Updated at: 20-07-2023 - By: Lucas

Have you ever wondered if Adidas NMDs can double as running shoes?

These stylish and comfortable sneakers have become a go-to choice for casual wear, but how do they perform when it comes to pounding the pavement?

In this blog post, we will dive into the world of NMDs, analyze their design, compare them with other popular running shoes from Adidas’ lineup, and ultimately answer the burning question: are NMDs suitable for running or should you opt for another pair?

Lace up your kicks and keep reading to find out!

Origins Of Adidas NMD Shoes

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The Adidas NMD, a stylish and innovative sneaker line, had its debut in December 2015 under the umbrella of Adidas Originals.

Drawing inspiration from various classic Adidas running shoes like the Rising Star (1984), Boston Super (1986) and Micropacer (1984), these sneakers combined vintage aesthetics with modern-day technology to produce an iconic design.

The Boost midsole – renowned for its superior energy return properties – coupled with EVA foam bricks on either side became key features of the shoe.

In recent years, celebrities such as Kanye West have contributed significantly to boosting the popularity of both NMDs and UltraBoosts through their collaborations with Adidas.

Furthermore, partnerships between Adidas NMD series and well-known streetwear brands like Bape or Neighborhood have also garnered widespread attention from fashion-forward individuals worldwide.

Understanding The Adidas NMD Design

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Adidas NMD V3

The Adidas NMD V3 is an evolution of the highly popular NMD line, retaining its eye-catching and stylish design while incorporating key features for modern-day sneaker enthusiasts.

Designed primarily for casual wearers who value both aesthetics and performance, the Adidas NMD V3 seamlessly blends into various outfit styles – from gym attire to streetwear ensembles.

Sneakerheads have embraced this versatile shoe not only because of its on-trend looks but also due to its eco-friendly construction using recycled materials like Parley Ocean Plastic in certain colorways.

Despite not being engineered specifically for running or high-intensity exercise, many people find the overall fit and support suitable for light workouts or everyday use.

Adidas NMD R1 V2

The Adidas NMD R1 V2 is a stylish upgrade to the classic NMD R1 design, keeping sneaker enthusiasts and casual wearers satisfied with its array of eye-catching colorways and distinctive features.

Boasting a sleeker silhouette than its predecessor, this version features an updated Primeknit upper that offers improved breathability and comfort for all-day wear.

One notable aspect of the NMD R1 V2 is its use of eco-friendly materials like recycled polyester, which aligns with Adidas’ commitment to environmental sustainability.

Despite these improvements, it’s important to remember that NMD R1 V2 remains primarily a lifestyle shoe rather than a performance-driven running shoe.

Adidas NMD R1

The Adidas NMD R1 is the first shoe in the NMD line and remains one of its most popular models. It features a sleek and futuristic design with inspiration drawn from three classic Adidas sneakers: the Rising Star, Boston Super, and Micropacer.

The upper of this lifestyle sneaker is made of stretchy mesh material for a snug fit while still allowing breathability to prevent hot spots or blisters during extended wearing periods.

Additionally, it includes iconic Adidas stripes on both sides and a heel tab for easy on-and-off use.

Are NMDs Suitable For Running?

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Factors To Consider In Running Shoes

Running shoes are specifically designed to provide support, cushioning, and protection. When choosing the right pair of running shoes, there are several factors to consider that will ensure maximum comfort and performance.

Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Fit: The fit of your running shoes should be snug yet comfortable, with enough room for your toes to move freely.
  2. Cushioning: Good cushioning is essential for running shoes as it provides shock absorption and protects your feet and joints from impact.
  3. Stability: Running shoes should provide adequate support and stability for your feet, especially if you overpronate or underpronate when you run.
  4. Durability: Running shoes should be durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of regular use over time.
  5. Traction: The outsole of a running shoe should provide good grip on different types of surfaces, including wet or slippery ones.
  6. Breathability: Running shoes with good ventilation are important as they help keep your feet cool and dry during long runs or hot weather conditions.
  7. Arch support: If you have flat feet or high arches, look for running shoes that offer specific arch support to prevent discomfort or injuries.

Comparing NMDs To Other Running Shoes

To help you make an informed decision, the table below compares the features of NMDs with other popular running shoes.

FeaturesAdidas NMDAdidas UltraBoostNike Roshe OneAdidas EQT
Intended UseLifestyleRunningCasualCasual
CushioningBoost TechnologyBoost TechnologyPhylon FoamBoost Technology
Energy ReturnAverageHighMinimalAverage
Outsole TractionDecentHighAverageAverage
Midsole MaterialBoostBoostPhylonBoost

As shown in the table, Adidas NMDs are designed primarily for casual use and lack the necessary support and traction for serious running.

In contrast, Adidas UltraBoosts are specifically designed for running and offer better support, cushioning, and energy return.

Nike Roshe One and Adidas EQT are both casual shoes that are inspired by running shoes but not intended for actual running.

