Nike vs Adidas Running Shoes [Know Which One Runs Better]

Written By Sunny

Nike and Adidas are leading running shoe brands, both offering top-notch products to support runners of all levels. And you may get confused when it comes to choosing one brand over another.

Well, if you can’t pick one between the two popular brands for your next running gear, just go through this write-up.


Here, I’ll let you know how the Nike and Adidas running shoes compare and which will be the perfect fit for your next run.

So, grab your socks and get ready!

A Quick Overview of Nike and Adidas Running Shoes

As two of the biggest names in the world of sports apparel and footwear, Nike and Adidas have a rich history of creating high-quality and unique products. And their running shoes are no exception.

Now, let’s learn more about the two elite brands before comparing their running shoes.


Founded in 1964 by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, Nike was initially operated as Blue Ribbon Sports before rebranding as Nike in 1971. blue-ribbon-sports

The company’s first running shoe, the Nike Cortez, was introduced in 1972. And soon after the release, these durable yet comfy running shoes quickly gained popularity among runners. nike-cortez

However, Nike has become a dominant brand in the running shoe market since then. And offers a wide range of models designed for different types of runners and terrains, including the popular Air Zoom and Free lines.


Adidas was founded in 1949 by Adolf Dassler–a German cobbler and entrepreneur who happens to be the younger brother of Rudolf Dassler, founder of Puma. adidas

And the brand’s unique name, Adidas, was actually named after its founder’s nickname, “Adi.”

However, although Adidas mainly focuses on creating athletic and sports shoes, they wanted to extend their product line by introducing shoes for running marathons.

Going with that, the company’s first running shoe, the Adidas Marathon, was introduced in the late 1970s. adidas-marathon

And as expected, the newly released running shoes became popular among runners for their lightweight design and comfortable fit.

However, Adidas has continued to innovate in the running shoe space, with popular models like the Ultraboost and Solarboost featuring advanced cushioning and support technologies.

Adidas vs Nike Running Shoes: Differences and Similarities

While offering a range of quality running gear, both Nike and Adidas have their own differences and similarities. For instance, both brands offer running shoes with premium-quality and high-tech designs but differ in terms of fit, breathability, and cushioning.

So, let’s check out several features of Nike and Adidas running shoes to figure out their differences and similarities:


Both Nike and Adidas use high-quality materials to design their running shoes. They use a range of materials such as mesh, Flyknit, and Prime knit to ensure that their shoes are lightweight, breathable, and flexible.

But they differ when it comes to the breathability of the upper of the shoes.

Adidas uses a combination of mesh and synthetic uppers for most of its running shoes. Which makes the shoes breathable and an excellent choice for running in super hot weather.

Additionally, due to the synthetic and Gore-tex upper, most Adidas shoes, like Adidas Terrex are waterproof as well.

On the contrary, Nike running shoes come with a fly knit upper, which may not be as much breathable as the mesh upper of Adidas shoes. material

Yet the shoes are still breathable as they offer an upper design with specific zones of breathability.

That means Nike shoes are crafted with both thinner and thicker areas. While the thinner portions of the shoes’ upper allow for ventilation, the denser regions provide essential support and stability.


Running shoes from Nike and Adidas differ in terms of fit. Because shoes from Nike run a little smaller, while Adidas shoes are true to size.

Also, the midsole of most Nike running shoes are somewhat narrower when compared to Adidas shoes. fit

But neither of them is good for wide feet for their narrow toe box, except the Dunks. Because Nike Dunks are good for wide feet as they come with a wide toe box.

Although both Nike and Adidas offer some wide models, the average ones won’t fit well to runners with larger feet.

So, for a better fit with your wide feet, you may need to size up with both Nike and Adidas running shoes.


Regarding durability, both Nike and Adidas shoes are built to last with their high-quality materials and construction techniques.

However, you can run on your Adidas shoes for about 300 to 500 miles with average running mileage. So, depending on your running duration, Adidas shoes can last 3 to 6 months.

The same mileage goes for most Nike running shoes, except for Nike’s Vapor Fly, which can cover up to 200 miles of the run. durability


Nike and Adidas differ in their cushion technology and the designs of the soles.

