Nike vs Adidas vs PUMA: Foot Traffic in Summer 2021

Nike vs Adidas vs PUMA: Foot Traffic in Summer 2021
Everybody needs shoes and we like them to be comfortable and stylish -- Witness the global $100 billion dollar athletic footwear market. But how is the COVD-19 pandemic affecting the foot traffic of leading shoe retailers, and which brand has established footprints in what market? We studied recent US foot traffic data for Nike, Adidas and PUMA to find out.


A quick glance at the state level map will tell you that Nike (orange) dominates foot traffic among the measured brands. Nike retail locations win in all but three of the states measured, including the entirety of the western, central and southern states. 

Across the US, the Nike brand averaged about 1,775 visits to each store each week, or about 252 per day. That was the highest brand average among the three we measured, by a factor of better than 2x over Adidas and 7x over PUMA.

When we switch to the State level view from the drop down menu above the map, Nike again dominates in many areas, but there are notable pockets at MSA level (cities and broader urban areas), where both Adidas and PUMA claim top market share. This is clearest in the New York market, where Adidas wins both the city and the state foot traffic title for summer of 2021.

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At the state level, Adidas took top ranking for foot traffic in Maryland, Indiana and, critically, New York, where Adidas claimed 54% of all measured foot traffic, or about 12% more than Nike. In Maryland the margin was 17%, in Indiana it was about 16%. So, where Adidas has a toehold, it’s fairly solid.

At the MSA level, a quick scan shows the greatest relative strength in the northeast US, with New York, Washington, DC and Pittsburgh all recording wins for the Adidas brand. Adidas also recorded more traffic than their competitors further south in Jackson, MS and Raleigh, NC, and to the west in Sacramento, CA and Portland, OR.


At just 250 visits per week on average, PUMA retail locations did not win any of the statewide foot traffic races in summer of 2021. The brand does, however, claim victory in few a urban markets and ranks #2 in several mid-sized cities. 

PUMA was the #1 brand in Jacksonville, FL by a factor of 2x over Nike. In Sacramento, CA, PUMA was also #1, by a factor of greater than 2x over both Nike and Adidas. PUMA was also the #2 brand for foot traffic in significant MSAs including: Phoenix, New Orleans, Baltimore, Boston and Detroit.


While Nike dominates retail foot traffic at a national level, both Adidas and PUMA demonstrate competitive strength in key markets, both at the MSA and statewide levels. Adidas’ dominance of the New York market, and PUMA’s strong footprint in some urban markets provide healthy competition in the athletic footwear category.

Unacast can help any retail brand use location data to measure traffic, conduct competitive analysis, inform site selection and improve site performance. Click the button below to check out Unacast Now.

The data presented here is meant to provide topline indicators of what human mobility data can tell us about the retail shoe category. Unacast can help you go much deeper and empower you to use location data to inform site selection, competitive analysis and more. Want to know more?

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