Adidas vs Skechers: Which Brand Offers Better Footwear?

Written By Sunny

A quick Google search might show you that Adidas completely destroys the Skechers in brand value.

But is it the same for all their products, or is it just an oversimplified generalization?

To find out, I swapped my Adidas collection with some of my colleagues who owned a few pairs of Skechers. After using them for quite some time, I got a good idea of where these shoes stand compared to Adidas.adidas-vs-skechers

So, let’s discuss the core differences between Adidas and Skechers footwear and determine which brand suits you the best.

A Quick Rundown of Skechers and Adidas

Debuted in 1992, Skechers USA Inc. is an American footwear company primarily famous for its sneakers and performance runners. They currently hold the title of third largest footwear manufacturer in the US market.

Their US-centric focus becomes more evident when we look at their history of celebrity collaborations, like Britney Spears and J.R. Watt.

On the other hand, Adidas AG is a sportswear manufacturing company from Germany founded in 1949. They are currently the second largest company in the world, trailing behind Nike.

From casual sneakers to marathon runners, they have shoes for pretty much all kinds of indoor and outdoor activities.

Adidas’s innovative and industry-leading apparel and footwear have made them a household name worldwide.

Technical Comparison Between Adidas and Skechers Shoes

Adidas and Skechers have very different goals and cater to somewhat different markets. Thus, the shoes from these two brands have very different technical aspects and pricing, which can affect your buying decision.

So, let’s see a side-by-side technical comparison between Adidas and Skechers shoes:

AttributesAdidas ShoesSkechers Shoes
FocusPerformance, innovation, and style across various sports/activitiesComfort and style, with a strong emphasis on walking and casual footwear
Types of shoesRunning, training & gym, sneakers, lifestyle, etc.Athletic & casual sneakers, boots, sandals, slippers, etc.
Design and AestheticModern, athletic lookCasual, relaxed look
Overall weightHeavierLighter
Commonly used upper materialLeather, mesh, knit, syntheticsMesh, knit, synthetics, textiles
MidsoleEnergyRods, Lightstrike Pro, Boost foamHyper Burst, Ultra Go, Memory foam
OutsoleContinental rubber with traction lugsGoodyear rubber with treads and lugs
SizingMostly true-to-size with some exceptionsMostly true-to-size with some exceptions
CostMore priceyLess pricey

The difference between the two aforementioned brands expands beyond these technical aspects, which brings us to our main topic.

Key Differences Between Adidas and Skechers Shoes

Before we delve into the differences between the two brands, we must first acknowledge the similarities. Both brands have some similarly designed footwear serving similar purposes as well, albeit with different series names.

For example, the Max Cushioning Essential shoes from Skechers can be compared with Force Bounce Volleyball shoes from Adidas for their similar style and use case.

While such minor similarities are pretty common among competing brands, the differences that keep them apart are quite lengthy, especially for Skechers and Adidas.

On that note, here are the key differences between Adidas and Skechers:

1. Focus on Different Audiences

Both of these brands have a very distinct focus when it comes to making footwear.

To elaborate, Adidas makes shoes with the intent of providing cutting-edge technology and high-performance footwear.

They are less concerned with pricing and more concerned with giving exactly what the users need.

The Skechers shoes are more comfortable and lifestyle-oriented while having a comparatively affordable price tag. They barely talk about any innovative technology for marketing, unlike Adidas.

Skechers also has a strong emphasis on walking and casual footwear.

Additionally, since Adidas is more focused on sports and activities, its shoes are generally much more durable and suitable for any kind of high-intensity workout.

The same can not be said for Skechers.

However, the sneakers from Adidas are more versatile and targeted towards the younger generation.

On the other hand, Skechers sneakers are aimed towards hikers and runners looking for an affordable option.

Adidas also has a broader range of products than Skechers, covering both professional and casual crowds.

In short, both brands have different goals in mind and target different consumer bases. But Adidas has a wider collection than Skechers.adidas-collection

2. Different Technology

Just because Skechers doesn’t talk much about innovation doesn’t mean they don’t have any in-house footwear technology.

Both brands have their distinct proprietary technology throughout different parts of the shoes.

But how these PR talks translate to real-world experience is the real question.

Upper Material

If we put a bunch of Adidas shoes next to Skechers, one thing you’ll notice right away is the difference in the upper material and its quality.