Pros And Cons Of NMDs As Running Shoes

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Pros Of Adidas NMD Shoes For Running

  1. Lightweight design: The Adidas NMD shoes are lightweight and do not weigh down your feet when running, allowing for a more efficient stride.
  2. Responsive cushioning: Thanks to the Boost cushioning technology in the midsole, the NMD shoes provide a responsive feel underfoot, giving runners extra energy return.
  3. Breathable upper materials: The Primeknit upper is made of breathable material that allows for air circulation, preventing overheating during long runs.
  4. Flexibility and support: The NMD’s midsole features EVA foam bricks that offer both flexibility and support, which can help prevent injuries when running on uneven surfaces.
  5. Stylish design: Adidas NMD shoes are also known for their stylish design and variety of colorways, making them a great option for runners who want their shoes to look good as well as perform well.
  6. Eco-friendly: Many models of the Adidas NMD are made with recycled materials such as Parley Ocean Plastic or recycled polyester, making them an eco-friendly choice for runners who care about sustainability.

Cons Of Adidas NMD Shoes For Running

  1. Lack of stability: NMDs do not offer enough support to keep your feet stable while running, causing your feet to roll inwards or outwards.
  2. Minimal cushioning: The cushioning on NMDs is minimal compared to actual running shoes. This can cause extra stress on your joints and lead to discomfort or injury.
  3. Poor traction: NMDs have a flat sole, which does not have enough grip on different surfaces and can increase the risk of slipping and falling.
  4. Durability issues: While Adidas NMD shoes are built with high-quality materials, they may not be as durable as actual running shoes due to factors such as their thin sole and lack of reinforcement.
  5. Inadequate arch support: People with low arches or flat feet may find that NMDs do not provide adequate arch support needed for running activities.

Alternatives To NMDs For Running

Adidas UltraBoost ‘21

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The Adidas UltraBoost ‘21 is a top-performing running shoe that boasts a new Linear Energy Push system for increased energy return and forefoot flexibility.

This shoe features optimized Boost cushioning technology for superior comfort and responsiveness with every stride.

The Primeknit+ upper provides a sock-like fit, while the Continental rubber outsole delivers excellent traction on various surfaces.

Additionally, the Ultraboost ‘21 is made with eco-friendly materials like Primeblue, which contains recycled ocean plastics.

Compared to NMDs, the Ultraboost ‘21 has much better support and cushioning ideal for runners looking to enhance their performance without sacrificing style or sustainability.

If you’re looking for other options besides NMDs as running shoes go, consider checking out the Adidas Adizero Pro or SolarBoost 3.

The Adizero Pro is lightweight and designed specifically for racing, featuring carbon fiber plates in its midsoles to increase propulsion during each step.

Meanwhile, the SolarBoost 3 offers ample cushioning and support suitable for daily training runs while also being environmentally friendly by using recycled polyester materials in its construction.

Adidas Adizero Pro

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The Adidas Adizero Pro is a top-of-the-line running shoe specifically designed for serious runners and those who prioritize performance.

This lightweight shoe features Boost and Lightstrike foam cushioning, making it perfect for long-distance runs.

Additionally, the carbon plate and Continental rubber outsole provide added traction and durability to ensure you can focus on your run with ease.

The Adizero Pro also has a custom lace closure system that adapts to your foot’s shape, providing maximum support while allowing you to customize how tight or loose you want the fit to be.

Adidas SolarBoost 3

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The Adidas SolarBoost 3 is one of the best running shoes on the market. This high-performance shoe is perfect for long-distance runners who want a sustainable, comfortable, and durable sneaker.

The PRIMEGREEN upper is made with recycled materials, reducing environmental impact while offering superior comfort and breathability.

The Boost midsole provides excellent energy return and cushioning, while LEP torsion technology and an Energy Rail provide additional support during runs.

With its Continental rubber outsole offering impressive traction on various surfaces, this shoe will give you confidence in your stride.

The Adidas NMD As A Lifestyle Sneaker

The Adidas NMD has gained massive popularity in the fashion world and is considered a streetwear icon. Its sleek design features a blend of retro and modern elements, making it suitable for casual wear.

In addition to its stylish design, the Adidas NMD also boasts environmental sustainability. Some versions of the shoe are made from recycled materials such as Parley Ocean Plastic and recycled polyester.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Wear Jeans With NMD?

Yes, you can definitely wear jeans with the Adidas NMD. In fact, many people pair their NMDs with jeans for a casual and stylish look. Whether you’re going out for a walk or running errands, these sneakers are perfect to wear with your favorite denim.

One thing to keep in mind is that the style of jeans you choose can affect how the NMDs look on your feet. For example, skinny jeans tend to work well as they show off the sleek design of the sneaker.

Are NMDs Good For Walking?

Although NMDs may not be designed as a specific walking shoe, they are still a comfortable and stylish option for those looking for a casual sneaker to wear during long walks.

The Adidas NMD’s boost sole technology provides excellent cushioning and energy return, making them ideal for extended periods of walking.

However, it is important to note that running shoes are typically more suitable for activities like brisk walking due to their enhanced support features such as arch support and midsole cushioning.

But if you’re looking for a versatile sneaker that can take you from your morning walk to weekend errands in style, then the Adidas NMD could be an excellent choice.


In conclusion, while Adidas NMD shoes may be comfortable and stylish, they are not suitable for serious running due to the lack of necessary support and traction.

For those who prioritize performance in their running shoes, the UltraBoosts are a better choice with their confirmed design for running and sock-like fit provided by the Primeknit upper.

However, if you’re looking for a casual lifestyle sneaker that’s environmentally sustainable with added cushioning and support, then Adidas NMD sneakers might just be your perfect option.