Best Adidas Shoes Reviewed for Style & Performance
Adidas is such a high-producing athletic apparel company (with a fervent mass following) that a section needed to be dedicated to the best of sneakers that Adidas has to offer. A German company, Adidas does not disappoint, offering products crafted intricately – in the name of German engineering and design.
Adidas is a company that is symbolic of what German-engineering is known to be, offering detailed and precise sneaker technology, imparted with conservative color palettes. With a reputation for aggressive performance, concentration in algorithms with a focus in engineering, Adidas has survived for more than 65 years -a highly influential athletic sportswear brand endorsed by many celebrities and collegiate sports teams.
Sneakers serve double duty, as brand-name items that must protect feet while looking good. Adidas manages to do both serving up casual street skater inspired shoes, running, exercise, and fashion shoes as well as the real deal, basketball shoes, and athletic sneakers. Whether looking for a casual low-top or an animated running shoe, the results of this list, the Adidas sneakers review, has gathered them all – compiled from each category highlighting distinctive features of each candidate is the top ten list. Researched and reviewed according to factors including product details, traits, and attributes, the strength of reviews and quantity of reviews.
15 Best Adidas Shoes
1. adidas Superstar
Part of the reason for the Superstar’s popularity is attributed to sneaker styling and flawless Italian design. Featuring the classic rubber shell toe, this leather and synthetic sneaker comes in six different color options, the diagonal adidas stripes accenting the form of a simple and low - rise walking sneaker.
Quality construction and materials
Sure they’re cute, do they perform? With ultra soft leather lining designed to comfort the foot as well as impart a “heritage” vibe, product quality of the Superstar is high. With an enhanced layer featuring a mesh knit textile, ensuring maximum breathability, while forming to the foot.
Cost and Value
At this price point, it comes in at approximately average. This is a great sneaker, there are few other sneakers that are built well, comfortable and cute. The design of the Superstar makes it a great value, for the retro look. It is perfect for those looking for a skater shoe look without actually buying a skater shoe, which tends to be uncomfortable. Plus, on top of being attractive and comfortable, they are made of good material - they are superstars.
- Appealing retro design
- Simple and easy to coordinate
- Price point is within reason
- Ten different color schemes
- Many of the main colors/styles hard to find
- Certain colors of the same style cost more
2. Adidas Stan Smith
The looks of the Stan Smith are smooth and clean, this is a low-cut sneaker, inspired by tennis playing. The shoes are simply-designed, minimal profile. These offer consumers casual wear and easy to put on handling, the padded tongue and footbed have been enhanced.
The background of this sneaker has a history and tradition. Much like the long history of adidas, the history of the Stan Smith is embedded in sneaker glory. The shoe carries with it a time-honored styling, evoking an 80’s sneaker vibe.
Cost and Value
The overall price point ranges between $41 and $234. If available at the lower price point range, the Stan Smith is an excellent casual wear sneaker. At the higher end, for certain colors of the exact same model, it is not a great value. The sneaker has much fan support, though there is no need to spend more than the lower price point for a casual, multi-purpose sneaker. For those that can find the Stan Smith in their size and desired style, it is a desirable way to wear adidas in an understated and subtle way.
Smooth full-grain upper
Stan Smith Logo on Tongue
Stan Smith iconic brand designation
Easy-grip heel tab with logo
Looks like it was designed in the 80’s, unintentionally
3. Adidas Neo Baseline
Though categorized as a fashion sneaker, the NEO excels because of comfort. Usually, fashion sneakers tend to be thin, brittle and boxy in construction. What looks the best is not the most comfortable. With an enhanced tongue and collar, lined with plush and absorbent fabric, adidas provides fashion sneaker wearers much-needed comfort.
The appearance of these is a hit with reviewers. Defined as retro-inspired, the leather design embodies casual chic with as many adidas fan voting for the “nice looks” in addition to the “well-made” construction of the sneaker.
Cost and Value
Among the most affordably priced of the adidas on the list. The price varies depending on what style or color selection you choose. The traditional version, an all-white model featuring a black contrast stripe panels, is an excellent bargain - in the adidas category and a great bargain in the fashion sneaker category. It is a great buy in any sneaker category.
Excellent price point
Comfortable, cushioned tongue and collar
Modern Retro Look
Interesting shades: Ice Green & Merlot
Many sizes and shades are sold- out
Sizing can be off
4. Adidas Gazelle
The endurance capabilities of a hard thick sole, commonly attributed to basketball shoes or skateboarder shoes, can be a wonderful thing. With a heavy thick sole, you can feel comfortable while walking or running errands. Constructed of rubber, the sole is non-marking, designated as a multi-surface outsole.
