to top 10 table

Best Adidas Shoes Reviewed for Style & Performance

last updated Nov 08, 2018

Adidas shoes hold a special place in the world of sneakers thanks to their high quality make, superb design and excellent comfort features. Although today the brand has a fervent mass following, its beginnings were modest, having started in 1924 in a small Bavarian town. Nonetheless, a dedication to producing performance-driven footwear and Olympic medals for Lina Radke in Amsterdam (1928) and Jesse Owens in Berlin (1939) ensured that the small brand had a bright future ahead of it.

What makes Adidas stand out today is the fact that it’s a brand which stays true to the principles of German-engineering which are precision, performance, and an unbeatable drive to be better than anyone else. With fun collaborations with artists such as Stella McCartney, Raf Simons, Pharrell Williams, RUN DMC and most famously Kanye West, fans are always looking forward to the latest releases, which have been known to sell out in record time.

Researched Sources
13
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
6k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
17
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
15
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Ana Rockov:

The latest update to this article removes styles that have been discontinued, sold out or updated with new colorways, and replaces them with the highest rated adidas shoes in May 2018. Featuring models such as the Samba Classic, Harden Vol.2, Deerupt Runner and more, this list takes a detailed look into each of these shoes providing you with plenty of insight into their strengths and weaknesses.

Sorting Options
Style Materials Advanced Features By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.3
Style
97%
Materials
98%
Advanced Features
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.11.18)
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
Style
97%
Materials
95%
Advanced Features
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.11.18)
$59.98
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.7
Style
94%
Materials
96%
Advanced Features
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.11.18)
$109.94
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
Style
97%
Materials
94%
Advanced Features
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.11.18)
$70.86
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Style
96%
Materials
95%
Advanced Features
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.11.18)
$49.99
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Style
97%
Materials
95%
Advanced Features
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.11.18)
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
Style
91%
Materials
93%
Advanced Features
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.11.18)
$180.00
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Style
94%
Materials
92%
Advanced Features
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.11.18)
$95.86
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Style
89%
Materials
91%
Advanced Features
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.11.18)
$105.02
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Style
85%
Materials
87%
Advanced Features
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.11.18)
$70.17
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Adidas Superstar
  • Adidas Stan Smith
  • Adidas PW Tennis Hu
  • Adidas Pro Model
  • Adidas Samba Classic
  • Adidas Gazelle
  • Adidas Ultraboost
  • Adidas X PLR
  • Adidas Harden Vol.2
  • Adidas Alphabounce Beyond
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Adidas Superstar

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.3
1. Adidas Superstar
Style
97
Materials
98
Advanced Features
97
best offer for today
Pros:

Full-Grain Leather Upper

Easy To Maintain

Durable Rubber Outsole

Comfortable Leather Lining

Cons:

Extended Break-In Period

The Adidas Superstar was originally created for the tennis court in the 70s, but has since gone on to become an ultimate street fashion icon. A shoe which was not only the no.1 most sold item in 2016, but ranked among the 5 top selling sneakers of 2017 and going strong in 2018, it’s gained a strong following among sneaker fans worldwide. You can get them in a huge variety of versions - from slip-ons, to 80s inspired models to those with Boost soles - you’re bound to find a pair that will suit your style of fashion. And the best part is, they will look great no matter what you pair them with.

Read more

Timeless Silhouette
Part of the reason for the Superstar’s popularity is attributed to sneaker styling and flawless Italian design. Featuring a classic rubber shell toe, these sneakers have a low cut that is comfortable for wear, and that lends itself to a minimalistic look that can either be toned down or kicked up, depending on the colors you choose. With almost endless options available, the Superstar really does work with anything, from jeans, to athletic wear, to even a suit or dress.

Leather Upper and Lining
The Superstar has been designed not only to look great but also to perform. With a full grain leather upper that is both durable and flexible, and an ultra soft leather lining designed to comfort the foot as well as impart a “heritage” vibe, you will find that all versions of the Adidas Superstar feel and wear exceptionally well. The herringbone patterned hard-wearing rubber outsole provides great traction on all surfaces and gives you a completed product that will last for quite some time.

Cost and Value
The Adidas Superstar ranks average on this list when it comes to price, and you’ll be happy to know that they sit beneath the $100 mark, making them an excellent investment. Made of high-quality leather, it will put up with quite a beating, which explains why it’s such a popular choice not just for street wear but also for skateboarding.

2. Adidas Stan Smith

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
2. Adidas Stan Smith
Style
97
Materials
95
Advanced Features
96
best offer for today
$59.98
Pros:

Padded Tongue

Perforated Upper

Ortholite Sockliner

Full-Grain Leather Upper

Cons:

Thin Footbed

For a completely pared down minimalistic style, make sure to check out the classic Adidas Stan Smith - a low profile silhouette that any Adidas fan will easily recognize. This model was first launched in the 70’s and is exactly what you would imagine a tennis shoe designed in the 70’s would look like - a softer, lighter, tennis-court version of the Superstar. The Stan Smith is not only visually streamlined but even more, it is a comfortable choice of everyday footwear you will be happy to wear all day long. It’s versatile and durable, and is a crowd favorite, receiving consistently high marks, with a staggering 60+ renditions (including men's, women's and kids models) which are in production at the moment.

Read more

White Leather Upper
What makes the Stan Smith such a recognizable pair of sneakers is the smooth and clean leather upper which is all white with minimal embellishments (the only pop of color on these is at the heel tab). This is a low-cut sneaker, inspired by tennis playing, and it allows for easy foot movement which you will appreciate even if you only want to wear these to casual dates or the office.

Comfort Oriented
These sneakers may look amazing, but they feel great on your feet, which is, in part, why they have been so popular for over 40 years. The tongue is padded in order to ensure you feel no pressure from the lacing, the collar is cut low so as not to irritate the ankle or Achilles, and the inside is lined with genuine leather to give you a soft and breathable feel.

Cost and Value
Costing just a little bit more than the Adidas Superstar, these shoes offer excellent value if you’re looking for a classic, retro-looking pair of sneakers. They come in a few color variations, most based on white with a pop of color at the heel, and can easily be paired with any outfit. They feature an OrthoLite sockliner which makes them a superior option regarding comfort, enabling you to have a pair of Adidas shoes you can wear almost anywhere.

3. Adidas PW Tennis Hu

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.7
3. Adidas PW Tennis Hu
Style
94
Materials
96
Advanced Features
97
best offer for today
$109.94
Pros:

Waffle Textured EVA Midsole

Ortholite Insole

Breathable PrimeKnit Upper

Slip-On Design

Cons:

Runs Narrow

This isn't the first time we've seen Pharrell Williams collaborate with Adidas in order to bring about a cool looking shoe. From beach slip-ons to NMD reboots, and even a clothing line, the artist has had some great impact on the overall aesthetics of the brand. The Pharrell Williams Tennis Hu brings together some of Adidas’ best technologies with Pharrell's funky personality to create a shoe that looks unique, feels great, and will easily stand out in a crowd. The goal was vibrancy, and that's certainly been achieved with a colorful Primeknit top paired with a thick, marbled midsole. Hu references the different hues of people that exist in our world, and this message is prominently displayed via the Equality symbol on the shoe's heel.

Read more

PrimeKnit Upper
Using one of Adidas’ best technologies, this shoe features a full PrimeKnit upper. The material is woven in a way that allows for larger holes in the knit, giving ample airflow and breathability to this tennis shoe. The slip-on design is easy to wear and offers a sock-like feel as it conforms and shapes to your foot’s every move. This is a pair of shoes that will provide a snug and stable feel with a customized fit.

Vibrant Colors and Design
Pharrell really went all out in trying to represent the variety of hues that exist, and the Pharrell Williams Tennis Hu comes in a wide variety of colorways, with new iterations being released every season. There are monochrome options, along with designs that have a brightly colored upper and a contrasting marble midsole. The sockliner is equally exciting with its graphics, while still remaining functional when paired with the reflexology insole.

Cost and Value
Ranking average on this list when it comes to price, the Pharrell Williams Tennis Hu run at a pretty average price for an Adidas mash up, and the comfort combined with the vibrancy makes these a great pair of shoes to have in your rotation.

4. Adidas Pro Model

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
5. Adidas Pro Model
Style
97
Materials
94
Advanced Features
95
best offer for today
$70.86
Pros:

Added Ankle Stability

Herringbone Tread For Traction

Rubber Toe Cap

Full Grain Leather Upper

Cons:

Little Temperature Regulation

The Adidas Pro Model first debuted as a performance basketball shoe but quickly became a street style classic due to its mid-top profile that builds on the already legendary Superstar. It features the same trademark Adidas rubber shell toe and vintage charm of its low top version, but it provides the added benefits of extra padding and ankle stability, all in a durable, well-cushioned pair of shoes. It’s not just an excellent choice of Adidas shoes because of its stylish design, but it can even provide some much-needed warmth during the colder months.

Read more

Full Grain Leather Upper
The Adidas Pro Model continues in the tradition of using high-quality materials, namely full grain leather for an upper that is comfortable and stylish. It’s very easy to keep clean, as just a simple wipe down with a damp cloth is enough. Furthermore, it offers excellent protection and warmth, while still allowing for some air flow thanks to the perforations on the upper.

Herringbone Tread Pattern
The Pro Model features the same outsole that can be found on the Superstar, and it will provide you with the right amount of traction in all situations. The rubber sole will even stand up to shooting some hoops while handing out with your friends, which is no surprise seeing that these shoes were once worn by professional basketball players.

Cost and Value
The Pro Model has a price which is similar to the Stan Smith and still falls under the $100 mark, which is excellent value for a leather mid-top pair of sneakers. This is a pair of shoes that has a fine construction, and that will stand up to the test of time, no matter how you decide to use it. Although the color options in 2018 are limited, you will definitely be able to pair these with any outfit for a classic casual look.