Nike’s most popular air cushioning technology uses pressurized air within a durable yet flexible bag to provide cushioning and support. This technology is used in a range of Nike shoes, including the Air Max and the Air Zoom series. cushioning

Due to this air technology, Nike Air Force 1 shoe is very comfortable for running as well.

However, Nike also uses foam cushioning technology, such as ZoomX and React, in some running shoes, like Nike React Phantom Run and Nike Invincible series.

Right now, React cushioning is gaining more attention due to its soft and light cushioning.

On the other hand, Adidas uses Boost technology in most of its running shoes. Boost technology is a responsive foam cushioning system that provides responsiveness and shock absorption.

Adidas also uses Lightstrike cushioning technology, as in Adizero Adios and Adizero Boston shoes.

And this unique cushioning, in reality, is a lightweight foam that offers a responsive and comfortable ride.

Sole Design

Nike and Adidas have different sole designs in their running shoes. Nike has been using high-abrasion rubber and recycling waste material to make the shoes’ outsoles since the 90s.

However, the bottom of Nike running shoes is designed with a waffle-like pattern, which provides traction and stability on various surfaces. sole-design

For instance, the latest Vaporfly sole comes with intense grooves which help to passage of water. That means the shoes can perform well even on wet surfaces. vaporfly

This pattern also helps to distribute the pressure evenly throughout the foot, providing a comfortable ride.

Adidas, on the other hand, uses Continental rubber on the sole of its running shoes. This durable yet grippy rubber compound provides excellent traction while running.

Adidas also uses Eva foam to make their outsole, making most Adidas running shoes like, Adidas Cloudfoam good for running.

Additionally, Adidas uses a Torsion System in their shoes, a lightweight arch support that helps stabilize the foot during a run.


Although both Adidas and Nike running shoes are pretty expensive. Yet when compared, Nike shoes come at a slightly higher price than Adidas.

Adidas’ running shoe price ranges from $80 to $190, whilst the price of Nike shoes starts from $120 and can go over $200.

For example, I got my pair of Adidas Ultrabounce for $80, but my Nike Vaporfly Next 3 cost me 250 bucks. price

Although both brands have budget-friendly options for running shoes, you can’t get their signature models at a cheaper rate.

Overall, both Nike and Adidas shoes are similar in quality, performance, and durability, yet differ in features like design, fit, and cushioning. And you must consider all these aspects to find your next perfect pair of running shoes.

Pros and Cons of Adidas and Nike Running Shoes

As you now know, Adidas and Nike diverge in many aspects when it comes to their running shoes. But to pick the best one of them, you must know what benefits and drawbacks these two brands provide.

So, let’s find out the pros and cons of Nike and Adidas running shoes:


  • »Excellent arch and heel support.
  • »Responsive cushioning.
  • »Flexible and durable material.
  • »High abrasion and grippy sole.
  • »A wide range of styles and colors.
  • »Runs smaller than most US brands.
  • »Gives a narrow and snug fit.
  • »Not suitable for wide feet.
  • »Highly expensive.


  • »Excellent cushion support with boost technology.
  • »Highly breathable upper.
  • »Great arch support.
  • »Offers a variety of styles and colors.
  • »It may not give much traction on wet surfaces.
  • »Not suitable for wide feet.
  • »Needs more time to break in.
  • »Heavier than other brands.

Which One to Choose Between Nike and Adidas Running Shoes?

Overall, both Nike and Adidas offer excellent running shoes for all levels of runners, with a lot of benefits and a few drawbacks. The two brands offer a range of high-performing running shoes with great cushioning and support.

Then which one will be better for you?

Ultimately, the choice depends on your preferences and requirements. For example, if you prefer a snug fit while running, you may pick Nike over Adidas.

And if you are looking for a more affordable brand with boost technology, go with Adidas.

Furthermore, as Adidas shoes come with a breathable upper, if you are about to run in hot weather, going with them will be better.

But if you prefer fashion and stability over breathability, go with Nike.

Final Thoughts

Nike and Adidas have a range of running shoes designed to meet the needs of different runners. And choosing one between the two can be a daunting task.

Hopefully, with all the details discussed in this article, you’ll be able to pick the one best suited for you.

And let me know your final decision by commenting below.

Happy running!

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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