If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Footwear News may receive an affiliate commission.
It’s about that time of year when we’re wrapping up on the best stuff that has happened this year — the best new movies, our most listened-to songs on Spotify, and the best shoes that dropped. Here, we’re reflecting back on the past year by digging deep into the best adidas shoes of 2022. There were some remade classics for every day, new shapes of workout shoes, and usage of high-tech, sustainably-minded fabrics.
adidas’ advances in tech stood out this year. The brand has been playing with its 3D-printed midsole, which it spent years developing. The 3D lattice was designed and tested using athlete data for a fit and feel that works with a runner’s stride. This midsole is featured on some of the best workout sneakers of the year, like the 4DFWD 2s and the 4DFWD Pulse 2 workout shoes.
adidas has also been paying special attention to its promise to make shoes more sustainable. The brand has been creating knit uppers with recycled plastics gathered from ocean waste and finding other ways to minimize the impact its shoes, both old and new, make on the planet.
But it’s not all futuristic-looking stuff here. adidas has also been paying special attention to its classic sneakers, like the Stan Smith tennis sneaker and the soccer-born Samba shoe. There’s no shortage of great sneakers to look at, or to buy as a gift for the sneakerhead or man or woman on your holiday gifting list. Of course, if you’ve been holding out all year on a new pair of sneakers for yourself, you’d be hard-pressed to find an option better than one of these from adidas.
To find the best adidas sneaker releases — and to get access to releases before anyone else — sign up to be an adiClub member. You get the most access through the app, where you can level up through the four tiers as you accumulate points. The higher the tier, the better the perks. There are private sales, early access, and special colorways only available there.
History of adidas Shoes
adidas has been doing footwear work and innovation for nearly 100 years, and it’s been making waves that whole time. In 1949, adidas launched its first three-stripe style, a design so minimal and elegant that it’s graced several sneakers over the years, from the Superstar to the Samba, and is still worn today.
The athletic footwear and apparel giant was created by the brothers Adolf “Adi” Dassler and Rudolf Dassler in 1924 under the name Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory. They eventually split, and Adi went on to create adidas, where he maintained an eye for studying and working with athletes. This attention to how athletes actually use sneakers — and what they need to perform their best — is still a vital pillar of the brand.
For decades, adidas’ most popular sneakers were tied to sports; the Samba was invented as a soccer shoe in the 1950s, the Stan Smith was inspired by tennis, and the Superstar became a beloved adidas basketball sneaker in the 1970s. In the 1980s, adidas found itself at the forefront of streetwear sneaker mania when hip-hop group Run D.M.C. released the track “My adidas.” This crossover between subsets of culture is adidas’ sweet spot. Today it collaborates with fashion designers, musicians, athletes, and artists to make sneakers for tastes of every kind.
Top adidas Sneakers of 2022
- Best for Runners: adidas Ultraboost 22 Sneakers for men and for women
- Most Classic Style: adidas Stan Smith for men and for women
- Best Street Style Shoe: adidas Samba Sneakers
- Best for the Gym: adidas 4DFWD 2 Shoes for men and for women
- Most Versatile: adidas Superstar Shoes for men and for women
- Best to Indoor-Outdoor Shoes: adidas Puffylette Shoes
- Best Retro Style: adidas Gazelles Shoes
- Best Platform Sneaker: adidas Nizza Platform Shoes
- Best Walking Sneaker: adidas Astir Shoes
- Best for Work: adidas Forum Low Sneakers for men and for women
- Best for Beginning Runners: adidas Supernova 2 Running Shoes for men and for women
adidas Ultraboost 22 Sneakers
Best adidas Shoes for Runners
- Size range: M5-16; W5.5-11
- Colorways: White; black; black and white; gray; blue; neon yellow; tan; olive; and more
- Fabrics: PRIMEKNIT upper; BOOST midsole
- Best for: Runners, walkers, and everyone in between
The Ultraboost 22 Sneakers are not just one of adidas’ best shoes of the year but maybe even one of the best shoes they’ve ever made. The Ultraboost 22 got a few tweaks and upgrades from last year’s favorite, the Ultraboost 21. The 22 is lighter and more supportive, feeling a bit softer than the 21 does. It has the popular sock-like fit, and it uses Primeblue, the recycled material made in part with Parley ocean-bound plastics.
adidas Stan Smith Sneakers
Most Classic adidas Sneaker
- Size range: M4-14; W5-11
- Colorways: White; white and green; white and orange; black; blue; gray; tan; and more
- Fabrics: Synthetic upper; rubber outsole
- Best for: Everyday
The adidas Stan Smith might have been born as a tennis sneaker, but it’s a full-on cultural icon now. Tennis professional Stan Smith made the sneaker famous in the ’70s, and then it became a staple style shoe throughout the 2010s. Now, the sneaker is available in a range of colorways and often gets remade in collaboration with other designers and brands, from Lego and The Simpsons to Emily Oberg’s Sporty & Rich and Beyonce’s Ivy Park.
adidas Samba Sneakers
Best Street Style adidas Shoes
- Size range: M3.5 / W4.5 – M14 / W15
- Colorways: White; black; orange; blue; green; brown; gray; off-white
- Fabrics: Leather upper; rubber outsole
- Best for: Street-style fiends
If ever there were a shoe that could make a comeback you didn’t know it needed, it’s the adidas Samba. It was first designed as a soccer shoe in the 1950s. But in 2022, it has become a street-style staple. Jonah Hill, Emily Ratajkowsi, Kendall Jenner — they’re all fans of the simple, low-profile shoe. The unisex sneaker is one of the most budget-friendly stand-out sneakers you can get your hands on. The classic colorways — black or white leather on a gum sole — are easy to wear every single day.
