Waterproof socks are socks equipped with a membrane that is resistant to water penetration. They are usually made up of three layers, wherein the outer layers prevents abrasion by shoes, the inner layer provides insulation and comfort, and the middle membrane prevents water penetration from outside and provides breathability by allowing the vapor to pass outside. Waterproof socks are breathable, stretchable, flexible, windproof, provide thermal protection, and prevent the feet from getting wet. They are used for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountaineering, cycling, and working in the rains.
Growing demand for multifunctional apparel and accessories with properties such as windproof, waterproof, and breathable for outdoor activities such as snow sports as well as growing popularity of ecotourism are driving growth of the market for waterproof socks. The recent past has witnessed a trend of increasing consumer inclination towards anti-microbial waterproof socks such as Dexshell Coolvent, Hydroskin Wet Socks, in turn, fueling growth of the waterproof socks market. Low market penetration in developing countries such as Brazil, Mexico, India, Thailand, Peru and others is one of the challenge to the waterproof socks market. Among gender segments, the males segment accounted for the highest market share in 2016, due to high inclination of the male population towards outdoor activities such as hiking. For instance, according to New Zealand Tourism, 51% of international walking and hiking tourists visiting New Zealand were recorded to be males during 2009–2013. Among age groups, the 30-45 years was the largest segment, as people in this age category are actively involved in activities such as hiking, mountaineering, and snow sports. For instance, according to New Zealand Tourism, 32% and 13% of walking and hiking tourist visiting New Zealand were in the age group of 25 to 34 years and 35 to 44years, respectively during 2009–2013.
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Asia Pacific was the largest market for waterproof socks due to increasing popularity of snow sports, hiking, and trekking in the region. For instance, according to report published on Special Interest Sector by New Zealand Tourism in March 2017, 30% of holiday tourists are engaged in winter ski. Europe is the second-largest market for waterproof socks, as winter sports and mountain sports are very popular, especially in the Northern and Western Europe. Increasing popularity of outdoor recreational activities and winter sports such as ice skating, skiing, sledding, snowboarding, and snowmobiling in North America, position it as a highly lucrative market for waterproof socks. Around 57.4 million skiers and snowboarders visited the U.S. during 2013–2014 as per stats released by National Ski Areas Association (NSAA). According to The Outdoor Recreation Economy report, 2017, by Outdoor Industry Association, annual consumer spending on outdoor recreational activities such as trail sports, snow sports, water sports, camping, fishing, hunting, wheel sports, and wildlife viewing in the U.S. is estimated to account for around US$ 887 billion.
The waterproof socks market was valued at US$ 3,790.1 million in 2016 and is projected to register a CAGR of 8.0%in terms of revenue, over the forecast period (2017 – 2025).
Asia Pacific held the largest revenue share of 32.31% in 2016 and is expected to retain its dominance over the forecast period.
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The market players operating in the waterproof socks market are adopting various strategies such as new product launches to retain a strong foothold in the market. For instance, in October 2017, Showers Pass launched Showers Pass Waterproof socks and Sealskinz launched Super Thin Mid, Super Thin Ankle, Super Thin Pro Ankle with Hydrostop, and Super Thin Pro Mid Sock along with Hydrostop waterproof socks.
Key players operating in the waterproof socks market include DexShell, Sealskinz, Showers Pass, Rocky, Wigwam Corporation, Camaro GesmbH, Randy Sun, Seavenger, Neo Sport, and NRS.