Nike vs. Under Armour: Which is better?

  • By reComparison Contributor
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Difference between Nike and Under Armour

Nike is a sportswear company that stands alongside many other famous brands as one of the top manufacturers of sports related equipment in the world. While it would seem that such an industry giant would be hard to compete with–let alone to topple–a number of entrants have made their own hefty marks on the scene. Take for example Under Armour, which is fast making inroads into the market previously dominated by Nike. Does the company have what it takes to measure up? Let's see!

Nike
Under Armour

Focus

Nike is unarguably the number one manufacturer of sports shoes in the world, having cornered as much as 20% of the athletic shoe market. The company’s lineup includes shoes for basketball, baseball, golf, hiking, tennis, and football among others. Under Armour for its part seems to be more focused on the athletic apparel market, and it is one of the major players in the compression garment industry.

Nike goes beyond athletic shoes as well, with a fairly respectable line of sports related clothes, equipment and accessories. As for Under Armour, the company has also seen fit to delve into the sports shoe market, with a pretty good selection of cross-trainers in its lineup.

Comparative Strengths

Unsurprisingly, Nike has the edge over the competition–Under Armour included–with its vast selection of sportswear and footwear. While Under Armour does carry products that compete with Nike in the football, lacrosse, and softball shoe department, Nike also offers shoes for basketball, golf, track & field, and several other sports, areas in which Under Armour has no presence at all. To Under Armour’s credit however, the fact that it has cornered a pretty respectable niche of its own is a definite accomplishment, especially since the company has been in business for only a relatively short period of time.

Market Value

Under Armour is capitalized at $1.28 billion, which is a far cry from Nike’s capitalization of a whopping $26.38 billion. While this would seem to put Under Armour at a strict disadvantage compared to the sportswear giant, Under Armour does seem to have the edge in terms of potential for expansion. While Under Armour definitely has a long way to go before it can reach the level of Nike, recent market performance shows that it may just come out strong in the years to come.

Summary

Nike

  • Has cornered more than 20% of the athletic shoe market in the United States
  • Focuses primarily basketball, baseball, golf, hiking, tennis, and football shoes
  • Also offers a selection of sports-oriented clothes, watches, equipment and accessories
  • $26.38 billion capitalization.

Under Armour

  • Fast making its mark as a manufacturer of quality sports apparel
  • Has managed to corner a large portion of the compression garment industry
  • Expanding into the shoe with its own line of cross-trainers
  • It hopes to grab 10% of the sportswear market
  • $1.28 billion capitalization

Nike Commercial

Under Armour Commercial

Which brand wears the longest?
  • Nike
  • Under Armour
 
 

Discuss It: comments 65

NIKE NIKE NIKE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UNDER ARMOUR STINKS

yeah man

YEPPP cuz UA is too busy trying to keep up with nike that they're not evn realizing how ugly their clothes are.

  • Guest
  • UA vs Nike wrote on November 2010

Nike is always going to be bigger, but Under Armour is going to hurt them a lot in the future.

nooooooooo!!!!!!

I'm sick of Nike personally. I wore Nike sneakers for years but lately they haven't been very good. Just tired of the swish everywhere. Under Armour seems to make great gear and apparel. Many people like Nike just because of the stupid brand loyalty nonsense. Not because Nike makes better products, but because they're Nike! Ridiculous!!! Wish Under Armour would have gotten the NFL apparel contract for 2012!

that is mean

  • Guest
  • NikeBrand2012 wrote on November 2012

To bad they didn't because it sucks

theres a reason why nike was picked. nike always has better colrs, quality, and clothing! it has the best cleets, too, used the same cleets for about a year and a half until i grew out of them. so just go die in a hole

  • Guest
  • Brand Crown wrote on January 2011

I'm a big fan of Under Armour but I have to say that you can't beat Nike for its clothing line. We have developed a site so you can vote our favorite, check it out http://www.brandcrown.com/brandBattle/1532/Under-Armour-VS-Nike

Hi All,

I still wear Nike but have also introduced under Armour to my sports wear I think they can both coexist in the market but bad news for the other potential big boys.

nike may have been longer than under armour but under armour's shoes are way better than nike's

  • Guest
  • Mr. Roboto wrote on September 2013

Almost anyone's shoes are better than Nike's. Almost every pair of modern running Nike's wear out by not even an entire XC season. It's why no one on my team trains in Nike's. Clothing is different, as Nike's athletic apparel is highly superb. I don't believe they aren't any better than other big boys, such as Under Armour and Adidas, when it comes to training and running clothing. But New Balance everyday for sneakers.

you don't know what youre talking about. if anything, nike has been improving.

they are crappy and terrible and exspesive, so switch!