Striking color combinations
The base colors of grey, red and black will average between $40 and $50. The gazelles have some famous color choices though, resulting in a supply and demand driven price of $220 for certain hot color combos. Green, burgundy, yellow and white are consistently sold-out of the Gazelle line. Expect to pay at the higher price point if you happen to like these intensely popular tones.
Cost and Value
At an average price around $51, the Gazelle is a great value for those looking for a casual walking sneaker that has some bold design and fabric choices.
Low-profile flexible midsole
Distinctive color patterns
Might be loose for narrow fee
Some versions sold-out, hard to find
5. Adidas Cloudfoam VS City
Meant to envelop the foot in billows of soft material, the Cloudfoams are a marathon shoe, the inspiration is from a running shoe. Designated for consumers living the everyday marathon, the Cloudfoams incorporate trademark lightweight running shoe construction with favorable textile choices like a mesh upper and seamless toe cap.
Innovative Sock Liner
The interior of the sneaker is a component that has been enhanced favorable over the decades, designers producing materials have added benefits, like moisture-wicking or anti-bacterial action. Adidas also incorporates a trademark lining, the Cloudfoam sock liner keeps feet cool and cushioned, the Cloudfoam element being an EVA compound.
Cost and Value
For the price and the design of the shoe alone, it would be hard to find a running shoe that protects and shields feet while imparting cushioned, shock-proof layers. The Cloudfoam is a value because it beats out competitors offering similar products, all while retaining adidas name-branding.
Reasonable price point
Can be worn during active times or down times
Suitable for gym use and casual use
Reflective at night
Friendly-looking and cuddly version of the Adidas bunch
Three color options
Beginner athletic shoe, not suitable for performance level running
6. Adidas Pro Model
At a totally competitive price, costs the same as many of the others on the best list. This particular shoe has been commended for its high-quality standards but relatively low monetary cost.
Distinctive Style Elements
The trademark adidas stripes have an added touch, pinking trim. A process that trims edges to produce a zig-zag, jagged yet orderly, outline. These edges on the adidas stripes, along with decorative circular laser cuts, give the Pro Model charm.
Cost and Value
For all - around looks, price and design, the Performance Pro is a winner. It does not have as many votes, common for a sneaker with a basketball designation. Don’t let that dissuade you from considering this sneaker as an option, with the recent rising popularity of mid top sneakers comes an explosion of incredibly overpriced selections to the market, the Performance Pro offers the best value at reasonable cost.
Mid top sneaker option
Classic adidas styling
Signature pinked edges on logo stripes
Additional ankle support
Not available, always sold out
Pinking trim could be unattractive to some
7. Adidas X PLR
Available in five patterns, all are neutral-toned shades. Simply titled blue, black, white, gray and dark blue, they are all actually really muted colors. The dark blue features a navy blue panel inset, not too bright in tone or hard to match at all.
Insole and Outsole Innovation
The rubber outsole is curved, sloping thinner towards the toe. This gives the X_PLR a profile that is distinctive as well as offering agility. The insole is removable.
Cost and Value
A good option at an affordable price for those wanting a lightweight shoe or for those wanting a shoe that offers more support than a tradition thick one-dimensional street shoe.
Simple design and color patterns
Easy to coordinate, blends-in
Suits active wear lifestyles
Offers more support than flatter or thinner sole sneakers
Four color variations
More for style than actual athletic performance
8. Adidas Tubular Radial
Channel the creativity in human engineering with these fashion sneakers wrapped up in an athletic cover. The look is completely sporty, built with a melange knit upper highlighted in two coordinating tones.
The Tubular outsole
Besides being a fun word to say, tubular is also the namesake of this adidas sneaker for good reason. The Tubular Radial has a design inspiration, tires, specifically radial tires. The sole features markings reminiscent of a tire tread. Offered in seven shades.
Cost and Value
The cost of the Tubular is fair, comparable to the other adidas sneakers in the lineup. The value comes in the tire pattern and interesting rubber outsole detailing. Adding design details to the rubber outsole is an added designer touch.
Synthetic suede upper
Unique sole imprint pattern
Some styles run small
The mystery blue appears darker in person
9. Adidas Concord II Mid
The texture and finish of the leather are divine, the patent leather gleams true to reputation, glowing and reflecting surrounding light with adidas glory. The shiny, car wax glossy finish drips luxury.
Goldtone Hardware Embellishments
The eyelets of the Concord are crafted with gold tone metal hardware, perfectly complementing the shiny patent finish. The gold tone continues on to the ankle strap, which has the brand name embossed in gold tone foil print.
