The global outdoor footwear market expanded by an estimated 2.1 percent in terms of U.S. dollars at the wholesale level in 2009, despite the financial crisis, according to an annual survey of major brands by The Outdoor Industry Compass, in cooperation with the publishers of the American and European editions of Sporting Goods Intelligence.

The market was basically flat in the U.S., where it rose by a mere 0.7 percent. It grew by 3.2 percent outside the U.S. in dollars and by nearly 8 percent in euros, thanks mostly to higher sales in China, Korea and other emerging markets.

In fact, the highest growth on our chart, featured on page 3, was recorded by TrekSta, the new up and coming Korean brand of hiking and trekking shoes. The figures provided by this company don’t include its still important OEM business.

Merrell still led the pack on our chart with a market share of 18.1 percent, but its revenues declined by 7.5 percent. Other American majors such as Genfoot, parent company of Kamik, and Vasque, the brand of Red Wing Shoes, recorded nice double-digit growth instead.

Among the European players, Salomon and the Tecnica Group grew at about the same pace. Some smaller brands recorded declines, especially in Eastern Europe, but executives of these company are predicting better scores in 2010. One of these is Aku, which presented its new Global Comfort Fit system at the OutDoor show, using a new PU spray, and is benefitting from Genfoot’s support in Germany and Austria.

We have taken Aigle and the outdoor brands of New Balance, Aravon and Dunham, from this chart as we were unable to obtain any information on their development.

Our figures are based on invoiced sales. Some are public figures, others are volunteered by management and a few others are estimates. Figures in euros and other currencies have been translated into U.S. dollars at the average rate for each year.