Nike Air Jordan vs. Adidas Yeezy: Why do some sneakers sell more than others?

Posted on Feb 18, 2018

1. Introduction and the Business Problem

In the sneaker world, the two big names "Nike" and "Adidas" are cutthroat rivals. The business problem for both brands is to figure out how to sell more products and add to the bottom line. Based on the trends in sneaker resales, we can infer preferences of sneaker buyers. Furthermore, brands like Nike and Adidas and other sneaker companies could capitalize on these insights to design shoes that will generate greater profits. The assumption here is that there is a correlation between preferences of consumers that buy brand-new sneakers and consumers that buy resold sneakers.

For this web scraping project, I scraped, a popular website for re-selling sneakers. Sneaker sellers looking to sell their sneakers "list their pair at whatever amount they think someone will pay for them. Like a stock exchange, buyer and seller identities are kept from one another. StockX acts as a middleman, only releasing payment once it verifies that goods are authentic." (reference)

Using selenium, I scraped sales history of the top 35 best-selling sneakers of the best-selling collection of Adidas (Yeezy collection) and Nike (Air Jordan collection).


2. Overall Sales on StockX

Adidas Yeezy sold the most number of sneakers in comparison to Nike Air Jordan on the website. The popularity of Adidas Yeezy sneakers is also reflected in the trend of Google web searches. Lately, "Yeezy" was searched more than "Air Jordan".


3. Analysis of differentiating factors in overall sales

  • Price

Is price a factor in the overall total number of re-sales? It would make sense if the Adidas Yeezy sneakers are on average cheaper than Nike Air Jordan, but a quick analysis tells a different story:

Brand Average Sale Price Average Price Premium
Adidas $ 822 215 %
Nike $ 272 64.9 %


The average sale price and price premium of Adidas Yeezy are higher than that of Nike Air Jordan sneakers. Price premium percent reflects the willingness of buyers to pay relative to the sneaker's actual retail price.

  • Shoe Size Range

The second factor that I choose to analyze was the shoe size range. Adidas Yeezy offers a greater shoe size range than Nike Air Jordan on the StockX website.


Brand Number of Shoe Sizes Shoe Size Range Category
Adidas 31 4 - 16

5K - 10K 

Standard, Infants
Nike 26 3.5 - 18 Standard
  • Sneaker Aesthetics

Adidas Yeezy

When I compared the price premium percentages of each of the 35 sneakers to the time they were introduced on the website, I found a surprising insight. The top three Adidas Yeezy sneakers ranked by price premium percentages had something in common -- the color of the sneaker. This tells us that Yeezy sneakers of grey/beige shade are in high demand.

Nike Air Jordan

When I did the same comparison for Nike Air Jordan shoes (price premium of each of the 35 sneakers vs. time they were introduced on the website), I found a surprising insight. The top three Nike Air Jordan sneakers ranked by price premium percentages had something in common -- the design of the sneaker. Not only was the design of the three sneakers similar, the sneaker with the highest price premium and the 3rd highest price premium looked almost alike!

The highest price premium for a Nike Air Jordan sneaker (794.7%), which is higher than the highest price premium for an Adidas Yeezy (701%).

Further research on the Nike Air Jordan sneaker with the highest premium shed light on the hefty price premium tag. The design of this sneaker resembles the design of the first Air Jordan sneaker that was designed for the basketball legend, Michael Jordan.


4. Business Recommendations

Based on the analysis of possible differentiating factors, here is a summary of the insights that could be helpful for sneaker businesses to keep in mind when designing sneakers. Websites that resell shoes could also find these helpful when it comes to stocking their inventory:

  • Beige/grey color sneakers are popular
  • Consumers are willing to buy expensive shoes not just for themselves but also for their infants


5. Limitations of this analysis and potential research questions

  •  Limitations

My analysis is limited to the data I scraped from The insights drawn were from sales history of sneaker re-sells. The trends in consumer preferences may be different for brand new sneakers. The earliest date that a sneaker was available on StockX may be different from the actual release date of the sneaker.

  • Potential research question(s)

(1) Variation in sneaker re-sell trends on StockX versus other websites such as eBay and Fightclub.

(2) Both the Yeezy and Air Jordan collection are associated with celebrities. How did their Q score fluctuate over the year and is there a correlation between Q scores and overall sales? In a nutshell, to what extent does a celebrity's influence impact sales? This research may be helpful for businesses looking to associate their products with a celebrity.


Thank you for checking out my blog post. Feel free to leave comments, thoughts or suggestions or directly reach out on LinkedIn. You can find all of the code and the presentation on my GitHub.

About Author

Neha Chanu

Ms. Chanu, 2017 Hesselbein Student Leader Fellow, was one of 50 selected from more than 800 student leader nominees from around the world. She is an honors graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the Cornell Pre-Law Summer...
View all posts by Neha Chanu >

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Nike Air Jordan vs. Adidas Yeezy: Why do some sneakers sell more than others? - biva February 20, 2018
[…] article was first published on R – NYC Data Science Academy Blog, and kindly contributed to […]
Nike Air Jordan vs. Adidas Yeezy: Why do some sneakers sell more than others? – Mubashir Qasim February 19, 2018
[…] article was first published on R – NYC Data Science Academy Blog, and kindly contributed to […]

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