New Balance vs Puma vs Adidas vs Reebok: Athletic Shoes Compared
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New Balance vs Puma vs Adidas vs Reebok: Athletic Shoes Compared

Some brands of athletic shoes are iconic and have become a part of American culture. This was true for Adidas, a German company, in the 1980s when they were the preferred footwear of rapper group Run-DMC who even wrote a song about them. There’s a lot of brand loyalty out there, which is why it’s hard to convince people which company makes a better shoe. Some people just like the style of a particular brand and the issue of support and control aren’t at the top of their list. Serious athletes may put a premium on fit and support and not care what the shoes look like. This is a guide of four of the most well-known shoe brands with a comparison of the most popular shoe in both the men's and women’s category.
Covered in this report
New Balance — Best Features
Sells a lot of sports accessories in addition to athletic shoes.
Features well designed, great looking shoes.
Best for: Serious athletes concerned with comfort and support.
Best deal: Enjoy Up To 35% Off Select New Balance Footwear at Macys - [activate coupon]
Puma — Best Features
Least expensive athletic shoe overall.
Classic brands still available and still in style.
Best for: Fashionable retro look at an affordable price.
Adidas — Best Features
Offers a variety of soccer shoes.
Iconic logo and distinct style.
Best for: Shoes for specific sports like soccer and basketball.
Best deal: Get Up To 33% Off Select Adidas Items At Nordstrom - [activate coupon]
Reebok — Best Features
Makes highly durable crossfit and training shoes.
Website allows customers to design their own shoes.
Best for: Fitness enthusiasts who are not concerned style.
Best deal: Up To 70% Off + Free Shipping at Amazon - [activate coupon]
Review

New Balance

About

New Balance, also known by the longer, official title of New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. is a Boston-based company that was found in 1906. In addition to serving the US athletic shoe market, New Balance also sells to the European market with operations based out of the United Kingdom. New Balance has long touted the fact that their shoes are made in the US, but since the mid 1990s that number has dropped from 70 percent to 25 percent. 

Price Low to High

A pair of New Balance 680v2 running shoes can be purchased from the New Balance website for around $50. This is about $25 below the regular price. At the opposite end of the price spectrum, a pair on 2040v2 running shoe sells for just under $350.

Types of Athletic Shoes 

New Balance carries a wide variety of athletic shoes for men, women and kids that are geared towards a variety of outdoor activities. These types include shoes for:

They also sell work shoes and sandals in addition to a number of shoe accessories including socks, insoles, laces and shoe care products. 

Most Popular Athletic Shoes Compared

Men’s

The most popular men’s running shoe, according to the New Balance website, is the 870v4. NB uses a numbering system to name the many of their shoes. At the time of this writing the 870v4 was listed as $114.99. It features lightweight midsole stability and each shoe weighs less the 10 ounces. The shoe also has breathable air mesh and a blown rubber outsole. It comes in a choice of two colors and features a pretty sleek design.

Women’s

The most popular women’s running shoe, according to the New Balance website, is the 1540v2. Current list price at the time of writing was $159.99. The 1540v2 is a motion control type that is available in silver/mint green and white/blue bell. Made with symmetrical ROLLBAR technology for better rear foot stability, this shoe features a hybrid of mesh and synthetic materials. 

 Video 

Puma

About

Puma shoes are made by the multinational company Puma SE based in Germany. The company was founded in 1924 by the two brothers Adolf and Rudolf Dassler. The siblings had a falling out and split the company in two in 1948, creating Puma and Adidas. 

Price Low to High

The cheapest athletic shoe available from the Puma website is the Carson Running Glitch Men’s running shoe which was on sale for $32.50, down from an original price of $65. The most expensive shoe on the site is the NRGY Men’s running shoe priced at $125.

Types of Athletic Shoes

Puma has a variety of athletic shoes including:

In addition, they also sell sandals, clothing and other accessories including watches, socks, belts, bags and hats. 

Most Popular Athletic Shoes Compared

Men’s 

The most popular type of athletic shoe on the Puma website at the time of this writing for a men’s shoe was the Carson Runner Knit, which was listed for $65. The shoe features an EVA midsole cushion and upper mesh that is lightweight and breathable. An EverRide outsole adds extra rubber cushioning and a size nine weighs just over eight ounces.