5. Adidas Samba Classic

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
4. Adidas Samba Classic
Style
96
Materials
95
Advanced Features
94
best offer for today
$49.99
Pros:

Non-Marking Outsole

Cushioned Textile Lining

Durable Leather upper

Arch Support

Cons:

Not Ideal for Flat Feet

When you think Adidas, chances are you’ll think of this shoe. Originally made in 1950 for soccer players to play on frozen outdoor pitches, this pair of sneakers is still widely popular with those playing indoors. With a leather upper that is soft and flexible, a suede toe for better grip of the ball and a lightweight rubber outsole that provides excellent traction, these shoes are just as much performance-oriented as they are stylish for everyday casual wear. And the best part is - they’re reliable and will last you a long time, some users have reported to owning them for several years.

Read more

All-Leather Upper
The upper of these shoes is made out of genuine leather which is perfect if you’re looking for a durable shoe. The suede toe overlay is there to improve your contact with the ball, but what you will find is that it will also prevent your shoes from showing too many scuff marks and other signs of wear. The extra long tongue can either be folded over the laces to give you a better feel of the ball, worn high or even cut to give you a more customized fit.

Gum Rubber Outsole
These shoes have a gum rubber outsole that is perfect for playing on indoor pitches, seeing that it is non-marking and will give you plenty of traction. Even more, thanks to this outsole, these shoes can be worn for more than just indoor soccer - you can use them for all types of indoor sports, but also outside for lighter activities such as walking or just as everyday shoes. The insole is lined with cushioned textile, and you will love these if you prefer a lot of arch support.

Cost and Value
These shoes rank lowest on this list when it comes to price. They are an excellent investment when it comes to Adidas shoes, seeing that for a little money you will be getting a pair of footwear that will do well at what they’re intended for, and will allow you the right amount of flexibility to wear them for other uses as well. Whether you opt for the white, black or special Russian edition which boasts red stripes, you will get a classic look with the Adidas Samba that will look great even as a pair of everyday shoes.

6. Adidas Gazelle

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
6. Adidas Gazelle
Style
97
Materials
95
Advanced Features
93
best offer for today
Pros:

Leather Upper

Thick Non-Marking Outsole

Non-Slip Design

Ideal For Narrow Feet

Cons:

Runs Narrow

The Gazelle was one of Adidas’ original training shoes, with roots embedded in Olympic history. They have been around since the mid-60s, and have always been one of the brand’s most performance driven shoe, featuring a colorful suede upper that has inspired so many of Adidas’ later shoes. Available in several colors, the most recognizable is the Collegiate version, constructed in an electric blue plush velour offset by white leather trimming, completely modeled after the early 90s version which still resonates with sneaker fans almost 30 years later. The Gazelle is the perfect pair of street shoes, having been worn by legends such as Michael Jackson, Kate Moss and numerous other celebrities, and although it has moved on from the court to the street, it’s a shoe model that’s got plenty more to give.

Read more

Thick Rubber Outsole
The Adidas Gazelle features a thick rubber outsole originally with non-slip and non-marking properties that were intended for maximizing performance during training and handball games. The sole that is found on the shoes today is thick enough to give you plenty of comfort and stability while walking or running errands and will do well on all types of surfaces.

Striking Color Combinations
The basic version of the Gazelle comes in three classic color choices - gray, black and royal blue with a contrasting white tongue, heel tab and the legendary Adidas stripes. However, if you prefer something a bit different, you can go with a mint green, white with blue or even all-red.

Cost and Value
The Gazelle ranks low on this list when it comes to price, costing the same as the more popular Superstar. With a pigskin leather upper and a synthetic leather lining, they are sure to provide you with a comfortable wearing experience whether you use them occasionally or as an everyday shoe.

7. Adidas Ultraboost

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
7. Adidas Ultraboost
Style
91
Materials
93
Advanced Features
96
best offer for today
$180.00
Pros:

Flexible Stretchweb Outsole

Boost Technology

PrimeKnit Upper

Rubber Outsole Provides Solid Traction

Cons:

Runs Narrow

Introduced in 2013, the Adidas Ultraboost changed running shoes forever. The first pair of running shoes to feature energy return, this model is all about providing you with the technology that is intended to maximize your performance and minimize the fatigue you feel after logging your daily miles. You will love the fact that these shoes are made so as to give a custom fit, with a lot of comfort features that will have you wanting to wear them even as a pair of everyday shoes. And best of all, they come with endless possibilities when it comes to style and additional features, so you can even opt for a pair of Uncaged, Laceless or Stability edition Ultraboost sneakers, or go with the gender-specific X which was made for female runners.

Read more

Supportive but Flexible
One of the best parts of these Adidas shoes is the fact that they will comfortably fit anyone. The upper is made out of breathable PrimeKnit, a material that will allow your foot to move in any specific way it needs to, while the supportive heel construction will allow a smooth and free movement of the Achilles tendon while still keeping you safe.

Boost Technology
Best used for long and urban runs, these shoes are made with a special midsole that incorporates thousands of capsules in order to maximize energy return. Paired with the Continental stretchweb outsole which is flexible and provides excellent traction both in wet and dry conditions, you will be getting a pair of shoes that have plenty of features to make you fall in love with them.

Cost and Value
As any pair of flagship running shoes, the Ultraboost comes at a price which is quite high - in fact, they rank highest on this list when it comes to price, and that is just the basic model. If you decide to go with one of the special or upgraded editions, you can expect to pay more than $200 per pair. Nonetheless, these are not only high-performing and comfortable shoes, they also offer excellent durability which will ensure that you get the most bang out of your buck.

