It’s hard to find a better brand story than the adidas tale, which is almost 100 years in the making. It started in Germany, where the company is still headquartered, with founder Adolf “Adi” Dassler, who began crafting sports shoes for serious athletes like German track and field Olympic gold medalist Lina Radke in the 1920s.
After years of eliciting athlete feedback, Dassler rebranded in 1949 with the name adidas — which is a combination of Dassler’s nickname, “Adi,” and last name. That year also marked the debut of a shoe with three stripes, a design detail that remains signature to the company to this day.
adidas continued its focus on sports, crafting the Samba sneaker for soccer players to wear in cold weather in 1950. The brand turned its attention to tennis when it released the Haillet in 1965, later renamed the Stan Smith for the legendary tennis player.
Run-D.M.C. forever changed brand perception when the hip-hop group adopted adidas sneakers as part of their streetwear uniform in the ’80s, spawning a trend of wearing the best white adidas sneakers, including Stan Smiths and styles like the Superstar.
The ’90s and 2000s marked the advent of the best adidas basketball shoes with the introduction of the Kobe sneaker, created in partnership with Kobe Bryant. The third signature Kobe sneaker was referred to as a space boot, heralding a futuristic look and feel that continues to influence modern designs like select Yeezy sneakers made in partnership with Kanye West.
How to find the best adidas workout shoes for you
Just as adidas has stayed at the forefront of sneaker technology by adjusting its footwear to fit the requirements of various sports, you’ll find the best adidas sneakers for you by addressing your specific needs.
First, consider the athletic activity you’re shopping for, says podiatrist Dr. Mike Rushton, co-founder and medical director of custom orthotics lab Forward Motion. For example, many of the support features you’ll need in a walking shoe will be different than those you require in a running shoe, he explains.
For the best adidas walking shoes, look for styles with a strong heel counter, Rushton says. “You may want a shoe that’s firm, without too much stretch, that will hold your forefoot in place. With walking shoes, you’re not pounding the pavement as much as when you’re running, so you don’t need quite as much cushioning.”
Conversely, the best adidas running shoes will offer more cushion to reduce the impact of each stride. Look for silhouettes with cushion in both the heel and forefoot, Rushton says.
Tread isn’t the biggest factor to consider for road running, but it’s a major ingredient for the best trail running or hiking shoes.
A cross-training shoe is a good middle-of-the-road option. “It has less cushion than a running shoe but is softer than a walking shoe,” Rushton says, and is a great all-purpose shoe that lets you switch between activities. “Don’t get a plain walking shoe to use as a cross-trainer,” he adds. “You may want cushioning for pickleball one day and stability for hiking the next.” A true cross-training shoe will offer a little bit of everything.
If you’re intending to regularly play tennis, pickleball, or basketball, however, Rushton recommends picking an adidas sneaker specifically designed for that purpose. “Basketball courts have a specific surface, so go with a basketball shoe that’s designed for movement on laminated wood. The best basketball shoes are made to be fairly low to the ground, so you run less risk of rolling or spraining an ankle, which is by far the most common injury podiatrists see in that sport.”
There’s a similar philosophy for tennis and pickleball shoes. The outsoles on these styles offer more traction and overall better movement on the court. “They have special rubberized compounds that hold up on those surfaces,” Rushton says. “With the wrong shoe, like a running shoe, you’re more likely to fall, so spend the extra money to avoid injury in the long run.”
If lots of weightlifting or a Crossfit membership is in your future, opt for a style whose sole is fairly low to the ground or formulated with a specific heel for weightlifting, which will help you maintain proper posture and remain stable under stress.
Best adidas sneakers for common foot injuries
Within those sport-specific parameters, Rushton recommends sneakerheads consider their own specific anatomical requirements to avoid the most common foot conditions and ailments. For plantar fasciitis woes, seek out shoes with “decent arch support, good stability side to side and a solid heel counter,” Rushton says. You’ll want to look for the same features in a pair if you have heel spurs, though anyone with heel-specific pain might want extra, but not gratuitous, cushioning in the heel to avoid too much impact.
Overall, it’s important to listen to your body and pick the adidas sneaker you find to be most comfortable. If you have serious or lingering issues, custom orthotics from a podiatrist can be a great addition to an adidas shoe.
