A Revolution Is Coming In The Way Your Sneakers Are Designed And Manufactured

by MR Magazine Staff

Slow, labor intensive, and low tech are just a few of the words you could use to describe the way sneakers have traditionally been made. It takes big sneaker companies dozens of steps and up to 18 months to develop a new shoe, and with just a few exceptions, the manufacturing processes involved haven’t changed significantly in decades. Technology and automation are already beginning to upend that model, according to Morgan Stanley. In a June 6 research note for investors, the bank’s analysts took a deep dive into the way the world’s big sneaker players, most notably Nike and Adidas, are reimagining the way they make and distribute products. Their conclusion is that a “tectonic shift” in the industry is in the works, and it will ultimately have wide-ranging benefits for shoppers and brands alike. The process is still in its early stages. Many of the innovations still need to gain momentum and reach scale. They basically fall into two categories, design and production—the two major steps in making a sneaker. But Morgan Stanley believes the changes will ultimately enable brands to provide shoppers with the products they want at lower cost, possibly even customized to their needs and wants, and far faster than ever before. Lead times could be cut from 18 months to just four, as laid out in one exhibit from the report. Read more at Quartz.