5 Types of Leather Adidas Uses For Shoes (Explained)

When you think of Adidas, images of iconic stripes, innovative designs, and high-quality athletic footwear likely come to mind. But beyond the brand’s reputation for style and functionality, there’s an intricate story woven into every pair of shoes—the story of the materials that comprise them. A key component of many Adidas products, one that significantly contributes to their durability and comfort, is leather.

But not all leathers are created equal. The type of leather used can drastically impact the shoe’s feel, performance, and longevity. Adidas, aware of the critical role materials play in their products, carefully selects different types of leather for various models and lines of shoes. This involves sourcing high-quality materials from various regions worldwide, with a strong commitment to sustainability and ethical practices.

In this blog post, we’ll embark on a journey to explore the different types of leather used by Adidas in their footwear. We’ll delve into the characteristics that define each type, discuss where these leathers are sourced from, and understand the brand’s approach to ensuring the environmental and social responsibility of their supply chain. So, lace up and join us as we step into the world of Adidas, one stitch at a time.

What Types Of Leather Does Adidas Uses To Produce Their Shoes

Pigskin Leather

Pigskin leather is one of the types of leather that Adidas incorporates into their shoe designs. Known for its durability and breathability, pigskin leather is a fantastic material for athletic footwear. It possesses a unique texture, with small, dotted patterning, and offers a substantial amount of flexibility and comfort, making it a favourite choice for many sportswear manufacturers.

One example of Adidas utilizing pigskin leather is in their iconic Samba Classic shoes. The Samba Classic, a beloved model with a long history dating back to the 1950s, is designed primarily for indoor soccer but has evolved into a streetwear staple over time. The shoe’s upper is made from full-grain pigskin leather, providing it with a soft, supple feel and high durability. The unique texture of the pigskin leather not only gives the shoe a distinctive look but also enhances its resilience to wear and tear.

Another example is the Adidas Busenitz Pro. This shoe, inspired by professional skateboarder Dennis Busenitz, combines functionality and style. The upper part of the Busenitz Pro uses pigskin nubuck leather, known for its softness and durability. This material is particularly resistant to damage, an essential feature for a shoe designed for the rigors of skateboarding.

In the realm of casual footwear, the Adidas Gazelle series also utilizes pigskin leather. The Gazelle shoes, famous for their minimalist design and vibrant color options, feature a pigskin leather upper in several models. This leather gives the Gazelle a luxurious feel, elevating its simplicity into something more premium.

The use of pigskin leather in Adidas shoes showcases the brand’s commitment to quality and performance. By choosing this material, Adidas ensures that their footwear can stand the test of time while providing the comfort and flexibility necessary for various sports and lifestyle activities.

Kangaroo Leather

Kangaroo leather, also known as K-leather, is renowned in the world of athletic footwear for its exceptional strength, lightness, and ability to mold to the foot’s shape, providing an excellent feel for the ball. This has made it a popular choice for soccer cleats, where these characteristics are highly desired. Adidas, as a leading brand in soccer footwear, has made significant use of kangaroo leather in some of its top-of-the-line soccer shoes.

One of the most notable examples is the Adidas Copa Mundial, a classic soccer boot that has remained largely unchanged since its introduction in 1982. The Copa Mundial is renowned for its comfortable fit and feel, largely thanks to the kangaroo leather upper. This leather molds to the wearer’s foot over time, providing a custom fit that improves touch and control. The strength and lightness of kangaroo leather also contribute to the shoe’s durability and performance on the field.

Another example is the Adidas Predator series, specifically earlier models like the Predator Mania, which utilized kangaroo leather for their uppers. The leather provided a soft, supple feel and excellent control, making these shoes favourites among professional and amateur players alike.

Faux Leather

In response to increasing consumer demand for more sustainable and cruelty-free alternatives, Adidas has been incorporating faux leather into their shoe designs. Faux leather, also known as synthetic leather, offers a more ethical and environmentally friendly option compared to traditional animal leathers, while still providing the durability and aesthetic appeal that consumers seek.

One example of Adidas using faux leather is in their vegan line of shoes. The Adidas Superstar Vegan, a reinterpretation of the classic Superstar model, replaces the traditional leather upper with a synthetic alternative. This faux leather is made from polyurethane coated recycled polyester, offering a similar look and feel to the original without the use of animal products. This is accompanied by other eco-friendly materials, like recycled rubber for the outsole and organic cotton for the laces.

