Since it was introduced in December 2014, adidas’ NMD has made an impact on the sneakerhead community. Aside from Boost, the NMD’s retooled retro design and good color blocking are among the many reasons why this sneaker became a hit. Almost three years and several models later, the NMD hype is still on a roll, with most models being sold out on release day.
While the differences between most models would be the colors, the NMD line also gave birth to different shoe models; among those include the City Sock (CS series), the Runner (R series), the XR, and the trail. For this article, we will do a comparison between the R1 and the R2. The R2 came out this year with a chunkier and streamlined look, while the R1 retains most of the NMD’s DNA back when it was launched in December 2014. What are the other differences? Let’s take a look:
One of the complaints with the R1 is the minimal padding on the heel area, which cased heel blisters to those who use low cut socks. adidas heard the complaints of its customers, and decided to add more padding to the R2. One thing to note too: The R1s that were released later also have a slightly thicker padding as well, but not as thick as the one found on the R2.
Aside from having a more streamlined midsole by reducing the number of NMD “bumpers” to 1, the R2 rides a bit higher compared to the R1 because of the R2 having a chunkier Boost sole. Despite that, I have used both pairs on a regular basis, and I can say both offer the same level of comfort for long walks.
Because of the R1’s sock-like construction, there is no actual tongue with it, unlike with the NMD R2. However, later R2 variants (specifically the PK variants) went back to the R1’s construction, ditching the actual tongue once again. As to which is better, it is honestly a matter of design preference: The one-piece upper is more modern, while the two-piece design is more traditional.
Because of the R2’s chunkier midsole, this resulted in the shoe to be bulkier overall compared to the R1. That being said, the R2 feels more like the trendy dad shoe compared to the R1, which has a lower ride and a runner-like appeal.
Another major difference between the R2 and the R1 is with the heel counter. The R1 has a more conservative heel counter design, while the R2 has a heel counter where the heel tab loops within it. Admittedly, the looping design on the R2 looks really cool, but the traditional heel counter on the R1 makes it closer to the DNA of adidas sneakers from the 80s.
Which of the two NMDs do you prefer? Comment down below!