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Nike vs. Adidas : Are Performance Shoes More Expensive than Lifestyle ones?

By Partner


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In the activewear space, the fierce battle Nike vs. Adidas is on everyone’s lips. On the one side, the American giant Nike and, on the other side, historic German brand Adidas combined generate more than 35% of the activewear industry’s total revenue.

Vanguards in the activewear arena, the two companies’ contributions to the forecasted $547 bn revenue by 2024 are most likely only going to increase. Apart from their larger-than-life marketing strategies, what makes these two brands stand out among their peers is their ability to get the right product, at the right time, and at the right price.

Both brands have their roots in footwear, initially developing sports shoes made especially for athletes. Footwear still makes up the biggest share of business, so let’s focus on shoes — specifically, what is the difference between Nike and Adidas performance shoes compared with their lifestyle footwear offerings?

Lifestyle Fashion is on the Rise for Nike and Adidas

Despite a core historical business based on performance shoes, both Nike and Adidas quickly learned the growing influence and popularity of sportswear as lifestyle articles and incorporated this information into their strategies. Both brand behemoths share a goal of becoming the best sports-lifestyle brand in the world.

The performance division includes all products made specifically for sports — such as football shoes, hockey jerseys, and other gear. All products categorized as “activewear” are part of the lifestyle division, including shoes such as Nike’s iconic Air Force 1 and Adidas’ Stan Smith. Finally, the merch division comprises all products coming from sports-team merchandise and other collaborations, such as IVY PARK for Adidas, and Off-White and Dior for Nike.

Having access to this data allows retailers to understand the growing activewear market and the interest in investing in it. One question arises: Are performance products more expensive than lifestyle items?

Performance Shoes More Affordable Than Lifestyle Footwear

According to Nike and Adidas financial reports, footwear accounts for 66% and 57%, respectively, of their business share. This department only represents 34% of Nike’s assortment and 43% for Adidas.

Because performance shoes are made for specific sports and to enhance athletic performance, one would expect this gear to be more expensive than the lifestyle footwear made for everyday style, but this is not the case.

On average, for both brands, performance shoes are more affordable than lifestyle ones.

With demand for sportswear merchandise going up, in combination with both brands putting more emphasis on their lifestyle collections, we can expect Nike and Adidas to continue to grow their business shares in this segment.

The pricing strategy of both activewear giants proves that performance shoes do not necessarily come at a high price.

The Battle of the Brands: Achieving Activewear Dominance

The fight is fierce to become the leading activewear and lifestyle brand in the world. But Nike and Adidas are both all-ins when it comes to the competition.

Public perception of a brand’s pricing and price positioning might not always be true. Having accurate data to make the best decision in this hyper-competitive market is essential.

Learn all about Nike vs. Adidas strategies in our latest report — and be part of the growing activewear trend!


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