The saying "it's gotta be the shoes" has long since been obsolete at Nike.

Some analysts and investors are questioning Nike's reliance on its renowned basketball sneakers to increase sales as it loses market share to newer companies. After a post-earnings conference call in which management said Nike had lost share in running shoes, a sector that has grown in popularity in the last year, shares fell 5.6% in extended trading on Thursday.

Nike CFO Matt Friend told investors the company was decreasing back on "classic" shoes like the Air Force 1 to focus on new product development and launches.

This is a huge change for Nike, which sold Jordan basketball shoes and court-inspired styles like the Air Force 1 and Nike Dunk five years ago. Consumers now choose On and Deckers-owned Hoka, which has gained shelf space worldwide.

Nike Air Jordan shoes were first created in 1985 for Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan. The sneakers went global thanks to advertising featuring Jordan and Spike Lee with the slogan "It's gotta be the shoes."

Altan Insights, which examines the collectible sneaker market, found that Nike doubled the amount of Air Jordan 1 Highs released through its SNKRS app between 2019 and 2023 and more than tripled the number of Nike Dunk Lows. Nike's fiscal 2023 annual report shows that Jordan accounts for 16% of wholesale revenues, up 29% from the previous year.

Analysts claimed the increased popularity of younger brands like On and Hoka and established sportswear competitors like New Balance implies Jordan sales have become a liability for the corporation. James Duffy of Stifel says changing customer choices are an issuea

On's footwear market share at Dick's Sporting rose to 8.2% in February from 6.1% in October 2023, while New Balance's rose to 5.4% from 4.6%. YipitData, which analyzes email receipt and transaction data, reports that Nike's Jordan's market share at the retailer has stuck at 5% from October to February.

Duffy stated on Sunday that "retro footwear trends are shifting from court styles (in which Nike is overweight) towards chunky dad shoes and terrace styles." The best-selling Samba sneakers from New Balance and Adidas have attracted buyers who might have bought Nike.

According to Jane Hali & Associates senior analyst Jessica Ramirez, Nike's latest basketball shoes are less popular than its retro models. Ramirez claimed its latest shoe, the Book 1, named for NBA star Devin Booker, "did not get a very good review and is a very casual-looking shoe" rather than a performance-driven basketball shoe.

Nike basketball shoes like the Air Jordan 11 Retro are trendy, but not as performance shoes. "Nike's non-retro basketball styles aren't a fashion uniform like 11s, so we're seeing all these promotions," said Williams Trading analyst Sam Poser.

Nike's U.S. website discounted the Air Jordan 1 Mid SE by $87.97 on Thursday, while the low-top Dunks cost $115 and high-tops cost up to $165. Non-retro low-top Air Jordan 11s cost $130 to $97.97. Over the past year, Deckers shares have quadrupled and Nike shares have dropped 16%. Nike executives have announced running products to compete with On and Hoka, whose sneakers are popular with office and running wearers.

Investors think impending fashion shoe launches like the $160 Nike Air Max DN will offset Nike's retro business slump, Tierney said. "I think the next six months are critical," stated. "We know that newness is coming, but if it doesn't take off now, I think investors will ask the question, 'then when?'"

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