8. Adidas X PLR

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
8. Adidas X PLR
Style
94
Materials
92
Advanced Features
93
best offer for today
$95.86
Pros:

Textile Lining

EVA Foam Cushioning

Flexible Rubber Outsole

Removable Ortholite Insole

Cons:

Heel Section Can Be Irritating

When it was first released in 2016, the X_PLR was dubbed the poor man’s NMD. Featuring a silhouette that is evocative of one of Adidas’ best-selling performance sneakers, these shoes have a stylish caged upper on top of a molded EVA midsole that provides lightweight cushioning and shock absorption. Unfortunately, the X_PLR is only available in kids sizes in 2018 but is still an excellent choice if you manage to get your hands on a pair made for adults, or if you can get away with wearing one of the smaller sizes.

Read more

Knit Upper
The upper of the X_PLR is made out of a perforated knit upper that allows excellent breathability to prevent overheating and sweaty feet that come with an active lifestyle. Flexible and easy to mold to any foot shape, these shoes will do great for almost any activity you set your mind to.

Insole and Outsole Innovation
The X_PLR features an innovative rubber outsole that is curved, sloping thinner towards the toe. This gives the shoe a profile that is distinctive, featuring a small toe guard for added durability, and offering excellent flexibility and range of movement. The inside of the shoe has an OrthoLite insole which not only cushions but is also removable in order to accommodate custom orthotics.

Cost and Value
The Adidas X_PLR is the cheapest pair of sneakers on this list, however, this should not be a surprise seeing that it is a model made for children. If you wear a small size, then these shoes are an excellent choice seeing that they offer excellent comfort levels as well as performance without the hefty price tag of flagship models.

9. Adidas Harden Vol.2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
9. Adidas Harden Vol.2
Style
89
Materials
91
Advanced Features
93
best offer for today
$105.02
Pros:

Wide Platform

Thick BOOST Midsole

Adaptive Upper

Solid Arch Support

Cons:

Not Suitable For High Insteps

These basketball shoes were designed to provide you with the best technical features you need during a tough game, but you’re very likely to want a pair to rock on the streets as well. With excellent energy return that comes from the Boost midsole, these shoes combine the best that is available in running shoes with a more stable upper suited for the quick starts, stops and direction changes that are common in basketball. Available in seven colors, you’ll definitely fall in love with their futuristic design and will want to wear them all the time due to the high levels of comfort they offer.

Read more

Even More BOOST
One of the best things about the Harden Vol.2 is the fact that the BOOST cushioning is even thicker than that which was found in the original. With its excellent shock absorption abilities, it will prevent any joint or knee pain, no matter how long you play, and will offer comfort in the forefoot area that can take quite a beating when jumping and landing. Furthermore, thanks to the thicker Boost, you will find that these shoes offer more stability, making them perfect for anyone needing a more secure shoe.

TPU Coated ForgeFiber
The upper of these shoes is made out of reinforced mesh that has two functions. The first one is to instantly adapt to the foot, and it does great at this. The lacing system is excellently designed, allowing these shoes to be comfortable regardless of the width of your foot. The second function involves security and stability, and this is where the extra stitching and TPU coating come into play to ensure a better grip of the foot as well as more durability in the mesh upper.

Cost and Value
Ranking a bit above average on this list when it comes to price, the Harden Vol.2 is a great investment, regardless whether you plan on wearing them on the court or as a pair of fashion sneakers. You will find that they’re one of the most comfortable and stable shoes made by Adidas, and you are bound to find a color option that will allow you to show off your personal style.

10. Adidas Alphabounce Beyond

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
10. Adidas Alphabounce Beyond
Style
85
Materials
87
Advanced Features
86
best offer for today
$70.17
Pros:

Molded Heel Cup

Heel And Midfoot Stability

Breathable Forgemesh Upper

Excellent Energy Return

Cons:

Little Arch Support

Designed for athletes who need a lot of support, whether at high speeds or during lateral movement, the Alphabounce Beyond is a pair of running shoes that will definitely catch your eye. Flexible in the upper, cushioned on the inside and boasting a wide platform at the forefoot and the heel, these shoes will definitely provide you with a fit perfect for gym training, H.I.I.T., everyday walking or even long runs. No matter what activity you use them for, you will love the fact that they look simple but modern, and that they come in three colors which are all very easy to pair with any outfit.

Read more

Breathable Upper
These shoes feature an upper made out of Zoned Forgemesh which provides the right balance between flexibility and support. Though it’s bulkier than PrimeKnit, it is actually more suited for weightlifting and cross training thanks to the zones which provide support in key places. A molded heel cup is placed on the outside of the shoe in order to give you the support and secure feel you will need during your training sessions.

Bounce Midsole
These shoes feature a flexible midsole that has Bounce cushioning, which makes them a great choice for running and walking. A 10mm heel drop ensures a better foot position for gaining speed, while the Continental rubber outsole provides great traction, whether you’re planning on wearing these inside or outside, in the sun or rain.

