adidas vs. Nike. It’s a debate seemingly as old as time itself; we’ve all got our favorites, some taking a militant stand on one side of the fence, while others take the time to appreciate both. Wherever you choose to take your stand, there’s no doubting that Three Stripes is delivering some of the best kits that football has ever seen.
Remember when Drake said checks over stripes on Travis Scott’s “SICKO MODE” in 2018? I don’t know about you, but I certainly agreed at the time. If I’m being totally honest, where sneakers are concerned, I still do.
Over the years, between the Premier League, European Championship, and World Cup tournaments, Nike has served up some of the hottest kits in football history.
Thanks to the weight of its name across the sporting world, beginning with its first-ever athlete sponsorship in tennis, before dressing everything from track stars to ballers and golfers, Nike has more often than not been regarded as the gold standard for professional athletes.
Scanning through the kit archives on the world’s leading football teams and you’ll struggle to avoid the Swoosh, although Umbro has certainly left its stamp across British leagues.
Season-to-season, the sponsorship battle between the powerhouses that are Nike and adidas has been just as fierce as the competitions themselves, with teams often swaying between the two. Perhaps the biggest snipe in recent history was Nike snatching back Liverpool FC, bolstered by ambassadorship from Drake and LeBron James.
In cases like that of Liverpool, which has barely slipped in the past couple of years kit-wise, Nike has gone above and beyond to put its best foot forward, serving as a reminder that it houses many of the sport’s most celebrated designs – Nigeria’s 2018 home kit? Arsenal’s 2005/2006 kit for their final season at Highbury? Lest we forget everything that PSG has delivered under Jordan Brand.
That being said, no one has delivered to the standard of adidas this season. The proof is in the pudding.
Across global leagues, Three Stripes is dominating. As Arsenal (COYG!) steps into the season with excellence, it boasts three kits that even Tottenham fans would struggle to gush over.
It’s not just Arsenal’s vintage-style, monogram-heavy, and beautifully paletted kits that have put adidas on top. This season, it’s certainly not afraid to use the full spectrum of color, with Manchester United’s third kit dripped in electric green, while striking graphic finishes and heavy contrasts make Juventus, Real Madrid, the Mexican national team, Celtic FC, and FC Bayern’s kits seriously desirable.
While Nike will always have a special place in my heart and is unlikely to be knocked off the top spot within basketball or golf, adidas has staked its claim in football with extreme finesse, and honestly, it looks like the future of the sport belongs to it.