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The 23 Best Sports Brands In The World Highsnobiety

ผู้เขียน: ที่มา:ต้นฉบับ วันที่:2022-12-22

When thinking about the best sports brands, an old soccer expression comes to mind: form is temporary, but class is permanent. Popularity ebbs and flows, but quality and legacy endure.

Availability, not exclusivity, is key to sportswear brands financially. Limited releases and exclusive collabs might wind up in plenty of social media feeds and add a new level of cool to a sports brand, but those sneakers usually dont end up in everyones closets. Yet, while widespread availability and visibility do equal cold, hard cash for sportswear brands, exclusivity and collaborations remain a form of soft power every label wants to wield.

The hype that drives the high end of the market and sends collectors and media outlets such as ourselves into a frenzy is a means for sports brands to elevate their general releases and everyday wear and keep profits ticking upwards. And its working. Market research firmStatistaestimates the global sports apparel market generated revenue of $178 billion in 2021 and its set to keep growing to $204 billion by 2023.

But hype isnt the be-all and end-all. Heritage, product quality, strong endorsement deals, and innovation are other spokes in the wheel of what makes a sportswear brands great. Its something those in charge know all too well, and a big reason as to why a lot of brands have transitioned from the sports to lifestyle arena with ease in recent times.

With athleisure arguably the dominant fashion trend of our time, theres money on the table, and these 23 sports brands arent about to leave any change behind.

Arguably no other brand has a revival in recent years likeNew Balance. Apart from teaming up with Teddy Santis of Aim Leon Dore for the brands MADE in USA sub-line, New Balance has been releasing hit after hit with coveted silhouettes like the2002R550and other general releases.

Though the target dad audience still remains with the Boston-based brand, new colorways and revitalized models have placed it at the forefront of the apparel and sneaker industry due to collabs with Patta, Joe Freshgoods, andhigh-performance running sneakerswithStone Island.

A sportswear giant long before athleisure was even a word,adidashas remained an intrinsic of the sportswear industry. During 2022 weve seen a long list of high-profiled releases from the German brand with collabs fromIvy Park, Bad Bunny, Gucci, and most recently Balenciaga. Even designers like Darryl Brown andSean Wotherspoonput their twist on a few of the brands signature silhouettes.

Its clear the second biggest athletic company in the world shows no signs of slowing down and its recent collection withand wanderis a testament to the brands ability to accommodate new ideas that further merge innovation and fashion.

HOKA(formerly Hoka One One) is a French sportswear brand founded in 2009 by two former Salomon employees that specializes in maximalist running shoes. Due to its relatively short history, it may not have the same heritage as other brands on this list, but has found a firm foothold in both the running industry thanks to the engineering embedded in its products. Sure you can make an argument that brand blew up largely because of the chunky sneaker craze that Fila also profited from, but the specs dont lie. HOKA specializes in making trail-ready sneakers like theBondi Xthat grew to acclaim thanks to the use of an early stage meta-rocker that creates a smooth transition while walking or running.

Collaborations with Engineered Garments and Moncler further propelled the brand to a wider audience and even led to reissue of one of its best silhouettes, theMafate.

Few companies blend performance and design quite likeASICS. Although mostly known for its impact in the running world with cutting edge silhouettes like the Novablast or Meta Speed Sky, its lifestyle models are widely renowned for its comfort. Pretty much any model from the brands Gel series offer stability and cushioning in a way that other brands dont, and with Kiko Kostandinov at the creative helm the brands long line of retro-runners are having a resurgence. This year weve seen collabs fromJJJJoundIce StudiosAwake NY, evenEvisuchimed in to give its take on the widely popular Gel-Lyte III.

Oakleysunglasses have become a serious flex in high fashion in recent times. With sunglasses trends moving toward thinner, more colorful frames, and bigger, more outlandish lenses, Oakley, with its decades-deep archive of cycling shades, was ready for a comeback. Collaborations with Vetements, Palace, and A-COLD-WALL*s Samuel Ross have put everyone on notice, making Oakley, which also makes advanced sportswear, one of the most desirable sunglasses companies in the world.