Cost and Value
This is a competitively priced sneaker, at $68, it is within reach and affordable. Factor in the embellishments and the velcro straps, higher prices often mean enhanced design detailing. If interested in the fashionable edginess of the Concord, then the $68 cost is a great value.
Hook and loop ankle strap
Patent leather option
Ridged rubber outsole offers traction
Luxurious vibe, goldtone highlights
Perforated, ventilated toe area
Two color choices
Not available for women!
10. Adidas NMD XR1
This shoe was designed not to be an ordinary object on the foot, the adidas PrimeKnit wraps and surrounds the foot in lightweight fabrics designed to support and cushion. This is an adaptive fabric that responds to the foot.
The High-Grade Material Supporting Soles and Arches
The rest of this high-performance sneaker offers just as much in creative athletic sneaker design. This is a molded EVA midsole that cushions a “boost” layer, it responds to energy levels and also has a heel patch. The molded heel patch also offers EVA cushioning.
Cost and Value
The cost of this product is relatively high, $150 to $395. Compared to all adidas sneakers available, this product consistently received high marks, in spite of the exuberant price point. The highest sneaker on the list, it is also the newest and youngest, having yet to prove itself in the long run. The features that it does have could make it a good value if you must have an adidas running shoe.
Designed for elevated athletic performance
Geared toward running enthusiasts
Understated color palette
Price is on the high side
11. adidas Yeezy Powerphase
While old school kicks almost exclusively were made from a leather upper, over the years there has been a noticeable shift towards more lightweight and pliable fabrics. From suede to primeknit, adidas has shied away from their original leather designs, which is why it's nice to see the return of the more old school style. The soft leather encompasses the shoe and really adds to the retro vibe. It's durable and smooth, while remaining easier to spray and keep clean.
Stamped in gold foil along the side of this shoe is a shout out to Calabasas, home of Kanye's wife and the whole Kardashian clan. This gold lettered detailing brings these shoes from the past and connects them to the present, as we see the vintage look with a modern shout out detailed across them. These shoes are part of a new line that includes shirts, sweatpants, and even socks; all items being stamped with the same gold foil Calabasas writing.
Cost and Value
Any time Kanye releases a new shoe, the running joke is always about how utterly expensive they tend to be. In the case of the Yeezy Powerphase Calabasas these are surprisingly cheap, and really no more than any other adidas shoe you would want to buy. Unfortunately, as it so often happens, these are limited so if you're buying them anywhere other than the adidas website be prepared for a very hefty up sell.
- 1980's Throwback
- New Calabasas Line
- Soft Leather Upper
- Gold Foil Detailing
- Retro adidas Logo
- Perforated Three Stripes
- Off White, Grey, and Black
- High Abrasion Sole
- Limited Edition
- High Resell Price
- No Technology Upgrades
12. adidas PW Tennis Hu
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 enhanced by the upper, as Primeknit offers a sock like feel as it conforms and shapes to your foots every move. This is a slip on that will feel snug and secure, giving a customized fit and feel.
Vibrant Colors and Design
Pharrell really went all out in trying to represent the variety of hues that exist, and the Pharrell Williams x adidas Tennis Hu comes in a bunch of different colorways that have slowly released over time. There are monochrome options, along with designs that have a brightly colored upper and a contrasting marble midsole. The sockliner is equally exciting with it's graphics, while still remaining functional when paired with the reflexology insole.
Cost and Value
While originally starting out a pit pricier, these shoes have dropped significantly over the last little while and are easily bought for under $100. Even if you can't find them on sale, these still 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.
- Slip On Tennis Shoe
- Primeknit Upper
- Enhanced Breathability
- Suede Tongue Tab
- Neoprene Lining
- Graphic Sockliner
- Waffle Designed Midsole
- Lightweight and Cushioned
- Equality Symbol
- Minimal Lining/Padding
- Stain Easily
- No Boost Sole
13. adidas EQT Support ADV
One of the major changes that the adidas EQT Support ADV has is the newly designed upper which is made from a much more breathable and flexible fabric. The flat knit offers up enhanced breathability, giving you a lot more airflow and cool down ability in comparison to other running shoes on the market. Quarter panels are also made of mesh, allowing for additional breathability, while also being contrast stitched for a pop of color and uniqueness. Synthetic overlays ensure that the upper is durable and long lasting, making sure your toe doesn't pop through after a few wears.