Adidas has proudly introduced its Primeknit upper material in their Ultraboost, Adizero, ZX Flux, etc., lineups.

This Primeknit is a one-piece knitted construction made from high-performance polyester yarns. Unlike Skechers shoes with multiple pieces sewn together, Primeknit creates a sock-like fit that molds perfectly to your foot.

For example, after using the swapped Skechers Max Cushioning Premier from my colleague, I noticed that the Primeknit upper of my Adidas shoes provided a better, spot-on fit while running.

That’s not all.

Although Skechers also has a few leather options, it’s nowhere near as versatile as Adidas’ offerings. Full-grain, half-grain, suede; whatever types of leather you may need, Adidas has the option.

Here’s a comparison table between the commonly used upper material of Adidas and Skechers shoes:

TechnologiesPrimeknit, C.A.R.E., Strung textile, advanced mesh and syntheticsBasic knit, mesh, synthetics
GoalEnhance athletic performance, reduce weightProvide comfort and support at a reasonable price

Midsole & Outsole

The difference in technology continues to the sole of these shoes. Such different technology also continues to provide different user experiences and further segregates these brands.

Let’s take the midsole, for example.

Adidas uses several in-house midsole technologies across different series of footwear. Such as Boost foam in the Ultraboost and NMD shoes, which provide excellent cushioning and energy return, making these shoes suitable for running or high-impact workouts.

They also have Lightstrike Pro and Bounce foam for added cushioning and support.

Skechers shoes boast their proprietary Ultra Go and Hyper Burst technology in the midsole foam. These offer a lightweight and responsive feel rather than providing high-performance propulsive output.

Additionally, some Adidas shoes, like Adios Pro 3, have EnergyRods(AKA carbon fiber rods) for a long, stiff ride. Such a trait isn’t present on any of the Skechers footwear.

Now, if we switch the spotlight to the outsole, nothing changes.

The Goodyear rubber and Flex sole found on Skechers shoes provide satisfactory traction and flexibility.

But they’re nowhere near as effective as the Continental and Adiwear rubber outsole used on Adidas footwear.

This also matches the feedback from users around the globe.

One of my colleagues who owned a pair of Skechers SKX Float almost slipped while crossing a creek. I have never faced such inconvenience with the Adidas running shoes I’ve used for the past three years.

Not to mention, since Adidas shoes are mainly focused on heavy usage, the outsole is less prone to wear and tear compared to Skechers’ offerings.

Overall, the technological feat offered in Adidas footwear far exceeds what the Skechers have managed to deliver.

3. Outer Design

The design and aesthetic differences between the shoes of these two brands also reflect how they cater to different customers.

Adidas shoes have a much more pleasing and standard outlook that is suitable for any occasion. The minimalist design, sporty aesthetics, and iconic Adidas logo have that subtle yet prominent style that most users want from their premium footwear.

Furthermore, they also have trend-driven, eye-catching styles, thanks to regular collaborations with celebrities and athletes.

Despite the flashy look and exaggerated sole heights of the Skechers kicks, they don’t have that premium feel that Adidas shoes offer at a glance.

But their design is suitable for what they’re made of: lifestyle and casual wearing.

Some Skechers shoes combine performance elements like supportive overlays and technical details for an active lifestyle look.

In the end, Adidas shoes provide a safe look that is bound to radiate a modern fashion sense. But you can’t go wrong with either of these brands.outer-design-of-adidas

4. Fit & Comfort

Since Skechers shoes are purpose-built for maximum comfort, they should be an easy winner when it comes to fit and comfort, right?

Let’s do a thorough comparison of the toe cap, tongue, laces, and cushioning of these shoes to see if it’s actually true.

Toe Box

If you are concerned with bunions or blistering, Skechers’ footwear is an excellent option. They have a wider forefoot area, providing extra wiggle room for your toe.

Besides, the soft upper material doesn’t rub against your toe despite being less durable.

Although Adidas shoes have a narrower toe cap overall, they’re good for any indoor and outdoor activities.

That being said, I would go for a half-size large if there isn’t any D Wide or E Extra Wide option for the Adidas kick.

Tongue and Laces

The thin tongue found in the majority of Adidas shoes is suitable for a snug fit. However, they felt less comfortable during multi-directional workouts or casual wear.

Thankfully, the padded tongue of the Skechers footwear is less likely to move while running and adds an extra layer of comfort.

