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December 12, 2013 By Peter Larson 64 Comments For quite a long time I’ve avoided most any shoe over 8mm drop from heel to forefoot. What I love about the 1400v2 is that it has a soft heel and a firm forefoot, it’s lightweight, and the fit is just right for a performance shoe. I was pretty hard on adidas when they first started marketing their Boost midsole material, and I still stand by what I wrote.
Anyway, I’m still a sucker for new shoe technology, and I was first sent a pair of the Energy Boost shoes by adidas. As a racing shoe, the adios Boost seemed like a better match for me, and it turns out that I was correct. The sole of the adios Boost is really the selling point for this shoe, so I’ll address a few things about the Boost midsole.
I haven’t put enough miles on these to address durability claims, but I can speak to the temperature effect. The outsole of the adios Boost has plenty of rubber, so I suspect durability of the sole to be very good overall. I find the forefoot in the AdiZero Boost to be more cushioned than the NB 1400v2, but then again I am larger than you. Here’s a thought experiment — if you are running with a midfoot (or, even better, forefoot) strike, and provided that the drop is not so large as to make you land heel-first, does the drop in a running shoe really make any difference?
I suspect this is why you are happy with the NB 1400v2 and the Adidas AdiZero Boost — no real impact on your stride.
Before this goes much further, I think it’s important to note that this is a review for the Adios Boost, not the Adistar Boost, which is a much different shoe. This is where blogs like yours could really fill a deficiency of magazine reviews: How long do the damn shoes last? The 1400’s are a good shoe but they have Eva and I find that after about 20 miles the foam gives out a little. Let me just start by saying that on your recommendation I tracked down a pair of (expensive, in Canada, at 140$) NB1400V2s, and I quite like them, though not as much as my origional Adios2s. Almost all elite-runners are sponsored by Nike or Adidas who kind of dictates which shoes they run in.
Meb runs a pretty decent marathon in the GoRuns which in my eyes are a minimal shoe with a low drop, high flexibility and a good ground feel. I’m far from an elite runner myself but have set new PR’s after starting running in minimal shoes and got a marathon time around 3 hours so I don’t think they are bad competition shoes.
I think the idea is that you may get a bit of spring-back at toe off after bending a stiff sole during stance.
Yeah, that’s the problem with the energy return claims about Boost, all depends on what you compare it to. This afternoon these shoes helped me run a personal best on the half marathon City Pier City The Haguu.
Don’t think I wrote that, maybe something along the lines of a shoe can be the cause of overpronation. However, a few months ago I bought a pair of New Balance 1400v2’s after hearing positive things about them from friends (damn you John Schrup!). Boost is different than typical EVA midsole foam in that it is composed of thermoplastic beads that are fused together. I’d rank the adios Boost right up with the NB 1400v2, Newton Energy, and Saucony Virrata as one of my top shoes of 2013 (still deciding on #5!).
The forefoot width is not too tight, not too wide (if you have wide feet they probably will not work for you), and I didn’t have any issues with toe squeezing. I think that once the sole thickness drops below a certain height the bouncy sensation disappears and the sole takes on a firmer feel (less room for sole deformation). As mentioned, the sole has good stiffness and is responsive – I could see using it for races from the 5k to the marathon with no problem. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer.


