Verdict from 43 user reviews

10 reasons to buy

  • Nearly all reviewers highly recommend the Adidas Rivalry RM for its staggering first-class quality, which comes in at a surprisingly low price.
  • Legions of shoppers are blown away by its sexy, splendid, old-school ’80s hoops silhouette.
  • Most testers acclaim its seemingly unrivaled level of comfort and cushioning, which lets them feel like walking on air and clouds.
  • Despite its heavy vintage high-top looks, the Rivalry RM weighs very light, according to some wearers, who have also compared it to the NMDs.
  • The top-notch materials and elevated detailing that composed the Rivalry RM have impressed heaps of fans.
  • Several wide-footed users appreciate that the soft leather upper has that needed amount of give.
  • Quite a couple of users share stories about getting complimented on how awesome the Rivalry RM looked on their feet.
  • Some reviewers prefer this Rivalry RM version over the OG Rivalry Hi version.
  • This leather sneaker needs no breaking in, based on a review.
  • A lot of online shoppers express that this model looks better in person.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A couple of users find the toe box too pointy for their taste. 
  • Two reviewers report that the hard plastic mudguard in front of the shoe sometimes presses and rubs against their toes.

Bottom line

The Three Stripes look to deepen their RM series, a program of Adidas Originals that aims to equip their classic designs with ingenious modern technology. After the Samba and the ZX 500, the revered 1986 Rivalry silhouette comes in next.

While decked in the glory of its crisp, full-grain leather upper, the Rivalry RM is now cradled by the groundbreaking Boost-cushioned sole unit. The Rivalry RM maxes out on style, comfort, and value.

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

The Rivalry RM has a regular fit, and its leather upper features a soft, supple feel. This model uses a traditional lace-up closure, comprised of eight eyelets, to lock the feet in with a custom fit. Also, its well-padded high collar supports and cushions the ankles. This high-top sneaker is available in men’s sizes.

This high-top silhouette oozes with lots of vintage hooper vibes, fitting in today’s casual, sporty, and athleisure style, especially with its Boost upgrade. Such silhouette matches a wide range of clothing variations—from regular or tight-fitting jeans to loose sweatpants and tapered joggers. Tops can either be sweaters, hoodies, or tees.

These Rivalry RM shoes come in a couple of colorways, such as core black/carbon/grey six, core black/cream white/orange, crystal white/cloud white/cream white, cloud white/chalk white/raw white, and more.

Vintage ’80s Rivalry silhouettes evoke a nostalgic vibe. But the RM's Boost upgrade gave this retro kick a powerful contemporary appeal, in both comfort and styling. In this Rivalry RM model, the past meets with the present to pave the way for the future.  

The original Rivalry silhouette debuted in 1986. It was famously associated with the New York Knicks Patrick Ewing, an NBA superstar and eventual basketball Hall of Famer. Adidas had given Ewing his signature sneaker, the Ewing Rivalry, which was dressed in Knicks-themed colors.

Recently, Adidas teamed up with designer Eric Emmanuel to reissue the Rivalry Hi. Then, as if picking up steam, Adidas put the Rivalry Hi under the RM program to give it a literal boost. The Rivalry RM features the famous Boost midsole and Memory Foam padding.     

  • There is a tongue loop that lets the laces hold the tongue in place.
  • Tiny perforations spread throughout the leather upper to provide breathability.
  • A pull tab is stitched in the heel to aid on-and-off wear.


How Adidas Rivalry RM ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 33% sneakers
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Bottom 27% Adidas sneakers
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Bottom 37% high sneakers
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The current trend of Adidas Rivalry RM.
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.