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Who are Nike’s main competitors?

Nike: An Introduction


Nike is the world’s leading sports shoes, apparel and accessories brand, based in the United States.

It has maintained a strong presence worldwide.

The company enjoys heavy popularity in various corners of the globe.

Some of the key factors that have helped Nike build a strong reputation and create a differentiated brand image include product quality, innovation, customer experience and a strong focus on marketing.

Over the past few years, Nike has been strategically investing in digital technology to strengthen its competitive advantage and cement its market position.

Competition in the sports shoes and apparel industry has kept growing more and more intense.

As the battle for market share among the sports shoes and apparel brands has grown fiercer, Nike has grown its focus on innovation, customer experience, marketing and quality.

Nike is facing strong competition from several rivals including brands making only athleisure products or sports apparel apart from the direct competitors that make sports shoes for various sports activities.

However its competitive edge has continued to improve as the company is investing more in technology and customer engagement.

Overall, Nike has successfully retained its market leadership.

A list of Nike competitors:

In this post, we will discuss the main rivals of Nike and their competitive position with respect to Nike. 

Some of the leading brands that compete with Nike include Adidas, Puma, Under Armour, and New Balance.


Adidas is also among the leading sports shoes and apparel brands.

It is one of the leading rivals of Nike and enjoys a strong market position.

Adidas’ market share has continued to improve based on its investment in digital technology, product quality, and digital marketing.

The company was founded in 1949.

Its founder was Adolf Dassler (Adi Dassler).

The company has its headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

Adidas offers a large range of products including sports shoes, apparel and equipment.

Adidas is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and the second largest in the world after Nike.

It is the biggest competitor of Nike.

Like Nike, Adidas has also outsourced its entire production to external suppliers.

The company has maintained a strong worldwide presence through a large distribution chain.


Puma is also among the leading names in the world of sportswear and one of the leading rivals of Nike.

The company was founded by Rudolf Dassler, the brother of Adolf Dassler, who founded Adidas.

Apart from Puma, its core brand, the company also owns Stichd and Cobra Puma Golf.

The company offers products for men, women and kids. 

It makes and sells a large range of products including clothes, footwear and accessories.

The company focuses heavily on product quality and innovation to maintain its market position and competitive edge.


Reebok is also among the well known brands of sports shoes, apparel and accessories.

The brand makes and sells a nice range of fitness, running, and crossfit sportswear, including clothes and shoes.

Apart from sports shoes and accessories, the company sells clothes like T-shirts, hoodies and pants. 

Reebok was previously a part of Adidas AG.

Adidas had acquired it in 2006.

However, Adidas has decided to divest the brand.

It has announced that it will sell Reebok to Authentic Brands Group for 2.5 Billion Euros.

Reebok has also partnered with other brands to produce fitness equipment and workouts.

It is a highly popular brand of sports shoes, apparel and accessories and a leading rival of Nike. 

Under Armour:

Under Armour is among the leading names in the sports shoe industry.

The company was founded by Kevin Plank in 1996.

Its headquarters are located at Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

Under Armour makes and sells branded footwear, performance apparel and accessories for men, women, and youth.

Apart from Under Armour, it also owns the HeatGear and ColdGear trademarks.

Under Armour also makes and sells apparel and shoes for different climatic conditions.

For example, it makes different products for people living in cold and hot environmental conditions.

However, while Nike generates most of its net revenues from the sales of sports shoes, the largest category of Under Armour products based on net revenues is performance apparel.

The focus of Under Armour is on innovation and product quality.

It also makes apps and fitness solutions to track their fitness and stay active.

New balance:

New Balance is also one of the renowned brands of sports shoes and apparel and one of the leading competitors of Nike in the United States. 

Based in America, New Balance is a sportswear, footwear, and apparel brand that was founded in 1906.

It is a private company.

The name of the founder was William J Riley.

It offers a nice range of footwear, apparel and accessories.

The company makes sports shoes that are especially designed for various sports activities.

Apart from that, it also makes and sells apparel including bottoms, jackets and vests, hoodies and sweatshirts, shirts, pants, tank tops and apparel for various sports activities.

New Balance does not rely on external suppliers like Nike and Adidas do.

It handles a substantial part of its own production. 

For this reason, the company has established its own manufacturing plants in the US and the UK.

New Balance has established a strong position in the US, where it is among the main competitors of Nike.

Columbia Sportswear:

Columbia Sportswear is also one of the well known names in the world of sports shoes and apparel.

The focus of Columbia Sportswear is on developing special technologies and products for outdoor activities.

The company sells its sportswear and accessories globally through its distribution chain.

The brand had started as a hat business.

Columbia Sportswear makes and sells products including sportswear, gear and equipment designed for various outdoor activities like hiking, trekking, skiing, travelling and other outdoor activities.

Columbia has continued to improve its product portfolio and the technologies it uses for production.

Just as the leading brands like Nike and Adidas, it has also outsourced most of its production to external suppliers.

The company is dedicated to both product quality and innovation.

It is also among one of the well known competitors of Nike.


ASICS is a Japan based footwear and apparel company.

It makes and sells sportswear, apparel, shoes and accessories for both men and women.

The company has been in existence for more than 50 years.

There has been a special role of technology in the evolution of the ASICS brand.

It has developed special technologies and design philosophies with the potential to revolutionize the world of sports.

The name ASICS has been derived from a latin term “Anima Sana Corpore Sano”, which means sound mind in a sound body.

The business philosophy of ASICS is “Producing innovative sports products solutions and technologies to help athletes and active consumers achieve their goals.”

While Nike is the overall market leader in the sports shoes and apparel industry, ASICS is among the leading manufacturers of athletic and running shoes.

In this category, it is among the top rivals of Nike along with NewBalance.


Athleta is a brand of athletic apparel owned by Gap Inc.

However, instead of targeting the broader market, Athleta only targets the female shoppers.

It makes products designed especially for women and girls.

It is a premium fitness and lifestyle brand for girls and women.

The brand offers active, sustainable and technical apparel to help girls and women follow a more active and healthy lifestyle.

Athleta was originally founded in 1998.

However, Gap Inc acquired the brand in 2008.

Athleta makes and sells apparel for various activities including running, yoga, sports, travel and other health related activities for women.

In 2016, Athleta launched a special line for the next generation. 

It is called Athleta girls and reflects Athleta’s signature performance in styles for the next gen girls.


Lululemon has also acquired a lot of fame as a leading athletic apparel company.

The brand is based in Vancouver, Canada.

Founded by Dennis J Chip Wilson in 1998, Lululemon started as a seller of women’s yoga apparel.

As time passed, the company continued to expand its product  portfolio.

Now, it sells apparel for both men and women and targets customers who like living an active and healthy lifestyle.

It designs and sells products that are especially made for healthy activities like yoga, running and workout.

It has developed a special raw material called Luon, which it uses as the fabric for making Lululemon clothes. 

Luon offers extra comfort and boosts performance.

Lululemon also acquired Mirror, a special platform with more than 10,000 workouts to help its customers follow a healthier lifestyle and workout at home. 

Mirror is like a large screen that can be fitted in your living room and can be used to learn from professionals.

Lululemon also depends on external suppliers for production.

It has acquired the image of a highly competitive, customer focused and quality dedicated brand.

It is also now among the leading rivals of Nike.