With gorpcore on the riseSalomonwas perfectly positioned to become one of the biggest European sportswear brands. Its trail-ready sneakers have become a hit due to its combination of Ortholite insoles and Contagrip outsoles that create a comfy ride regardless of the terrain. Compared to other brands one of Salomons best qualities is its signature color-blocking used on sneakers in XT series.

Apart from recently celebrating its75th anniversary, collabs with COMME des GARÇONS, BODEGA, and recently Maison Margiela have ensured the French brand will remain a major player in the sportswear industry and if the gorpcore trend continues, it may soon move up to the top 5 slot.

Another brand taking advantage of 90s nostalgia, one-time British heritage sportswear labelReebokhas dug into its vault and opened it up to a slew of collaborators, including celebrities and brands such as Cardi B,Maison Margielaand Rihanna.

With retro models from Allen Iversons question and answer series providing young sneakerheads a chance at securing timeless silhouettes Reebok has positioned itself as one of the best sports brands in the world. As of recent Reebok continues to cater to the footwear community with its release of theBeatnik, one of the few slippers made for cold weather.

Along with the overhyped models, Reeboks general releases like theClub Chavent lost a step and the brand now offerstrail-ready sneakersandmarathon runnersas well.

Over the course of 2021 Pumas sales rose by roughly 32% making it one of the highest grossing years for the German sportswear brand.Pumaowes it success to its standard of delivering quality products at a reasonable price compared to its competitors. Collabs with Pokmon, MCM, and retailerButter Goodshelped solidify Puma outside its heavy football foundation and though Neymar Jr. remains as one of the brands biggest signed athletes younger players in various sports are following suit.

Though modern iterations of its popular Suede silhouette and still release every year, Pumas ability to remain true to its athletic origins is the reason why it continues to be one of the top 5 sportswear brands in the world.

Converseis one of the OG American sportswear brands that continue to innovate over time. Founded in 1908, the brand grew to acclaim with its widely celebrated Chuck Taylor silhouette that underwent several reiterations over the last hundred years. Though its rare to see shoes transition between different sports, by adding a vulcanized sole to a few of its silhouettes Converse has redefined itself as a skate brand, sponsoring young pros like Louis Lopez, Sage Elsesser, and 2019 Skater of the Year Milton Martinez. Though the brand isnt as active in basketball as it once was it still maintains an on-court presence with a few players like the Warriors Draymond Green and OKCs Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

This year saw the release of two brand new models with A-COLD-WALL*, theSponge CX Craterand theAeon Active CXas well as new collabs with Rick Owens DRKSHDW imprint,Barriersand a bunch of other international designers.

Though the wordstaplegets thrown around a lot these days perhaps no other company has been integral to athletic and streetwear as much as Champion. If youre looking for quality products that you can use in any sport, Champion has you covered. If youre looking to start a streetwear brand and need new some blanks to print on that comes with a seal (in the case logo) of approval, Champion has got you covered. The list of accolades under the now North-Carolina based brand is long from outfitting the Dream Team at the 1992 Summer Olympics to inventing themodern hooded pulloveralmost 90 years ago, Champion is as good as it gets.

Champion now serves the streetwear crowd, especially after collaborations with Supreme, Vetements, OFF-WHITE, and KITH. But its also still for the everyman, with affordable prices, widespread availability, and time-tested quality. Its like having a new brand with a hundred-year history, says Champion brand ambassador Manny Martinez.

Although Italian sportswear brand Diadora has been around since 1948, it remains an underground icon tosoccer casualsand European streetwear enthusiasts alike. Diadora was a hit in the 70s and 80s, drawing in traveling soccer fans from the UK with its luxurious tracksuits, colorful knitwear, and sleek sneakers. Icons such as tennis legend Björn Borg and soccer greats Roberto Baggio and Marco van Basten donned Diadora footwear, making the sports brand a giant both on and off the field.