To add extra comfort to this shoe, it is equipped with an OrthoLite sockliner that is soft and comfortable, easily molding to the shape of your foot. This specially designed foam contours to your foot, giving a more personalized fit over time. Not only is it comfortable, but it's water resistant and antibacterial, meaning you don't have to worry about a build up of sweat or odors over time. Any moisture and humidity will be wicked away so you have a breathable, cool, and dry shoe no matter what you're using them for.
Cost and Value
As one of the cheapest options listed, this shoe is an absolute bargain, and is also often on sale. At well under $100 this shoe is hard to pass up, especially for those who are fans of the 90'2 era retro inspired look. With adidas updating a lot of their classics, this is a great example of how old designs and new technology can come together to make a well rounded and very comfortable shoe.
- Durable Rubber Sole
- Flat Knit Upper
- Mesh Quarter Panels
- Very Breathable
- Synthetic Overlay
- Nubuck Toe
- Sock Like Feel
- Mesh Lining for Added Ventilation
- OrthoLite Sockliner
- Bit Difficult to Get On
- Sizing Runs Small
- Width is Narrow
14. adidas Tubular Shadow
Although the nickname may sound silly, the burrito tongue is actually one of the top features that this shoe has to offer. For those who sometimes struggle with getting your foot in to snug knit uppers, this double wrapped tongues give you more space and an easier entry. The double wrapping allows for extra space on the upper part of the tongue, so when you insert your foot the tongue works with you to pull your foot in and allows for the space to adjust before the knit clamps down.
What made the 1993 Tubular so popular was partly due to how comfortable it was for long term wear. The midsole was thick and cushioned, and this has been replicated in the updated adidas Tubular Shadow. Remaining extremely lightweight, the midsole will give you an added bounce to your step while ensuring your foot remains cushioned and supported throughout the day. This is a great shoe for walking or running in, and can be worn for long days at work or while you're out exploring the city.
Cost and Value
The price of these shoes is really dependent on the colorway and style that you end up selecting. While the all black tends to be the cheapest of the bunch, when you start going for the diamond shaped, 3D appearing upper you are going to be spending quite a bit more. Sizing is also going to make a difference, with smaller shoes like the women's version running for less than the larger sized men's shoes. All in all these aren't overly expensive, and if you want a light and comfortable take on a true classic, then these are worth the money.
- Two Tone Knit Upper
- Remake of a Classic
- Quarter Panels in Suede
- Well Ventilated
- Snug Sock Like Fit
- Burrito Tongue
- Added Heel Support
- TPU Detailing for Durability
- Sizing Runs Larger
- Width is Wider
- Not as Comfortable as Other adidas Designs
15. adidas Campus Vulc II ADV
This is the type of rubber than can be found on the soles of almost every great skate shoe to exist. It's strong, long lasting, and very durable which is exactly what you need when your foot is hitting the pavement over and over again. While vulcanized rubber does tend to be heavier than other materials, in a skate shoe this is actually optimal as it helps keep your feet firmly planted on your board. You should find this sole offers up better stability while having great traction and grip.
When you're hitting up a skate park or attempting new tricks, you know that the impact of your feet hitting the ground can get painful after awhile. To help ease that shock impact and reduce any soreness or fatigue, these shoes are made with a comfortable molded sockliner which will absorb any shock and distribute it evenly across the foot. Made from PU foam, this is a sockliner that will mold nicely to your foot shape and give you support and protection where you need it most.
Cost and Value
The low price of these shoes is one of the features that make them such a favorite among skateboarders and sneaker heads alike. Even at regular price they are under $100 dollars, and when you factor in that they are almost always on sale, you can score these for closer to the $50 mark. Although they aren't as versatile as some of the other shoes on our list, these are a great every day shoe as they have an attractive, low profile and look great on almost everybody.
- Suede Upper
- Vulcanized Rubber Sole
- Sturdy Grip
- Sockliner Made of Molded PU
- Contrast Three Stripes
- Lined With Soft Fabric
- Looks Great With Most Outfits
- No Break In Period
- Laces Are Long
- Width Is More Narrow
- Low Padding in the Heel
The world of Adidas sneakers is a large one with many of the top models (Superstar, Stan Smith, Concord, etc) having dozens of spinoffs in various patterns and limited editions. It is a fierce sneaker world with consumers owning, on average, more than one type of sneaker.
These are the best of the main Adidas sneaker category, roughly divided into fashion and athletic. Most of the sneakers embody traits for both, they can be classified as fashion-leaning or athletic-leaning.