Women’s

The most popular type of athletic shoe on the Puma website at the time of this writing for a women’s shoe was the Ignite Pwrcool running shoe which was listed for $110. Puma states that it's the most responsive running shoe they’ve ever produced.

Additional features of the Ignite Pwrcool, according to the Puma website are:

  • AirMesh upper for optimised breathability.
  • Comfortemp for an optimum body temperature.
  • No-sew overlays: seamless and lightweight support.
  • Soft, ultra-thin suede tongue for more comfort.
  • Moulded EVA sockliner hugs the arch.
  • IGNITE Foam midsole for high-rebound cushioning.
  • Chevron flex grooves for increased energy return.
  • ForEverFoam at heel for optimal durability.
  • Flexibility through forefoot flex grooves.
  • Transition Line mimics the natural gait pattern.
  • Smoother toe-off for a fluid ride.
  • EverTrack for durability in high-wear areas.

Video 

Adidas

About

The German Adidas company was formed in 1948 after a split between founding brothers Adolf and Rudolf Dassle who formed their original company in 1924. Adidas is based in Bavaria and is also the holding company for Adidas Group which owns Reebok. It’s interesting to note the relationship, past and present, that three of the four shoe companies in this guide have with each other. 

Price Low to High

The least expensive men’s athletic shoe on the Adidas website at the time of this writing was the Duramo 7, which lists for a sale price of $34.99, down from a regular price of $60. The priciest is the Stan Smith White Mountaineering shoe for $225. The least expensive women’s athletic shoe is the Adria low canvas shoe available for $32.99, with the Ultra Boost being the most expensive pair for $260.

Types of Athletic Shoes

Adidas makes their shoes in a number of sports categories for both men and women including:

They also sell a variety of apparel for men, women and children including bras, tights, swimwear, shirts and track tops.

Most Popular Athletic Shoes Compared

Note: Adidas allows you to sort by a top rated category as opposed to most popular or biggest seller. 

Men’s

The top rated men’s athletic shoe on the Adidas website is the Ultra Boost which sells for $180. A size nine shoe weighs 10.6 ounces. The Ultra Boost is made with an upper mesh and a synthetic midfoot overlay and molded heel and is available in five colors including:

Women’s 

The top rated women’s athletic shoe on the Adidas website is also the Ultra Boost, which sells for $180 as well. The women’s Ultra Boost is available in black, flash pink, ash purple and flash orange.

 Video

Reebok

About

Reebok has the longest history of any of the featured companies in this profile. The company was founded at the end of the 19th century by J.W. Foster and Son. The company has been a subsidiary of Adidas since 2005. The company's main headquarters are located in Massachusetts but they have offices in Europe, Central America and Asia.

Price Low to High

The most expensive men’s shoe was was the Crossfit Lifter Plus 2.0 available for $174.99. The cheapest was the Crossfit Nanossage BNG on sale for $29.97, down from an original price of $64.99. The cheapest women’s athletic shoe was the Crossfit Nanossag, also on sale for $29.97, down from an original price of $64.99. The most expensive shoe was the also the $174.99 Crossfit Lifter Plus 2.0. 

Types of Athletic Shoes

Reebok makes athletic shoes in over a half dozen categories including:

Most Popular Athletic Shoes Compared

Note: The Reebok website allows users to search for both most popular and biggest seller which in the examples below are, unsurprisingly, the same shoe.

Men's

The most popular men’s athletic shoe on the Reebok website is the Crossfit Nano 5.0. Available in colors of red rush, grey, black, white, far out blue and electric peach. The lightest and strongest version in the Nano line, the 5.0 features Kevlar which offers high levels of abrasion protection. The list price is $129.98.

Women’s

The most popular women’s athletic shoe on the Reebok website was the Crossfit Nano 4.0 priced at $99.99. Colors for the women’s Nano include:

Video

Additional Information
New Balance
New Balance Coupon: Enjoy Up To 35% Off Select New Balance Footwear at Macys - Activate
New Balance Coupon Code: NBKIDS113 - $5 off Kids' Shoes - Activate
Adidas
Adidas Coupon: Get Up To 33% Off Select Adidas Items At Nordstrom - Activate
Reebok
Reebok Coupon: Up To 70% Off + Free Shipping at Amazon - Activate
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