The most popular sport in the world has plenty of brands putting out quality products for people to use during matches. Although soccer equipment is minimal, there still needs to be a manufacturer focusing on apparel, footwear, balls, and more. Out of all the different manufacturers, these 11 stand out from the rest.
Some of the companies have a lot more money to work with to take chances, but there are loyal fans for all 11 brands. Companies are getting in the business from everywhere, willing to take a chance on getting even a sliver of the market. Things can evolve in a hurry for specific brands, but these are the top choices as of right now.
No matter what major sport a person is talking about, Nike is always going to be near the very top. They have the budget to sign top players and teams, and they also put a lot of research into making sure they are on the cutting edge of technology.
Marketing plays a significant role at Nike, but it took awhile for them to get into the soccer business. Now, they have athletes such as Cristiano Ronaldo signed to their brand, and teams like Barcelona and Chelsea wearing their logo on the jerseys.
Their balls get great reviews, and many of the cleats worn by top athletes sell exceptionally well due to marketing and performance. Whether it is their Total 90 options or the Mercurials, some of the most common shoes in all price ranges have a swoosh on the side.
Some soccer traditionalists are not that crazy about Nike, and that is a big reason why they have not been able to dominate like they do in other sports. They are still right at the top, but there are parts of the world that people will find very little Nike.
With a history dating back to Germany, Adidas has always had a soft spot for the most popular sport in the world. They started early on with soccer, and they still hold what many believe to be the top spot in brand wars when it comes to the sport.
For starters, they have one of the most respected soccer balls in the game. Many leagues use Adidas branded Soccer balls, and they are the official ball of the World Cup. Their top options have a consistent flight, hold up over time, and even stand out from the crowd with looks.
Apparel and footwear is also a huge selling point for ideas. They have some of the top clubs and countries in the world, including Real Madrid and Manchester United. It also helps that they have one of the best players of all time and Lionel Messi as a headliner for individual sponsorships.
Footwear seems to be where Adidas still rises above the rest, as they have so many options that are very well received. Anything from classic soccer shoes that are now casual options to cutting edge technology really stands out. They have taken some chances in offering laceless cleats, but that has not particularly exploded in popularity as they thought.
Nike seems to be getting all the notoriety, but Adidas might be king in the soccer world. They bring in a ton of revenue every year from an international fan base, and the three stripe life seems more at home on the soccer pitch. Being a European company from the beginning instead of something that started in the United States also helps.
During World War II, Puma was created as a rival company to go up against Adidas. This rivalry stemmed from a sibling battle, and although Puma is still viewed as a little brother, they have found a great niche. In fact, many consider them the best soccer brand overall outside of the big two above.
Like Adidas, the German roots help with the sport. They have a strong following not only at the youth level, but with professionals as well. They have been able to bring on some pretty big names for individual contracts, and sponsorships with teams like Borussia Dortmund and Milian certainly help as well.
The cleats from Puma have always had a strong following, as people really get into a particular option and never look back. They have really focused on building up that affordable range of apparel and footwear that helps them as well. While they have top choices that compete with any technology out there, their clothing material line is extremely well received as well.
The company shows no intentions of fading any time soon, and they are more or less a legacy brand at this point. Do not be surprised if they are sticking around for quite a long time and bringing in an occasional great player or two.
4. Under Armour
Under Armour is the one true newcomer to the sport of soccer. They have not been a super major player just yet in soccer, but they have made some in-roads with some smaller professionals and teams. Most of their focus has been on clothing, as they are sorting out footwear, sporting goods, and more that go with the sport.
It seemed like they were heading towards the top, but some financial woes have calmed their expectations a bit. They still belong on this list as a company that could make some noise, but their focus seems to be on other sports in trying to become an upper-echelon option.
Soccer is a sport that is pretty rich in history, and that makes it difficult for brands just to come in and make a killing. They have marketed a lot toward younger kids as they try to grow, but it could take a few decades before they are turning into an option for the serious player.
Brands come and go in popularity, but Umbro has stayed around despite having some financial issues. It was a pretty big brand in the 1990s and even early 2000s, but by 2007 it was struggling. Nike bought them, and then five years later sold them to the Iconic Brand Group. Since then, they have seen a bit of resurgence.