Today, Diadoras Italian craftsmanship is paired with reinvented styles from decades past and collaborations with Packer, END., andeven Highsnobiety. Its clothing takes styles from the most dominant period in the companys history and brings them straight into the modern athleisure fold. For anyone looking to add that prestigious Made in Italy spirit to their sportswear wardrobe, Diadora is a European OG.

ellesse, founded in 1959, changed sportswear forever by bringing tailoring techniques to sporting apparel for the first time.

The Italian brand (now owned by the British company Pentland), first started out in ski-wear but has since gone on to establish itself as a true sportswear force in Europe and beyond, having announced its re-entry into the North American market with a special Fall 2018 collection of apparel and footwear.

Once a favored brand of UK casuals in the 80s, these days, the semi-palla or half-ball logo which represented two tips of a pair of skis and a section of a tennis ball can be seen widespread, worn proudly by everyone from ravers and fashionistas to tennis players at Wimbledon.

Famously,Muhammad Aliwas even a fan.

Fila rose to fame during the 90s after sponsorships with NBA athletes Jerry Stackhouse and hall of famer Grant Hill. Though the brand has been relatively quiet on the streetwear front it maintains a strong relationship with key athletes in tennis. Founded in 1911 in Italy, Fila now calls South Korea home and seen a rise in popularity after rerelease of its Mindblower silhouette that beared a slightcolorway resemblanceto YEEZYs. In 2019 mega group BTS announced its partnership with the historic athletic company and though folks are patiently waiting for new collections from the duo, you can still tap the athletic brand for it budget-friendly releases.

While the majority of hummels products are made through the lens of soccer it also has transitioned in providing quality lifestyle products as well. Its pieces range from parkas to tracksuits sporting its catchy chevron logo. Founded during 1923 in Hamburg, Germany the now Danish brand is mostly known for providing football kits but recently the brand expanded its range to handball where it serves as the proud sponsor of the International Handball Federation.

Many sportswear brands have pivoted to reviving and reimagining chunky runners from their 90s heyday, but Jordan Brand churns out remarkable retros on a completely different level all thanks to the One That Started It All, the iconic Air Jordan 1.

Listing all of Jordans collaborators over the years would probably require a separate excel sheet but notables such as Virgil Abloh, Hiroshi Fujiwara, Paris Saint-Germain F.C., and J Balvin have all left there mark on the Jordan retro line. Aside from timeless reissues Jordan Brand supplies contemporary basketball and even football gear, and even recently signed its first pro BMX athleteNigel Sylvesterin 2021.

The future looks bright Jordan with young NBA talents like Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum performing at all-star levels, as the brand further expands to working with unique designers and boutiques around the world.

After being founded as a subsidiary sports under Robe di Kappa in 1967, Kappa has rose to be one of Italys leading sportswear companies. Its hard to miss the brands iconic Omini logo which can be found stamped across Europeanfootball kitsand comfy track suits that double as rave attire. Apart from also serving as the official kit supplier of the British Basketball League, the 2021 collab with Palace Skateboards created more global awareness for the brand outside of its football audience.

People flock to Lacostes colorful crocodile-logoed polos for an easy, clean-cut casual look. The preppy French brand at times seems to share more in common withJ. Pressthan other athletic brands but recently, however, the brand has been making strides back to its tennis origins withmultiple Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic.

Though creatively Lacoste seems to be in a state of flux collabs with Supreme, A.P.C. and Awake NY have revitalized its presence in streetwear as the brands nears its 90th anniversary.

For tennis fans, the name Le Coq Sportif will be synonymous with legends of the game like Yannick Noah and Arthur Ashe, who both donned the brands rooster logo during their playing careers.

But theres much more to the storied French sports brand founded in 1882 than just tennis. In the 80s, the Le Coq Sportif assumed the role of kit provider for a whole clutch of football clubs, including the Aston Villa team that took home the European Cup in 1982 and the FIFA World Cup-winning sides of Italy in 1982 and, most notably, Argentina in 1986. When Maradona scored his famousHand of Godgoal against England, he did so in a Le Coq Sportif shirt.

