed by adidas and Puma. However, a highly stocked category may not lead to a strong sell-out performance. This is evident through Under Armour’s Lifestyle Shoes being the brand’s smallest category in assortment size yet commanded the highest sell-out rate within the brand.

This year, we also observed that Fila was the only brand that fetched the highest sell-out for its biggest category, Lifestyle Shoes. Driven by the chunky-soled 90’s inspired, Fila Disruptor II was a significant contributor to Fila’s success, riding on the much-hyped “dad sneaker” trend.

On the apparel front, Lorna Jane was in the lead, surpassing rival giant Lululemon in the categories of Outerwear, Pants & Leggings and Shorts.

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Lifestyle Shoes: Deep Dive Analysis

Worn for athleisure fashion more than for athletic intent, Lifestyle Shoes were the crowd’s favourite among activewear categories. Puma and Fila, for example, had high SKU releases with high sell-out rates.



At 92.5% sell-out and 81% replenishment rate, Under Armour took the top spot with only 106 SKUs released (refer to Chart 6 and 7). This suggested Under Armour’s strategy in replenishing bestsellers, but at the same time, cautious on new releases.

At 2nd and 3rd places respectively, Puma and Fila pushed out more SKUs at lower prices, but with higher discount range at 30% – 39% – potentially covering more consumer share.



Reebok had the least sell-out at 70.1% among the 10 brands ranked.


Key Observations

Lifestyle shoes with monochrome colours of whites, blacks, and greys pushed the highest sell-out. Pink was the only non-monochrome colour that appealed to the crowd. The chunky sole trend went up by 17% throughout the year and created a cult following for the Fila’s “Disruptor” sneakers.


Lifestyle Shoes: Bestsellers by Brand

Bestsellers were scored based on high replenishment and sell-out frequencies in 2018, putting Under Armour’s Stephen Curry sneakers at number one.

Monochrome colours were evident in the bestsellers list, while pink was the top choice for women’s shoes. The notable design was the chunky sole by Puma’s oversized sneakers, Nike’s Air Max 97 and Fila’s Disruptor II.


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Activewear Shoes: Deep Dive Analysis

2018 was the year for Nike in the performance-geared Activewear Shoes, topping key metrics by SKU releases, sell-out performance and in-stock productivity.



Flooding the market with the largest SKUs in the category (4x the amount of adidas) and still delivered the highest sell-out rate at 86% put Nike at the top of the rank. The brand’s high replenishment practice ensured high demand was met while preventing out-of-stock issues.

While adidas came second in line in terms of assortment size, the sell-out performance fared below rival Puma and Asics.



At 74% sell-out rate, Reebok was placed last, relative to the top 10 brands.


Key Observations

Black was the crowd’s favourite colour for Activewear Shoes, followed by grey, white, and blue. The low-heel shoes increased in trend by 48% throughout 2018, compared to high-top trainers with only 3% increment.


Activewear Shoes: Bestsellers by Brand

Bestsellers were scored based on high replenishment and sell-out frequencies in 2018, putting Nike’s “Raised on Concrete” football boots on the top.

Monochrome colours like black, grey, and white were evident in the bestsellers list.


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Meet the Author

Atiqah Kamarudin

Nur Atiqah Kamarudin is a Senior Business Intelligence Analyst at Omnilytics. With past experience at Nielsen and Euromonitor, she has spent years analysing data and unearthing insights to help brands and retailers make informed decisions. She currently produces reports on the fashion industry and its changing retail scene across the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Southeast Asia.

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