That being said, I think that stride cadence leading to short striding leads to efficient foot strike. I’ve never been a pure minimalist runner if you define it as zero drop, minimal cushion. As a matter of fact, I think I could run in all of my shoes, even the original Pure Connects from Dick’s Sporting Goods I got almost two years ago that started me down the minimalist path.
The problem is that addressing long term durability is really tough if you do a lot of reviews, and doing fewer reviews with more miles on each shoe leaves a lot of bases uncovered.
But with the boost I felt the same response for the whole 26 miles so for a marathon race shoe I would go with the adios. The Boost midsoles and the outsoles, both of which seem to be comparable to the Adios boost, have held up great. They are quite a bit more flexible in the forefoot, and so require your foot to do a lot more of work than the adios2s — I would run up to 9 miles in the 1400V2s on a soft surface, but would prefer the adios2s for anything longer or on pavement, as you feel less beat up afterward. Both the Adios and 1400 series are worn by the most elite of the elite for a reason — they are designed to help you run fast, which is more of a consideration than whether or not they meet some purity mm-drop standard.
But for races I would wear spikes on the track and the 1400V2 or Adios2 for longer distance road races. He’s probably one of the few elite runners who got a saying about what kind of shoe he want’s to run in. Well that’s also how I personally define a minimal shoe and the Adios Boost or NB 1400 V2 doesn’t live up to any of those criterias in my eyes.
He helped design it from the ground up and it’s a stiff distance racing shoe just like the adios Boost and NB1400. If there is an advantage can anyone’s race pace take advantage of it or is fast paces that get most pop out of the stiffness.
You could try the Saucony Mirage, which is also 4mm drop and a bit more traditional in its construction, or maybe one of the Brooks Pure shoes (Flow, Cadence).
Might be better than another identical shoe of same weight with and EVA sole, but not necessarily better than a lighter shoe with similar specs with an EVA sole. I was using the lunaracers for a race shoe which are about 3 ounces lighter than the adios but when I started using the adios boost my times were significantly faster. Didn’t you have an article last year saying that neutral running shoes caused you to overpronate?
The only shoe that I’m pretty sure caused an injury due to causing overpronation is the NB MT110 which ha a slanted sole from lateral to medial.
I had a 10 US for the Adios 2 and it was small on me, went up to 10.5 in the Boost and was good. I never tried the 1400v1 because the drop was above my preferred range (I’m a bit of a dropist), but I wound up loving the v2.
The heel is very soft, and the forefoot is firm, and this is a combo that I like in a lot of shoes (already mentioned the 1400, but also the Newton Energy). Below freezing most days, and the low is projected to be right around O degrees Fahrenheit tomorrow night.
My biggest concern is the price – at $140 MSRP are they worth spending $60 more than a pair of New Balance 1400v2 or maybe Saucony Grid Type A5’s? There are definitely some higher drop shoes that don’t work well for me, the Sayonara being a good example, and I have a hard time in more traditional shoes. There are some shoes that can work well, regardless of drop, but some shoes with short drops where I’ll notice wear further back.
The shoe I’ve put the most miles on in the past 5 years would be the Saucony Kinvara, which probably has more cushion than either the adios Boost or NB 1400.
I think the high price is offset by the fact that these things will last forever with the boost material and the Continental rubber.
Even the Piranha SP 3s that I’ve run tons of races in still have some life left in them. But both give you a feeling as you run of being totally at one with the road or trail, something the Kinvara3s (also recently bought on closeout due to your recommendation) do not give –though they do give much more cushioning than either, which is very important to me now that the temperatures are at -10C for a high here in Ontario.


FWIW, I own and run in FiveFingers, NB Minimus and Nike Free 3.0s, and all of those make your foot work far more than an elite marathoner or 10k athlete would want on race day. I’d also put a plug in for the Skechers GoRun as a recovery shoe, nice soft ride and super comfortable.
The question here would be durability – will the Boost shoe justify the $60 premium by lasting longer. I reviewed the adidas Adios 2 last year and was surprised by how much I liked it, though the fit was tight up front and the heel was a bit firm. I didn’t have a problem with these claims as they can be validated by mechanical testing data. I tend to land on the midfoot or very lightly on my heel and a soft heel makes for a very smooth transition for my stride (whereas a firm, inflexible heel like in the Mizuno Sayonara just doesn’t work with my stride). In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. I like shoes that are lightweight and simple in costruction, I don’t mind cushion (actually prefer a bit) and use a range of drops.
I wonder given your midfoot tending stride if it is not just the firm forefoot and a touch of soft heel when you need it that makes these feel good for you. At those temps, the NB is a very, very hard shoe indeed, but the Adios2 isn’t so bad, and I look forward to the Adios boost in that regard. Elites may be sponsored by Nike and Adidas, but they could choose any shoe made by these companies. Unfortunately as someone who reviews a lot of shoes I usually don’t get enough miles on each to answer that one. I already wanted another pair next to my Kinvara3s for the long runs, so don’t feel bad about it. I still have issues with other high drop shoes, and have come to realize that I can tolerate a higher drop if a shoe is not overly stiff and the heel has some give. I contacted adidas to see if I could get ahold of a review sample of the Adios Boost, and they agreed to send a pair out (Disclosure: these were media samples provided free of charge by adidas. My issue was the implication that improved energy return from Boost would increase running economy and thus performance (they did not have data to link the mechanical testing data to actual physiological performance).
That being said, the Boost material did indeed feel different, particularly if I forced a pronounced heel strike.
However, like the NB 1400v2 the interior of the upper is a bit scratchy and I wouldn’t advise running sockless in them.
A lot of shoes with EVA soles start feeling like bricks when you run in cold weather like this.
They will garner some sales due to the heavy marketing of the Boost midsole, but prices are going to need to come down for me to recommend these highly over competitors. So in a year’s time, would buying one pair of Adios Boost work out to being better financially than two pairs of the 1400? On the plus side, if I have a shoe that starts to fall apart before I review it, it’s definitely one to avoid!
The elite Kenyans aren’t racing in the Adidas Gazelle, they almost all use the Adios.
I seem to gravitate toward Saucony as the Kinvaras have served me well, but am open to suggestion on other brands maybe…I land mid foot with slight heel from time to time as we’ll? There is still no published data that I am aware of supporting the ability of Boost to improve performance, though an abstract with scant details from a scientific meeting suggested a 1% improvement in economy in Boost shoes. I can attest that the Boost remains bouncy when running in cold temps, but again you’ll only really notice it in the heel.



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