It’s no surprise that the world’s two most popular sneaker brands are Nike (including Nike Jordan) and Adidas.
Both have been around for decades, creating strong reputations and dominating the sportswear market. And often considered rivals, most people have their preference between the two and wouldn’t dare mix Nike and Adidas in the same outfit.
Even some celebrities choose to side with one brand and reject the other. For athletes, it might be because they have a sponsorship with one of the two brands. But in other cases, like with Kanye West and his infamous feud with Nike between 2014 and 2017, personal preferences get in the way.
And chances are you have a favorite too. But in the fight between Adidas vs Nike, which brand is really better? Read on as we compare them head-to-head.
Not everyone can afford shoes that cost hundreds of dollars. And thankfully, Adidas and Nike both offer sneaker styles that don’t have to break the bank.
On average, both brands come in at around $120 for one pair of sneakers, with more affordable options under $100.
If you’re looking to buy Adidas shoes on a budget, one of the cheapest sneaker styles available is their Adidas Originals Superstar, which usually retails around $40. And their famous Stan Smith shoes are typically priced around $60.
When you buy Nike sneakers, on the other hand, prices will typically start a little higher, with many running and casual shoes starting around $60 or $70.
Final Verdict: If you’re looking to buy a new pair of sneakers without breaking the bank, Adidas offers more options well below $100.
You know now that Nike is slightly more expensive than Adidas shoes, but which offers better quality?
Quality can depend on several factors and can vary with each model.
Both brands originally designed shoes for athletes, so comfort and cushioning are key. This is one major benefit of Nike shoes, which prioritize comfort and a lightweight design in many of their sneakers.
But Adidas, too, added boost technology to absorb shocks during intense activity. And they incorporated 3D soles into their footwear, making them more adaptable to different types of feet.
For material use, both brands tend to use leather, keeping other lower-quality fabrics to a minimum.
And according to one study, Nike and Adidas running shoes deteriorate at around the same time.
Final Verdict: This one’s a tie. Both Nike and Adidas care about the quality of their shoes, and each offer their own features and materials that ensure comfort and longevity.
Reputation and Branding
Adidas and Nike both have international reputations, with fans swiping up their shoes all around the world.
Adidas are known for their triple stripe logo (which can also be seen in their leaf-type logo), but the Nike swoosh may be more easily recognizable overall.
Aside from logos, each brand also has its own distinct reputation. While both make sportswear and athletic shoes, Nike often brands itself as a company for athletes, featuring Olympians and other pro sportsmen alongside their “Just do it” slogan.
Adidas, on the other hand, positions itself as more than a sportswear label. The brand often features eco-friendly messages and campaigns on its social media accounts. And it has also built a decades-long reputation of being a favorite among rappers (remember Run DMC?).
But regardless of how they each brand themselves, nothing matters more than sales at the end of the day. When it comes to revenue, Nike is far ahead of Adidas, and it only seems to be growing. It’s safe to say, then, that Nike’s reputation and likability with sneaker shoppers may be ahead of Adidas’s.
Final Verdict: With clear branding, a memorable logo, and higher sales, Nike outperforms Adidas when it comes to reputation and marketing.
Nike and Adidas offer casual shoes, running shoes, and a range of styles sneakerheads love to collect. But which offers better designs overall?
Some of Nike’s most popular sneakers, like Air Force 1s and Dunks, have been around since the 1980s, giving them a nostalgic appeal. And a lot of Nike’s designs riff off of old ones, adding new technology and materials to give them an update.
Adidas, too, has a lot of retro designs, such as their Top Ten style. Check it out here as an example.
But Adidas puts a lot of focus on new designs too, trying new shapes, colors, and styles to give fans something fresh each season. They also regularly do designer collaborations (read more in the next section), giving a lot of their designs an artistic feel.
Final Verdict: There’s no clear winner here. If you prefer old-school kicks, Nike is your winner. But if you prefer fresh and creative designs, Adidas comes out on top.
Collaborations with other designers and labels can give a sneaker brand a fresh perspective, and both Nike and Adidas have taken advantage of this strategy.
Nike tends to partner with athletes or designers with an athletic edge, and their collaboration with skateboarder favorite Supreme was especially sought after.
Adidas partners with luxury brands (think Y3 and Prada), celebrities (like Pharrell and Beyonce), and even toy companies like Lego for an array of wild and creative designs.
Final Verdict: Nike seems to stay true to their sporty branding with athletic collaborations. But overall, Adidas has them beat, with a variety of exciting collaborations and styles to collect.
So Which Is Better, Adidas vs Nike?
In the fight between Adidas vs Nike, both brands have their strengths and benefits.
With lower price points and fresh designs, Adidas may have a slight edge over Nike. But overall, it depends on your personal style, the type of shoes you want, and what your budget allows.
For more on sneaker trends, brand comparisons, and more, check out our other fashion articles!