Nike vs. Adidas running shoes: Which is better?

Many running shoe brands, including Nike and Adidas, experiment with the possibilities of 3D printing. It provides an opportunity to reduce waste significantly, and the ease of customization would render designs more valuable.
Many running shoe brands, including Nike and Adidas, experiment with the possibilities of 3D printing. It provides an opportunity to reduce waste significantly, and the ease of customization would render designs more valuable. (BestReviews)

Comparing Nike running shoes to Adidas

Whether you're training for a marathon or running for fun, investing in a pair of good running shoes can help you run faster and more efficiently. Proper footwear offers stability, balance and support when you’re exercising. This can make you perform better and be less prone to injury.

Nike and Adidas are unquestionably two of the most influential brands at the forefront of the global activewear industry. You’d be hard-pressed to get through any major city without seeing the iconic Nike swoosh or the Adidas three-stripes trademark on any given day. While Nike invariably has had the upper hand in design and innovation in sportswear, Adidas is constantly reinventing itself to better fulfill its customers' demands.


If you can't decide which brand of running shoes is better for you or need some help deciding between the Nike Pegasus and the Adidas Ultraboost, here’s how you can compare the two footwear giants and their high-performance running shoes.

Nike running shoes

From their humble beginnings in Beaverton, Oregon, Nike has evolved into the world's most popular athletic footwear and apparel company. Nike shoes have a ubiquitous presence in music and pop culture, and their hype can be found worldwide. Designers and celebrities have helped ensure that it's ranked ahead of Louis Vuitton and can be viewed as the most valuable apparel brand in the world.


Nike has a rich history of innovation since its inception, especially when it comes to running shoes. They have hundreds of different running shoe models, including the classic Air Max line and Air Pegasus collection. They continue to improve upon their designs every year. You can find Nike running shoes starting at $45, going all the way up to $250.

Nike running shoes are both comfortable and durable, and specific models can even help you run faster. Nike's Vaporfly shoes have helped runners set new records due to its carbon-fiber foam sole. This secret weapon assists you in getting the most push for each stride. Nike also offers shoe options for different purposes like daily training, races and various terrains.

Nike running shoe pros

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable mesh
  • Advanced shoe technology
  • Extremely comfortable cushioning
  • High-impact absorption
  • Durable and long-lasting

Nike running shoe cons

  • On the pricier side
  • Some models are too narrow

Best Nike running shoes

If you want to buy reliable daily trainers that can do it all, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 is a bargain at $120. Or you can upgrade to the Air Zoom Pegasus 36.

The Nike Revolution 5 is a great all-around shoe that looks and feels great through shorter, dry weather runs. It's also great for a variety of indoor gym sessions and workouts. This shoe is the perfect affordable option if you're on a budget.


The Nike Free RN Flyknit surrounds your foot with ultra-light Flyknit. It has plenty of stretch and a spacious weave for maximized airflow. Its lightweight sole mimics your foot's natural motion like no other shoe out there.

The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 6 delivers a breathable and secure feel, allowing you to race over rocky paths. These enable you to run long distances over almost any terrain in comfort.

Adidas running shoes

Adidas, the German manufacturer of athletic shoes and apparel, is one of Nike’s prime competitors. It was founded in 1924 by brothers Adolf and Rudolf Dassler. However, a family dispute in 1948 led the brothers to separate their company, after which Adolf created Adidas and Rudolf went ahead to launch Puma.

Adidas has become the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and the second-largest after Nike, in the world. Its products are widely associated with European football and American soccer.

Adidas is best known for creating Boost foam which goes into most of its running shoes. It uses a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material that compresses under pressure, offering better shock absorption and bounces back to its original shape. The Adidas Boost series is its most popular line of running shoes. You can find Adidas running shoes that start at $40 and go up to $200.

Adidas running shoe pros

  • Comfortable and snug fit
  • Well-built and highly durable
  • Top-notch arch support
  • Boost cushioning
  • High-energy return
  • Many models made from recycled materials

Adidas running shoe cons

  • Longer break-in time
  • Marginally heavier than its competitor
  • Minor size inconsistency

Best Adidas running shoes

The Adidas Supernova makes for a great pair of daily trainers. It's ideal for runners looking for a well-cushioned, neutral shoe to add to their rotation. It's versatile enough for speed workouts and works well for long, demanding runs.

If you're looking for something simple yet effective, the Adizero Boston 9 is lightweight, snug and durable for fast workouts.

The Adidas Ultraboost 21 has optimal cushioning, shock absorption and a great aesthetic. Although a bit heavy, the extra Boost is perfect for runners who come down hard on their shoes, especially on the heels. It's a solid partner for long, slow runs.

The Adidas Solar Boost 19 doesn't look like much on the surface. However, if you dive deeper, this well-performing shoe offers the right amount of comfort and stability. It's built for the long run, both literally and figuratively.

Should you get Nike or Adidas running shoes?

When deciding between Nike and Adidas, it all comes down to personal preference. You’ll want to find the right fit for your foot, which means trying out a few different pairs from both brands. If you like to run fast, Nikes have the advantage of being lightweight. While both brands have their own distinct styles, it's a good idea to pick out running shoes that ultimately feel comfortable to you and well suited to your daily running needs.

Esha Saxena is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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