Are Adidas or Nike Soccer Cleats Better? (Result!)

Cleats are part of a player’s attire while on the field. Every player has their preference when it comes to soccer cleats. Cleats do not make a better player, but they help the player be more comfortable, exert some control and do maneuvers.

The two outstanding companies that have dominated the cleats market are Adidas and Nike. At times, these companies are viewed as rivals in the industry.

Since the advent of cleats on the soccer field, there has been tremendous advancement in how different manufacturers make their cleats. These technologies have reduced the cleats’ average weight.

The cleats’ design has improved. The materials used to manufacture them are better and moving towards environmental sustainability.

You might be curious which company tramps the other and in what ways. That is what we shall be exploring in this article.

Nike and Adidas Cleats Inter Milan vs CSKA Zanetti Left
Nike and Adidas Cleats – Inter Milan vs CSKA (Zanetti Left)

Between Adidas and Nike, Who Released a Soccer Cleat First?

  1. The founder of Adidas, Adi Dassler, designed the first Adidas soccer cleat in 1925. It was the first soccer cleat globally to be commercially available. At the time, Adidas caught on with the release of the Samba.
  2. Forty-six years later, in 1971, the swoosh came onto the market. Nike’s signature brand is the swoosh sign. When Nike entered the market, it came with differentiation to improve stability, traction, and control.

They took the hint from what Adidas had been doing for nearly half a century. They sought to improve on it.

Adidas Vs. Nike

The Best Shoe From Adidas and Nike

Both Nike and Adidas have numerous designs on the market, but each has one cleat that exudes what they are about. These cleats embody the heritage of each of them.

Adidas Performance Gloro

The Gloro is a classic for Adidas. It’s contemporarily designed and uses the Gloro Kangaroo leather, where it gets its name.

The material used to make the shoe and the design, coupled with the comfort provided because of how the outsole frame has been designed, gives you a classic Adidas experience.

The Gloro is a combination of power, control, and speed. Its durability is also a trendsetter in the industry.

Nike Mercurial Vapor
Nike Mercurial Vapor

Nike Mercurial Superfly FG Soccer Shoes

The lightweight boot, Nike Mercurial Superfly FG, is the heritage boot for Nike. With its weight at about 9.5 ounces, the boot scales at a lower weight spectrum than other cleats in the market.

The lightweight boots also indicate Nike’s approach while designing and creating soccer cleats. Nike is a very technology-oriented manufacturer, but in this soccer boot, the technology is not that complicated.

Instead, it is a simple design cleat to allow the boot to be practical in various settings and styles of play.

Best Selling Adidas and Nike Soccer Cleats

adidas Performance Men's Copa Mundial Soccer Shoe,Black/White/Black,4 M US
  • Legendary soccer cleats for stability on firm natural ground
  • Leather upper with premium K-leather in the forefoot for comfort and flexibility
  • Move with explosive speed and traction on dry natural grass with the Firm Ground...
  • Die-cut EVA midsole for lightweight comfort
  • Soft, durable synthetic lining
Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360 Mens Football Cleat Ao8277-001 Size 7 Black/White
  • External pods for traction
  • Ghost lacing system for speed lacing and zero distractions
  • Internal chassis feels flexible and supportive
  • Elastic cuff for breathability and comfort

Which Is Better Between Nike or Adidas?

Nike is best for innovation, and Adidas is better for natural comfort and fit. Every company covers different aspects that are crucial for creating a soccer boot.

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For example, Nike is very interested in improving players’ experience and efficiency.

On the other hand, Adidas is very simple and classical, and it focuses on durability, comfort, and efficiency. Also, since Adidas has been in existence longer than Nike, they have risen above Nike in terms of heritage.

Nike compensates for being young by delivering power and control to their cleats as the young stars.

adidas soccer cleats for arch pain

Which Is More Popular Between Nike and Adidas?

Both cleat manufacturers have significant inroads when it comes to the soccer industry. They constantly feature in the top two positions for soccer equipment and accessories.

Arguably, Nike is the world’s largest sports company. However, when it comes to soccer, the company sells cleats and sells soccer balls and training apparel.

Orange Nike logo on a wooden wall. ○ Soccer Blade

The robustness of Nike is evident in the caliber of players that it has sponsored, including:

1. Neymar

Neymar was among the highest-paid athletes sponsored by Nike. He was the face of Nike in South America, but unfortunately, their partnership came to an end in 2020. Neymar uses the Nike Mercurial Vapor 360 AG.