adidas 4DFWD 2 Shoes
Best adidas Sneakers for the Gym
- Size range: M 4-15; W 5-12
- Colorways: Black; white; mauve; white and gray; white and blue; black and olive
- Fabrics: PRIMEKNIT+ and engineered mesh made from 50% recycled content; 3D-printed 4DFWD midsole
- Best for: Hitting the gym
The 3D-printed midsole on the 4DFWD2 is one of the most notable innovations from adidas this year. The shoe was designed for running, and our reviewer says it works well for that as long as you don’t have any outstanding foot ailments, like plantar fasciitis. But for neutral runners who want something lightweight, these are a great option. The response in the midsole is also great for lateral movements in stuff like HIIT classes or any sort of jumping.
adidas Superstar Shoes
Most Versatile adidas Shoes
- Size range: M4 / W5 – M19 / W20
- Colorways: White; black; white on black; black on white; black and gold; black and orange; off-white and navy; and more
- Fabrics: Leather upper; rubber outsole
- Best for: The classic dresser
In 2021, the Superstar shoe was the single most Instagrammed shoe of the year, and its universal popularity remains just as high. For classics, this one has been an adidas staple for over 50 years. The low-profile design is familiar to the brand, but its classic shell-toe design has always stood out. Like many of adidas’ sneakers, the Superstar was born in sports. Basketball, to be specific. The streetwear staple is just as good in its foundational all-white and black-and-white iterations, but there are now constant colorway drops and collaborations to keep things interesting.
adidas Puffylette Shoes
Best adidas Indoor-Outdoor Shoes
- Size range: M4 / W5 – M14 / W15
- Colorways: Gray; black; cream; orange
- Fabrics: Water-repellent textile upper; PrimaLoft insulation
- Best for: Lounging (and gifting)
The adidas Puffylette is hands down one of the best shoes you can get if you’re working from home, especially if you need a slipper-like shoe that works indoors and outdoors. It’s super soft to slip on — more like a puffy down jacket than anything else — but it still has a rubber, sneaker-adjacent bottom for wearing out of the house. And even if you’re not working from home, it will still come in handy. It’s waterproof (!), making it great for when you don’t want to wear your workout sneakers on the pavement.
adidas Gazelles Shoes
Best Retro adidas Sneakers
- Size range: M 4-14
- Colorways: Burgundy; black; white; navy; blue; green; gray; pink; brown
- Fabrics: Suede upper; rubber outsole
- Best for: A hit of color
Of all the style icons that emerged in 2022, Brad Pitt, Gucci, and Gazelles are not one of the ones we saw coming. And yet, the Gucci x adidas collab on a remake of the classic Gazelle — and Pitt’s wearing them repeatedly on red carpets — launched them right back into our consciousness. The shoe’s structure is simple, with a clean nubuck upper and contrasting Three Stripes design. adidas has been releasing cool colors of that nubuck upper in navy, royal blue, deep red, and more.
adidas Nizza Platform Shoes
- Size range: 5-11
- Colorways: White; black; pink; green; orange; multicolor; and more
- Fabrics: Textile upper; Vulcanized rubber platform outsole
- Best for: An everyday upgrade
You might not know it, but the Nizza originally debuted as a basketball shoe in the 1970s. It maintains the same simple design, but the platform sole has thrust the shoe into the lifestyle category. It was one of the best summer shoes for 2022, and we think it’ll remain a favorite through the colder months. It’s easy to wear, thanks to its simple and timeless design, but the chunky, vulcanized platform outsole makes it a little more dramatic and stylish.
adidas Astir Shoes
Best adidas Sneakers for Walking
- Size range: 5-11
- Colorways: Purple; black; black and white; ecru; yellow; white and gold; pink
- Fabrics: Mesh & suede upper; rubber outsole
- Best for: Walking and traveling
The Astir sneaker is a 2022 take on comfy dad shoes, and we’ll be wearing these well into the next year. They are not quite as chunky as some of the dad shoes from past years, making them a little more palatable for the risk-averse. They’re perfect for walking, standing on your feet, and traveling because they’re cushioned and supportive.
adidas Forum Low Sneakers
Best adidas Sneakers for Wearing to Work
- Size range: M4 / W5 – M19 / W20
- Colorways: White; white and black; white and blue; off-white; burgundy; and more
- Fabrics: Leather upper
- Best for: Dressing up
Some sneakers can feel hard to dress up because the super athletic vibe doesn’t match an office outfit. However, the Forum lows are not one of those sneakers. These are low-profile and, yes, still athletic-feeling, but the low-profile shape and white leather upper make them look cool with a suit, trousers, or dress. The little velcro across the tongue adds a little detail without going overboard. A universal option for all.
adidas Supernova 2 Running Shoes
Best adidas Shoes for Beginning Runners
- Size range: M6 / W5 – M14 / W12
- Colorways: Black; white and black; green and white; orange and white; and more
- Fabrics: Mesh, rubber
- Best for: Beginner runners
There are many adidas running shoes, but the Supernova 2 is the best one for beginner runners who want to build confidence and endurance. However, it’s also great for heel strikers and those looking for long-distance comfort. The shoe has a boost foam heel, bounce front section, super stable and well-cushioned foundation, and a smooth and secure upper with long laces for double and triple knotting.