Sketchers has emerged as an unlikely victor in the new battle in the athletic shoe market, toning shoes.

Sketchers has emerged as an unlikely victor in the new battle in the athletic shoe market, toning shoes.

The category was blossomed in the past 24 months and is expected to be worth $1.5 billion this year. Sketchers developed the market with its Shape-Ups brand and is leaving others like Nike, trailing in its wake.

The battle between Nike and Sketchers is an interesting one because they have radically different DNA; Sketchers entering into the category because of its fashion roots. For Nike, who never wants to create markets and never wants to miss out, this is an issue of brand credibility. The toning shoe market has no athletic credibility to Nike, so, for the sake of the brand, they have to sit it out and remind women that they can't get in shape without hard work.

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