The Adidas Energy Boost has been a popular shoe since it Boost midsole material first debuted in 2013. This midsole foam, comprised of TPU pellets molded together, is amazingly resilient with a great energy return.
Runners were willing to pay the higher price as the original Ultra Boost model would hold up well past 500 miles, the industry standard for running shoe wear length.
Besides the original Ultra Boost, adidas has the Energy Boost, and while certain design aspects are similar, it seems that Adidas has over-engineered this model a bit.
Where I think that Adidas gets into trouble with seasoned runners is that they have catered this shoe to the lifestyle crowd, much in the same way that Nike’s Air Max shoes were never worn by real runners.
Also, Adidas has now incorporated Boost midsoles into the rest of their line and many runners prefer shoes like the Glide, Supernova, Boston, or Adios which all feel quite a bit more performance oriented than the Energy Boost.
So, the question becomes do you want to pay $160 for a technology that you can find on a similar shoe for $40 less?
Adidas Energy Boost General Info
While the Energy Boost is one of the most expensive shoes in Adidas’ running line, it is not their most performance oriented running shoe.
With each iteration of this shoe I find myself hoping that it works for me. Adidas Boost shoes such as the Glide, Boston, and Adios have become mainstays for me when it comes to road running.
When I first unboxed the Energy Boosts I was hopeful seeing that Adidas used their Four Way Stretch Mesh on the upper and widened the toe box. However, I noticed that as soon as I tried them on they were exceedingly stiff.
Adidas Energy Boost Sole Unit
Adidas Boost midsoles are likely the best material on the market for both energy return and longevity. I’ve worn a pair of Adidas Supernova Glide Boosts for close to a thousand miles and they never felt dead.
It seems that Adidas is forever trying to reinforce the Boost midsole material as to not make it feel too sloppy and soft. However, a lot of times I think this backfires and over-complicates the designs on the shoe.
Case in point with the Energy Boost which has a wonderfully well cushioned full length Boost midsole, but then uses a Dual Torsion thermoplastic device in the midsole which makes the shoe completely inflexible and dead feeling.
In understand that Adidas is trying to firm this shoe up to be in line with their tradition of making firm shoes, but this is ridiculous and it really takes away from the softness of the Boost.
The Continental outsole is wonderful and just what we’ve come to expect from Adidas. This outsole rubber wears very slowly and is the stickiest road shoe I’ve found for running on wet roads. It also holds up great on trails.
Adidas Energy Boost Upper Info
The Energy Boost uses Four Way Stretch Mesh throughout the toe box on this upper which is wider than most Adidas shoes. This stretch mesh provides a snug but not hemmed in fit.
The only drawback is that it is fairly hot when running in warm weather as it doesn’t breathe well.
Throughout the mid foot Adidas employs a Midfoot Cage which seems like a good idea until you realize its made of fairly hard rubberized plastic which pokes into your foot.
This is a leftover technology from the original Ultra Boost and it shouldn’t have ever made it out of the design studio.
Although the heel collar and tongue are well padded, the heel collar is nearly non-existent and feels a bit sloppy given the inflexible midsole.
If Adidas were looking to add structure to this shoe than the heel counter would have been the obvious place.
I don’t have any other issues with this upper, but the mid-foot cage absolutely makes this shoe not work for me. Bulky pieces of plastic do not belong on the upper of a running shoe.
Adidas Energy Boost Conclusions
Adidas certainly has a great product with Boost technology, and their shoes are very well made and hold up. The problem with this particular model is simply that it is overbuilt.
It is extremely well cushioned, but that cushioning is undermined by the Dual Torsion system which makes the midsole feel like an inflexible brick.
The upper fits very well until you realize the middle of your foot is being cradled by pokey plastic. But, I don’t really think this shoe from Adidas was ever really marketed for the serious runner in mind.
With the Boost phenomenon Adidas have tapped into the fashion forward lifestyle crowd and I would fully expect to see this shoe at college campuses and high end health clubs rather than on the feet of runners actually training.
If you’re looking for a great looking running shoe with Boost that works well for casual purposes, this might be your shoe.
However, if you’re looking for a shoe to train seriously in, save your money and look further down Adidas’ line at other great offerings.
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.