Sports shoes developed in collaboration with famous athletes are proving hot sellers thanks to the stars' reputation and the shoes' high performance. U.S. golfer Tiger Woods, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and middle-distance runner Jerry Berringer Simpson of the U.S. are leading examples of such success.
Woods participated in the development of Nike's TW13 golf shoes. He wanted to come up with a pair of lightweight golf shoes and the initial batch quickly sold out. They soon drew considerable attention from golfers around the world.
Woods first suggested the idea to Nike as he thought it would be useful to apply the features of Nike Free shoes, which he wears for running or training, to golf. Nike Golf started developing the TW13 as a pair of golf shoes like sneakers that can be worn on all surfaces that golfers encounter, including short grass, sand, dirt or bumpy roads. Woods began wearing the prototype in real competitions last year.
Usain Bolt, the fastest man on the planet, will be wearing Puma's evoSPEED at the London Olympics next month. The sprinter helped design the shoes that combine flexibility with good air circulation, or "breathability."
Simpson, who won the women's 1,500 m at last year's World Championships in Athletics, was involved in the designing and performance testing of New Balance's Rev-Lite 890V2. Due to their sleek design and vibrant colors, the shoes -- which feature Simpson's autograph on the heel -- have also taken off as a fashion item.
An industry source said, "We expect to see more involvement from sports stars in clothing and shoes."