Nike, Adidas and Puma are three of the world's major soccer shoe manufacturers. While the basic concept of modern soccer shoes may seem to be fairly standardized across the market, technological innovations by all three companies have resulted in significant differences between their respective products. Choosing among Nike, Puma and Adidas soccer shoes is largely a matter of testing each brand as well as searching for a boot developed for your specific playing style.
Small but significant technological differences exist among Nike, Adidas and Puma soccer shoes. Adidas incorporates Predator and SprintSkin technology into its shoes, the first being used to enhance ball swerve and control while the second is a synthetic layer on the upper part of the shoe which increases ball-feeling while reducing the overall weight. Puma has developed UNI technology, which enhances the shoe's overall fit, and Power Shooting Technology, an upper layer design that increases ball-striking power. Nike incorporates its own Flywire technology into many of its shoes, high tensile strength fibers that add support to vital areas of the shoe.
Selecting the correct shoe size is vital. For the perfect fit, it is worth considering the differences among various brands. Nike generally makes a regular length but slightly wider soccer shoe, while Adidas has a standard width but relatively shorter length. Puma is standardized in length and width.
While appearance may not be vital for performance, it is generally a consideration when buying soccer shoes. Nike, Adidas and Puma soccer shoes come in a wide variety of color schemes; the essential difference is the logo design. The Nike swoosh, the three-stripe Adidas logo and the distinctive Puma design give a unique appearance to each brand.
Sponsorship is of huge importance to all soccer shoe manufacturers. Each new shoe release is accompanied by an advertising campaign which focuses upon which star player will be wearing the cleat. Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, wears Nike, Lionel Messi wears Adidas and Michael Carrick is sponsored by Puma. Manufacturers tailor their shoes to the playing styles of their sponsored players and this can be used to help with boot selection. If you are a quick player, for example, you may want to look at what shoes players such as Ronaldo and Messi are wearing.
Adidas, Nike and Puma develop a wide range of soccer shoes of varying prices. Adidas and Nike are the two most high-profile manufacturers and sponsor the most high-profile players. As such, their top-end shoes are often more expensive than the flagship shoes released by Puma. For example, the Puma PowerCat shoe, released in 2010, retails at around $180. Newly released Adidas and Nike soccer shoes often have a price tag well in excess of $200.