It’s a rivalry that dates back more than 60 years.
Rudolf and Adolf Dassler, brothers and business partners, had a falling out and founded rival shoe companies – Adidas and Puma. The Dasslers never reconciled and decades later, Adidas and Puma, both based in the tiny Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach, are at each others throats like never before.
Puma has sued Adidas for allegedly using a patented design as the basis for its Boost running shoe. Adidas has returned the favor, filing a lawsuit in Düsseldorf to stop the sale of Puma’s NRGY running shoe.
The battle is over the shoes’ soles – they’re made from a new material that could revolutionize the entire athletic shoe industry.
In 2009, Puma began cooperating with the chemicals company BASF to develop a sole made from a synthetic material called eTPU. The material, which is manufactured by binding small balls of foam together, is similar to polystyrene and provides a better cushion, releasing energy when athletes raise their feet.
“We believe it could become the new industry standard,” Matthias Hartmann, the head of materials and process development at Puma, told Handelsblatt.