Adidas Solar Boost Review

I hated the original Energy Boost. The introduction of Boost was fantastic and I loved it in the Adios and Glide series.  The Energy Boost just did not work for me.  The Tech Fit upper was great but the excessive toe spring, the chunky heel and slightly unstable ride pushed me away.  Years later... I had the opportunity to try the Solar Boost due to the interest in the Solar Propulsion Rails and extended torsion system into the forefoot (which I loved in some of the original Adios series).  And I was blown away.  A completely different shoe that provides a great fit, very stable (without posting) and energetic ride.


Specifications (per Running Warehouse)
Weight: 10.6 oz
Stack Height: 28mm/18mm
Drop: 10mm
Classification: Neutral Road Trainer


FIT

The fit of the Solar Boost is spot on. The Tech fit upper in the forefoot provides a secure and snug fit.  Length wise the shoe fits true to size.  I typically wear a size 10 and that is exactly what fit me.  I would not suggest sizing up or down.  The fit will work best for those with medium to narrow feet.  While the Tech Fit upper stretches, it is still a bit more on traditional Adidas narrower fit


The Tailored Fiber Placement holds the midfoot well.  This is a fairly thick material around the middle part of the upper that does not allow for excessive movement.  It provides a snug and stable hold and responds to how tight you pull the laces.


The heel of the Solar Boost is one of my favorite parts.  The way the heel counter is designed reduces pressure on the achilles tendon and insertion while still providing a snug and stable fit to the medial and lateral sides.  I think this is a great way to reduce pressure on that area while still providing a stable hold.  For those with haglund deformities, this is a great shoe to consider.


COMFORT

The Adidas Solar Boost is a very comfortable shoe.  The lack of hard plastics or heel counters makes the against foot feel very smooth.  The Tech Fit upper gives an almost custom fit, while the solar propulsion rails actually give some stability to the Boost cushioning.  The Solar Boost can be worn sockless due to the smoothness of the upper.  Overall this is a comfortable training shoe.  It is not a racer or workout shoe, but one that protects and comforts your feet for easy or long runs.


RIDE

The Adidas Solar Boost has a stable and light feeling ride for a trainer.  I was impressed that while running in the shoe it felt fair lighter than expected.  This is partially due to the high amount of Boost combined with the solar propulsion rails.


The Solar Propulsion Rails are another thing that excited me about this shoe.  I loved the extended forefoot torsion systems in the older models of the Tempo, Boston, Adios and Takumi Sen/Ren.  To see these now in a trainer provides a better toe off and more stable ride.  This is not the fastest shoe due to the weight and high amount of boost, but it is cool to see Adidas do stability without posting.  The Solar Propulsion Rails act to guide the foot forward while the Tailored Fiber Placement in the midfoot holds the foot down well.


Although there is some posterior heel flare in the Solar Boost, Adidas typically bevels their heels quite a bit.  The Solar Boost is no exception as the soft boost and heel bevel allow for a smooth ride.  For forefoot strikers, the forefoot Propulsion Rails act to provide a stable place for landing and toe-off, so no major issues should occur.  The Solar Boost is listed at having a 10mm drop, but it feels far lower due to the Boost compression.  If I had to guess I would put it more in the 6-7mm drop range, but static measurements for drop are almost ALWAYS different than the dynamic measurements.


So overall the ride is a stable and smooth one.  I was impressed as most soft shoes do not work for me due to the instability, but Adidas managed to put enough things to stabilize the foot that I have been able to enjoy these without issue!


SPEED

The speed of the Adidas Solar Boost is decent for a trainer thanks to the aspects I mentioned above.  However this is not a shoe I would use for hard workouts as it is heavier and the high amount of Boost can feel a little sluggish.  However, for easy and moderate pace runs it shines.  This is a great, protective, stable shoe that works best during easier paces and long runs.  It has done well during strides, but again for any uptempo pace I would choose a lighter shoe like the Boston, Tempo or Adios. 


DURABILITY

Adidas uses their traditional Continental rubber outsole in the Solar Boost.  This usually leads to a fairly durable outsole, although mine have a little extra wear due to using these on some aggressive trails.  Combined with the Boost, the Solar Boost has retained a very similar ride throughout their 160 miles of use thus far.  I expect an above average number of miles from these (above 300-500) due to the durable qualities of the midsole and outsole.  I do not have enough experience with the Tech Fit uppers to know how long that will last, but so far I have not seen any additional wear.


THOUGHTS AS A DPT

As someone who has treated many people with achilles issues and suffered a few himself, I am happy to see a company looking to hold down the heel without placing undo stress there.  The Fit Counter method is a great way to still give a stable hold to each side of the heel without harsh plastic pressure digging into the posterior heel or achilles.  The mesh at the most posterior aspect provides a very comfortable materiel against the skin.  So again for those with Haglund deformities (bump pump), this is a great shoe to look at for running. 


The return of the extended forefoot torsion system, now called the Solar Propulsion Rail, is a great way to provide stability as mentioned earlier.  The bar system on each side of the midsole definitely helps guide the foot forward without being overly controlling.  This is a great addition to a soft and somewhat unstable midsole material like Boost.  Further, the fact that they are on both sides provides stability no matter which way you move excessively.



Initially when I saw the Solar Boost, I thought the Propulsion Rails were the raised parts of the midsole around the midfoot.  Although it turns out they are not, this is a great addition to further stabilize the foot.  The raised edges do help guide the foot through the gait cycle and due to their pliability, do not put excessive pressure into the medial or lateral aspects of the foot.  Brooks is doing something similar in their future shoes with the guide rails and I think this is a far better way of guiding the foot than trying to force it in a direction with posting.  Very excited to see companies move away from older, questionable methods of stability and start experimenting with new things like this!


CONCLUSION

For those looking for a stable, soft and comfortable daily trainer, take a look at the Adidas Solar Boost.  The Tech Fit upper and the Tailored Fiber Placement provide a snug hold on the foot while the solar propulsion rails and Boost provide a lively but stable ride.  The new heel counter also provides a snug hold without placing excessive pressure on the achilles!  For those that liked the Energy Boost and those wanting to try something new, I would definitely recommend trying the Solar Boost. 

Thanks for reading!

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

Dr. Matthew Klein, PT DPT 
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Kaiser SoCal Manual Therapy and Sport Fellow

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at Adidas for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We put at least 50-75 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently I have 156 miles on my pair. My views are based on my extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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Comments

  1. Yeah Brooks started with guide rails like 4 years ago on the transcend and now other brands are catching on . The idea was kinda stolen from Hokas bucket seat construction. Since your foot in narrower you forgot to mention that the knitted cage material can really pinch the foot when you flex the shoe to push off if your mimidfoot is wide. The cage can be very uncomfortable and they have to fix that.

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  2. Thanks for the detailed review. At last some good news on the everyday trainer front for Adidas fans since the Glide Boost 6/7/8 were abandoned! It's too bad the very durable Continental sole seems to be gone for good though (the GB8v2 had already lost it) as the Stretchweb is much less durable by all accounts.

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