'Shoppers more interested in making a fashion statement than actually jogging are scooping up technologically sophisticated running shoes because they’re comfortable and trendy. And they aren’t afraid to pay up. Exhibit A: Nike Inc.’s $100 Free sneaker in “hot punch” -- aka pink.Sales of such shoes in the U.S. surged 14 percent to $6.46 billion in the 12 months through March, according to NPD Group. And first-quarter profit gains pushed up shares at retailers from Foot Locker Inc. to Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc., evidence that a trend that began two years ago still has legs. ''Sales of running shoes are driving the entire athletic shoe industry. Ditto for Nike, which in fiscal 2011 generated almost 14 percent of its $20.9 billion in global sales from the running category. 'http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-05-23/nike-s-hot-punch...---------------------GG/MDP Home Fool
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