I once told a friend of mine: “If NikeiD were available in Canada I would go broke.” adidas basketball is attempting to make this become a reality with the recent launch of their customized footwear website: mi adidas.

That’s right – everybody from sneakerheads, students, professional athletes, and even the weekend warriors have the opportunity to create their own ‘signature sneaker’ by purchasing adidas shoes that they design online. The key to this of course, is that unlike some competitors, adidas allows shipping to Canada. Quite frankly this offering could not have come at a better time. While most athletes prioritize function to aesthetics that should not imply that the latter does not matter. The launch of mi adidas in Canada features two of their top selling basketball sneakers: The D Rose 4.5 and the D Rose 773 III. Users are then given the creative license to design the shoes in a way that will set them apart on the court, or street.

Sales of athletic sneakers now represent over one quarter of the entire footwear market in the country as these shoes continue to grow in popularity for both recreational use and training purposes1. The growth of sneaker sales and the desire for people to enjoy a functional shoe that reflects their personal style has created an opportunity in the market. For years Canadians have called for companies like Nike to extend their customized sneaker service, NikeiD, to Canada. It was not uncommon in the past to design and order a custom pair of their favourite NikeiD’s only to have them shipped to a storage facility or relative’s house in the United States. Once the product arrived the customer would either have the shoes reshipped to their Canadian address or they would go over the border to pick up their order. This tedious process could take up to several weeks to complete and also added an extra risk of damaging or losing the shoes by having them shipped twice. Nike has maintained other priorities while their neighbours to the north continue to demand easier access to customizable sneakers.

mi adidas has come to the rescue equipped with a line of solid performance shoes that are now being pushed by recently signed Canadian basketball player Andrew Wiggins and a bevy of other young exciting superstars. Expanding this service to Canada not only meets the demand but it provides Adidas an opportunity to gain insight into what designs are most popular with the buyers. This type of information could be beneficial in helping adidas with the aesthetics of their products going forward. If adidas is able to continue developing comparable performance products to their competitors and successfully generate awareness of the mi adidas website it will not be long before Canadians decide to move all in.

1http://bit.ly/1taRizh via The NPD group: “Athletic Shoe Sales Outpace Growth of Total Footwear Market in Canada”