We tried it: Adidas PureBoost X
"We Tried It" is a column where stylist and novice runner Megan Ann Wilson tries new, innovative or weird fitness products. Have a product you want her to test before you buy? Let us know at @shegotgame and @espnW.
Distance running and I have a complicated relationship that dates back to my junior high track team. However, as running clubs are becoming the new brunch, I decided it was time to get over my teenage insecurities and start training for a 5K.
One of the challenges I've had with running is finding the right shoes. I have high arches and small feet so insoles are a necessity for me. It's partially why in the past I've stuck to sprinting -- longer distances can be painful for my feet and knees. But good shoes can make all the difference.
Enter the Adidas PureBoost X -- finally not a "shrink it and pink it" performance shoe. The PureBoost X is the only running shoe on the market with a "floating" arch specifically engineered to contour the female foot. My friends at Finish Line sent over a pair for me to try out to see if these sneakers could solve my arch problems.
The upper portion of the shoe is sock-like (a trend in both performance and casual footwear) along with a smaller heel that makes for a snug fit. The entire arch of the shoe is unattached to the mid-foot, the upper portion is only connected to the Boost midsole at the heel and in the forefoot. According to Adidas, this allows the shoe to adapt to a variety of foot shapes and the range of expansion in female runners' feet. The design may look unstable, but the arch hugs the foot like a tensor bandage with Adidas' signature three stripes. Overall? The sneaker feels a little like you're wearing compression socks attached to clouds.
The stability of the shoe is in the full Boost midsole, Adidas' signature running technology. Boost is made of expanded polyurethane foam, which in short, is an energy-returning midsole that is both comfortable and shock absorbing. The Boost midsole makes for a responsive and bouncy run, and cushioning is moderate -- decent on cement but best on a track.
Despite the closed mesh fabric of the shoe, there are ventilation points along the sneaker that help negate foot sweat and increase breathability. The rubber outsole has a lattice-like pattern called Stretchwebb, which is flexible and adapts to every stride while gripping to different terrain. I mostly ran 3K to 6K on cement mixed in with some trail and track sprints. The lacing pattern is made to lock down the foot, making sure laces stay tight throughout a run.
This is the ideal sneaker if you have a neutral gait and like a close fit. I tend to supinate (meaning that I tend to roll a bit on the outside of my feet) so I prefer more stability in my forefoot and saw visible wear on the outside of my foot once I began clocking runs longer than 5K. I also wore these for a few HIIT training sessions, and they performed well.
Aesthetically, the shoe is unique and plays well on Instagram. The floating arch looks futuristic and the graphic designs make a fun fashion statement. Adidas is also rolling out bright, multicolor designs for both its running and Stella McCartney x Adidas collections.
The shoes weigh a light 6.5 ounces and compact easily, which make them perfect for stowing in luggage or gym bags. Price ranges from $120 to $170.
Worth the money?
Yes, if you have regular or high arches, a neutral gait and like moderate cushioning. I would not recommend it for trail or long distance runs over 5K or for those with wide or flat feet. You may want to go up a half size and take time to break them in. The Adidas PureBoost X is a great shoe for track and city running, sprinting and casual wear.