  • Guest
  • Michael wrote on December 2013

That is bull ****

nike can suck it!!!!!!!! nobody can mess with UNDER ARMOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

go **ck yourself, nike is only getting better. UA can go die in a hole!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guest
  • Michael wrote on December 2013

Once again that's bull ****

UA is growing rapidly

Nike is worth it's weight in gold. I work for Nike, and not only are the shoes amazing, but the clothing along with all other accessories are cutting edge. Nike has been expanding rapidly ever since Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight founded the company in 1964. Under Armour may try to one-up Nike all they want, but it will take YEARS for them to advance to the level of Nike. No signs of Nike slowing down at all in years to come. Under Armour does have select products which are adequate, but when you compare side by side both companies, Nike will exceed every time.

LB43, you're obviously drinking the Kool-Aid, dude. Have you looked at each company's growth over the last few years? While I will admit it's much easier for Under Armour to grow quicker because it's much smaller, you can't argue that Under Armour is a juggernaut that is just getting started. One only has to go the gymn and see what people are wearing to realize that Under Armour is coming on strong. I made the decision to switch to Under Armour exclusively a few years ago when Nike refused to drop Tiger Woods as a sponsor. Its loyalty to a morally reprehensible person like Tiger spoke volumes about Nike's culture, and I want no part of it.

  • Guest
  • Magikarpet wrote on April 2013

I've bought a few things from both companies and have been leaning more towards Nike every time.

Personally, I've heard a lot of great things about Under Armour's compression gear. Having just started working outdoors full time, I needed something to keep me warm during the winter. So I went out and bought a top and bottom from Under Armour designed for the winter right? Didn't keep ANY heat in at all. I was kind of shocked considering how much hype I'd heard about them, so I went to ****'s and asked for some recommendations. The guy pointed me towards Nike's "pro gear," and I was amazed at the difference! I went around most of the winter after that wearing just jeans and a long-slaves shirt with Nike compression gear on underneath, and it was great!

Not too long after, I needed a new black pair of shoes for work. Previous shoes of mine had just been falling apart, and now that I had a well-paying job I figured I'd go for something a little more high-end. A friend of mine recommended the Nike "Free Runs" as the most comfortable, durable sneaker he'd ever owned, and seeing that you could customize the color online, I jumped right on it and I couldn't agree with him more! I've had them for six months now and they never showed any signs of falling apart. I'm going to need to replace them soon just because the bottoms have started wearing through, but they lasted surprisingly long for working on the airfield 60 hours every week!

And then I bought an Under Armour hood about a month ago when spring should have been happening, and I was impressed with how light it was. Then I brought it home, put it on, went outside, and was impressed with how little it did. It didn't keep me warm or cool. It was just there. I ended up stitching it to the inside of a non-hooded light jacket that also wasn't very warm. Now I have one very stylish, pretty warm jacket.

Anyway, my whole point with all this is that I've been repeatedly let down by Under Armour, and impressed with Nike. I WILL give them another shot during the summer, but I don't expect much different results.

yep i totally agree. i have a lot of UA sweatpants, but i have more nike yoga pants. for me, the stuff depeneds on the price. i still love nike though.

if people hate nike cuz of how expensive it is (supposedly) then go to your nearest nike clearence store. the one closest to me is in minnesota. but anyway, the clearance stores get anything other stores don't sell, so they are super duper low priced! my free runs only costed 65$! before that, when my sister told me about the store, i got nike free runs for only 26$, originally 95!

