Battle of the brands: adidas vs. Nike

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This article was written by Sloane Kapit, class of 2019.

Nike and adidas have emerged as ever-present brands that hold extreme importance in our everyday lives, but many form opinions as to which reigns supreme before even learning about their attributes and histories.


In 1924, brothers Rudolf and Adolf Dassler began crafting shoes in Herzogenaurach, Germany. After a falling out during World War II, the two brothers went their separate ways in 1947, leading Rudolf to create Puma and Adolf to found adidas. Adolf Dassler’s “three stripe” trademark would effectively keep adidas relevant in the realm of sports and fashion for decades to come.

These three stripes would soon become a sensation in pop culture. Since its initiation, the brand has flourished, creating shoes, clothing and athletic wear vastly popular among celebrities and athletes. Adidas has recently collaborated with artists such as Pharrell Williams and Kanye West and high fashion designers such as Stella McCartney, Raf Simons and Alexander Wang, among others.

The brand has become distinguishable through its highly popular shoes, including variations of Ultra Boosts, NMDs, Yeezy Boosts and Superstars. Its three stripe adidas Originals tracksuits, T-shirts and soccer pants have kept it popular among high school students as well.

“adidas is way more collaborative and the brand places much more emphasis on fashion rather than just sport. While the quality of both brands is similar, adidas’s designs are better,” junior Emily Chebanu said.

“Impossible is Nothing” when it comes to adidas.


Nike takes its name from the Greek goddess of victory. In fact, victory was in sight when track-and-field coach Bill Bowerman was looking for ways to improve athletic performance through shoes. When his student Phil Knight added his business savviness to the mix, the company emerged in 1964, and has not looked back since.

Michael Jordan, a household name and basketball legend, collaborated with Nike during his rookie season. This wasn’t a bad idea on either end, as according to Forbes, the collaboration launched the company into the realm of billion-dollar revenue during his NBA career. The Air Jordan and its variations have become one of the most sought after shoes in circulation today. With designer Virgil Abloh’s launch of the reconstructed “Off-White” branded Air Jordan, its popularity has skyrocketed even further among both “sneakerheads” and celebrities.

Besides Virgil Abloh, Nike has collaborated with various high fashion brands and designers, including recent collaborations with Riccardo Tisci and Comme des Garçons. The demand for basketball shoes, though, remains in high gear as Nike continues to sign deals with the most highly-renowned players, including Lebron James, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Some of Nike’s most popular and well-known shoes include variations of the Air Force 1, Cortez, Foamposite, Air Max and Air Jordan.

While adidas is the second largest sportswear company in the world, Nike holds the first spot.

“This makes sense,” junior Cali Cortelli said. “While I like to wear adidas more for everyday, I like Nike more for sports and working out.”

Whether it’s the swoosh or the three stripes, everyone has a preference. What is yours?

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