adidas ADIZERO BOSTON 10 - First Impressions
Posted on August 31 2021
For years I have loved the adizero Boston. It has been the go-too, do everything training shoe that you then swapped for the Adios when you got to race day.
I lamented a few years ago when they added the "Formotion Heel", which made it blocky and lumpy. Then BOOST came along, the big heel disappeared but it was a bit soft.
Shoe design has moved on and the BOSTON began to feel like a great vintage car is to drive. Lots of good memories but something missing when you actually drive them. So the BOSTON needed a new role in life.
All manufacturers have needed to address the Carbon trend started by NIKE and adidas was a little late to the game but they have now made a great start at reclaiming lost ground. On the 7th of December 2020, Kibiwot Kandie took the world Half Marathon record in 57.32 wearing a pair of adizero ADIOS Pro and adidas was back!!
The ADIOS Pro is the current top of the line adidas road shoe but they are difficult to get hold of, but this success has created a new role for the BOSTON.
The BOSTON 10 is the takedown version (cheaper) of the ADIOS PRO and has a very similar silhouette. It embodies the adidas approach to carbon propulsion with 5 embedded (what adidas claim) Carbon Rods in the forefoot which are meant to replicate the bone structure of the foot. Other reviews claim these to be fibreglass rods.
We have now seen many carbon shoes from almost every manufacturer and they are usually the top of the line, most expensive shoe in the line up which has put quite a lot of people off.
The BOSTON 10 comes in at about $142 usd, or $1099 hkd making it one of the most affordable Carbon shoes out there. This may broaden the appeal.
For years now, adidas has put BOOST foam in virtually every midsole and we have all learned when it comes to super shoes, the benefit comes mostly from the use of new nitrogen infused foam (rather than the rods addition) and adidas' take on this is LITESTRIKE PRO. The entire midsole of the ADIOS PRO is Litestrike Pro but to hit the remarkable price point of the BOSTON 10, this shoe has only 50% of the midsole in this material and the rest is referred to as Litestrike EVA which is a a different structure and supplied by a different company to LITESTRIKE PRO.
The outsole of the shoe has a cut-out, which exposes 3 of the 5 rods. These are meant to flex together with the foot and provide energy return at toe off and reinforce the rocker.
Here you can see the rods
The outsole also includes Continental rubber which we have seen for years on adidas shoes and it has a reputation of providing exceptional grip, especially in Hong Kong conditions. I tested it on the green slime of Chatham Path, steep and treacherously slippery, no problem!!
Where the BOSTON 10 does resemble the previous Boston's is in the last shape. The nipped in midfoot reminds me a lot of the previous shoe. This means it does produce a snug fit which will suit some people.
The upper material is a double layer of a coloured knit material with a translucent covering. I have read some reviews that claim this makes the shoe hot but in the couple of runs I have done so far I didn't feel that. To be revisited.
SO HOW WAS IT TO RUN IN?.... the six million dollar question.
Firstly, lets put it out there, it's a relatively heavy shoe. At 294g it compares to the New Balance RC Elite at 218g and the HOKA Carbon X2 at 235g. I suspect the split of the compression formed midsole with 50% PRO and EVA is contributing to that, the continental rubber outsole and maybe the double layer upper. However the Carbon X2 is $1480 hkd and the RC Elite, $1699 so that's a chunk of change more.
I have now had three runs in the shoe, a slow recovery run, then a tough interval session and a hilly road climb with some pacy descent. It does need more time before drawing firm conclusions but my first impression is this shoe works a whole lot better when you are pushing the pace and particularly when running downhill. For the slow run, if you have become accustomed to lots on marshmallowy cushioning, this shoe does not have that and it will feel hard. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I see so many people running in very soft carbon shoes and its clear they have pronation issues. This shoe is much more supportive and would help them a lot.
When you push the pace though, and get more up on your forefoot the shoe is a really good. I could feel the rocker working well and the energy return (where the Litestrike Pro is thickest) and the rods are placed, was noticeably better.
On long descents where it is hard to avoid a degree of heel striking, and where you need some stability, the shoe works really well.
My foot was held really well with that relatively narrow midfoot and they felt more BOSTONesque !. I didn't really notice the weight on either of the more pacy runs and finished the tough Interval session and the hill climb and descent satisfied they had helped my form and pace.
So in conclusion for these first outings I would say this is a Carbon shoe with support, for which you should expect a bit more weight and don't compare it too much to the old BOSTON, as there is not so much similarity. What it does make is a very good, and what I suspect will be, durable race trainer.
I would also say if you are a heel striker you will find this much more stable than almost all of the other carbon shoes and that is a very good thing.
We will do more miles in the shoe and update the blog at 100km with more insightful experiences.
You can buy the shoe ONLINE HERE: