Adidas vs Puma: Which Brand is Best?

Adidas vs Puma
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When it comes to sportswear, two German names have been present for most of the last century. It's not just the same industry that Adidas and Puma share; it's history and a family tree.

With a reputation for creating innovative designs and iconic sneakers and clothing that are still adored worldwide, it's hard to split the Dassler brothers' respective brands.

Here, we compare the quality, cost, exclusivity, cultural significance and innovation that have made Adidas and Puma such popular brands with sports lovers everywhere to see which fashion company comes out on top.

A Brief History of Adidas and Puma

Originally founded in 1924 and known as the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory, the company we now know as Adidas was started by Adi and Rudi Dassler. Initially making athletic shoes, the brand pioneered spiked running shoes, which Jesse Owens wore in the 1936 Olympics.

In 1947, the Dassler brothers fell out. Adolf changed the name of the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory to Adidas, and Rudolf started Ruda, which later became Puma. The brothers' feud fuelled the competition between Adidas and Puma as they battled for supremacy and market share from their headquarters on either side of the Aurach River in Herzogenaurach.

The brands famously competed to sign Pele to a sponsorship before the 1970 World Cup, before agreeing that the bidding war would become too expensive. As a result, Adidas and Puma formed the 'Pele Pact' and decided neither brand would try to sign Brazilian footballer to a boot deal.

Puma broke the pact to sign Pele, and the brothers never reconciled their differences. Even after they died in the 1970s, Adi and Rudi were kept apart, as they both demanded to be buried as far apart as possible.

Puma vs Adidas: Which is Better?

Now we know more about the rivalry between Adidas and Puma, let's compare the two brands and see which comes out on top. Here, we compare the brands over five categories, scoring each out of 10 to give us a total of 50.


Both Adidas and Puma uphold rigorous quality standards, ensuring their products meet the demands of athletes and athleisure fans alike. These brands prioritise lightweight, functional designs in their running shoes and performance clothing. With manufacturing processes honed over decades, Adidas and Puma deliver consistent quality across their product lines.

Considering the sheer size and scale of the brands' operations, it's no surprise that each piece of clothing, footwear and equipment undergo rigorous testing to ensure it's fit for purpose. While some discrepancies can creep past product testers, Adidas and Puma will offer refunds or replacements if they make a mistake.

Adidas score: 9.5/10

Puma score: 9.5/10


Whether you're a keen runner or a casual jogger, the brands make innovative, cutting-edge sportswear for all budgets and tastes. 

For an average pair of Adidas or Puma trainers, you can expect to pay upwards of £50, which is relatively cost-effective when considering the shoes' quality. The brands also participate in regular sales and promotions for anyone looking to grab a bargain.

At the other end of the scale, specialist running shoes, like the Puma Fast-R Nitro, and brand collaborations, like Adidas x Gucci, can fetch well into three figures.

At this higher price point, Adidas really comes into its own, with its most exclusive trainers, like the NMD made in collaboration with Pharrell Williams and Chanel, costing over $20,000 on resale markets.

Read 'Nike vs Adidas: Which Brand is Best?' to see how the brand with the three stripes compares to the American sportswear giants.

Adidas score: 9/10

Puma score: 7.5/10


With both brands mass-producing most of their trainers, many releases aren't that exclusive. However, Adidas and Puma also cater their product lines to collectors and friends and family, limiting some releases to just a few pairs.

Puma, for example, released a limited-edition collaboration with Banksy to celebrate the artist's exhibition, Turf War. Due to their rarity and Banksy's elusiveness, these trainers now sell for four figures.

Likewise, Adidas has called on designers, brands and celebrities to curate their own products under the three-stripes banner.

Wales Bonner, Yohji Yamamoto, and Raf Simons are just a few names from the fashion world who have reinterpreted and created their own Adidas shoes, while musicians as diverse as Bad Bunny and Korn have also worked with the brand. Even Ned Flanders has a shoe with Adidas.

Adidas and Puma are well-respected, so the brands' collaborations are a who's who of famous names. For every Pharrell Williams x Adidas trainer, there's a Jay-Z x Puma one.

Adidas edges this category due to the variation in their collaborations.

Adidas score: 9/10

Puma score: 8/10

Cultural significance

Adidas and Puma's significance far transcends their sportswear roots, having helped to shape popular culture with iconic designs and influential collaborations.

As far back as the 1980s, Adidas has been working with prominent names in the cultural zeitgeist, with Run DMC's legendary song, My Adidas, helping them score a $1 million deal with the brand.

Not to be outdone, Puma has worked with stars like Rihanna, Selena Gomez and Solange to outline their credentials and cultural relevance.

Outside of their work with other people, Adidas boasts highly sought-after pieces as part of its main collections. The Samba has become one of the world's most popular shoes due to its classic design and wearable aesthetic, making it a hit with trendsetters like Bella Hadid, Jennifer Lawrence, and Kendall Jenner.

See how the Samba compares to another staple trainer in our guide, 'Adidas Samba vs Gazelle: Which Shoe is Best?'.

Adidas score: 9/10

Puma score: 8/10


Innovation lies at the heart of Adidas and Puma's success, as both have sought to advance performance technology to give their athletes that extra edge.

Adidas has remained at the forefront of technology, from spiked running shoes that helped Jesse Owens win Olympic gold in 1936 to Boost technology, which allows modern runners to stay comfortable and supported over long distances.

Puma, meanwhile, has a long history of creating pioneering football boots, including the first boots with screw-in studs, the Super Atom, which was released in 1952.

Outside of performance clothing, Adidas and Puma are innovators in sustainability, too. Most notably, Adidas works with Parley to upcycle waste plastic upcycled from the ocean, while Puma has trialled making biodegradable trainers as part of its Re:Suede experiment.

Adidas score: 8.5/10

Puma score: 8/10

Adidas vs Puma: final scores

Now, it’s time for the final scores. Drum roll, please… 

In a close contest, Adidas won our comparison thanks to its popularity and critical pieces like the Samba, helping it stand out.

With this being said, whether you prefer wearing Puma or Adidas, both collections are made from high-quality materials, and each brand is renowned for its innovative, forward-thinking approach to sportswear and fashion in general.

Adidas final score: 45/50

Puma final score: 41/50

Step into luxury with Slingo

Wearing some of Adidas or Puma's most sought-after trainers doesn't come cheap, so if you want your style to turn heads, you may need to start saving.

Add to your trainer fund by winning big with Slingo. With the best slots in the UK and online bingo games, you could soon show off your new sportswear.

Or, to discover more about luxury and high-end fashion and sportswear brands, take a look at these guides:



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