Those of us of a certain vintage will remember a time when there were cars called hot hatches driven by boys in their late teens and early 20's. You could spot these as they were lairy in design, colour and decals. They had badges with GTi, SRi, GTE and the like. All of which indicated, together with unnecessary spoilers and body-kits that the car was rapid. It also made the car a target for theft. If the car wasn't stolen then the badges were. VW badges were stolen from the front of their cars - i think the Beastie Boys may have been partly responsible for that though. There was then a change and the cars became less obvious. The decals were toned down and in some cases removed altogether. The body kits and colours all became muted. A VW GTi on the outside looked no different to the 1300cc model.
What does all of this have to do with running shoes?
I have recently bought a pair of Adidas Adiboost running shoes. I don't want this post and review to be another oooh they're new and shiny and aren't they great so have thought about it a little more.
The shoes i was running in previously were the Brooks Glycerin 12's. A shoe that i could not get along with, i tried, running around 90 odd miles in them but they felt like concrete. Some exemplary service from Up and Running in Cheltenham meant that they were taken from my hands and replaced with the Adiboosts. The reference to the hot hatches of the 1980's is how i feel about these shoes. My last few running shoes have been bright, loud and brash, Hoka's and Brooks in multi-coloured designs. The early hot-hatches.
The Adiboosts look like a football trainer from the 1980's. They are black, they have three white stripes and a white sole. As it is Adiboost it is not an oversized sole so not that obvious. The only design element that makes them look slightly different is the orange (or is it pinky-peach?) segment of the sole in the heel. Other than that they are not obvious as a running shoe, let alone a £120 running shoe packed with the latest in Adidas technology.
I've not owned an Adidas running shoe for some years, these are very different from the last pair i owned.
Trying them on in the shop what i noticed immediately was the heel cup and tongue, plenty of padding and comfort. The tongue is secure and, so far, doesn't move around when running. The heel cup is nicely padded and stiffened by an exo-skeleton made of plastic and on the outside of the shoe. Running on the treadmill they were light, soft and agile. The sales pitch being that as they use the same rubber as Continental tyres on the outer sole they have great grip in the wet. I am hoping that the tyre rubber will also serve to make them durable. Particularly as the outer rubber is pretty then, and interestingly does not cover the entire sole of the shoe.
The next day i wore them on my long run. Out of the box i ran 10 miles in them. No issues, comfortable and light. They were a little narrow and with toenails that needed some pre-run attention i did return with toes covered in blood. Attending to the root cause that has not happened since although the shoes are quite narrow (and my feet are not wide). The boost sole is soft but not so squishy that it feels odd or unresponsive. I'm not sure i felt any of the energy return that the marketing material talks about but then i do not heel strike. Presumably the pinky-peachy segment of the sole is part of that?
I have subsequently worn them on a few runs this week, after wearing i have felt more stiffness in my calves than previously but using these shoes also coincides with a return to running from an injury lay off that might be as much to do with that as anything really.
These shoes are excellent, they don't really look like running shoes which takes a bit of getting used to. When you put them on they are comfortable and soft, when running in them they feel close to the ground but cushioned enough so as not to be a problem. This makes them responsive and comfortable. You soon forget what you have on our feet and can enjoy the view rather than thinking about what connects you to the road.
If i were asked about them i would recommend a test run for definate. i was surprised by how good they are and would expect the same reaction from others. If you like a cushioned running shoe then these may be for you. Right now i think i might get another pair but much like the child of the 80's (ok i was born in the 70's) i like a bit more GTi in my styling.