Silhouette Showdown: The Current State of Nike vs. adidas


There is always excitement surrounding around Nike, but it’s no secret adidas has generated plenty of buzz lately with its Boost technology and ZX Flux model. With that being said, we take a look at 10 silhouette matchups between the two heavyweight brands and compare the current status of each. The battles are obvious for each as Nike has its Flyknit, while adidas has Primeknit. Nike came super correct with Lunarlon soles, while adidas has been getting rave reviews for its Boost cushioning. From an athletic standpoint to everyday lifestyle options to sneakers for the basketball court, with all this competition between the two brands, the real winner becomes the consumer.

Stan Smith vs. Air Force 1 Low

Year Released: 1973 (adidas) // 1982 (Nike)
Tech Advantage: Draw
Wearability Advantage: Nike

Overall Advantage: Does anything NOT go with a white-on-white AF1 Low? Though we love the recent innovations and collabs the OG Stan Smiths have seen in recent years (Primeknit holla!), we’re going to side with the Air Force 1 Low. And the tried and true AF1 has also seen some modern upgrades recently too in both upper materials and the addition of a Lunar sole.

Springblade vs. Free Hyperfeel

Year Released: 2013 (adidas) // 2013 (Nike)
Tech Advantage: adidas
Wearability Advantage: Nike

Overall Advantage: Nike. Okay, so most of us aren’t rocking either of these silos casually. But that being said, if you were going to wear one of them casually, it’s gotta be the Free Hyperfeel…right? While the Springblade offers crazy energy return, the Hyperfeel is simply a more versatile shoe. That and we love the colorways we’ve seen so far from Nike. But these two are both matched up due to the fact that they’re both just so unique in their own ways.

Energy Boost 2.0 vs. Flyknit Trainer

Year Released: 2013 (adidas) // 2012 (Nike)
Tech Advantage: Nike
Wearability Advantage: Flyknit Trainer

Overall Advantage: Nike Flyknit Trainer. While we absolutely love the comfort and responsiveness that adidas’s Boost technology offers, they’ve simply yet to bring form and function together as well as Nike’s offering. The wonder that is Flyknit, and the colorways that the Swoosh boys have brought to the table, are what push the Nike Flyknit Trainer over the top.

But one thing you can say about adidas’ Boost technology/sole, they are utilizing it on a number of different models such as the Pure Boost, Primeknit Pure Boost and the Climachill Rocket Boost, and it’s just a matter of time before a basketball sneaker with Boost technology hits retail shelves.

Element Refine vs. Roshe Run

Year Released: 2013 (adidas) // 2012 (Nike)
Tech Advantage: adidas
Wearability Advantage: Nike

Overall Advantage: Nike Roshe. While most people assume this year’s ZX Flux is adidas’s competitor to the Roshe, the Element Refine is actually a more apt comparison, especially in the price department. And, while we love what adidas has been doing with this silo, particularly the Tricot mesh uppers, the versatility of the Roshe, and it’s ridiculous array of permutations, tips the scales in favor of Nike.

ZX Flux vs. Air Max Breathe

Year Released: 2014 (adidas) // 2014 (Nike)
Tech Advantage: Nike
Wearability Advantage: adidas

Overall Advantage: adidas ZX Flux. In the upset category, we have the new hotness for the Three Stripes, the ZX Flux. Perhaps it’s a combination of new interest in the Flux and bit of fatigue with all the rehashing of the Air Max silos with ‘new’ tech. But we’re very excited about the potential of the adidas ZX Flux, espescially with the new mi adidas ‘photo print’ customization upcoming. We can’t wait to see where they take it from here.

Busenitz vs. Janoski

Year Released: 2009 (adidas) // 2009 (Nike)
Tech Advantage: adidas
Wearability Advantage: Draw

Overall Advantage: Nike. Though we’ve seen a tremendous amount of clean colorways and new tech innovations hit various iterations of both sneakers, we’re tipping our cap to Nike on this one for a couple reasons. First, the Janoski is really a modern classic; an original silhouette designed specifically for Stefan Janoski himself, and the colorways. Oh, the colorways. Plus, the Janoski is now being rolled out with a Lunarlon sole, while the super lightweight Janoski Max with a Air Max unit has also hit the market.

ZX Flux Weave vs. Flyknit Lunar2

Year Released: 2014 (adidas) // 2014 (Nike)
Tech Advantage: Nike
Wearability Advantage: adidas

Overall Advantage: Nike. While we do love both silhouettes here, one thing pushes Nike over adidas: Lunarlon. You simply cannot go wrong with Lunarlon…it’s like walking on little clouds. But one thing adidas has going for itself is that the ‘Weave’ upper has been making its way onto multiple silos with obviously the ZX Flux, but also the classic ZX 500 model.

