The eternal rivalry between Adidas and Nike: Which brand makes the best sneakers?

When buying sports shoes, it is common for us to think of the Adidas and Nike brands as the first options, since both companies have extensive experience in this sector and their shoes are used by renowned professional athletes. However, although the products of these companies provide similar features, they also have some differences.

Both the American brand Nike and the German Adidas have been leading the sports shoe market for more than 4 decades, so both make huge profits every year. However, it is now clear that there is a silent battle for a greater presence in world sport.

The International Center for Sports Studies (CIES), based in Switzerland, has carried out research on the combined value of the 100 most expensive players in the leagues of Germany, England, Italy, France and Spain, resulting in a figure of 8,970 million euros, in this sense, the study showed that 57% of that value comes from soccer players who use Nike shoes, while only 33% is from players who use Adidas, so we could think that the American brand is a leader in the European football sector. 

Despite this, in recent years Adidas has had an indisputable presence precisely in this market, as it has been the official sponsor of the European Championship, the UEFA tournaments and the Champions League. In fact, at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, no less than 12 teams wore the German brand out of the 32 that participated.

On the other hand, the popular magazine Forbes, which is dedicated to finance and business, published in 2018 a list with the 100 most valuable brands, placing Nike in position number 18, well above Adidas, which was in position 68. According to the data of this publication, Nike would double the value of Adidas in the market, since the American company has an estimated 110.3 billion dollars, compared to 46.2 billion dollars that Adidas has.

In terms of earnings, Nike also far outperforms Adidas. Revenue in 2022 is expected to be $32 billion for the German, while Nike would earn about $50 billion. 

What emotions do these brands provoke in end users?

Because they are two such similar and successful brands, you have to think about their advertising campaigns to understand what image they want to convey and how they are perceived by ordinary people who buy their shoes and clothing. This is why the magazine CDMsport has carried out a survey with a sample of almost 5,500 people who evaluated the emotions that the Adidas and Nike brands cause in them.

In a total of 34 emotions, 10 of the most voted by people were chosen, these were Fashion, Comfort, Success, Joy, Admiration, Health, Satisfaction, Fun, Victory and Sportsmanship. In each case, the respondent could indicate whether one brand or another aroused this emotion.

Evaluating the results, we can see that Adidas is the undisputed winner in 4 of the 10 most voted emotions, these are Sportsmanship, Comfort, Satisfaction and Health, while Nike obtained the advantage in the sensations of Success, Victory, Fashion, Fun, Admiration and Joy, with a considerable percentage difference with respect to Adidas.

Now, if we take into account the 10 most voted emotions for each brand, we can say that Nike arouses mixed emotions, which are not necessarily positive, since they include Aversion, Envy, Adoration and Desire, while in the 10 emotions that most provokes Adidas, the brand appears more positive, with Calm, Sympathy, Solidarity and Love, although Boredom appears as the only negative emotion.

The race to make the best running shoes

One of the main weapons used in the battle between Nike and Adidas in recent years is running shoes. The German brand has a good history with the Adizero since 2008. These sports shoes have been used by many popular runners in different cities around the world, some have even broken records in marathons using these shoes.

The latest feat of the Japanese designer Omori, considered the mastermind behind Adidas, has been the creation of the Adizero Pro men’s and women’s running shoes, which have the slogan “Faster than fast”. In this regard, the renowned Kenyan athlete Mary Keitany has said that the good combination of ingredients makes them the fastest shoes in the history of Adidas.

For his part, the British Sam Handy, creative director of the German company, has said that the shoes have a carbon plate curved at 30 degrees, an angle that provides greater propulsion to the metatarsal, in addition, he has ensured that they have a Celermesh mesh to keep the foot snug in the shoe, as well as Lightstrike soles, which have been hugely successful in basketball. According to the manufacturer’s data, the size 42 Adizero Pro model may weigh 240 g and its price may be around 180 euros.

However, if we make a selection of the best running shoes for men or women, it is very likely that some models of the Nike brand will lead this list, such as the Next%, the Vaporfly and the Alphafly, which weigh only 180 g and have provoked the admiration of experts in technology applied to athletics. In fact, there are those who claim that these shoes provide an advantage in competitions and compare them to doping. According to an independent New York Times study in 2018, athletes who wore the Nike Vaporfly ran 3-4% faster than others.

Currently, the race to create the fastest running shoes has even led to the discussion about whether or not there is an excess of technology over the real capacity of athletes, so it will be necessary to regulate what sports shoes can be used in sports. competitions and which shoes will be considered an advantage and therefore will be out of legality.

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