The Ultimate Reading List for Beginners in the Athletic Shoe/Apparel Industry

Entering the athletic shoe and apparel industry can be a daunting task, especially for beginners. The industry is vast, complex, and highly competitive. To navigate this landscape successfully, it’s crucial to arm yourself with knowledge and insights about the industry. One of the best ways to do this is by reading widely on the subject. This article provides a comprehensive reading list for beginners in the athletic shoe and apparel industry. The list includes books, reports, and articles that will give you a solid understanding of the industry’s history, current trends, future projections, and key players.


  • “Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike” by Phil Knight: This memoir provides an insider’s view of the athletic shoe industry, chronicling the rise of Nike from a startup to a global powerhouse.

  • “Sneaker Wars: The Enemy Brothers Who Founded Adidas and Puma and the Family Feud That Forever Changed the Business of Sports” by Barbara Smit: This book offers a fascinating look at the rivalry between Adidas and Puma, two of the biggest names in the athletic shoe industry.

  • “The Sports Shoe: A History from Field to Fashion” by Thomas Turner: This book traces the evolution of sports shoes from their origins in the mid-19th century to their current status as fashion items.


  • “Global Athletic Footwear Market Report” by Technavio: This report provides a detailed analysis of the global athletic footwear market, including market size, growth prospects, and key trends.

  • “Global Sports Apparel Market Report” by Allied Market Research: This report offers insights into the global sports apparel market, including market segmentation, growth drivers, and competitive landscape.


  • “The Sneakerheads Racing to Save Their Kicks from Decay” by David Hellqvist, The Guardian: This article explores the culture of sneaker collecting and the efforts to preserve these items.

  • “How Adidas is Trying to Catch Nike in the Footwear Race” by Marc Bain, Quartz: This article examines the strategies Adidas is using to challenge Nike’s dominance in the athletic shoe market.

Reading these books, reports, and articles will give you a well-rounded understanding of the athletic shoe and apparel industry. They will provide you with historical context, current market dynamics, and future trends. This knowledge will be invaluable as you embark on your journey in this exciting industry.