See our picks below of the best adidas gym shoes for every kind of workout and physical consideration.
adidas NMD-R1 Primeblue Shoes
Best adidas Running Shoes for Men
Boost technology offers some of the best shock-absorbing cushioning around, so any adidas style made with it is sure to keep feet happy for hours. The adidas NMD-R1 Primeblue shoe is equipped with a Boost midsole and rubber outsole for hitting the streets in ultimate comfort. The style is an update on a classic 1980s running silhouette. It has a lightweight sock-like outer made of Primeknit that offers breathability and give, offering an ideal fit for people with bunions. The sneaker features Primeblue, adidas’ high-performance recycled material made in part with Parley ocean plastic.
adidas Ultraboost 22 Shoes
Best adidas Running Shoes for Women
Ultraboost 22 shoes are the latest in the Boost running game, promising perfect energy return and lots of cushioned comfort. The PrimeKnit upper wraps the foot in a supportive lightweight hold, while cutting down on material waste as part of adidas’ ongoing bid to create eco-conscious footwear. The outsole is extra-responsive for every stride and offers stability. “Somehow the most comfortable shoe on the market got even better!” writes one reviewer on adidas.com.
adidas SoleCourt Tennis Shoes
Best adidas Tennis Shoe
The SoleCourt tennis shoes for men are designed for movement in every direction around the court. Fusing together energy capsules for excellent energy return, they’re made to be ultra-responsive during nonstop cardio and directional shifts. The supportive chassis wraps around the foot to support side-to-side movement and sprinting. The molded heel counter provides an extra measure of stability, which Dr. Rushton says is key for the unique demands of tennis and the increasingly popular sport of pickleball, too.
adidas Stan Smith Shoes
Best adidas White Sneakers
Stan Smith shoes rose to acclaim on the tennis court in the ‘70s. The all-white style — currently done in tons of color variations — also made its mark on fashion, becoming so popular that adidas revived the silhouette in 2014 after originally halting its production in 2011 much to customers’ dismay. Whether for women, men or children, the Stan Smith is a versatile sneaker that goes with every outfit, from athleisure to a dress or suit. Reviewers call them “cute and comfortable.” The versatile trainer is even a cult-favorite for weightlifting thanks to its flat sole.
adidas Superstar Shoes
Also Consider Best adidas White Sneakers
For living your life and going wherever the day takes you, adidas’ Superstar shoes are a great option. More than 50 years old, Superstar sneakers originally graced basketball courts in the 1970s, then were staples of hip-hop and streetwear culture in the 1980s thanks to Run-D.M.C. The classic shell toe design with three stripes and a lace closure just gets better with time. There are tons of color variations to suit every taste, but a white base never goes out of style. With over 1,000 reviews and an average 4.7-star rating, this style won’t steer you wrong.
adidas Dame 8 Shoes
Best adidas Basketball Shoes
The unisex Dame 8 shoes offer both functionality and major swag. Glowing adidas.com reviews call them “so comfortable and lightweight.” One reviewer noted, “Right out of the box they felt like home.” Made in part with recycled content, the Dame 8 shoes are from adidas’ partnership with hoop star Damian Lillard. They offer superior traction on the basketball court as well as the ideal amount of cushioning and energy return.
adidas Astir Shoes
Best adidas Walking Shoes
The women’s Astir shoes channel trending Y2K style, showing that adidas knows how to balance performance tech with a cool streetwear aesthetic. The chunky sneaker has fashion cred, making it perfect for wearing around the city or the gym. The cushioned EVA midsole makes these ultra-comfortable for logging miles all day long. Also in line with current maximalist vibes, the chunky sneaker is eco-conscious like most of adidas’ offerings, incorporating recycled materials.
adidas Adipower Weightlifting II Shoes
Best adidas Crossfit Shoes
Look the part when you’re lifting iron in the Adipower Weightlifting II shoes. They feature a combination of shoe laces and a hook-and-loop midfoot strap for extra stability with every move. The elevated heel is designed for ideal lifting posture. The forefoot is flexible, so toes can splay and grip naturally. Reviewers call them a “very solid and reliable shoe.”
adidas Terrex Swift Solo Approach Shoes
Best adidas Hiking Shoes
Trails, rocks, boulders and inclines are your friend while you’re wearing the Terrex Swift Solo Approach shoes. The EVA midsole offers all the cushioning you need, while the shoe’s overall structure is designed for stability and support. An abrasion-resistant overlay holds up in tough conditions. The Lugged Traxion outsole provides ideal grip, which Dr. Rushton points out is one of the most important elements to look for when shopping for your next trail shoe.
adidas Forum Mid Shoes
Best Casual Wear Sneaker
The fact that adidas has so many old-school sneakers still in rotation is a testament to the brand’s timelessness. Originally designed for basketball in the 1980s, the Forum Mid shoes are one of its most iconic silhouettes. Still sporty, the updated version is better suited for walks around town, keeping you comfortable and looking fly. The lace closure has a cool removable strap detail. The leather upper showcases signature Three Stripes iconography in a range of style variations. No sneaker lover’s closet is complete without a pair of these.