The sportswear sector is dominated by two companies: Adidas and Puma.

While the products that each firm offers are comparable to one another, there are important distinctions between them. Puma and Adidas are the two biggest names in the sportswear industry. But maybe they shouldn’t kick back too much, because the German sportswear company Puma has been making some serious headway as of late. This article compares and contrasts two of the most popular sportswear brands on the market today: Adidas and Puma. We’ll compare and contrast their backgrounds, aesthetics, and other features so you can make a well-informed decision.

The Brands

The Puma brand is owned by Puma SE, a German multinational firm based in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany. Puma SE is responsible for the design and manufacture of a wide variety of sports and casual footwear, clothing, and accessories. Puma is the third largest manufacturer of athletic footwear and gear aftermarket leaders Nike and Adidas. Nike, Inc. is a multinational corporation headquartered in Oregon, United States, that manufactures and sells athletic shoes, apparel, equipment, and accessories worldwide. Beaverton, Oregon is home to the company’s headquarters and is part of the greater Portland metropolitan area. Adidas AG is a global footwear, apparel, and accessories conglomerate with roots in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany.’It is Europe’s second-largest sportswear manufacturer, behind only Nike.

Their Roots

The teams at Puma and Adidas are no strangers to competition; the history of the two brands is entangled in a bitter fight. Almost 60 years ago, in the small German town of Herzogenaurach, Adidas’ namesake Adi Dassler and his estranged brother Rudolf Dassler founded rival sportswear brands Adidas and Puma.

Sales and Market Share

Although Adidas’s traditional competitor was Puma, the American sportswear giant Nike now represents a much more serious threat to the industry on a global scale. As of September 2022, Nike is valued at $165.85 billion, Adidas at $26.85 billion, and PUMA at $9.18 billion, according to financial documents. Revenue-wise, Nike is on top with $46.30 billion, followed by Adidas with $21.74 billion and Puma with $7.91 billion. But now, all three of these brands are recognised as the most prominent in the global sportswear industry.


As of the end of 2020, Puma had 14,374 workers, an increase from the 14,332 it had the year before. The company expects to have around 16,000 employees by the end of 2022. In 2021, Adidas AG had a total of 61,401 employees, down 1.42% from the year before. There were 62,285 employees at Adidas AG in 2020, up 4.62 percent from the previous year.

Puma’s Past

Puma Began As a Tiny Company

Puma’s tenacity sprouted from humble beginnings. In 1924, two brothers who had a knack for shoe design launched the Dassler brand on a path of innovation. When top athletes started wearing Dassler spikes and winning medals at the 1936 Olympics, the company took off. Puma was founded by Rudolf Dassler in 1948, and the family firm was later divided between his two sons. Puma released its first football boot, The Atom, in the same year. Puma’s Super Atom football boot, introduced in 1952, was the first of its kind to use screw-in studs. The corporation eventually improved it to the current version, which is called Brasil. Puma gained worldwide recognition with the 1958 World Cup, which the Brazilian football team won while wearing Puma shoes in Sweden.

Puma Swoosh

In the 1960s, Puma rose to prominence thanks to a new manufacturing process called vulcanization, which fused the sole to the shoe shaft. Because of this, productivity increased significantly. Successful football players like Pelé and Eusebio helped propel Puma to prominence in the 1960s. Tommie Smith and John Carlos made news after the 1968 Summer Olympics when they raised their fists in a power salute to protest racism and segregation after Smith won the 200-meter sprint. Lutz Backes, a cartoonist from Nuremberg, Germany, designed Puma’s now-iconic “jumping cat” logo. In 1967, the logo made its debut on a global scale. The logo was revised in 1979 to include a leaping puma over the “A” in PUMA. All Puma shoes and clothes include this symbol of quality and care.

The Peak of Innovation

In the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Puma was a household name because champion athletes frequently wore Puma shoes, clothes, and accessories. Linford Christie wore contact lenses and a white Puma cat to a news conference in 1996, drawing attention to Puma’s creative marketing campaign. Puma invested heavily in developing its football category throughout the 2000s. Usain Bolt was a major reason for Puma’s rise to fame at the time. Puma has earned a reputation for itself in the football market with the release of the evoPOWER football boot and other innovative football items at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Origins of Adidas

What’s this? Kitchen slippers?

Adidas was founded in a small town in Germany’s Bavarian region. Adidas, or “Adidas” as the firm spells it, is an abbreviation for the name of the brand’s founder, Adolf “Adi” Dassler. After starting in his mother’s wash kitchen, Adi Dassler formally launched the ‘Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik’ in 1924. After World War I, the Dassler family entered the footwear industry. Its initial goal was to provide athletes with the best equipment on the market. The 1928 Olympic gold medals won by Lina Radke and Berlin were the company’s first major achievements.

Rivalry Amongst Relatives and the Pressure to Succeed

American track champion Jesse Owens wore a pair of shoes at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin that were rumored to have been a gift from Adidas founder Adi Dassler. Owens’s medal-winning exploits helped spread the Dassler name over the globe. Adi and his brother Rudolf (“Rudi”) Dassler toiled tirelessly to rebuild the family business after it was devastated by the war. However, by 1948, things between them were hopelessly broken. Rudi’s share of the company is now known as Puma, while Adi’s is known as Adidas, thanks to the company split.

Progression and Obstacles

Adidas’ steady expansion began in the 1950s when its lightweight shoes with screw-in cleats became the footwear of choice for Association Football (soccer in the United States) players. The company branched out into the sporting goods market in 1963 when it began producing football balls. Adidas didn’t begin producing apparel until 1974. After years of unchallenged dominance, emerging businesses like Nike emerged in the 1970s to challenge Adidas’s position as the industry leader in athletic footwear. Adi Dassler passed away in 1978, and despite an endorsement arrangement with Run-D.M.C. and their hit single “My Adidas” (1986), the company’s market share declined during the 1980s. To symbolize its comeback to the hip-hop scene, the company planned to strike up a relationship with rapper and businessman Kanye West in 2016.

Adidas’s Early Years

Although Adidas did not do an excellent job of marketing their fantastic products in the early 1990s, this did not prevent them from coming up with some of their most enduring innovations. As an illustration, in 1991 Adidas released a new high-end product line named “Adidas Equipment,” and then in 1994, they unveiled the Predator football footwear. Robert Louis-most Dreyfus, the company’s CEO, made several strategic acquisitions in adjacent fields, allowing the company to grow and diversify. In 1997, Adidas paid 942 million German Marks to acquire the Salomon Group. The corporation has widened its scope in the winter sports and golfing industries with the acquisition of Salomon, TaylorMade, Mavic, and Bonfire. When Adidas and Salomon joined together, the resulting company was known as Adidas-Salomon AG.


‘Creating the New,’ Adidas’ new five-year plan, intends to make the company more collaborative by making athletes, customers, and partners equal contributors to the success of the brand. Since then, collaboration has grown even tighter. Among the many famous people and brands that Adidas has worked with are Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, and Lego. After 15 years at the helm of Adidas, Herbert Hainer stepped down in October 2016 and was replaced by Kasper Rorsted. To push the company’s performance in the digital era, Kasper joined the Adidas Group after working at the top consumer goods company Henkel.

Which Brand Is For You?

If you were having trouble deciding between Puma and Adidas, we hope this article was helpful. There’s no end in sight to the rivalry between the two brands.