But its not all about the past, and Le Coq Sportif continues to carve out a niche as a purveyor of clean, no-nonsense sportswear. Recent collaborations include the Scottish sneaker store Hanon and the now-shuttered, legendary colette.

The Chinese sportswear brand arrived on peoples radars through its sneaker sponsorship deals with retired NBA all-star Dwyane Wade and a handful of other players, but Li-Nings recent sneaker and apparel offerings made sure the fashion world took notice. Oringinally

For SS22, Li-Ning revisited its collab with Copehangen-based Soulland dubbedPRE-INTER-POSTthat saw the release of the Furious Rider 6 and the highly techincalShadow, both sneakers catering to the running genre.

Li-Ning recently added Miami Heats Jimmy Butler to roster of athletes with his debut JB1 silhouette that released last month. A lot lies on the horizon for the Beijing-based brand as it continues to pave its way in the global sports industry.

The Beaverton giant remains the biggest sportswear brand in the world, taking more than $44 billion in revenue in 2021. Nike dominates nearly every sport, holding sponsorships with everyone from amateurs to Olympians, AAU teams to NBA squads, and everything in between. The Swoosh is one of the worlds most ubiquitous logos, as it has been for decades.

The brand continuously innovates through its products with releases ranging from theZoomX Vaporfly Next%, to its firstcryptokicksrelease earlier this year.

Of course highly coveted drops like Virgils and Louis Vuittons AF1collaband Drakes NOCTA imprint assisted with the brands chokehold on the luxury sportswear industry but anyway you cut it, Nike is simply in a league of its own.

Few brands represent American sportswear quite like Russell Athletic. Founded in 1902 by Benjamin Russell, the brand took its first steps into the annals of history when Russells son asked him to make clothing for his university football team. That led to the invention of the sweatshirt, which has remained a casual and sportswear staple ever since.

That heritage is now returning to our closets through sought-after Russell Athletic thrift store pickups. The brand took advantage of the uptick in interest with a landmark 96-piece collaboration with KITH featuring 24 different colors a nod to vintage Russell Athletic catalogs, which were full of color swatches for every piece.

Like its Italian compatriots FILA and ellesse, Sergio Tacchini was another brand adopted by the UK casuals on the terraces. To this day, its unmistakable 80s tracksuits still prove popular with retro enthusiasts and can be easily found in thrift stores.

Its eponymous founder, who was a professional tennis player, originally named the brand Sandys S.p.A. in 1966 before changing the name to Sergio Tacchini in 1969. Known for its maximalist remixes of traditional tennis whites, Sergio Tacchini famously sponsored the legendary Pete Sampras prior to the 14 time Grand Slam winners switch to Nike. Goran Ivanišević, Novak Djokovic and John McEnroe are others to have worn the brands elegant clothing over the years and collabs with A$AP Nast and Brain Dead helped spark a new revival for the legacy brand.

Umbros soccer jerseys and cleats are etched into the history of the sport. The UK brand supplies uniforms for dozens of teams on five different continents and has collaborated on jerseys with Palace, N.Hoolywood, and Highsnobiety, bringing its sports heritage to streetwear.

The label has also hauled some blocky 90s sneaker styles from the vault, or as Umbro puts it, the Archive Research Project (ARP). Among the silhouettes to make a comeback through the ARP are the Runner M, Neptune, and Exert Max.

US sportswear brand Under Armour caught lightning in a bottle when it signed Golden State Warrior Stephen Curry as its signature athlete. Curry is reportedlyworth $14 billion to the company, even if his sneakers havent completely connected with sneakerheads. Curry is an idol, one who matters enough that anine-year-old girl can convince Under Armour, via Curry, to offer girls and womens sizes of the NBA stars signature sneakers.

But Under Armour hasnt stopped with Curry, other athletes such as Joel Embiid, boxer Canelo Alvarez, and Tom Brady have all struck deals with the sportswear giant as the brand continues to venture out into new territory.

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Justin Block is a freelance sports and culture writer, editor, and anchor based in Brooklyn. His work has previously appeared in Complex, HuffPost, and SB Nation.

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