Rogue Fitness has been one of the leading suppliers of Crossfit equipment for several years now. The infamous Rogue Do-Win weightlifting shoe was part of a revolution to make people conscious of proper footwear for lifting weights and has been seen on the feet of some really prolific athletes.
Two years ago, if you were at a crossfit gym and you asked about weightlifting shoes you were given three choices – Rogue Adidas or Nike. But it seems times may be changing. So many new brands and models of lifting shoes have been hitting the market that making a decision on a good pair of shoes actually became a challenge. As stated above, the crossfit movement really helped educate the fitness community about proper footwear so the market for shoes exploded.
But like most growing market segments, as soon as they become lucrative larger companies swoop in to claim their piece of the action. This can be a good or bad thing for the consumers. In the case of the recent 10 year title sponsor deal Crossfit struck with Reebok, I think it will be a good thing. Reebok has really shown a dedication to the sport and is designing products to fix exacting needs.
Which brings us to the point of this article. Rogue has been showing increasing support for OTHER brands of shoes, those which are direct competitors to their own Do-Win shoes. In 2010 they began selling Adidas and Nike lifting shoes. In 2011 they began carrying various brands of “minimalist” shoes such as the AdiPure and the Inov-8 lines. I can understand carrying shoes that you don’t make a competing product for, such as trainers, but why would they carry big brand weightlifting shoes?
We know for a fact that Rogue buys their Do-win shoes through a U.S. 3rd party, so perhaps the bigger brands are able to offer better profit margins? Maybe Rogue has embraced a mentality of “give the public what they want in one location”. Or, maybe they foresee bigger brands like Reebok dominating the shoe market so they are positioning themselves to transition? Whatever the case may be, it will be interesting to see how long the Rogue Do-Win stays around.