A toe-to-toe battle: Adidas and Skechers duke it out in the courts

Legal battles between Adidas and Skechers heat up as Skechers sues Adidas for keeping them from the spotlight.

A US appeals court just slammed the gavel in favor of Adidas to affirm that Skechers knocked off the iconic Adidas Stan Smith tennis shoe (yeah, they’re identical).

A toe-to-toe battle: Adidas and Skechers duke it out in the courts

But, Skechers already has a lawsuit of their own in the works. The new Skechers suit hopes to make a buck off a recent bribery scandal where Adidas executive Jim Gatto was indicted for gifting money to players’ families at Adidas-sponsored colleges Kansas and NC State to guarantee they re-signed with the brand as pros.

Does Skechers even compete with Adidas?

No, but they totally could — according to Sketchers, at least.

While Adidas is ubiquitous among today’s athletic superstars, Skechers is more geared toward retired ballers — with spokespeople like Joe Montana, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and, on a less relevant note, Kim Kardashian.

But Skechers believes it wouldn’t be spending all its time jogging around retired hoop-star heaven if Adidas hadn’t muddied the playing field of premier high school and college athlete markets with dump trucks full of bribe money.

So, for its alleged troubles, their lawsuit seeks “recovery of Adidas’s ill-gotten profits.”

You can’t take the Skech out of Skechers

Adidas called the suit “frivolous and nonsensical” compared to Skechers unabashedly ripping off Adidas’ style for years.

In fact, the ruling that ordered Skechers to stop selling their Stan Smith knockoff granted them permission to continue selling their Cross Court shoe — one that apes Adidas’ three stripes trademark.

You kind of have to respect their tenacity.


Correction: This article has been edited to reflect that Skechers sued Adidas a day before the US appeals court’s decision, in an unrelated lawsuit.

Get the 5-minute news brief keeping 2.5M+ innovators in the loop. Always free. 100% fresh. No bullsh*t.