Nike’s running rings around Adidas – can it stay in front?
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Nike’s running rings around Adidas – can it stay in front?

Trendy footwear giants Nike and Adidas are longtime competitors, but for now, Nike is winning the race. After spending 11 of 12 months last year underperforming against its rival, Nike has come back to the fore. According to Jefferies analyst Randal Konik, Nike has increased its market share in the top 60 sellers list, and its sneakers have “dominated the top 10 selling shoes this year.”

After a stretch playing catch up, Nike has dominated Adidas over the past three months

graph 1302 nike

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

The brand’s Air VaporMax and Air VaporMax Plus shoes are winners, and have helped Nike claw back some of the ground it lost to Adidas last year. But this is still a two-company race. There is undoubtedly room for smaller, more niche players (like Puma, which is focused on more fashion-conscious consumers), but the big athleisure footwear competition is between Nike and Adidas.

Konik said that: “Nike is gaining back share in their most important category,” noting that almost 80% of footwear retailers surveyed described it as the “brand first indicated as strongest in running.” Unsurprisingly, the company also dominated in basketball, where it has a long-time lead over Adidas, bolstered by a number of impressive celebrity endorsements that include Lebron James and stretch all the way back to Michael Jordan.

Adidas was barely mentioned in this category, but Konik says its time will come: “we believe Adidas will eventually build a more ubiquitous presence in basketball as they continue to expand, but it is still early days.”


Dominion holds Nike, Adidas, and Puma in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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