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Workplace footwear trend has sneaker stocks running

A new trend in office wear is afoot.

Sneakers are becoming more acceptable in the workplace. According to a study from TheStreet.com and GfK's Omnitel, about half of 18 to 24-year-olds think it's OK to wear sneakers in the office compared to a third of those over 65. Similarly, about half of men didn't mind gym shoes at work while women were a little less gung-ho at 40 percent.

The biggest reason for the shift is comfort, but can being too comfortable hurt or help a company's productivity?

"There are some people who believe that if you're more comfortable in the office you'll be more productive," remarked TheStreet.com Editor-in-Chief Janet Guyon. "And we see this in a lot of offices. We see this in the Silicon Valley offices with tech workers. People wear whatever they want to, but there is another school of thought that is really your shoes and your clothes make your attitude. There have been some studies to suggest that what you wear does affect your productivity."

This trend is increasing one industry's productivity substantially.

Footwear companies like Foot Locker, Nike and Skechers have all seen double-digit growth in both their revenues and stock prices. Skechers is the biggest winner so far with first quarter sales up 21 percent year-over-year and its shares selling 88 percent more than last year.

"This is why The Street did the survey to begin with as we were looking at sales of footwear companies like Nike, Foot Locker and Skechers and noticing that their sales were way up," Guyon explained. "So there are certain stocks you can invest in that are benefiting from this trend."


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