2. Christian Ronaldo

Christiano Ronaldo is regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time, having broken records and set others on the soccer field. Nike has taken advantage of the player’s fame and sponsors him.

He is among the top Nike ambassadors in soccer.

Nike has created an entire collection of products using his name under the brand name CR7. But on the field, Ronaldo dons the Mercurial Superfly 8.

Ronaldo Playing UEFA Champions league game Real Madrid vs. FC Schalke at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid lost 3 4 but advanced on a 5 4 aggregate.
Ronaldo Playing UEFA Champions league game Real Madrid vs. FC Schalke at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid lost 3 4 but advanced on a 5 4 aggregate.

3. Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe extended his sponsorship with Nike in 2017 and signed a long-term contract. He is also among the top-notch soccer players on the Nike brand. On the field, he wears the Nike Mercurial Superfly.

Nike has also sponsored soccer clubs such as Chelsea, Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germaine (PSG), and A. S Roma. The company has a larger market capitalization of $193.91 billion, and its yearly revenue has been above $30 billion since 2017.

Adidas, on the other hand, boasts of significant market share in the sports apparel, equipment, and cleats market. However, when it comes to soccer, they dominate hugely.

Adidas sign at a store in Heraklion the capital of the island Crete in Greece on August 62012. ○ Soccer Blade

Adidas has sponsored outstanding soccer players, the likes of:

1. Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba’s larger-than-life personality made Adidas interested in signing him as their ambassador as he also has a social media presence and is very marketable. Pogba signed a deal with Adidas back in 2015, and they are still going at it strongly.

With Pogba’s media presence and limelight, Adidas has promoted its brand and garnered more visibility. Pogba dons the Adidas Predator laceless boots.

2. Paulo Dybala

Signing a deal in 2018 with Adidas, Paulo Dybala had a new sponsor going into that year’s World Cup. Initially, the player was sponsored by Nike.

However, leveraging his prowess on the field and his marketability, Adidas has had a fantastic partnership with the exceptional Paulo Dybala. Dybala dons the Adidas Copa Sense while on the field.

3. Lionel Messi

Messi has to be the best player to be sponsored by Adidas. He balances the scale with the sponsorship of Christiano Ronaldo by Nike. Messi also has a line of Adidas collections solely produced under his branding. One of the most popular ones is the Messi shoe.

Messi has been an ambassador for Adidas since 2006 and in 2017 signed a lifetime deal that saw his Messi cleats come to market. They have also sponsored Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Juventus, and Real Madrid, all powerhouses in soccer.

Adidas has a market capitalization of $38.53 billion, and their net income for 2021 amounted to $1.6 billion.

Messi at FC Barcelona training session
Messi at FC Barcelona Training Session

Who Has Better Technology Between Nike and Adidas?

Nike and Adidas have improved on various technologies implemented in manufacturing their cleats. Their various technologies include:

Nike’s Technology

Nike has patented many cleat-making technologies, including Flyknit technology and All Conditions Control coating.

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The Flyknit technology is the digitally engineered knitting process that allows Nike to construct a shoe in a complete 360-degree form. As a result, Flyknit technology produces lightweight, form-fitting, and seamless shoe uppers.

A Flyknit produced shoe secures the athlete’s foot and allows him to do maneuvers and control better without risk of injury.

Also, the complex knitting creates a closed anatomical form that takes after a player’s foot. In addition, the Flyknit upper goes through a thermoforming process that provides shape and support for the underfoot.

Nike shoes made with this technology are lighter, breathable, and precise.

Advantages of this technology include:

  • Fit – The shoe wraps around the foot, making it a perfect fit and reducing in-shoe movement.
  • Agility – The 360-degree form engineering allows for better movement and speed.
  • Sustainability – Since flyknit technology is precision engineering, it cuts the waste produced by 60 percent. In addition, with this technology, every stitch and cut is precise as needed.

All Conditions Control

The All Condition Control (ACC) technology enables the cleat to maintain its friction, touch, and control of the ball even when the weather is wet.

This technology was created after players expressed their difficulty handling the ball when it got wet, which is a significant period in the leagues in Europe.

Nike has embedded this technology in their cleats, including Mercurial Vapor VIII, Tiempo Legend IV, CTR360 Maestri III, and Total 90 Laser IV.

Dynamic Fit Collar

This technology is an added extension to the boot to better the shoe’s fit and secure the foot to handle the ball better.


