Shoe review: Adidas Adios Boost

By | July 27, 2014


  • Lightweight, but still cushioned and responsive
  • Great transition from rear to forefoot
  • Durable Continental rubber outsole


  • Not for those with wide feet, narrow toe box
  • Lacks finer road feel (for those who require it)
  • Price tag

Cost: $200

Verdict:  4.5/5 STARS

A very slick racing shoe which can well be used for everyday speed or interval training.  Adidas have made very few changes to this version, most noticeably by adding a Boost midsole and Continental outsole. Only after a few speedy runs, you’ll appreciate why they’ve become the world’s preferred marathon racer.

These are the very shoes worn by the Emperor Haile Gebrselassie towards the end of his distance running career, and the current marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang. It may be a stretch comparing ourselves with such greatness, but the race-bred heritage of this shoe has been deftly transferred by Adidas to bring us (plodders) a shoe that will appeal to most.

Featuring a 10mm offset between heel and toe height, this shoe is a well cushioned performance-oriented racing flat with a smooth transition and a fit that will appeal to a wide range of runners and abilities.

The Adios racer cuts a very slick low profile. Note the hard plastic (flouro) insert on the medial heel counter; this serves to lend some stiffness to the Boost material.

Let me begin by saying that this shoe will not work for you if you have wide (2E size) feet. I’d describe the fit of the Adios Boost as a little on the tight side, but this is a racing shoe and the fit has to be snug. In sizing, the majority of runners will be at their standard size PLUS a half size larger at most. The forefoot has a little more room in comparison; width is not too tight, not too wide and the toe box is adequately wide with a taper towards the toes.

A snug fit: as it should be for shoes of this pedigree. Note the slightly bevelled lateral heel on the upper shoe. This add to that super smooth transition for the lateral foot strikers.

Even with this snugness, I never encountered any issues with blisters or abrasions from pressure points. The Adios has a breathable conventional mesh upper with a thin tongue with minimal padding. A standard lacing system with standard (thankfully) laces complete the upper. The heel counter (the part which cups around your heel bone) is somewhat firm in the shoe, which is unusual for a racing shoe. Again here, Adidas has attempted to ‘cross over’ these racers to increase its appeal to a broader audience.

Some may find the toe box a little too narrow; ensure to select at least a half size up.

The midsole is obviously made with Adidas’ own Boost which is not EVA foam as the majority of technical running shoes are made of. Adidas launched Boost with great fanfare and much publicity, claiming its superiority over traditional materials. The company’s confidence in the material is so high that now nearly all adidas running shoes are made with Boost.

Boost is different than typical EVA midsole foam in that it is composed of thermoplastic beads that are fused together. Adidas claimed that the Boost midsoles will last longer, would not be as temperature sensitive, and would provide greater energy return than EVA.

A close up of the forefoot interplay between the Boost (white) Torsional System brace (yellow/flouro) and outsole (solid black & black flecks).

Although not stated implicitly, Adidas hints that improved energy return from Boost would increase running economy and thus performance. As with all such claims, I feel that the jury is still out. A quick search of physiological journals reveals no published results, nor does Adidas provide links to prove a link between mechanical testing data and actual physiological performance.

The actual outsole is branded Continental rubber, which translates to excellent traction and durability. I cannot say I ever encountered any loss of traction with the Adios even on hilly trails with a loose surface under foot.

The Boost material felt VERY different initially, but very quickly you come to appreciate their shock absorbing ability. I’m not sure how much of a rebound effect you get, but these midsoles certainly ‘turn down’ the road noise. At the 35km mark of a marathon, this effect will be much appreciated by most people!

The outsole/midsole interface features the Adidas Torsion System as on the Energy Boost, a web of thin, stiff green plastic under the arch and extending in strips on the outer edges towards the toe. This system provides the longitudinal stiffness (resistance to flexion and rotation) you feel while in the shoe.

The Boost material and torsion system combine to make a fast shoe which has good impact absorbing properties thanks to the Boost bubbles. I never felt that either of these were so stiff that they interfered with my natural foot motion.

The adidas Torsion System placed midfoot, spreads out to lend stiffness longitudinally.


After nearly 350 kilometers in these shoes, I have to say that I look forward to my next run with them, and that’s saying something! I do have to qualify that statement by saying that I reserve these shoes for fartlek and speed effort sessions, and never for steady paced runs. They feel much springier when accelerating or running at speed, but not necessarily on steady jogs. Perhaps this is the boost effect?

Adidas have managed to come up with a long distance racer which can be used by the ordinary ‘middle of the pack’ runner, and this shoe balanced perfectly between being too soft and too stiff. I do feel however that the Adios will still be suitable by those who would normally require more control and cushion in a running shoe.

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