There is a big part of the equation everyone has left out here. Under Armour started the performance apparel industry. Before UA, there was only cotton tee's and other inadequate comparisons. UA was the FIRST to introduce compression in the way it is used now. UA was the FIRST to introduce moisture wicking product that dried at the speed which it does. UA continues to be the first in pioneering new materials and products that cater directly to the athlete's goals/sport. All of the other companies, including the Nike giant, are only copying what UA pioneers, on a yearly basis! UA has some wrinkles to iron out in its footwear division, but as a young company they have plenty of time to make it up. Not to mention, UA has only been in the footwear division for 7 years (since 2006). Nike has been around for 41 years, therefore, has the money at this point to afford the athletes and marketing initiatives to capture the attention of all athletes around the world. UA is only 16 years old and is changing the way the industry works every year. As far as I am concerned, Nike and the rest of the now-existant performance industry (thank you UA) should keep their notepads and pens in-hand, because I'm sure UA will only continue to introduce the next best thing while it's competitors copy cat. Haters of UA can hate all day long, but what they don't realize is the companies they stand by took and still take UA's ideas and innovation and are trying to replicate what UA pioneers. Imagine if you were 41 and a 16 year old was schooling the way you do business...UA is a beast and Nike will keep copy-cattin' until they can't keep up anymore.

  • Guest
  • Adrian S. wrote on October 2012

....Hmmmmm..... very true..... but I still prefer Nike:P!!!!

  • Guest
  • Codgers wrote on April 2013

Sure they introduced it but that doesn't mean it's as good as the way Nike transformed it. Or UA does not have a good trademark. JUST DO IT

good point but nike still wins!

actually, forget your good point, nike doesn't copy cat, UA does. remember when UA was just under wear? now it's shoes, backpacks, headbands, that are all exspensive.

  • Guest
  • Micheal M wrote on December 2013

Go DIE IN A HOLE UA GO DIE IN A HOLE!!

  • Guest
  • Michael wrote on December 2013

Nike doesn't "copy cat" s**t from UA nike is better and always be better all UA will ever do is try to compete with nike and fail miserably

  • Guest
  • OhHeyThere wrote on February 2012

Dude stop with the long texts no one wants to read them...

hey,hey,heeyy

UA is only smaller than nike because look how long nike has been around and look how UA has. UA is getting more and more huge if only the could make their shoes not tear up easy. Both great companies and they will rip through adidas,puma, and all the rest of the athletic apparel industries

  • Guest
  • billy bob wrote on March 2012

so true woooooooo

  • Guest
  • NikeBrand2012 wrote on November 2012

I agree on that statement, both companies are growing and strong in the advertisement structure. These two companies will be the top two producers of sports equipment of all time, there will always be controversy over witch brand is better! At the end of the day you can't listen to any one but your self and get what you this will benefit you and your family no matter what other people say about the companies. You just get the products that you like and quit listening to all this controversy. JUST DO YOU that's all you can do.

yeah no one wears adidas, puma, or asics. just saying...

  • Guest
  • Ethan wrote on April 2012

Both are good but I am A UA an but when I get cleats or basketball socks I prefer Nike

I like NIKE better because the price is better than UA and its the same thing! I don't see what all the fuss is about but I do have to say that NIKE has more of a selection!

yeah UA has too bright colors. also nike always lowers the price.

nike rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!

BINGO.

UA also makes special gear for the military, and for gov't agencies like the fbi and cia. As much as I like nike, UA will be a step ahead within a few years. I wont be suprised if UA wins the nfl contract after nike

  • Guest
  • under armour man wrote on April 2012

i know someone who knows kevin plank - the ceo of under armour so for me it's under armour

just cuz of someone you know? why not try quality and comment later.

  • Guest
  • nike fanatic wrote on May 2012

nike **** i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i only wear nike im wearin nike shorts drifit and nike shirt drifit and nike briefs frifit and nike elite socks drifit!

me 2!!! UA will never beat NIKE!!!

  • Guest
  • Adrian S. wrote on October 2012

I HONESTLY LIKE NIKE BETTER!!!!!!!!! There running shoes and apparel is more and better:)

amen.

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