There are so many options available at the same price point, that the consumer can choose a quality Adidas product in basketball style, skater style or the athletic style.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best adidas Shoes
Style and Appearance
When it comes to buying name brands such as adidas, one of the key factors is really going to come down to style and appearance. Of course you want more from a shoe that just the look of it, but brands like adidas are known for coming out with unique looking and appealing shoes that speak to an image and persona more than just their function as footwear.
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, bands, and shops. What this means for the consumer is that you are purchasing a shoe that has had a lot of thought go in to how it looks, and you are after a shoe that speaks more about your personality than just the same run of the mill sneaker. With so much variety within the adidas shoe lines, you’re bound to find a shoe that fits whatever look it is that you’re aiming for.
All of adidas shoes feature their signature three stripes on the side, marking them as part of the adidas family from classics to moderns. 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 it 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. While they keep with the ’80’s and ’90’s feel, you should see their new technology such as Primeknit and Boost added on to make them 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 a line 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.
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 flyknit 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.
For The Midsole
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, being able to be compressed without flattening again and again. 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 milage in to their shoes, Polyurethane is going to give you more use out of your 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 every day wearer, this isn’t going to be a necessary component to your shoes, and you should find that other, cheaper midsoles are just as effective as PU one.
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 your midsole is meant to absorb shock and distribute weight, Compression EVA does an excellent as it is fairly soft and very flexible. It is able to work with your foots 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 it’s 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.
While we will be discussing this more in the “adidas Technology” section, it is important to mention it here as it is quickly becoming one of the most popular midsole choices when talking about adidas shoes. 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 midsole 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.
To read more about BOOST and how it impacts the wearer overall, please take a look at the next section where we really break down all of the different technologies that adidas is putting in to their shoes.
For the Upper
Many of the classic adidas sneakers featured a leather upper, which was buttery soft and classic in appearance. Over time the leather upper started to fade as adidas branched in to 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 leather will always remain one of the most iconic upper designs when it comes to shoes that really have a retro feel.
Some of the key shoes that feature a leather upper are seen in the Originals line, like the Stan Smith, the Superstar, and Campus. With some of the most recent updates to the archives, we have also seen a leather revival when looking at the newer Yeezy Powerphase, Samba Millennium, Cloudfoam Advantage, and the Gosha Rubchinskiy x adidas Copa Trainer, which is an amazing collaboration with one of the top, high end fashion designers out of Russia.
While newer models may see less and less of the real leather uppers, you can always opt for an older adidas if that’s the style you’re after. While adidas is always putting out new colorways, they also tend to put out limited edition styles and materials as well, so if you’re patient enough you may just find your favorite shoe redesigned with a leather upper for a one time drop.
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 that other 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.
While real leather certainly has it’s 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 Tubular Shadow which has a textile synthetic upper and many of their cleats which are made of kevlar. Not only will you find full synthetic uppers, but many times on their mesh shoes there will be 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 a 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 end 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.
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 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 in to 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.
In the section on adidas technologies we will delve a bit deeper in to the advantages of Primeknit, so keep reading if you want to learn more.
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.
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 in to what it does, so that’s what we will talk about now. BOOST has been around for a ver 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, many of the shoes in the adidas lines are featuring this unique midsole, mainly for it’s 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 in to your next step. For a runner this is essential as it can make for an easier and more comfortable run. For every day 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.
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, every day 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.
For those who overpronator or have supination, you know what it means to not have your foot fall in the most natural of positions. Some people, when their foot strikes the ground, instead of landing straight it will roll either inwards or outwards. 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 this Formotion technology to address this very issue, and it has been effective at helping runners and every day wearers have a more natural gait and smoother step every time. By incorporating horizontal plates in the to 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 it’s 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.
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.
Back up in the Materials section, under Uppers, we looked at Primeknit at what exactly it was. What we didn’t get to look at is what exactly it does, and so here we can go a bit more in depth of why this material has become so popular in running shoes, sport shoes, and even casual every day 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 high 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.
(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: How Do adidas Shoes Fit?
A: adidas typically run pretty true to size, with most wearers finding that their usual size is what they end up purchasing when they buy a new pair of adidas. Their shoe tend to have a pretty standard width, neither too narrow or wide, but some of their models will have a smaller toe box area that some wearers with wider feet may not find comfortable. With the leather shoes, some people do find that going up a half size offers a more comfortable fit, as the leather is more stiff and won’t adapt to your foot as well as other materials.
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 any where in the shoe name or description.
- How Primeknit was born, Article, Aug 10, 2012 ,
- What is the Difference Between EVA and Polyurethane Midsoles?, Article, Dec 31, 2017 ,
- ADIDAS shoe technologies, Article, Dec 31, 2017 ,