Cost and Value
With a price that is average on this list, and expected from a pair of high-performance shoes, the Adidas AlphaBounce Beyond is an excellent choice for anyone who needs an all-around pair of sneakers. You’ll find that they’re an excellent alternative to Yeezys, seeing that they look similar but cost just one-third of the price. You can wear them both as casual footwear, or for your training, and you’ll find that they do great for both uses.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Style

One of the things adidas sneakers are known for is the fact that they are unique looking and appealing, greatly contributing to the image of the person wearing them. They transcend function and provide the wearer with a style that not only looks good, but reflects a dedication to quality, precision and high performance. You will find with a lot of adidas shoes that they feature limited edition releases, slowly rolled out colorways, and numerous collaborations with celebrities, companies, brands, and shops. What this means for you as the consumer is that you are investing in a shoe that has had a lot of thought put into its looks. These are shoes that speak more about your personality than just some regular run of the mill sneaker. And with so much to offer within the adidas shoe universe, you’re bound to find a pair of shoes that fits whatever look it is that you’re aiming for.

All adidas shoes, from classics to moderns feature the brand’s signature three stripes on the side, marking them as part of the adidas family. While this one feature will be the same across the board, everything else is frequently changing and being upgraded in order to give all of their shoes a very new and now appearance. adidas loves to be ahead of the trends, and you will find that the newer lines tend to have a more futuristic vibe, often featuring large midsoles and irregular shapes.

One thing that people love about adidas shoes is that they frequently pull out designs from their archive and breathe new life in to them by redesigning them to appeal to the more modern masses. This is a beautiful way of keeping their history alive, while allowing themselves to improve upon some of their best shoes. Usually keeping within the ’80’s and ’90’s feel, you will often see that these classic styles have new technological upgrades, such as the addition of PrimeKnit or BOOST to make the shoes more functional and attractive looking overall.

As mentioned previously, adidas colorways are one of the factors that make their shoes highly sought after, and give them a very unique and personalized feel. Often released months apart, you will find that an initial shoe drop tends to come in one color, then as the months pass more and more colors and patterns will be released. Brands and companies such as BAPE, Opening Ceremony, and even Disney have all collaborated with adidas to put their own spin and style on classic shoes like the Stan Smith.

Not only do collaborations change the colors and patterns, but some change the entire make of the shoe for a one of a kind choice that can’t be found elsewhere. When BAIT teamed up to have their go at the Stan Smith, they changed the fabric to an all hemp based, while also using a heat press to make for a very special shoe and vibe.

Celebrities have also gotten on board with adidas, Kanye West being one of the most notable with his line of Yeezys. These types of collaborations lead to a lot of hype, and end up with lines of shoes that are not only limited edition but also very exclusive. For those who want a pair of shoes that stand out and aren’t seen on the streets often, adidas has numerous options that, if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on, will definitely give you and fresh and prized appearance.

Materials

Depending on what you plan on using your shoes for, the type of material used on both the upper and the sole is going to have a significant impact. For those who want a more tight fitting shoe that feels secure yet personalized, the newer PrimeKnit models will meet your expectations. Then there are those who seek stability and durability,leaving them to opt for a leather design that will hold up better over time. With a variety of different material options available, it’s important to break each one down and look at where they excel versus where they may fall a bit short at.

For The Midsole

  • Polyurethane (PU): Polyurethane midsoles are one of the more expensive options, so you are only going to find this material used in higher end brands and models. With adidas being so reputable and recognized world wide, it is only natural that some of their models would feature a PU midsole. PU midsoles are highly sought after because they tend to be the most durable, and can be compressed over and over again without flattening. Even after multiple wears, shoes that have a PU midsole will still have the same amount of bounce, support, and comfort that they did when you first purchased them. For long distance runners, or other people who put a lot of mileage into their shoes, polyurethane is the way to go as it allows users to get more use out of their shoes than any of the other midsoles on the market. The downside with this choice is that it is more expensive to produce, and thus will drive up the cost of the shoes. For the everyday wearer, this isn’t going to be a necessary component to a pair of shoes, and you should find that other, cheaper midsoles are just as effective as PU ones.
  • EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate): Easily the most common midsole that is around today, EVA is a standard foam choice that really stands up well and offers great results. Since the midsole is meant to absorb shock and distribute weight, compression EVA does an excellent job at this as it is fairly soft and very flexible. It is able to work with your foot’s natural movement so that you are given adequate protection where you need it most. When it comes to EVA there are two distinct types, white and grey, and each has its own benefits and uses. White EVA is the softer option, and is great for people who have specific foot conditions where they need a more flexible and cushioned shoe. White EVA will give you a far more softer landing with each step, and if you suffer from shin splints or other painful conditions you should find this makes your shoes a lot more comfortable. The downside to white EVA is that because it is softer it can be worn down more quickly, and your shoes may not last as long as their grey EVA counterparts. Grey EVA, on the other hand, is more firm and long lasting, great for people who tend to have issues like plantar fasciitis. The firmness of the grey EVA is going to give you a shoe that feels more stiff and will generally be a bit heavier, so it is more designed for sneakers and walking shoes versus running shoes. The stiffness and firmness of this midsole is a perfect choice for people who don’t have a natural rolling of the foot when they step, so overpronators should find that grey EVA gives them a more structured gait. The reason behind EVA being one of the most common midsole materials is that fact that it is far cheaper than a lot of the other materials available. While this helps keep the cost of the shoe down, the downside is that it tends to flatten fairly easily over time. You will notice that after a good number of miles, you shoe won’t have quite the same bounce or cushioning that you loved when you first bought them.
  • Adidas BOOST: Using a material known as TPU, BOOST offers up a unique and enhanced midsole that really does give the wearer a much added boost. Similar in appearance to tiny, styrofoam pellets, BOOST midsoles have looked at the science behind the material in order to produce something that excels in a number of categories. From being better at absorbing shock, returning energy, and even more heat resistant, BOOST has changed the game for adidas. Originally only seen in running shoes, BOOST is now making an appearance in almost every faucet of the adidas world, and older models are now being redone to include this new styled midsole. A fan favourite, BOOST keeps being revamped every so often to make it better and more effective year after year.
  • For The Upper

