Nike vs Adidas running shoes: Which should you buy?

Both Nike and adidas produce some of the best running shoes available right now, but you may be wondering which of the two brands should you buy?

To help you find the answer, we've compared some of the similarities and differences between the two, before giving our overall opinion on which running shoes we think are best.

With that being said, we'll start things off by comparing the differences in price...

Nike vs adidas running shoes - Price

The first thing you'll likely consider when choosing between two brands is which produces the cheaper running shoes. While the price isn't everything, it is useful to know how two comparable sets of trainers stack up against each other.

To differentiate them, we've selected two similarly matched trainers, the Nike Winflo 8s and the adidas Astraruns, from our list of the best running shoes under 100, and compared their retail prices from each brand's own websites.

Nike Winflo 8 product image of a black and white sneaker above a black and pink Adidas Astrarun 2.0.
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Credit: Nike and Adidas

From this test, we can conclude that adidas may be the slightly cheaper running shoe manufacturer; however, the difference in price between them is minimal.

This is also the case if you look at each brand's flagship marathon shoes as Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%s cost slightly more than comparable adidas Adizero Prime Xs.

Nike vs adidas running shoes - Performance

With the price covered, you're probably wondering which of the two will actually help you run faster for longer.

If we once again compare the brand's two best marathon shoes they have to offer, you'll find they're both fairly similar from a performance perspective.

Nike, for example, includes ZoomX foam for lightweight yet responsive protection, Zoom Air pods for enhanced energy returns, and curved, carbon fibre plates to produce a snappy, 'rocker' sensation with every stride.

Nike Zoom X Foam product image close-up of Nike Zoom X branding in black and red.
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Credit: Nike

This is similar to adidas as its running shoes feature almost like-for-like technology to Nike's.

For example, you get three layers of responsive Lightstrike Pro cushioning, ENERGYRODS, plus Energyblades to give you a greater feel and energy return during each step.

The reason we've compared the two most expensive Nike and adidas running shoes is that, if we're going to find any differences in performance at all, we're likely only going to see noticeable differences from shoes packed with the latest technology.

As it happens though, it seems the two are pretty equally matched.

Nike vs adidas running shoes - Comfort

We've briefly touched on the comfort of each brand's running shoes by mentioning ZoomX and Lightstrike Pro cushioning which seem to be fairly equal in terms of shock absorption and padding.

With that being said though, adidas running shoes may be slightly more comfortable overall due to Adidas' Primeknit construction being softer and more flexible than Nike's Flyknit technology.

Adidas UltraBoost product image closeup shot of black Primeknit material.
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Credit: JD Sports

Also, Adidas is behind the notoriously comfortable Boost midsoles which are commonly known as some of the most comfortable midsoles features across all running shoes.

Having said that, whether Nike or adidas shoes are more comfortable will depend on your own preference and the trainers, so we can't speak for everyone when we say adidas shoes are the more comfortable of the two.

Which should you buy?

There is no clear winner when it comes to choosing the best running shoe manufacturer since both Nike and adidas produce excellent running shoes, which is why they are two of the most prominent sportswear brands on the market.

To find any sort of difference between them, we'd perhaps argue that, due to the slightly lower price tags, adidas running shoes are a better pick if you're struggling to decide which brand you should buy.

However, choosing between them will ultimately come down to personal preference as you may find one brand suits and fits your feet better than the other.

We'd recommend trying on pairs from both Nike and adidas if you can, and testing out which of the two seems most comfortable to you.

Read More: Best running headphones under 100 - Our top picks

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