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Nearly 100 years after its founding, Adidas remains one of the most popular brands among sneaker fans, mostly due to its deep catalogue of footwear offerings. It’s produced sold-out styles from buzzy partnerships with Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, as well as iconic models such as the modern Ultraboost running shoe and classic Stan Smith.
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, with Adi going on to create Adidas in 1949. That very year, 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.
One of Dassler’s ingredients for success was his passion for studying and engaging with athletes, taking their feedback to the factory. Adidas outfitted the 1954 German national soccer team in lightweight soccer shoes with screw-in studs — an early version of a soccer cleat — and gained widespread acclaim when the team nabbed the World Cup.
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 was beloved by basketball players 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.”
From that point, Adidas saw the potential to converge not just with sport, but art. Today it collaborates with fashion designers and musicians in addition to athletes and sports teams. Today, Adidas’ parent company is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and the second largest in the world.
Though its classics are ever popular, Adidas continues to introduce groundbreaking innovations to the sneaker realm, most recently creating knit uppers with recycled plastics gathered from ocean waste, and 3D-printed midsoles crafted from light and oxygen.
Our list of collectible Adidas sneakers include everyday classics currently available on Adidas’ website, but also more popular styles — like those from West’s Adidas Yeezy line and Williams’ NMD Hu line — that have long sold out since they released in stores but can be purchased from various retailers and secondary market platforms.
Adidas Ultraboost 5.0 DNA Shoes
Ultraboost represents the future of Adidas, utilizing Primeblue, a high-performance recycled material made in part with Parley Ocean Plastic. It’s part of Adidas’ bid to lessen its environmental impact. The Ultraboost 5.0 DNA Shoes are our pick for the best walking shoes for men and the slip-on version makes out list of the best slip-on sneakers for women. Ultraboost technology puts comfort first with its bouncy feel underfoot thanks to tons of cloud-like cushioning. The stretchy, lightweight upper doesn’t restrict movement.
Adidas 4DFWD Pulse Shoes
Best Adidas Shoes for the Gym
Adidas continued to innovate in the footwear industry when it introduced its Ultra4D sneaker in 2019, notable for its 3D-printed midsole created through Digital Light Synthesis technology. The 4DFWD Pulse shoes harness this same technology in the 3D-printed heel cradle designed to guide the foot forward and absorb impact. Utilizing recycled materials, these make great running shoes and are called some of the best workout shoes by gym-goers.
Adidas Gazelle Shoes
Similar to many of the other styles featured on this list, the iconic Adidas Gazelle embodies ultimate simplicity with its clean nubuck upper and contrasting Three Stripes design. First introduced in 1968 as indoor football training shoes, sneaker fans have now adopted the shoe into one of the brand’s most popular lifestyle offerings thanks to its minimalistic design.
Adidas Samba OG Shoes
Originally designed for the soccer field, the Adidas Samba OG Shoe remains a timeless icon thanks to its simple low-cut leather upper with the unmistakable Three Stripes branding emblazoned on the side. This version of the shoe is particularly eye-catching with bleached Three Stripes panels on the sides and a matching heel tab.
Adidas Fluidflow 2.0 Sneakers
Best Adidas Slip-On Sneakers
Called some of the best cross training shoes for women, the Adidas Fluidflow 2.0 sneakers demonstrate the marriage of classic Adidas aesthetics and modern footwear technology. They boast the iconic three-stripe motif but on a super comfortable sock-like outer that molds to your foot. The midsole offers a great mix of foam-like cushioning and stability, making these popular for people stand on their feet all day and fitness fanatics alike.
Adidas Ultraboost 21 Sneakers
Best Adidas Shoes for Standing All Day
Called some of the most comfortable sneakers for women and a great option for men, the Ultraboost 21 Sneakers were built with the German-based brand’s newly updated Torsion System for a 15% increase in forefoot bending that maximizes the return of every stride, helping to alleviate foot fatigue. It has one of the current era’s most popular sneaker features with its light, sock-like fit. Like a lot of other new Adidas sneakers, it features Primeblue, the recycled material made in part with Parley ocean-bound plastics.
Adidas Yeezy Powerphase Shoes
A new adaptation of a vintage ‘80s model, the Adidas Yeezy Powerphase boasts a tonal leather upper and rubber outsole. It’s also worth noting that this is one of the most affordable Adidas Yeezy models in the secondary market right now.
Adidas NMD_R1 Primeblue Shoes
Best Black Adidas Sneakers
Although it’s only been a few years since its debut back in 2015, the Adidas NMD has already established itself as one of the more popular models from the brand, thanks to a simple one-piece Primeknit build and comfy Boost sole. The shoes are inspired by running shoes from the 1980s archives but are intended for tackling city streets or airport terminals while traveling.
Solarglide 4 ST Shoes
Best Running Shoes
Adidas has always looked to athletes’ needs to guide its performance shoes. Logging miles day after day, today’s runner require stability to achieve neutral foot positioning and avoid injury. Some of the best Adidas running shoes and best running shoes for plantar fasciitis on the market right now, the Solarglide 4 ST Shoes are crafted with a stable frame and supportive upper. A bonus: They feature Primegreen recycled materials.
Adidas Pharrell Hu NMD Shoes
The aforementioned NMD model continued to gain popularity with the creation of Pharrell Williams’ Hu NMD sneaker. Designed in collaboration with Williams and fashion icon Nigo’s Billionaire Boys Club brand, the style features a blue-based Primeknit upper that’s paired with a heavy-duty hiking sole. For trekking actual trails, it’s best to leave these at home and check out our guide to the best trail running shoes.
Adidas Superstar Shoes
The world-famous Superstar shoe has been a staple for Adidas over the past 50 years thanks to its classic shell-toe design, which provides both style and protection. For the Superstar, no colorway is as iconic as the simple black and white version with gold Superstar branding on the sides and tongue.
Exhibit A Women’s Candace Parker Shoes
Best Basketball Sneakers
Basketball shoes have seen a huge evolution from the days of the Adidas Nizza in the 1970s. Today, those are a wear-everywhere shoe with an old-school aesthetic. For truly tearing up the court, the Exhibit A Candace Parker shoes showcase the latest Adidas has to offer. They’re named for player Candace Parker, who sported them during her win at the 2021 WNBA Championship. The low-top basketball shoe employs Lightstrike cushioning in the midsole for comfort and stability, earning them a spot on our list of the best Adidas basketball shoes.
Adidas Yeezy Boost 700 Shoe
The Yeezy 700 made its debut during the recent “dad shoe” trend, but offers one of the best designs thus far from the Adidas Yeezy line due to its mix of materials on the upper and chunky cushioned midsole. The original “Wave Runner” makeup is the silhouette’s most popular colorway, which boasts a gray mesh and leather upper fused with black suede panels. Adding to the look is neon yellow shoelaces, a sail Boost midsole and black outsole.
Adidas Stan Smith Shoe
Best All-White Adidas Sneakers
Although originally designed as a performance tennis sneaker, the classic Adidas Stan Smith is now widely regarded as one of the most popular lifestyle designs on the market. First launched in 1965, the shoe was originally named “Adidas Robert Haillet” after French tennis player Robert Haillet but was renamed in 1978 to its current Adidas Stan Smith moniker.
Adidas Nizza Sneaker
This iteration of the Adidas Nizza lifestyle sneaker celebrates summer with a digitized sea view print covering the canvas upper, as well as sail rubber tooling for all-day comfort. Since its original debut as a basketball shoe in the ’70s, the Nizza has been adopted by fans as a lifestyle shoe due to its simple, timeless design.