  • Leather: Many of the classic adidas sneakers featured a leather upper, which was buttery soft and timeless in appearance. Over time, the leather upper started to fade as adidas branched into newer materials and fabrics but some of the absolute staples still have this great design. There are many advantages to using leather (although there are obviously some disadvantages as well) and it will always remain one of the most iconic upper designs when it comes to shoes that have a retro feel. One of the more common leathers that you will see is shoes that feature a suede upper. While some people may not know this, suede is actually a type of leather and is treated in a similar way as other leather shoes. Suede has the advantage of being durable like traditional leather while still remaining softer and more flexible. Many adidas models have a suede option, or limited release suede model, giving you the chance to have a leather shoe with far more ease than if you are seeking a traditional leather shoe. While suede is more soft and flexible, the downside with suede is that it is far more difficult to keep clean, and tricky to wash. Suede is soft and fuzzy in texture, and has less thickness than other types of leather. Suede generally should not get wet, and so you will be limited to what time of the year you are able to wear your suede shoes.
  • Synthetic: While real leather certainly has its advantages, synthetic leather can be a cheaper and more attainable way to emulate the same look that a leather bound shoe offers. More lightweight, and oftentimes far easier to clean, synthetic materials are very commonly seen nowadays. While adidas may not have the largest line of synthetic uppers, they certainly do have some key styles that showcase how good it can look, as well as how reasonably priced it makes a shoe. Synthetic uppers are in no way just limited to faux leather, and when a shoe is classified as having this type of upper it can be referring to a number of different man made materials. What almost all synthetic materials have in common is that they tend to be far more lightweight and flexible than things like leather, which is a very stiff and rigid material to work with.

    Some key shoes to note that are made from synthetic uppers are models like the Tubular Shadow which has a textile synthetic upper, and many of adidas’ cleats are made of kevlar. Not only will you find full synthetic uppers, but many times, adidas mesh shoes will feature a synthetic overlay. This is there to help protect the shoe from damage and to offer up more durability over time. Going the other direction, shoes like Infiltrate feature a full synthetic upper with a mesh overlay, a unique and fun way to play with materials to make a shoe have a more interesting appearance.

    Another synthetic material that you may come across now and again is neoprene, although it is rarely featured as an entire upper and more frequently seen as an addition. Neoprene is a synthetic rubber that is most commonly seen in scuba diving suits, but it makes appearances in footwear from time to time. Stan Smith Zipped sees a neoprene enhanced upper, but more and more of their one of a kind shoes are made from a completely neoprene upper. The Y-3 Kozoko, a collaboration with one of Japan’s top designers is made from a single piece of neoprene which gives this shoe a fit that is similar to wearing a sock. Neoprene is known for shrinking against the body and giving a very snug fit, so you can leave off the laces and still have a very tight fitting shoe.

    In 2017 we saw neoprene being used in a whole new way, as Daniel Arsham took a turn with adidas and found a way to mix neoprene with ultra BOOST in order to create a whole new shoe design that hadn’t been seen before. Using a stamping process, they molded the neoprene in to the exact shape the wanted, a method that ended up creating a smooth and seamless shoe. It is well known that adidas is always trying to push the boundaries when it comes to their shoe designs, and finding new materials to work with is one of their best traits. From 3D printed shoes, to a full hemp design, and even synthetic spider silk, adidas is often the brand to look to if you want something out of the ordinary and ahead of the game.

  • Knit: Until more recently, shoes had always been sewn from different fabrics or materials, taking pieces to form an upper and then sewing them together before attaching them to the midsole. As footwear demands changed, and companies sought to do something different, the world of knit uppers was quickly born. The two major players in the knit game are adidas and Nike, with both claiming that their versions of the knit upper are superior. While there are many similarities between the two, there are a couple differences that people find they prefer. The focus here will be on the adidas PrimeKnit, as we look into what it is, how it works, and what it offers in terms of bettering a shoe.

