How could Adidas make a lightweight neutral trainer even better? How about keeping the same great fit and cushioning but reducing weight? But the question remains, how can shoe companies get a trainer under 10 oz while maintaining protection and durability?
Adidas Adizero Boston 3 First Impressions
After I got over the very loud color scheme of the new Adizero Boston I slipped them on and felt like I had just put on a marathon racing flat. The feeling of the Boston 3 is low to the ground due to reduced stack height from the Boston 2, and the cushioning initially felt very firm and minimal. The fit felt fantastic and I could tell that Adidas reduced weight in the upper making it more minimal. But, I was concerned that maybe they’d stripped the shoe down too much. Due to the fact that I try on LOTS of shoes each year and I get to review quite a number of them, I rarely change my mind from my first impression. However, my initial feelings about these shoes were absolutely wrong.
Adidas Adizero Boston 3 Upper
Stripped down, flexible, and breathable are a few words I would use to describe this well fitting upper. Adidas changed the overlays a little for this third incarnation but kept a mostly mesh upper with synthetic reinforcements in the toe and heel cup. The mesh of the Boston 3 seems to be a bit thinner and more breathable but maintains durability. Adidas uses their usual fit and last for the Boston 3 with a narrow heel, snug mid foot, and wide toe box. The loose and comfortable mesh does allow some give and really seemed to form to my foot the more I ran in the shoes.
The heel collar and tongue of the Boston 3 is thin, pliable, and very comfortable. Adidas keeps the tongue thin and lightweight and uses flat laces which do not cause any discomfort on the tops of my feet.
Adidas Adizero Boston 3 Midsole
Adidas used its Adiprene EVA foam cushioning, which is firm yet responsive, throughout the entire length of the Boston 3. I especially appreciated the increased cushioning throughout the forefoot and the full length Adiprene really gives the Boston 3 a nice ride. Midfoot and forefoot strikers will especially love the firm ride which gives a sense of proprioception and feel for the road. Heel strikers will like the decoupled and well cushioned heel which also aids in a smooth transition through the foot plant.
Adidas uses its Torsion Bar in the mid foot which helps stabilize the shoe. Mild overpronators, like myself, can get away with wearing the Boston 3, while those needing more stability will likely find it a great marathon racing shoe but too minimal for daily training.
Adidas Adizero Boston 3 Outsole
The Boston 3 has very durable carbon rubber on the heel and Continental Tire rubber on areas of high wear from mid foot through toe off. The Continental rubber is advertised to improve grip and I can’t attest that it performs better than typical outsole rubber. The outsole doesn’t have any major cutouts or grooves which could pick up large rocks or mud and after approximately 150 miles on the shoe the outsole does not show any wear and does grip quite well. I often ran on packed snow and I wasn’t slipping around as much as with other trainers. The low stack height also increases agility on snow or icy roads.
Adidas Adizero Boston 3 Overall Impressions
As I stated before, I rarely feel differently about a shoe after running 100 miles in it then I do when trying it on. But, every once in awhile a shoe surprises me. The Boston 3 impressed me most with its firm and resilient cushioning, fit, and very lightweight feel. In fact, the more I wore them I found myself subconsciously reaching for them each morning and neglecting my other trainers. I’ve worn the Boston 3 on several longer runs (12-16 miles), short tempo runs, and fartlek on trails. In each situation they responded very well and the very smooth transition of this shoe lends itself to fast running. I was never surprised that my pace crept faster and faster into unintentional progression runs when wearing the Boston 3.
This is a perfect shoe for high mileage efficient runners with neutral or slight pronating gaits. For those who need a little bit more support I would highly recommend this shoe for racing, especially the marathon distance, as the Boston 3 can take a beating. Right at 10 oz for my size 9.5 the Boston 3 feels lighter than it is due to its minimal upper and low profile and after 150 miles I’m continually impressed with its performance.
We thank the nice people at Adidas for sending us a pair of the Boston 3 to test. This did not influence our review, written after running more than 150 miles in them