What seems to be a huge deal with Umbro is that they are a more localized company that has deep roots in soccer, but they started to explode just enough to be a name brand. They do not focus on too many other sports, and people like that aspect as well. For a lot of players, they want to have a brand that they trust thinks about the soccer players above everything else.
This is not going to be the only Italian brand to make this list, but many consider Diadora to be the best of the best right now. They have grown into a pretty big soccer company, with AS Roma and Napoli as two major clubs they sponsor in their country. They have also landed sponsorship deals with the Scottish national team, as well as other professional clubs.
Diadora focuses on not trying to become huge, but stay competitive in their own niche. There is something to be said for a smaller size company to pick and choose where they can start to garner some support. They also make a line of other products that are useful in soccer, beyond just clothing. This makes them a little rounded brand that is trustworthy for a lot of shoppers.
Another thing that works in Diadora’s favor is that they are one of those brands that look good off the pitch as well as on. Some people will incorporate the Diadora look during everyday life, and then suit up in Diadora when they are playing.
7. New Balance
Maybe people know the company from their popular soccer cleats, but they have several other products that soccer players are used to as well. Based in Boston, they have been able to make their way into team uniforms and other pieces of clothing that people seem to like. They are always going to be great as far as cleats are concerned, but their growing popularity for their balls and clothing is hard not to mention.
If people are starting to sense a theme, brands with deep roots in soccer can survive because of the popularity of the sport. New Balance has not strayed away from their goals from the very beginning, and that has helped them stay relevant. They have never tried to be anything more than they are, which is a reliable secondary brand that has one of the most loyal fan bases out there.
No company in Asia has a bigger stranglehold in the soccer market than Mizuno. From sportswear to equipment, Mizuno dabbles in a lot of different sports, and they have made in-roads with soccer to make them a pretty big player.
Most of their focus seems to be on landing a few individual players, as they have done work with Fernando Torres and Rivaldo as two examples. They have a strong history of putting out reliable products that are finely crafted and built to last. Even with some of the cheaper lines of clothing and shoes, Mizuno gets praise for putting out something that does not break down very quickly.
They are always fighting an uphill battle when going up against other brands internationally, but the Asian market has gravitated towards Mizuno pretty well. It is a different type of look that puts a little more detail in their products, and that is a welcomed change for a lot.
Lotto has been in the soccer market for quite some time, and although they do not have as many sponsorships they used to, they are still one of the most trusted brands. They have a simple logo, plenty of quality clothing and cleats, and a reputation for outfitting a few top clubs and national teams.
The one thing that has held Lotto back in some ways is that it does not seem too focused on growing any more than they are. Every time it looks like they are about to get bigger, they do not take that next step. It seems like they have settled in as a quality brand that serves it is purpose, but not trying to dominate the market.
The company slightly skews on the more affordable side, which is always a plus for players who are starting out. They might not have that high-end appeal that other brands are constantly looking for, but there are players of all skill levels who need different pieces of equipment. Not everyone needs top-of-the-line cleats for the best ball out there to compete.
The final Italian company to make this list is Kappa. They have been around for quite a long time, but they seem to be gaining some ground in the last few years. Maybe that has to do with sponsoring teams like AS Monaco and Napoli at different points. They have also decided to branch out and land a deal with Aston Villa in the Premier League, which expands their brand as well.
Their balls are something that are a bit of an afterthought, but they have deals with a few different leagues in their department as well. If they can make their balls a little more mainstream, the brand name could start to really get out there and expand.
In the 1990s, Reebok was pretty much on equal terms with other giants like Nike and Adidas. Things have fallen off a bit, as the English footwear and apparel company is looking to find its footing these days. They still have a few deals here and there, but it seems like they have lost some of their primary focus on soccer.
They still make this list only because they are a recognizable brand to so many people. There may not be as many Reebok options for shoppers, but the brand has not given up on soccer entirely. If they start to go after a few more pros and teams, they could begin to grow their brand back up again. People still remember that they put out a quality product.