    Knit uppers are exactly what they sound like, an upper that is made of knitted material instead of a singular piece of fabric. What makes knit uppers interesting, is that they are more lightweight, have far more breathability and airflow, and can give the wearer a more customized and snug fit that other uppers might not be able to offer. Adidas refers to their knit uppers as PrimeKnit, not to be confused with Flyknit which is the Nike design. PrimeKnit began as something that was tested out on running shoes, as it held all of the characteristics that a runner really needed in their footwear. Ultra lightweight, flexible, and snug, PrimeKnit gave runners the shoe that they had been hoping for in order to perform better. With PrimeKnit being such a hit with runners, adidas slowly started moving this upper towards different types of shoes and found that the market loved it.

    One of the big factors that separates PrimeKnit from Flyknit is that it has larger sized holes in the knit, offering up a bit more breathability and moisture wicking properties. While it may sound like a knit shoe would be significantly less durable, the knitting processes uses different styles of techniques in order to create a shoe that is still supportive and durable, as no one wants a toe popping through on their first run. With more people seeking shoes that are lightweight, not just runners, PrimeKnit has taken lightweight to a whole new level. Weighing in at just 5.2oz, Primeknit has been able to help create shoes that are so light you would barely know they are there. If you spend long hours on your feet, or run, or have foot issues, PrimeKnit uppers can help reduce foot fatigue as you aren’t lugging around heavy shoes on your feet all day.

  • Advanced Features

    When selecting the best of the best of adidas shoes, one of the main components has to be the technology that’s been implemented in to the footwear. Patented and unique technologies is what makes each shoe stand out, and what separates adidas from the crowd. To not look at what these technologies are and how they impact the shoes would be a complete disservice to the brand, and would not fully explain why each shoe made our top list.

    Each technology developed is meant to enhance the footwear, either making it more comfortable, breathable, orthotic, supportive, or any number of factors that people want when they put a pair of shoes on their feet. While adidas is always coming out with new things and ideas, there are a few key technologies that we will look at that have really revolutionized their footwear.

  • BOOST: Back when we looked at the different materials used, under midsoles there was a section that looked at BOOST. While we covered what exactly it was, we didn’t go too deep into what it does, so that’s what we will talk about now. BOOST has been around for a very long time, but it has gone through many generations and upgrades to get it to what it is today. While very few models saw the addition of BOOST in the past, we can see this technology being added to shoes more often today, mainly thanks to its energy returning properties.

    Originally designed for runners, BOOST has one of the highest energy returns of any midsole on the market, a fact that has made it such a desired feature for both runners and everyone else alike. Energy return is how much bounce a shoe gives you when you step down, helping propel you into your next step. For a runner, this is essential as it can make for an easier and more comfortable run. For everyday wearers, energy return simply gives you a much more cushioned step and allows you to walk more easily.

    Not only is BOOST better at energy return, but it is also significantly more heat resistant than any other midsole material currently being used. The benefit here is that it will stay consistent no matter how much you use it, giving you much more return and long lasting results comparably.

  • adiPrene: With a very high degree of impact absorption, adiPrene is one of adidas’ top technologies for the midsole and footbed of a lot of their casual, everyday sneakers. With the ability to provide exceptional comfort and support, adiPrene cushions the heel as well as the forefoot, with the majority of the padding located in the heel area.

    While many different materials are good at impact absorption, what makes adiPrene stand out is that it is able to absorb up to as much as five times the weight of your body. Regardless of how much pressure you are bearing down on your foot and shoe, adiPrene has the ability to remain supportive and offers up a more energy efficient take off with each and every stride.

  • Formotion: For those who overpronate or have supination, you know what it means to not have your foot fall in the most natural of positions. Some people may find that their feet tend to roll inwards or outwards when landing. This can cause a lot of issues over time, especially for runners, so being able to adjust the foot each time you land is extremely beneficial.

    adidas has developed the Formotion technology to address this very issue, and it has been effective at helping runners and everyday wearers have a more natural gait and smoother step every time. By incorporating horizontal plates in the midsole, they have managed to achieve a system that repositions your foot after every strike down.

    These metal plates slide when your foot touches the ground, slowly adjusting your step so that your foot is returned to its natural position. It doesn’t matter how, or which part of your foot touches down first, the dual plates are able to immediately begin moving so that your gait is adjusted as you go.

  • Ortholite Sockliner: While this is not one of adidas’ creations, it was a certainly a feature that was looked at when selecting the best shoes for this list. Many adidas shoes feature either an OrthoLite sockliner or footbed, and the reasoning behind this is pretty essential.

    When you run, or jog, or walk, or even stand still your feet can get hot and sweaty inside your shoes. The friction and movement ends up creating moisture, and that moisture can lead to some pretty bad outcomes. From smelly feet, to stinky shoes, and even a break down of the interior, moisture is not something you want building up over time.

    OrthoLite is a master at moisture management, and has the ability to wick it away with ease. All of the heat and sweat that your foot produces is countered by a OrthoLite liner, as it works by moving any moisture away from your foot and towards the exterior of the shoe. In breathable shoes, this means that none of the moisture will stay, and your foot will remain cool, dry, and odor free all day long.

