Editor rating:
9/10 on
User's rating:


  • Smooth ride
  • Bouncy, fast feel
  • Snug, smooth upper


  • Upper isn’t water-resistant


The Adidas Energy Boost is a bouncy neutral shoe that feels fast and keeps legs fresh. I loved the snug fit of the upper, though it may be an issue for runners with wider feet. It’s also a versatile shoe that performs well on both roads and dirt, and is well-suited to different types of runs.
Energy Boost
9.8 oz. (278 gr.)
150 US$
Runners of all levels looking for a bouncy, smooth ride.

Adidas Energy Boost General Info

The Energy Boost is Adidas’ latest running project, which has been kept under wraps for the past several months.

The most significant feature of the Energy Boost is the midsole foam, which was created by Adidas. The foam consists of small polyurethane capsules fused together with high pressure steam, and is designed to maximize energy return.

The Energy Boost offers ample cushioning, but in a light package that still allows the runner to feel the road.

Adidas Energy Boost Impressions

I raised an eyebrow when I first saw the Energy Boost. The sole, which is made of a new type of foam created by Adidas, reminded me of Styrofoam, looked like it wouldn’t last one sloppy run. The accompanying fact sheet from Adidas included some bold claims, and I wasn’t sure that the shoes would live up to the promises made on the fact sheet.

Nervous about taking them out on the road, I let them sit in the box for a few weeks before finally trying them out. My first run in the Energy Boost was a Thanksgiving Day 5k, and I quickly realized that my first impressions of the shoe were all wrong.

The bouncy feel and flexible upper kept my legs feeling fresh, and in finally breaking an almost two-year old 5k PR. The more I ran in them, the more I loved their soft, bouncy feel, and they quickly became one of my favorite shoes.

While the sole is definitely softer than many other shoes on the market, I still felt the road underneath me and loved the fast feel.

Adidas Energy Boost Sole Unit

The sole unit is the most unique part of the Energy Boost, and is the focus of Adidas’ marketing campaign. The midsole consists of a new foam created by Adidas with the help of BASF. The foam is significantly different from the EVA foam that is standard in most running shoes, and is made of small polyurethane capsules that are then fused together using high pressure steam.

Adidas makes some bold claims about the abilities of the foam, and I admit that I was highly skeptical that the shoes would live up to the hype. Two of the key claims made about the foam are that it provides more energy return than any other foam in the industry (meaning that the shoe bounces back from the footstrike) and that the foam is resistant to temperature changes (extreme cold and heat can affect the performance of some foams).

While I found the Energy Boost to have more of a “spring” than any other shoe I’ve tested, Runner’s World was able to put this claim to the test in their labs.

Runner’s World found that the Energy Boost performed better than any of the other shoes they’ve tested in their lab. They also decided to put the temperature claims to the test, and found that their performance was far more consistent in extreme temperatures.

I haven’t yet had the chance to test them out in the heat, but I have found that even in temperatures well below freezing they feel and perform just as well as they do in more moderate temperatures. You can check out Runner’s World’s full lab test in their March 2013 issue. Rounding out the sole unit is a small plastic shank at the mid-foot meant to add stability and a durable rubber outsole for added durability and traction.

Adidas Energy Boost Upper Unit

The upper on the Adidas Energy Boost is mostly constructed of a material called TechFit, which is a smooth stretchy material that closely hugs the foot. The inside of the upper is lined in mesh, which helps the shoe dry faster after getting wet.

In the midst of a particularly cold New York winter, I haven’t had the chance to try them out in warmer conditions, but the upper performs well in colder conditions, and even when wearing thick winter socks, I’ve never had any issues with chaffing or blisters. The upper also features a few plastic overlays across the middle of the shoe and on the heel to help keep the shoe in place.

Runners with larger or wider feet may have issues because of the close fit, but the fit wasn’t an issue for me, as I have smaller more narrow feet. The one issue that I’ve had with the upper (and the shoe in general) was its performance in wet conditions.

I found that even small puddles resulted in wet feet. While they dried quickly and were always ready to go the following day, I was surprised at how quickly water seeped through.

Adidas Energy Boost Opinion

Despite my initial wariness about the Energy Boost, I quickly found myself reaching for them run after run. I loved the ride and fast feel of the Energy Boost, and found that they worked well on nearly every run—tempos, trail, roads, easy runs, and track work.

The one drawback for me was the upper, which quickly lets water in, but overall, the Energy Boost has become one of my favorite shoes. They have held up remarkably well, considering the trials that I’ve put them through since trying them for the first time in November. They’ve performed well through a cold winter so far—many of my runs have been in temperatures well below freezing—and have held up against ice, salt, and mud.

While the Energy Boost is an expensive shoe, I wouldn’t hesitate to go out and buy a pair when the test pair needs replacing.

We thank the nice people at Adidas for sending us a pair of Energy Boost to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.

Adidas Energy Boost Price Comparison

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