The Adidas Energy Boost has been a shoe I've been interested in since its inception, and as a fan of innovation, was very excited to give them a try.
Having tried a pair of a friend's Adistar boosts on before, I knew roughly what to expect from these, but getting them out of the box was surprising. You don't really appreciate how odd the shape is until you see it up close. Due to the stretch mesh on top, they can take a lot of volume out of the shoes, and this gives them an odd pointy appearance. However, that wasn't the only thing I noticed. The medial and lateral Adidas logos are almost like an exoskeleton; an extension of the heel counter, and this could go one of two ways. Either, it will be secure and snug, providing good levels of stability; or it will be intrusive, and uncomfortable. I'm hoping for the former. In general though, they do look very good, and the Adidas design team can be applauded.
The midsole is always going to be the talking point about any Boost shoe (more on that soon in the Adidas Supernova Glide Boost). Even without putting them on, you can just feel how different the foam is. By poking it, it feels so soft that it might bottom out but obviously, this shouldn't be the case, as Adidas have spent a fair chunk of money on development. Aside from that, I'm very excited, as I do like a softer shoe for my longer miles, and being around the 14st mark, I do sometimes suffer from a lack of cushioning.
The upper is the less talked about, but just as innovative update in the Adidas Energy Boost 2. It is, like the midsole, unique. It uses a stretch mesh called TechFit, which really does mould to your feet. It will, I imagine take some getting used to, but that being said, immediately it feels comfortable. Just different. The design idea behind it is to both save weight, and flex with your foot. It also uses fewer overlays and seams, providing a very snug, but comfortable fit. The logos (as mentioned earlier) could go one of two ways. Upon putting them on, they are a lot more adjustable than realised, and simply by adjusting the laces, you get quite a lot of play with them, and their positioning is just right, sitting just behind the ball of your foot. The laces are another unsung feature, and start a lot further up the shoe than most, giving your toes plenty of room to move, whilst still feeling secure. The heel cradle is snug and secure, which was actually one of the best fitting heels I've experienced for a while. It doesn't ride up high, and isn't particularly low, and once I'd changed the laces to my preferred butterfly style, my foot sat right back into the shoe, not moving from there.
Once again, another unsung feature is the Adiwear outsole. It is unbelievably grippy. The only thing I've fund that comes close to it is the Inov8 Road-x 255, and even that doesn't come close. It is minimal too, so remains very light. Having used Adidas shoes in the past, it is durable too, so is on a par, in my opinion, with Vibram rubber.
This shoe is unlike anything I have ever tried on in the past, and only gets better when you run. Walking around in it, you really feel bouncy, and some may be put off by this, but trust me, it's a good bounce! Even one of my close friends, who will use no more than a 4mm heel-drop, with next to no cushioning enjoyed the feeling of these, even if just for novelty's sake. When you star running though, an odd thing occurs. You get that bounce back, and it actually propels you into your next stride. I found myself running faster than usual, without even noticing, and this was hugely satisfying. Adidas' bold claims about energy return ring true, and my splits were actually quicker than usual, without any extra energy expenditure. These shoes are fast becoming one of my favourites, and would recommend them to anyone who likes a cushioned shoe. They were even easy to run forefoot in, and offer a flexible feeling, whilst agan, propelling your forwards. However, a few words of warning. They are a neutral shoe, an over-pronators will notice the lack of support, so be aware of your running gait. The next thing is the cushioning. I weigh almost 14st, so the amount of cushioning was justified, however a few people I've spoken to found this too much, and preferred the feel of the slightly firmer Supernova Glide Boost. If you do go for these, just be aware of how much cushioning you like. My final word of warning concerns the uppers. Although TechFit is very stretchy and does mould to your foot, they are built on a narrow chassis, so or wider feet this may be an issue. Especially wide feet may also notice the logo cradles, as again, however adjustable they are, the shoe itself is narrow. Again, they are only warnings, and if you bear them in mind, this shoe is fantastic. This was one of my most enjoyable runs for a long time, and therefore I give them a 9 out of 10 (only because I can see some people having issues with the fit).