Primeknit 3.0 vs. Free 4.0 Flyknit

Year Released: 2014 (adidas) // 2014 (Nike)
Tech Advantage: Draw
Wearability Advantage: Nike

Overall Advantage: Nike. While lawyers from both sides can argue about who invented the tech first, we as the consumer are benefiting from the competition to put out the better silo. While adidas has an admirable silo with the Primeknit 3.0, we’re just partial to the colorblocking of the Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit.

Primeknit Pure Boost vs. Flyknit Racer

Year Released: 2014 (adidas) // 2012 (Nike)
Tech Advantage: adidas
Wearability Advantage: Nike

Overall Advantage: One of the toughest showdowns on the whole list, we’re going to give this one to the Flyknit Racer based off of casual wearability factor and the plethora of amazing colorways we’ve already seen. Adidas can make up ground by dropping some more clean colorways, but there is a lot of ground to make up in order to catch the Flyknit Racer.

adidas CrazyQuick 2.0 vs. Nike Hyperdunk 2013

Year Released: 2014 (adidas) // 2013 (Nike)
Tech Advantage: Nike
Wearability Advantage: Draw

Overall Advantage: adidas. While we’re really stoked to actually try on the latest iteration in the Hyperdunk series, we’re going with adidas with it’s CrazyQuick silo. Okay, so it’s not a huge improvement over the original go around, but the CrazyQuick 2.0 is simply a monster on the hardwood. Plus we really love those wild colorways and (attainable) player editions we’ve seen come to market. These are awesome. It will be exciting though to see what the Hyperdunk 2014 brings to the table once they are actually released next month.

SOCCER BONUS SELECTION: Samba Primeknit vs. Mercurial Superfly FG

Year Released: 2014 (adidas) // 2014 (Nike)
Tech Advantage: Nike
Wearability Advantage: Draw

Overall Advantage: Nike. Yeah, we’ve got futbol fever too, so for our list, we’re throwing in a soccer bonus selection pairing the all new silos from adidas and Nike. While our decision is based almost entirely on the aesthetics of the Mercurial SuperFly, we still think it’s crazy to rock a cleat with a woven upper on the pitch. Sure, the weight might give you a slight edge. But what happens when another cleated foot lands on top of yours? Crazy.

Nike’s Mercurial Superfly has been getting plenty of shine in the World Cup, while Liverpool’s Luis Suarez (Uruguay) has worn the Samba Primeknit’s in Premier League games back in March.


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  • Thomas

    very BIASED!, KD needs to get off of nikes Dick.

  • d_JAYs

    no nike tech reaches the boost!! just try it!!

  • Bronze Turtle

    so biased, how the fuck does the flyknit trainer beat the genius of the energy boost?

  • ¢nr

    This article pisses me the fuck off. Yall hate on adidas’ tech so you can give nike the W for a better looking sneaker, and you give Nike credit when they have tech… You also seem to appreciate the fact that nike milks all of their models dry…call me crazy but adidas actually has more than a couple nice shoes

  • master baiter

    while this does seem a little biased, I understand that people have their own preferences. I feel like there should have been a test with people who have no substantial bias to give an opinion.

  • chijrt

    WOW. Talk about a biased review. None of Nike’s offerings can trump Boost. I’m sorry. Ask any runner or anyone that actually care about sneaker cushioning

  • Vansqui

    Stan Smiths Vs AF1s a draw??? Stan F@ckin Smith is a proven classic and to pit it against AF1 is blasphemous.

  • VS86

    This is indeed ridiculously biased. I’ve been a nike guy for a long time. Since getting my first pair of energy boost, however, everything has changed. I would literally have boost in EVERY PAIR OF SHOES I OWN if I could. It’s simply amazing. I have three pairs now. Nike’s lunarlon doesn’t even compare. Now, nike’s full-length bottom-loaded zoom though…that’s something else. I also love the flight plate technology…except my forefoot zoom on my XX8’s blew out on me after four indoor games of ball. Lame.

  • Dan

    How can u compare the primeknit pure boost with the flyknit racer, ive tried both on and pureboost is WAY in front of the flyknit racer, only reason why u could have listed the flyknit racer in front is cause theres a million colours of the flyknit racer compared to ONE colour for the primeknit pure boost at the moment

  • Southcoast Kicks

    Archie Bunker isnt this biased!!! I cannot believe some of the things said. Very dissapointed…

  • Maxi

    Luis Suárez is Uruguayan, not Argentinean)

    (Luis Suárez es Uruguayo, no Argentino)

    • Kicks Deals

      Man, we knew that too…total mistype. Thanks for catching our mistake!


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