  • PrimeKnit: Back up in the Materials section, under Uppers, we looked at Primeknit, a material that has become so popular in running shoes, sport shoes, and even casual everyday shoes. From an economical and environmental standpoint, PrimeKnit is doing wonders as it is less costly to produce and the finished product has zero waste in comparison to other materials which you must cut and leave scraps from. A machine weaves together the fabric, making for a lower cost of labor, and a quicker shoe production process overall. This is a good reason as to why more and more shoes are starting to feature a Primeknit upper, as it benefits both the consumer and the manufacturer.

    But the benefits to PrimeKnit don’t just end at less waste and lower costs, as no one would purchase a shoe for those reasons alone. No, the reasoning behind why PrimeKnit has become such a sought after upper is because of how breathable, lightweight, and comfortable it is on the foot. While synthetic fabrics can offer a lightweight upper, none of it compares to how light a PrimeKnit upper truly is. For runners, this is the ideal shoe material, and it has extended far beyond sports, reaching a global market.

    The material stretches perfectly, and it offers up a very snug fit that is almost sock like. When you put on a pair of shoes with this upper, you will find the fabric molds to the shape of your foot, and you feel quite secure with or without any lacing. No matter how you use your shoes, they should not slip, slide, or fall off your foot as this material will hold them securely in place.

    Now, you may be wondering how durable is a bunch of knitted fibers really going to be? Well, the answer is surprisingly, very. In order to double down on highly used areas, such as the toe region, the Primeknit is heated to the point where the fibers actually meld together, creating a very tight and solid bond. This doesn’t mean that these shoes are indestructible, but it does mean that they will hold up while you run or play sports, and you don’t need to worry about ripping a hole in them.

    One of the downsides to Primeknit, and other knits in general, is that they tend to be harder to clean and easily get stained. You have to remember you are dealing with a fabric, and just as a sweater will stain when you spill your coffee on it, so will you knit shoes. That doesn’t mean you can’t clean them, just know that it will take a bit more work and they may not come out as clean as other types of uppers, like leather, will.

  • Expert Interviews & Opinions

    Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
    Sort criterias acording to:
    Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
    Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
    1
    Style
    Rate This Criteria as Most Important
    2
    Materials
    Rate This Criteria as Most Important
    3
    Advanced Features
    Rate This Criteria as Most Important
    Thinking Outside the Box: Adidas Collaborations

    With fun collaborations with artists such as Stella McCartney, Raf Simons, Pharrell Williams, RUN DMC and most famously Kanye West, Adidas is keeping up their trend in fashion along with technology, to bring forward fun, comfortable, and fierce footwear for the masses.

    Technology Drives Performance

    Not only does Adidas make some fashionable styles of footwear, they've built upon existing technology when it comes to performance, that enhances their line of sneakers each and every year. From Adiprene to Boost technology, the brand stands up to the toughest competitor's workouts with its principles of German-engineering of precision, performance, and unbeatable drive to be the best

    Frequently Asked Questions

    q: Are adidas shoes washable?
    a:

    Because adidas shoes feature a variety of different uppers, the way you clean them is going to be very dependent on what type of shoe you have. For leather shoes, it is recommended that you use a shoe leather protector in order to keep them in better condition and to help keep them cleaner. For non-leather shoes, you should only be washing them using warm soapy water, and this must be done by hand. An old toothbrush or a small shoe brush can be used to scrub away dirt, but make sure you aren’t scrubbing hard enough to damage the material. Once clean, leave them to dry with some paper towels placed inside to help soak up any extra water. It is never recommended to put shoes in the washer or dryer as it can warp the shoe and lead to damage.

    q: Will adidas shoes stretch?
    a:

    This is going to come down to the fabric used, but in most cases, you can stretch them to some degree if you put in enough time and patience. With that said, leather and suede uppers are going to be harder to stretch than neoprene or Primeknit, as they are designed to be more sturdy, stiff, and inflexible. With neoprene or Primeknit uppers, the material is extremely stretchy, and it is able to fit to most foot sizes. This won’t affect the length or width of the shoe, but it will affect how your foot feels in it overall.

    q: Are adidas shoes vegan?
    a:

    adidas shoes are not guaranteed vegan, and a lot of models are made out of leather or suede. adidas also cannot definitively say whether the glue or other components are 100% vegan, so if you are seeking a vegan shoe adidas is most likely not the brand you should be looking at. While synthetic and knit uppers are available, it doesn’t mean that there are no animal byproducts used in other parts of the shoe.

    q: Are adidas shoes unisex?
    a:

    This comes down more to personal taste more than anything, but a majority of the Adidas models are unisex in style. While Adidas does offer both men’s and women’s models of most shoes, for older models that may only come in one unisex design. Newer models have been crafted more with male and female foot differences in mind, so those with smaller and more narrow feet may find the women’s version to be more comfortable than the men’s. Many of the limited edition and collaboration models that come out are unisex, with no reference to gender anywhere in the shoe name or description.

    Sources

    1. Astrid Lang & Stefan Tamm, How Primeknit was born, Article, Aug 10, 2012
    2. MilitaryBootsDirect, What is the Difference Between EVA and Polyurethane Midsoles?, Article, Dec 31, 2017
    3. adidas Center, ADIDAS shoe technologies, Article, Dec 31, 2017