Do Adidas Run Big or Small? Common Adidas Shoe Sizing Problems Solved

By listedfit •  Updated:  •  8 min read

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Since they first made their debut in 1949, Adidas shoes have been the athlete’s choice. Today, Adidas shoes are more popular than ever for training, cardio, and everyday wear. If you are switching to Adidas from another brand, you likely have questions. 

I’m here to answer your questions, based on my experience and research, common questions such as do Adidas run big or small, how Adidas sizing is compared to Nike, and are all Adidas true to size? 

With this Adidas shoe sizing guide, I hope to deliver the answers you need so you can purchase the perfect pair for any occasion. 

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Table of Contents

Do Adidas Run Big or Small?

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Adidas EQT – A lightweight racer now-turned streetwear and comfort favourite.

Because there is no true universal sizing system, you are going to find shoe brands that fit differently, depending on the manufacturer. Adidas is one of the most recognizable shoe brands in the world. So, do Adidas run big or small?

Adidas, as a general rule, creates shoes that range from true to size or slightly bigger. Like all shoe manufacturers, Adidas bases its shoe sizes on its flagship models. I’ve found as Adidas produces new shoes, they have remained pretty much true to size.

As I tell everyone, you are going to have to try several shoes to see if Adidas run big or small and have the fit you expect. I’ve found most of them run slightly large, but some run slightly smaller, such as the Barricade and SoleCourt lines. The Adizero shoes run a little larger also. 

Research the line and determine how they are made. For instance, Adidas PowerLift shoes are going to feel like they run small because they have a narrower fit. These shoes are actually true to size. 

Do Adidas Run Big or Small Compared to Nike?

When it comes to the question of ‘do Adidas run big or small compared to Nike?’ It’s critical you get a good fit in a shoe because ill-fitting shoes can cause multiple dangers and foot injuries. You especially need a proper fit for working out. 

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So when it comes to the question of ‘do Adidas run big or small compared to Nike?’, it’s important to know how these shoe manufacturers actually approach sizing. I am including the chart below for your comparison. 

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As you can see, Nike trainers run just a little larger than Adidas trainers. If you are switching from Nike to Adidas, you may need to purchase a slightly smaller size, like by a half. I found I need one size smaller when switching from Nike to Adidas trainers and a ½ size when I moved to SoleCourts. 

What’s really crazy is that a friend or two found they needed the same size when wearing Nike and Adidas. It really just depends on the type of foot you have and the shoe. 


Do Adidas Run Big or Small Compared to Nike?

Therefore, I always recommend trying shoes on whenever you can. It will save you from going through the stress of having to make a return or being stuck with a pair you can’t wear comfortably. 

Some people think Adidas makes overly big shoes when they move from Nike to Adidas. I beg to differ. The truth is, we know Nike makes smaller shoes than other manufacturers-in most cases.

The smaller nature of Nike shoes makes people think Adidas is overly big. 

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Before I go any further, I want to explain why shoe manufacturers have different sizing. When a company makes an athletic shoe, they create what is a last. A last is a two-dimensional model. The last determines the length, curvature, and shape of the shoe. 

While this seems straightforward and like it would create uniformity, shoe manufacturers make 100s of these. Although shoe manufacturers will often use the same last for the same type of shoe, this is not always the case. 

I mention this because it can become impossible to compare one shoe brand’s sizing to another, though we try. Shoe manufacturers make an array of shoes for different purposes. 

Though they use different lasts to create their shoes, brands use the same numbering system, which is where things get confusing. Most shoes from the same brand will fit within a ½ size of one another. I hope that clears up some of the confusion about why different brands fit so differently. What you wear in a Nike likely will not transfer over to Adidas and vice versa. 

Are All Adidas True to Size?

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Adidas NMD – A favorite for comfort among many.

Adidas, like other shoe manufacturers, is not always consistent in the way they make shoes. Unfortunately, consistency is impossible unless a company only creates a single type of shoe, such as a running shoe. Then, you could have uniformity. Uniformity simply isn’t possible when various sports have different shoe requirements. 

Adidas is one of the few shoe companies that truly attempts to make shoes true to size, but, as mentioned above, they use different lasts for different shoe lines. Of the shoe brands I’ve worn over the years, I will say Adidas comes close to true sizing. It all depends on how you like to wear your shoes. 

Adidas shoes give me the best fit of any I have tried. I have found Swift and Stan Smiths fit true to size without question. 

Falcon and Ozweegos run slightly bigger than some other shoes. If you try one of these, you are going to need to get a ½ to one full size larger. 

Do Adidas Superstars Run Big or Small?

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Since Adidas released its Superstars in 1969, fans continue to love them for that truly classic Adidas look. They marketed these as the ultimate on-court shoe, and the Superstars have lived up to this expectation. 

To this day, these are my go-to shoe. You might know these as “Shell Tops,” “Shell Toes,” or “Shell Shoes.” Adidas Superstars are iconic. People like to wear these shoes because they are comfortable and easy to dress up or down. 

Adidas released superstars in 1969, hoping to expand their customer base into America. By 1973, 75% of professional basketball players were wearing Superstars after ditching their Converse or Keds. 

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I say all this to let you know these shoes are still “It” as far as many athletes are concerned. Despite now producing many Superstars in the collection, Adidas has used the same sizing. 

Superstars Originals

These shoes feature those same shell toes as the first 1969 shoe. It’s that low-top leather upper with the iconic three stripes. The Original Superstars do not run big or small for men or women, so you can get your regular size. 

Laceless Superstars

Slip-on styles are simple to put on in a hurry. Because the tops of these shoes are stretchy, you may find they fit a little loosely compared to the Originals. I recommend you go up ½ size so these shoes don’t become too loose fitting after they stretch out. 

Superstars High-Tops

Just like combat boots, these Superstars lace all the way up and provide a comfortable fit with a rugged design. Like other Adidas Superstars, these high-tops fit true to size without issue. 

No matter which of the three-stripe shoes you choose, you need to determine your size first. Once you find the perfect size, all you need to do is choose which Superstar you want. This is when the choice becomes difficult. 

How to Measure Adidas Shoe Size – Get the Perfect Fit

Measuring your feet is important, even if you have worn the same size for years. Pro tip-always measure your feet first thing in the morning because they swell as the day goes on, and you may find it difficult to size accurately. 

Adidas recommends these steps to get an accurate measurement. 

  1. Place a piece of white paper against a wall, so the longest length is facing the wall. 
  2. Place your foot against a wall on the paper. 
  3. Mark your longest toe on the paper with a pencil. 
  4. Do the same for your other foot. (Believe it or not, a person’s two feet can have different measurements!)
  5. Compare your measurements (in inches or centimeters) to the Adidas size chart to choose the perfect size. 
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Adidas Runs True to Size in Most Cases, But Not All

I hope you now understand how Adidas sizes its shoes. Just like all shoe manufacturers, Adidas uses lasts that sometimes change. So the question of ‘do Adidas run big or small?’ is always going to be answered with an asterix.

It’s important to note that shoes will fit differently according to your specific needs. Even the materials make a difference. For instance, I can wear one size in my leather upper Superstars and then need a ½ size larger for my mesh-top slip-on. 

I’ve tried to provide you with as much information as possible on Adidas sizing. It can sometimes feel confusing when jumping from one shoe manufacturer to another, such as Nike to Adidas. 

When in doubt, measure your feet and go by the shoe’s size chart. Most of them are incredibly correct, and you should be able to find your size with no problem. 

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