While the flat laces of the Adidas shoes are easy to tie and untie, the round laces of the Skechers footwear are more durable and less likely to come undone. For me, the latter is more impactful in any scenario.


If you want more responsive and workout-friendly cushioning, the engineered foam in Adidas shoes is more than enough.

But, when it comes to maximum cushioning and comfort, the memory foam found in the Skechers takes the lead, especially for casual wear.

Despite the snug fit and the locked-in feel of the Adidas shoes, the Skechers get an easy win for providing greater comfort throughout all their products.

5. Performance & Durability

Both Adidas and Skechers have a good reputation regarding their overall performance and durability. But things start to differentiate when you push them both to the limit.

I used to go on a long hike with the Skechers Max Cushioning Premier. And for the most part, it performed well despite quickly showing wear and tear in the outsole.

After switching to Adios Pro 3, it fit perfectly with my running style with little to no break-in period. The built-in arch support and the heel counter were the highlights of this enhanced user experience.

Not to mention, even after running more than 500 miles, I still haven’t noticed any visible wear anywhere on the Adidas footwear.

That being said, the Skechers shoe provided a better experience in general walking or running, but by a small margin.

In my opinion, the Adidas shoes seem to have better performance in casual or pronounced running. And the extra durability that comes with the better build quality is the icing on the cake.running-with-adidas

6. Price to Value Proposition

If you visit the official site for both of these brands, you’ll notice right away that the shoes from the same categories are a bit less pricey on Skechers’ side. But that doesn’t mean Skechers’ footwear has a better value proposition than Adidas products.

When you consider all the aspects where Adidas shoes excel, it becomes evident that they offer much more for a slight increase in price tag.

Take the trail and hiking shoes from Adidas and Skechers.

The TERREX AX4 Gore-Tex hiking shoe from Adidas costs around $120, while the Skechers Arch Fit Trail Air has a ~110$ price tag.

While around 10 dollars more expensive, Adidas shoes offer a significantly better product than Skechers.

Hence, despite having a lower price tag, the Skechers fails to get a one up against Adidas shoes when you compare them in price to performance ratio.

Pros and Cons of Adidas and Skechers Products

Breaking down the pros and cons of each footwear brand is a good practice before making a purchase decision. That way, you can pinpoint the crucial traits as to why you should buy or avoid products from a particular brand.

On that note, here are the pros and cons of Adidas and Skechers footwear:

Adidas Shoes

  • »A more comprehensive range of products suitable for everyone.
  • »One of the best shoe manufacturers for running and high-performance workouts.
  • »Innovative, cutting-edge technologies, such as Boost cushioning and Primeknit uppers.
  • »Better build quality and durability.
  • »Slightly more pricey.
  • »Less comfortable in walking.

Skechers Shoes

  • »Less expensive.
  • »More comfortable.
  • »A wider range of styles.
  • »Better size compatibility.
  • »Less durable.
  • »Not so suitable for high-performance activities.

Now, these highlights should give you a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of Adidas and Skechers footwear. But, if you want a more definitive answer, move on to the verdict.

Adidas vs Skechers: Which Brand Should You Prefer?

Adidas footwear is a better pick overall than Skechers as they offer a better user experience for a slightly higher price tag. Since Adidas has also started to offer comfortable casual shoes, it has become harder to pick Skechers over Adidas.

But we can’t deny the affordability of Skecher’s shoes, considering their flashy style and undeniable comfort.

However, you should always give a trial and check the fit & sizing before buying a shoe. That’s why you should purchase footwear from a retail shop instead of relying on online storefronts.

That being said, I feel more comfortable recommending a runner or sneaker from Adidas than going for Skechers. I mean, there’s a reason why Adidas ranks 2nd while Skechers isn’t even in the top 100 footwear manufacturers across the globe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Skechers good for running?

Yes. Skechers shoes are good for casual running, especially for beginners. But I wouldn’t recommend these kicks to seasoned runners as these aren’t suitable for high-performance running.

Is Adidas a luxury brand?

Adidas isn’t officially classified as a luxury brand. However, some of their premium products and collaboration with high-end brands indicate a more luxurious future for the brand.

Is Skechers better than Nike?

No. As a brand, Nike is a clear winner as they have much better products that appeal to the masses. Meanwhile, Skechers footwear targets a specific consumer base and makes its products accordingly.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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