For me, Adidas isn’t a stand-out brand for running. Adidas makes me think of soccer.. Would the Solar Glide ST change my opinion?
Two years ago the Solar Glide ST replaced the Supernova ST in the Adidas stability lineup. Between the Supernova ST- 10 editions -and the Solar Glide ST – 2 editions -there have been 12 editions of the shoe.
Adidas’ diverse solar line has five offerings, the Blaze, Ride, Drive, Glide, and Boost. The Drive, Glide, and Boost are the ones you can find in both neutral and stability editions. (Watch for the ST. It stands for stability.)
The stability offerings from Hoka and Brooks provide comparable stability because of similar stability technologies.
Adidas Solar Glide ST 19 First Impressions
While I have been out and about lately I have noticed more and more people wearing Adidas sneakers.
With athleisure wear becoming more popular Adidas has capitalized on this market by making sneakers people want to wear with their daily athleisure outfits.
Upon opening the box, I immediately thought to myself, these are the most stylish trainers I have reviewed. They look more ready for errand running rather than real running.
Usually I tend to gravitate towards more vibrant colors in my trainers but I enjoyed the black/gray with accents of orange on the Solar Glide ST, but I wish there were a few more pops of orange throughout the shoes.
The heel stack is low in these which makes the overall profile lower.
My curiosity was piqued when I saw the non traditional heel counter which looked like a wedge with a neoprene middle. Needless to say, I was excited to start pounding the pavement.
The balanced cushioning was welcomed when I slipped the Glide STs on for the first time. It had the right amount of firm yet forgiving feel I look for in a running trainer.
I also was impressed with the flexibility with the shoe. It took me a few times of tying them to get the right fit and feel.
After I initially wore them on a grocery store trip, I took them on a relaxed 4 mile recovery run. It was a smooth and comfortable ride from start to finish.
Adidas Solar Glide ST 19 Sole Unit
Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up with the sole unit.
The outsole is a carbon rubber material provided by Continental, a company known for vehicle tires. Two strengths of this outsole are it’s traction and durability.
A hundred miles in, and the carbon rubber still looks like the day the shoes were taken out of the box. It was able to handle wet and dry conditions along with pavement and crushed stone trails.
The midsole extends outward from where it connects from the upper making for larger landing area of the outsole. Usually this would make the shoe feel bulky and slow you down.
This wasn’t the case with the Solar Glide ST, the lower heel stack and the lightness of the materials of the midsole compensate for this. This design allowed my foot to stretch out naturally as I ran.
Adidas introduced their Boost technology in 2013 and they haven’t looked back. This has been a game changer in terms of foam material used for the midsole.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Boost technology, like myself before I started this review, Boost foam is comprised of tiny TPU foam pellets pushed together.
This is unique because most other trainers out there have a midsole comprised of a solid piece of foam.
The result of the boost is a plush almost squishy ride. This was evident the first time I took them out on the road. This midsole was highly effective at impact absorption of my stride.
As for energy return was there on toe offs, I would have preferred a little more.
The stability system of the Solar Glide ST has three parts, dual-density boost, solar propulsion rails, and torsion system. This is a mixture of traditional and nontraditional methods to provide stability.
The traditional part of the system is the dual density boost, an area of denser TPU foam located in medial arch. This would be very similar to a medial post. There is also a triangle wedge of this on the medial heel area.
Solar propulsion rails are found on both the medial and lateral sides of the Solar Glide STs. This is a nontraditional technology to provide stability to overpronators.
They serve as bumpers to balance and guide the foot along. This is noticeable when you take the shoes out on their first run but your feet easily adapt to them.
This system would be similar to Brooks’ GuideRails or Hoka’s J-Frame technologies.
In the bottom of the midsole is a torsion system, a thermoplastic unit in the midfoot that allows the forefoot and rearfoot to move independently. This was evident by how flexible the shoe felt on my runs.
The three parts of the stability system complimented each other in providing the stability I needed.
The propulsion rails were the stars of the support system that kept my feet balanced and supported no matter how many miles I was going.
Adidas Solar Glide ST 19 Upper Unit
The other update is the addition of flex grooves to the upper material, a double engineered mesh. These are the lines found at the bottom of the laces where the foot transitions from landing to toe off.
These flex grooves provided multi-directional flexibility while I ran. Although, the material of the upper needed to be more breathable, since every time I slipped them off after a run my socks were soaked.
The nontraditional aspects continue in the upper with the heel counter. Basically, what Adidas has done is put two pieces of dense plastic on each side of the heel somewhat forming a wedge while putting neoprene material in the middle.
The hope of this method is to allow for the Achilles to move naturally during your stride. It is definitely a different feeling than most other trainers out there.
They achieved their goal of allowing your Achilles to move more naturally and reduce the pressure on it, but it is hard to achieve a snug fit in these.
I enjoyed the nontraditional heel counter but I know it will not be for everyone. Steeper hills and speedwork are not it’s friend. Those were the only types of workouts I noticed slippage in my heel while I was running.
The tongue of the shoe is connected to the sole unit which gives it a glove like feel. It is a similar feeling to the ISOFit technology from Saucony. I appreciated this because it helped with the fit of the shoe.
The Solar Glides STs are a wider shoe which run true to size. The upper is seamless which prevents any areas of irritation.
Adidas Solar Glide ST 19 Conclusion
The Solar Glide STs were the first Adidas running shoes I have run in. Overall, I enjoyed the miles I put in while wearing them.
I found the many nontraditional elements of the Solar Glide STs performed comparable to other traditional stability trainers. I would gladly revisit these trainers if I needed a different experience
From the moment you slip them on you notice the fit of the unorthodox heel counter. It is slightly looser than other offerings which will turn off some runners, but for me it was a welcome change.
It allowed for more flexibility with the achilles, along with the heel being held in place by the plastic plates. With the fit provided by this heel counter though it makes it harder to do speedwork in them.
This is because the stopping and starting speedwork require a tighter fit, especially in the heel. Steep hills also pose an issue for the Solar Glide STs.
I was climbing up a steep incline one day and definitely felt some slippage out of the shoe, like someone was giving me a flat tire.
The contemporary elements continue with the stability system of the Solar Glide STs. This consists of three parts dual-density boost, solar propulsion rails, and torsion system. This system provides minimum to moderate stability.
The amount of stability was enough for me, but it may not be enough stability for other runners.
The three aspects worked seamlessly together to provide my feet with the stability they needed while being flexible as well. This was enhanced by the Boost foam material used for the midsole.
One drawback I noticed running in these was the lack of breathability of the upper. When I would slip them off my socks would be pretty wet after a run.
Energy return is important in a trainer especially if you plan to do double digit mileage in them. I would prefer to have a little more energy return from these.
It meant my feet and legs felt the effects of a double digit run more. My feet would feel tired and need more time to recover.
The Adidas Solar Glide STs retail for 140 dollars which places them a little higher price than others in a crowded field of mid tier stability trainers.
In the last year I have reviewed many of the moderate stability offerings out there like the Saucony Guides and Omni, ON Cloudflyers, New Balance 860, and Hoka One One Arahi.
Like the Cloudflyers and Arahi, the Solar Glide STs bring a unique alternative to the status quo. They do provide a great amount of cushioning and min to moderate stability using different technology.
Running in these may convert you to Adidas, like myself, or may turn you off from trying Adidas trainers in the future.
We purchased a pair of Adidas Solar Glide ST 19 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.