The Quadfit technology is a mesh inside a cleat that wraps the foot, preventing movement in the shoe while playing. In addition, it enhances shoe shape retention to avoid overstretching while playing.

A pair of Adidas cleats. ○ Soccer Blade

Adidas’ Technology

Adidas, on the other hand, have their Primeknit feature and DEMONSKIN.            


A Primeknit upper is knitted as one whole piece instead of a combination of parts stitched together. The technology allows Adidas to achieve exceptional fit, stability, and flexibility in its boots.


Demonskin is a new technology by Adidas that combines years of research to create a textured spike layer on the upper. An algorithm generates the interface of the Demonskin. It ensures perfection at the point of contact between the ball and the cleat.

The spikes of the Demonskin produced boot wrap the front and the side of the cleat in a manner that aligns to key contact areas with the ball, which gives the player control, touch, and spin of the ball.

Control Skin

Control skin technology is a synthetic layer on the upper of a cleat that provides excellent touch and control of the ball.

Sam Mewis, right, of United States women's national soccer team passes the ball against Julia Zigiotti Olme of Sweden women's national football team in the third round match of Group F match during the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019 in Paris, France
Sam Mewis, right, of United States women’s national soccer team passes the ball against Julia Zigiotti Olme of Sweden women’s national football team in the third round match of Group F match during the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 in Paris, France

Which Has a Better Fit; Adidas or Nike?

While comparing Adidas and Nike, Adidas seems to be more true to size, whereas Nike shoes seem to be half-a-size smaller. Therefore, when buying your cleats, if you are getting the Adidas boots, stay true to your size, but if you are purchasing the Nike, it is advisable to buy half a size above your normal shoe size.

Adidas shoes are naturally wider than their Nike counterparts. Therefore, Adidas believes that a wide cleat will accommodate people with wide and narrow feet.

On the other hand, Nike primarily designs shoes that accommodate only those with narrow feet. Notwithstanding, they have a range of products that cater to individuals with broad feet.

For example, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus, the Nike Zoom Vomero, and the Nike Air Zoom Structure accommodate wide feet.

How to measure your cleat size:

  • Take a piece of paper.
  • Go to your nearest wall.
  • Stand with your back facing the wall.
  • Place the piece of paper on the ground.
  • Stand on it and ensure your heel is touching the wall.
  • Mark the end of your longest toe.
  • You can enlist the help of a friend.
  • Measure the length from the wall to the toe marking
  • Do the same for the other foot
  • Compare your measurement with the size chart of either Nike or Adidas.

Which Cleat Has Better Features, Nike or Adidas?

Overall, both manufacturers produce high-quality cleats, but as previously mentioned, each has its strengths. Therefore, to discern which boot is better for what, let us analyze them feature by feature.

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Soccer is an intensive game involving high sprints and exceptional footwork. Considering this, the weight on a player’s foot can significantly influence their performance. Adidas cleats are overall lighter than Nike cleats.

On average, an Adidas cleat weighs 2 to 3 ounces less than a Nike cleat.

The lightest Adidas cleat, the Adidas Performance adiZero, weighs only 5.8 ounces, while the lightest Nike cleat, the Nike Mercurial Vapor XI, weighs 6.6 ounces.

Better Control

Players in the midfield positions are responsible for smooth, accurate passes and seamless navigation in the field; hence, ball control is of the utmost significance.

Therefore, a good cleat for such a function should have elements around their pass and control zones to enhance maneuvering and running with the ball.

An Adidas cleat that serves well in such a role is the Adidas Predator LZ, which focuses more on sections on the uppers of the cleat known as lethal zones.

In addition, the Predator LZ gives the player an intuitive feel of the ball movements because it is lighter and very responsive even to the slightest touch from the ball.

On the other hand, the Nike cleat that can serve the same purpose is the CTR360 Maestri III. The CTR360 Maestri III uses embossed control pads that add to the surface area the ball can touch.

The larger surface area prevents unintentional ball spinning and curves, which takes away from the ball-handling capabilities.

Nike logo on seats at Barcelona Camp Nou stadium. ○ Soccer Blade

More Power

Some of the world’s most renowned soccer players are strikers. However, the forward players need a lot of power to push the ball past the goalkeeper. Therefore it is worth the question, which soccer cleats offer the most power?

