Adidas vs Nike: Who Really Wins?

When it comes to football boots, the competition between Adidas and Nike can be likened to the supposed rivalry between football stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who were respectively sponsored by the brands. Both are highly competitive, constantly developing new technology for comfort, durability and increased performance of their boots for the football market to devour. Even their advertising is a battle on its own, securing endorsements from famous professional footballer players left and right.

Although the choice of a brand still depends on the customer’s needs and preference, this is an article that can help to compare both brands of football boots at various categories of performance.

The categories include Control, Speed, Power, Hybrid and Heritage. Each boot falling under a particular category caters to the needs of different consumers with different playing styles by enhancing particular features to enhance performance in a particular area. For instance, attackers and midfielders who do a lot of running around are best suited with lightweight boots that enhance their speed or a speed and power hybrid which helps with both agility and ball impact.

Media and Sponsorship Impact

In terms of media and sponsorship impact and overall brand recognition, Nike is the leader. At the recently concluded Euro 2016, one of the biggest events of the year for both sportswear brands, we could easily see which one dominates. For football boot player sponsorship, Nike got 60% of the overall sponsorship while Adidas only has 31%. For kit sponsorship, Adidas was able to sponsor 9 teams, or 37%, while Nike sponsored 6 teams, or 25%. Adidas was the official tournament sponsor for this event.

In terms of endorsers, this time Adids has Gareth Bale, Paul Pogba and Mesut Ozil. On the other hand, Nike has its resident golden boy Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Nike also has relatively more followers and likes on social media.

Materials to choose

Both brands use a variety of materials in making their boots. Most of them include kangaroo leather, synthetic leather, and ‘high-tech’ hybrid variants such as Kanga-Lite and Primeknit which are used by Nike; Taurus, Hybridtouch and Flyknit used by Adidas.

The general consensus seems to be that Nikes take longer to break in, is slightly more expensive, durability is bad and very thin. Adidas is known for more comfort, thicker inner lining and durability.

Battle of the Boots


When it comes to speed, the Adidas F50 (synthetic) and the Nike Mercurial Vapor (Teijin fiber) are the representatives of being lightweight. However, in terms of weight, the F50 is lighter at 5.8 oz compared to the Mercurial, which weighs 6.6 oz.

I guess Adidas wins this round.

Traditional classic

The classics line of both brands are both tried and tested with time, and both are made of kangaroo leather, the arguably most comfortable material for football boots. The Adidas Copa line boasts of tradition, durability and longevity. While the Nike Premier line delivers its promise in being a boot that will stand the test of time.

Due to equal recognition by both professional and amateur players alike, this round is a tie.

Hybrid: Control and Power

The Adidas Predator LZ features a trimmed down power zone with emphasis on the “lethal zones”, which are said to be the best parts of the foot for powerful kicks of a ball. Meanwhile, the Nike CTR360 is said to be a boot focusing on control for attack.

Adidas wins this round due to the versatility and well-roundedness of its features.


The Adidas adiPower Predator has a “predator zone” feature, which is a silicon design at certain regions of the boot that adds extra bounce when striking the ball. The Nike T90 Larser IV boasts of an Adaptive Shield on its strike zone, ensuring the “perfect strike”.

For this round, Nike takes the “perfect strike”.


Both the Adidas adiPure and Nike Tiempo Legend are modern classics without being outdated or too techie. The adiPure’s upper is modified with Duracoat, while the Tiempo is a modern take on Nike traditional hybrids which shares its features with its fellow boots.

For seamlessly incorporating the classic and the modern, Adidas wins.

It looks like a tie for this brand battle, since media branding-wise; Nike dominates, while Adidas is better at the technological aspect of football boots.




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