Nike vs Adidas Shoes – Which is better?

Nike and Adidas have been the favorite brands of millions of sports fanatics across the world. Both these brands have a long history in the sporting gods industry and have come a long way in terms of technology and innovation. When it comes to Nike vs Adidas shoes the competition is really fierce and both brands have their pros and cons. We’ve covered the  Keep reading…

History of Nike and Adidas

When was Nike started?

Nike is a 56-year-old American company that was started by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight. The company is named as Nike which was the Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike

You will be surprised to know that Nike used to be a distributor of the famous and one of the oldest brand Onitsuka Tiger. In fact they started their company like that in their initial days and later started manufacturing their own shoe brand by the name of Nike.

Nike is currently the biggest sportswear manufacturer in the world.

Nike owns a number of other well known brands like Converse, Nike+, Air Jordan, Nike Blazers, Air Force 1, Nike Dunk, Air Max, Foamposite, Nike Skateboarding etc.

Recommended Read: Best Nike Shoes under 5000

When did Adidas Start?

In contrast to Nike, Adidas is a much older company started way back in 1924.

Adidas is a German company which is now the biggest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and second biggest in the world.

Founded by a German by the name of Adolf “Adi” Dassler who used to make sports shoes in his mother’s scullery laundry room after his return from World War I. Later his brother also joined the business.

Adidas also acquired a rival brand Reebok in 2005, that used to be one of the biggest sportswear companies at that time. Some analysts suggest that Adidas acquired Reebok to compete with its closest rival Nike to increase its market share and take the number one spot in the sportswear business.

Brand Value Comparison – Adidas vs Nike

In this highly fragmented sportswear market there are dozens of players that range from basic discount brand vs high-end fashion name brands competing for a bigger slice of the pie.

Nike holds the biggest slice of this pie as the number one sports brand in the world far ahead than Adidas and Puma.

One of the key reasons for Nike’s success is their sponsorship agreements with celebrity athletes and sports teams around the world.  Its pretty clear from the below graph that Nike’s holds a far higher brand value than Adidas globally.

Brand Value comparison of Nike and Adidas from 2010-2019 (in USD)

Nike vs Adidas brand value
Source: Statista

A recent study done in 2019 indicated that Nike was the most valuable sports brand in the World, with a brand value of 36.8 billion U.S. dollars. This was far greater than its competitors like Adidas, Puma, Under Armour and Reebok.

Most valuable sports brand in the World in 2019 (in million USD)

Most valuable sports brand in the world
Source: Statista


Nike is leading and dominating the global footwear market with sales revenues of almost 22.2 billion USD in 2018. These sales figures are just from their footwear products and doesn’t include apparel and other sportswear products.

Comparison of Revenue from footwear – Nike, Adidas and Puma (2010 – 2018)

Footwear Revenues of Adidas vs Nike
Source: Statista

In contrast the second biggest player Adidas has revenues of only 12.78 billion USD and Puma has around 2.5 billion USD in sales.

If you look at the revenues of Adidas vs Nike than you will notice that Nike is way ahead of two of its closest competitors which are Adidas and Puma. In fact it is even bigger than the combined revenue of both Adidas and Puma.

Adidas and Puma used to be the same company. They were earlier known as Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik, started by two brothers. Later they split into two companies due to a disagreement between these two and Puma and Adidas were born.

Where are Nike and Adidas shoes manufactured?

Both these brands have their shoes manufactured in Asia – mainly in China, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Have you ever noticed “Made in China” or “Made in Vietnam” written on Nike shoes?

Since Nike is an American company you would have thought that their shoes would be made or designed in the US. But that’s not the case.

We did a little research on this subject and found out that Nike has around 523 factories spread in 40 different countries across the world to manufacture their sportswear. Some of these factories are just producing finished goods and few of them are just sourcing and producing raw materials for finished goods.

Are Nike Shoes made in US?

According to Nike’s website, all Nike shoes are made either in China or Vietnam. That is why a lot of people think that shoes made in these countries are counterfeit or fake, but actually they are not.

Nike does have manufacturing facilities in the US but they only manufacture sports equipment and apparel.

Vietnam is well known as the sourcing and manufacturing hub for footwear and sports equipment.

Where are the original Adidas shoes made?

Adidas is no different than Nike!

Most of their shoes are made in China, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Turkey, Germany and Atlanta US

Adidas has more than 450 factories in more than 55 countries but majority of their footwear are made in China Vietnam and Indonesia.

Adidas vs Nike Running Shoes

For now, let’s focus on these two running shoe brands.

We break down their differences and see which one has the cutting edge over the other.

When dealing with such multi-billion dollar companies, the material of their running shoes will always vary in order to achieve various levels of comfort and durability. From polyester, synthetic leathers, EVA and Polyurethane (PU).

For their running shoes, both these brands invest a chunk in creativity in order to get to the best designs possible. As a matter of fact, you can use their running shoes to match your casual outfit.

Nike running shoes are mainly crafted from polyester, rubber, and cotton. It offers simplicity in the designs when compared to Adidas but you can always customize your running shoes to your liking. This is a win-win situation for those who like to have their custom designs.

The one reason that you are still reading this is to know the actual difference between these two shoe brands.

Nike uses rubber in its outer-soles and has a variety of sole patterns in order to provide better traction.

In contrast, Adidas uses the Boost technology (pallets are compressed and molded).

Adidas running shoes are fitted with full-length midsole that help support the whole body, whereas Nike is slightly lagging behind when it comes to their midsole and the inner cushioning. This is where the whole comfort lies disregarding the factor of shoe size.

Adidas has the boost technology, which makes them super light, thus offering arch support, and proper cushioning. Adidas running shoes are all in one. On the other hand, Nike has some lightweight shoes, but their cushioning doesn’t match that of the Adidas running shoes.

Adidas vs Nike Price Comparison

The pricing of Adidas running shoes varies from approximately $50 to $300 (3,000 to 18,000 Rs.). The price-tag is a justification for their quality and well-rounded features. They are pretty long-lasting and they will serve you for years to come.

Nike running shoes are slightly cheaper than the latter and will vary from $40-$250 (2,800 – 15,000 Rs.). In fact the price price of a Nike shoe in India is between 3000 – 5000 rupees ($40 – $70).

Also Read: What Nike Shoes makes you taller?

The good news is that the price advantage does not mean compromise in the quality of shoes.

Furthermore, if you want to customize your running shoes you can have it done at a fair price from Nike.

Although Nike shoes tend to be slightly cheaper than Adidas it doesn’t necessarily mean that all Adidas models are expensive than Nike’s. You will find some Nike shoes that are expensive than some of the Adidas running shoes.

Adidas vs Nike Shoes Comfort

In terms of design, Nike is much customizable and has the cutting edge. On the other hand, Adidas may not have ‘cool’ designs but are considered to be much comfortable than the latter.

At the end of the day, in a battle of comfort and elegance when it comes to running shoes, comfort will always win.

Currently, Adidas running shoes are believed to offer better durability, cushioning and longevity than Nike running shoes. But again it depends on usage and care by the runner.

The Five Best Adidas Running Shoes

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The Five Best Nike Running Shoes

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The type of running shoes you are using can have an impact on your performance thus it’s always wise to choose the best running shoes that suits your foot bio-mechanics, pronation and purpose. Remember to be good on the field, you need to tweak your thoughts positively first.

With all that said to make a generalized statement on which brands beats the other in the race isn’t worth the time. The two brands are some big cheeses in the running shoe market.

What’s evident is that whenever you skim through a list of the best running goes, you will have Adidas and Nike included.

Now, after I’ve talked you through, it’s your time to take the bold step and start running.

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