The best option for Adidas is the AdiPower Predator TRX-FG. The material that the AdiPower Predator TRX-FG uses does not stick to the ball. The ability to not stick is crucial because it allows the ball to spin more which adds to its power.

In addition, Adidas added the Powerspine feature on this shoe, which stops the shoes from flexing backward when it comes in contact with the ball. When the shoe does not flex backward, it increases impulse, sending more power to the ball.

In their response, Nike has the Nike T90 Laser IV, referred to as the epitome of intuitive footwear innovation. The shoe has a fin-like structure on its swerve zone, which helps a player have a more accurate feel of the ball and adds to the impact a player can hit the ball with.

Durable/Long Lasting

The period that a soccer cleat can last depends on the frequency of use. An average cleat can last up to six months, assuming a frequency of use of thrice a week. If use is more than this, you can expect the cleats to wear out faster, whereas if your use is a few times this, the cleats can last a little longer.

You could clearly state the difference between Nike and Adidas at the start. Nike approached their product from a design angle, and Adidas came from the Engineering angle.

Adidas is a German company that you could initially tag with the mark of quality, but Nike has also made a tremendous investment to catch up with Adidas in recent years.

The cleats in the market currently match up against one another. Both companies are now invested in their design and engineering.

The only notable difference would be the origin of the shoe. Nike is an American company, and Adidas is a German company.


The price tag attached to a cleat is important as it indicates the product’s promise. Therefore, it is expected that the more expensive the cleat, the better value the cleat will provide.

Nike and Adidas have flooded the market with all ranges of cleats, from premium to regular. Although analyzing the market, Nike cleats appear to be more expensive than Adidas cleats. Nike cleats range from $35 – $295, while Adidas cleats range from $16 – $200.

adidas Performance Men's Copa Mundial Soccer Shoe,Black/White/Black,4 M US
  • Legendary soccer cleats for stability on firm natural ground
  • Leather upper with premium K-leather in the forefoot for comfort and flexibility
  • Move with explosive speed and traction on dry natural grass with the Firm Ground...
  • Die-cut EVA midsole for lightweight comfort
  • Soft, durable synthetic lining
Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360 Mens Football Cleat Ao8277-001 Size 7 Black/White
  • External pods for traction
  • Ghost lacing system for speed lacing and zero distractions
  • Internal chassis feels flexible and supportive
  • Elastic cuff for breathability and comfort

Adidas or Nike

So who’s the best? Well, the answer to the question is dependent on who it’s directed to. Both brands have heavily invested in design, durability, and comfort and are definitely favorites to some of the world’s most famous players.

Because of the variation of design and fit, Nike is the best cleats for some, and for others it’s Adidas. The debate goes on, but it’s a close tie and it comes down to a matter of choice.

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Soccer Products FAQ

Can I Use Running Shoes for Soccer? 

You can play soccer in running shoes, but you won’t have the best performance unless you wear cleats or soccer boots.

Why are soccer balls black and white?

Soccer balls are traditionally black and white because when soccer was first shown on TV it was in black and white, so the mix of black and white on the balls helped viewers see the ball easier. 

How hard and what pressure should a soccer ball be?

The FIFA regulations say that the soccer balls should have a pressure between 8.81757 psi (0.6 atm) and 16.1655 psi (1.1 atm). If you’re playing soccer with friends, then opt for a pressure amount from the lower range.

What is the size of goals in soccer?

5-A-Side has dimensions that are 12-ft wide by 6-ft high. Such soccer goals are for under-7 and under-8 soccer games
7-A-Side has dimensions that are 12-ft wide by 6-ft high again. Such soccer goals are for under-9 and under-10 soccer games
9-A-Side has dimensions that are 16-ft wide by 7-ft high. Such soccer goals are for under-11 and under-12 soccer game
11-A-Side or full-size soccer goal has dimensions that are 24-ft wide by 8-ft high for the under-15 and over. Whereas, for the under-13 and under-14, it is 21 ft wide by 7-ft high

What is the soccer ball size and weight for each age group?

Size 1 - 3 years or under - 18 to 20 inches - 195 to 205 grams
Size 2 - 3 to 5 years - 20 to 22 inches - U4 - 250 to 280 grams
Size 3 - 5 to 8 years - 23 to 24 inches - U5 to U8 - 300 to 320 grams
Size 4 - 8 to 12 years - 25 to 26 inches - U8 to U12 - 350 to 390 grams
Size 5 - More than 12 years - 27 to 28 inches - U12 to Pro - 410 to 450 grams

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