Similarly, the Adidas Stan Smith Vegan takes the beloved tennis shoe design and reimagines it with a faux leather upper. The Stan Smith Vegan maintains the clean, minimalist aesthetic of the original while using high-quality synthetic leather and other recycled materials to minimize environmental impact.

Adidas has also used faux leather in their performance footwear, like soccer cleats. The Adidas X Ghosted series, for example, features a lightweight synthetic leather upper that offers excellent ball control and durability, rivaling the performance of traditional leathers.

Adidas’s use of faux leather is a testament to their commitment to sustainability and ethical manufacturing practices. By offering high-quality synthetic alternatives, they’re helping to drive the shift towards more conscious consumption in the fashion and footwear industries. As technology advances, we can expect to see even more innovative and sustainable materials in Adidas shoes.

Goat Leather

Goat leather is another type of leather that Adidas has incorporated into some of their shoe designs. Goat leather is known for its strength, durability, and softness, making it an excellent option for athletic footwear that requires both toughness and comfort.

Goat leather is another type of leather that Adidas has incorporated into some of their shoe designs. Goat leather is known for its strength, durability, and softness, making it an excellent option for athletic footwear that requires both toughness and comfort.

One example of Adidas utilizing goat leather is in their Terrex Free Hiker shoes, designed for outdoor trekking and hiking. The upper of the Terrex Free Hiker is made from soft goat leather, providing a luxurious feel while still being robust enough to withstand the elements. This goat leather is treated with a waterproof coating to make the shoes resistant to water, ensuring that hikers’ feet stay dry and comfortable in any weather.

Another example is the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350, a popular lifestyle sneaker designed in collaboration with rapper Kanye West. Some of the Yeezy Boost 350 models use a premium goat leather upper, providing a unique texture and a touch of luxury to the shoe’s design.

Goat leather is also used in some of Adidas’s soccer cleats. The Adidas Nemeziz Tango 18.1, for instance, uses a goat leather upper that provides a soft and supple feel, allowing for excellent ball control and precision.

Adidas’s use of goat leather demonstrates their commitment to incorporating premium materials into their products while maintaining a high level of performance. The company’s careful selection of materials ensures that their footwear is both comfortable and durable, allowing athletes and casual wearers alike to perform their best while looking stylish.

Cowhide Leather

Cowhide leather is one of the most commonly used types of leather in the footwear industry, thanks to its durability and versatility. Adidas, as a leading brand in the athletic footwear market, has incorporated cowhide leather into many of their shoe designs, ranging from soccer cleats to lifestyle sneakers.

One example of Adidas utilizing cowhide leather is in their iconic Stan Smith model. The Stan Smith, originally designed as a tennis shoe in the 1970s, features a soft and supple cowhide leather upper that provides both comfort and durability. This leather has a smooth finish, giving the shoe a clean and classic look that has made it a fan favourite for decades.

Another example is the Adidas Predator Freak soccer cleat series, which features a hybrid upper that combines knit textile and cowhide leather. This hybrid material provides a unique blend of breathability and support, making it an ideal choice for soccer players who need to perform at their best on the field.

The Adidas Ultraboost, a popular running shoe designed for maximum comfort and performance, also incorporates cowhide leather into its design. In some Ultraboost models, cowhide leather accents are added to the upper to provide additional support and durability in high-stress areas.

Adidas’s use of cowhide leather in their shoes showcases the brand’s commitment to quality and longevity. The use of high-quality cowhide leather ensures that their footwear can stand up to the rigors of various sports and activities while providing a comfortable and stylish fit. With careful selection and attention to detail, Adidas has made cowhide leather a staple material in their shoe designs.

Where Does Adidas Get Their Leather From?

Adidas sources its leather from a variety of suppliers around the world. The company has a strict Leather Sourcing Policy that outlines the criteria for selecting suppliers based on environmental and social sustainability, including animal welfare, labor conditions, and environmental impact.

Adidas’s leather suppliers come from countries such as Brazil, China, India, Italy, and the United States, among others. The brand works closely with these suppliers to ensure that they comply with international laws and regulations, as well as Adidas’s own sustainability standards.

The brand has also been exploring the use of innovative materials that reduce its reliance on traditional animal leathers. For instance, Adidas has developed “MycoWorks,” a vegan leather alternative made from mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms. This material has the picture look similar to traditional leather, but without the concerns associated with animal leather.

Overall, Adidas is committed to responsible leather sourcing and is continuously seeking ways to reduce its environmental impact and promote sustainability in the fashion industry.

Scroll to Top