Adidas vs. Nike For Women

Nike and Adidas make up some of the biggest brands in activewear but how do they fair in the womenswear market? In this report, discover the top performing activewear product categories, key product launches and overview on pricing.

Written by Ashley LooiDecember 20, 2019


2019 has been a spotlight year for women in sports with trailblazers like Simone Biles’ record breaking weekend at the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championship and Sarah Thomas becoming the first person to swim the Channel four times non-stop.

Due to emerging female empowerment movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, the “shrink it and pink it” approach applied by athletic brands are no longer good enough. Women have been turning to female-centric brands like Lululemon and Athleta.

Declaring 2019 as its ‘Year of Women’, Nike released ‘Dream Crazier’ campaign fronted by Serena Williams, showcasing women’s exceptional athletic performance. The brand also sponsored the US Women’s World Cup that rose to victory in July.

Adidas released a campaign entitled ‘Now is Her Time’, celebrating female empowerment in collaboration with Pharrell Williams. Adidas also landed a collaboration with Beyoncé to relaunch her Ivy Park collection in January 2020.

In this report, we compared the performance of Nike and Adidas for women by analysing four markets, namely UK and US in the west alongside Malaysia and Singapore (MY and SG) in the Southeast Asian region. More than 41,000 data points were tracked from January to December 2019.


All data used in this report comes from products retailing online as tracked by Omnilytics, unless otherwise mentioned.

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Global vs. Local Performance

Nike and Adidas are giants in the sportswear industry but how well do they fare against each other in womenswear?


Global Performance

Nike was ahead of Adidas on total sell-out rate despite having less SKUs and discounting.


MY and SG Performance

Both brands were tied for total sell-out rate at 81% but Nike drove more than 3 times higher sell-out rate at full price driven by high new-in rate at 75%, despite its higher median price than Adidas.

Adidas while offering a wide assortment with 4,250 more SKUs than Nike, 85% of total assortment was discounted products.

Nike demonstrated strong brand loyalty in both global and the local regions, with newness at the right price driving success.

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Assortment Overview

Nike and Adidas are mostly known for their footwear, but there were other sales drivers in the assortment.


Top 3 Categories for Nike (Total 4 Markets)

  1. Shoes
  2. Top & T-Shirts
  3. Pants & Leggings


Top 3 Categories for Adidas (UK and US)

  1. Shoes
  2. Top & T-Shirts
  3. Outerwear


Top 3 Categories for Adidas (MY and SG)

  1. Shoes
  2. Top & T-Shirts
  3. Accessories


Accessories made it to the top 3 categories for Adidas in MY and  SG markets, overtaking Pants & Leggings and Outerwear. Most of the contribution to Accessories sell-out came from backpacks, socks and headwear.

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Top Performing Categories

The categories with the highest sell-out for Nike in MY and SG were Shoes, Tops & T-Shirts and  Pants & Leggings whereas Adidas’ were Shoes, Tops & T-Shirts and Accessories.



Shoes comprised of 63% of Nike’s total assortment but only 24% of Adidas’. Sneakers were extremely popular for both brands, a majority of which came in core coloured uppers with just a splash of colour.


Tops & T-Shirts

14% of Nike’s assortment was made up of Tops & T-Shirts whereas the category made up 33% of Adidas’ assortment.

The most important function of the category is to wick sweat from the athlete’s body. Both brands had derived their own technology for performance fabric, Primeknit for Adidas and Dri-Fit for Nike. More than 75% of tops in both brands came in core colours  – black, white, blue and grey. The popular fashion colours in the category were red, pink and purple for both brands.

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Top Performing Categories (Cont’d)

Pants & Leggings

Tights & Leggings made up most of Nike’s Pants & Leggings category. These products featured punchy colours and bold prints. Similar to the Tops & T-Shirts category, the performance fabric used is Dri-Fit and is mostly seen in leggings.



The category mainly consisted of socks, hats and bags which took up 67% contribution of accessories.

Adidas’ accessories had more minimalistic designs and focused on core colours that donned the brand’s signature trefoil logo.

content image-5 Adidas vs. Nike For Women

This is an excerpt of the report.
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Meet the Author

Ashley Looi

Ashley Looi combines her major in econometrics with her interest in fashion to help brands and retailers uncover actionable insights. She currently produces in-depth reports on the fashion industry and its changing retail scene across the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Southeast Asia.

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